Miss Catherine Gurney 1848-1930
Born on 19 June 1848 to an affluent and religious middle class family, Catherine Gurney was a woman who challenged the social mores of the time, which dictated that “a woman’s place is in the home”. She was the youngest daughter of Joseph Gurney of Tyndale Lodge, Wimbledon, a member of the firm of W.B. Gurney, shorthand writers to Parliament and granddaughter of William B. Gurney, who played a leading role in the abolition of slavery.
The first indication of her drive and initiative came when, in the early 1870s, Catherine Gurney first began a Bible Class at Wandsworth; she then went on to form the International Christian Police Association in 1883, which was initially based at her home. This Association progressed and resulted in the establishment of branches in many countries. A Police Institute was subsequently opened in London.
Her next project in 1890 was a Police Convalescent Seaside Home at Clarendon Villas, West Brighton and, in its first year, over 100 police officers were cared for there.
In Switzerland, Zurich’s municipal and cantonal police met for the first time in 1982 for a Christian policemen’s meeting. At the same time, but independently, policemen from the cantons of Aargau, Basle, Berne and Solothurn met in Grenchen. These pioneers were among the founding members of today’s Christian Police Association. In September 1990, the founding meeting of CPA Switzerland took place in Zurich.
Police also began to organise in CPAs almost simultaneously in other European countries.
Links to the associations on www.internationalcpf.org