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Sources of the Sacred

ADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: Oral history interviews collected for the research project ‘Sources of the Sacred: Migration, Modernity and Religious Identity in Global London’ by Dr Jane Garnett and Dr Alana Harris, both in the Department of History at the University of Oxford. 

The aim of the research was to explore the ways in which membership or association with a church community provided structures and opportunities to negotiate successfully the experience of post-World War II migration to Britain– through the formation of new communities, access to information and support, and the practice of both familiar and creatively reconceptualized religious devotions and customs. Another strand of the project explored the ways in which faith leaders, community organizers, the Tower Hamlets and Newham Borough Councils, and other third sector organizations mobilized churches’ infrastructure and networks to support migrants (those newly arrived, or of much longer standing) and help them settle in East London.
The bulk of the 104 interviews were conducted by Dr Alana Harris (with some support in the latter stages by Dr Stella Moss) and were focused on two church communities in the London Borough of Newham, one of the most ethnically diverse areas of any European city, and also characterised by relatively high levels of religious affiliation. The two churches were St Bartholomew’s (an Anglican/interfaith community in East Ham) and St Margaret and All Saints (a Catholic congregation in Canning Town). The interviews were with lay people and clergy associated with the church, people outside the congregation who had a connection with the church, and those working in East London within government organizations or community agencies supporting migrants.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: 104 interviews

QUANTITY: 104 wav., 104 pdf.