This is the biography of one of the leaders of the Evangelical Movement at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Hennell lays the foundations of his biography by introducing the Evangelical Revival, and analysing the church in the eighteenth century. It is against this backdrop that he introduces the Venn family, and their involvement in the theological developments around them. John Venn tends only to be remembered because of his well-known father, Henry Venn of Huddersfield, and his friendships with Charles Simeon, William Wilberforce, Henry Thornton, and Hannah More. But his avoidance of the limelight should not lead to an underestimation of his influence. As Rector of Clapham, Venn was the prototypically effective nineteenth-century town parson, but through his role as first Chairman of the Church Missionary Society and as Chaplain to the Clapham Sect, his influence was felt on the wider Church. The background material for this book is taken from John Venn of Clapham's collection, and the mass of personal papers, letters and diaries he left to his son at his death. It is these papers which have been used by Hennel to trace the life of this interesting and influential man.
Reverend Canon Michael Murray Hennell was educated at Bishops Stortford College and Royal Masonic School and St Edmund Hall and Wycliff Hall (Oxford). He worked at St Stephen's With St Bartholomew's (Islington) and at Ridley Hall (Cambridge) as a tutor and later as principal.