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Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge

Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK). Founded (1698) by Thomas Bray (1656–1730) and others to provide religious literature for those without nearby libraries. As Bishop Compton of London's Commissary for Maryland, Bray aimed to promote ‘Religion and Learning in any part of His Majesty's Plantations abroad, and to provide Catechetical Libraries and free schools in the parishes at home’. Though it handed over to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel its American and West Indian missionary work, SPCK, albeit Anglican, supervised the German-Danish Lutheran Mission in south India, which SPG took over in 1825. As the third oldest English publisher, printing and distribution of literature remains its major task, its shop in Bath being the first (1835). SPCK was the main distributor of the Bible, though the King's Printers and Oxford and Cambridge held the publishing copyright, and has been the principal Prayer Book publisher in different languages.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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