Conscience – A talk with The Boys’ Brigade, by F.W Farrar D.D was published in 1894.
The Annual Report for 1894-95 recorded: The circulation of the Christmas Gift-Book for the Boys entitled Conscience, and written by the Venerable F. W. FARRAR, D.D. (then Archdeacon of Westminster), reached the large total of 27,500 copies. an increase of 2,500 copies over any previous year. In connection with the Gift-Book, the usual Christmas Competition was held, a series of prizes being offered for the best answers to the following question :- “Which of Christ’s Twelve Disciples do you most admire? State your reasons for thinking so.”
The interest excited by this Competition was great and widespread, no fewer than 651 papers having been sent in from all parts of the United Kingdom, and even from beyond its bounds. These papers were full of interest, and, on the whole, showed an intelligent knowledge of Scripture Writing of the Boys’ letters, one of the judges says : “From their own words-and I believe they are genuine and honest-the Boys of the Brigade seem open to the highest appeal that could be addressed to them by their Officers.” The Committee desire to acknowledge with thanks the generous gift of fifty handsome volumes presented by the Sunday School Union, for Book Prizes in this Competition.
Christmas books – The late Victorian period was a time of rapidly increasing literacy, with The Boys’ Brigade playing its part in this progress with the publication in 1889 of a Christmas Gift book for Boys. The primary purpose of this book was to encourage Boys to read, and the first publication featured 16 pages of text interspersed with illustrations. This set a pattern for future books which continued until 1899. These books proved very successful, and reached a good proportion of Boys in the Brigade. Few of these books now exist, and it is fortunate that enough copies remain to be reproduced and read on the BB virtual museum as a flip book below.