Society of Dependents

A Christian sect once common in Surrey and West Sussex, England, founded by John Sirgood

They were widely known as "Cokelers". This name is believed to come from "Cuckolders", meaning adulterers, a slander on them by religious opponents, rather than the alternative explanation that they drank cocao because they were teetotal.

Their faith was very simple: they were teetotal, conscientious objectors to the war and were encouraged but not required to remain unmarried. Beginning in the 1850s meetings were held on commons or in barns and faced great opposition from the landed gentry and the clergy. Both men and women preached, which was unusual at that time, seeking converts among the poor and humble.

They first established themselves at Loxwood because it was outside of the control of the large estates whose Anglican owners would have denied them land or premises. The first chapel was opened there in 1861. Seven more chapels were built in Norwood, Shamley Green, Warnham, Lord's Hill,Northchapel, Chichester and Hove. These were simple undecorated buildings, with a room where those who had walked long distances to attend could rest during the day long Sunday worship.

They opened a number of combination stores around 1879 in Norwood, Lord's Hill, Northchapel, Warnham and Loxwood, where members lived communally, working in the business. Some followers disagreed with entering the world of commerce but they were successful, selling everything from soap to suspenders, bacon to bootlaces. They also grew their own produce to sell, living communally on tenanted farms. When there was a fashion for cycling in the 1890s they opened bicycle shops at Northchapel, Loxwood and Warnham.

All profits were put back in the business or used to help the needy. They also made furniture to sell: attractive, sturdy pieces some of which still survive.

The following verse comes from the Dependents Hymn Book [Pamela Bruce,"Northchapel A Parish History" (2000) Published by Northchapel Parish Council.]

"Christ's Combination Stores for me" "Where I can be so well supplied," "Where I can one with brethren be" "Where competition is defied."

References

ee also

*Peter Jerrome,"John Sirgood's Way" (1998)

External links

* http://cokelers.living.org.uk
* http://scm.pastfinders.org/cokelers_1.htm


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Society of Dependants — Northchapel Stores The Society of Dependants were a Christian sect founded by John Sirgood in the mid nineteenth century. Their stronghold was in West Sussex and Surrey where they formed co operatives in some villages. They were widely known as… …   Wikipedia

  • Society of the Song Dynasty — …   Wikipedia

  • Co-Dependents Anonymous — (CoDA) is a twelve step program for people who share a common desire to develop functional and healthy relationships.[1][2] CoDA was founded in 1986 in Phoenix, Arizona. CoDA is active in more than 40 countries, with approximately 1200 groups… …   Wikipedia

  • Military dependents' village — Typical jumbled appearance of a military dependents village A military dependents village (Chinese: 眷村; pinyin: juàncūn; Pe̍h ōe jī: kòan chhoan/kòan chhun) is a community in Taiwan built in the late 1940s and the 1950s whose original purpose was …   Wikipedia

  • Komsomolets Nuclear Submarine Memorial Society — The Komsomolets Nuclear Submarine Memorial Society ( ru. Общество памяти атомной подводной лодки ВМФ Комсомолец), literally Society Remembering Atomic Underwater Boat VMF Komsomolets is a charitable non profit organization providing assistance to …   Wikipedia

  • Department of Defense Dependents Schools — DoDDS redirects here. For other meanings, see Dodds (disambiguation). The Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) are a network of schools, both primary and secondary, that serve dependents of United States military and other non US… …   Wikipedia

  • Rural society in China — Fish farmer at peasant market in Danshan, Sichuan September 2005 Rural society in the People s Republic of China occupies more than a half of China s population (roughly 55%) and has a varied range in terms of standard of living and life patterns …   Wikipedia

  • Rural society in the People's Republic of China — occupies more than a half of China s population and has a varied range in terms of standard of living and life patterns. In southern and coastal China, rural areas have seen increased development and are, in some areas, beginning to catch up… …   Wikipedia

  • Symbiosis Society — The Symbiosis Society is a family of 30 educational institutions on 8 campuses in Pune, India. It has some 35,000 students.The Society manages the Symbiosis International University (SIU), formerly Symbiosis International Education… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Society of Musicians — The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain is a charity in the United Kingdom that supports musicians. It is the oldest music related charity in Great Britain, founded in 1738 as the Fund for Decay d Musicians by a declaration of trust… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.