Detailed historical background

Second Spring started to appear in print during 1992 as an 8-page quarterly supplement in the American magazine Catholic World Report. In 1994 the editors Stratford and Léonie Caldecott founded a research centre in Oxford called the Centre for Faith & Culture, associated with The Chesterton Review and the international review Communio.

The Oxford Centre was initially a partnership between Westminster College in Oxford at Botley (where it was physically located) and the Edinburgh theological publishers T&T Clark. The two partners divided the costs between them, and the Centre’s activities were equally divided between conferences and publications. Before long it also provided a home for the G.K. Chesterton Library created by Mr Aidan Mackey.

In 2001 Second Spring merged with the Newsletter of the Centre and started to appear as an 80-page journal twice a year. In 1998, after Westminster College was acquired by Oxford Brookes University, the CFC moved to Plater College in Headington, on the other side of Oxford. There Stratford taught a course called Christianity and Society, maintaining the other activities of the Centre with partial support from T&T Clark and also now from the G.K. Chesterton Institute, founded by Rev. Ian J. Boyd CSB, publisher of The Chesterton Review. A new website was developed and maintained by Mark Armitage.

In 2002, after the sad demise of Plater College, the Centre for Faith & Culture merged for several years with the G.K. Chesterton Institute, creating the "G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture", which was eventually based at Seton Hall University in New Jersey with its Oxford Centre in King Street, Oxford.

After 2006 the Centre in Oxford became independent again. Stratford and Léonie, together with a colleague, the artist David Clayton, started a company called ResSource to develop educational projects in the spirit of Second Spring, but ResSource fell victim of the difficult economic conditions, and from 2007 the journal and the Centre were partially supported by the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in New Hampshire, where David Clayton now teaches as Artist in Residence. Students from the College attend a summer school in Oxford, and the Centre also maintains the G.K. Chesterton Library, which is owned by the Chesterton Library Trust (registered charity number 1134101).

The company Second Spring Oxford, formed in 2010 and directed by the Caldecotts, is now the owner of the various initiatives mentioned, and is actively working to develop other resources and projects, along with a growing internet apostolate.


Archive material on our past history

Inspiration from Newman

An unfinished timeline

The Rose Round girls’ group

Some associated publications

Civilization of Love manifesto


For several years the Centre for Faith & Culture was merged with the G.K. Chesterton Institute: