This film is part of Free

Religion and the People

The social work carried out by churches of all faiths in Britain, including a section on East End Jewish life

Documentary 1940 14 mins


This short documentary illustrates the centrality of religion in British life in 1940. With the social marginalisation of religion since the 60s, the film provides solid evidence of a time when faith lay at the very heart of the British experience. The film not only examines a broad range of Christian denominations but also includes an illuminating sequence on East End Jewish life.

We see Miriam Moses, one time mayor of Stepney, educating young Jews as the narrator assures us that "the lot of Jewish children in this country is very different from that in lands where they are mocked and victimised from their earliest years". The film was made two years before the Nazis began their Final Solution. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.