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High Council

The Salvation Army's Foundation Deed of 1878 prescribed a very simple method of the succession of leadership for the movement. The General for the time being would nominate his/her own successor, the name of that person being placed in a sealed envelope, to be opened by the Army's solicitor upon the promotion to Glory of the General.

However, following dialogue with former British Prime Minister William Gladstone, who pointed out the dangers of a process that did not allow for ‘calamity, incapacity or heresy', William Booth arranged for an amendment to the Army's constitution in 1904. This amendment made provision for the convening of a body of senior Salvation Army leaders, known as the High Council, in the event of there ever being concern over the fitness of the General for the time being remaining in office, either on health grounds or for any other reason.

In 1929, under the terms of the Army's constitution and owing to serious concerns about the failing health of General Bramwell Booth, the first High Council was convened at Sunbury Court, and all succeeding Generals have been elected by that method since then. High Councils have brought the following leaders into office:

1929 at Sunbury Court

1934 at Clapton Institute

1939 at Clapton Institute

1946 at Sunbury Court

1954 at Sunbury Court

1963 at Sunbury Court

1969 at Sunbury Court

1974 at Sunbury Court

1977 at Sunbury Court

1981 at Sunbury Court

1986 at Sunbury Court

1993 at Sunbury Court

1994 at Sunbury Court

1999 at Sunbury Court

2002 at Sunbury Court

2006 at Sunbury Court

2011 at Sunbury Court 


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