The 30th anniversary of Urban Harvest

2012 year marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Urban Harvest, Roy Joslin’s call for evangelical involvement in our largely unreached working-class communities. I was a teenager when it first came out, but I well remember the stir it caused in Reformed circles in the UK. It was perhaps the most significant book on the subject since William Booth’s In Darkest England in 1890.

Roy Joslin was a pastor in Walworth in London so wrote from his own experience. (He also went to Bible college with my father.)

Sadly, even as he was writing Urban Harvest, he was beginning what would be 33-year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Britain has changed radically in the intervening years and Joslin’s analysis of social class feels dated. But there is still much of great value in the book so over the coming weeks I’m going to post some quotes from the book.

In October IVP are publishing my latest book, Unreached: Growing Churches in Working-Class and Deprived Areas. It comes out of a working group conveyed by the Reaching the Unreached network. We hope it will encourage people to get involved in reaching our estates and cities as well as giving people a sense of how they can go about this work. It might not prove to be the last word on the subject, but it will fill the 30-year silence since Urban Harvest.

Urban Harvest is available here from and

The story of Roy Joslin’s struggle with Parkinson’s Disease is told by his wife, Valerie, in Rediscovering Roy which is available here from and

The quotes begin next Monday.


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