Adapted from Gavin Drake/ACNS
The Anglican mission agency United Society will reclaim USPG, its more familiar identity of 56 years. The agency is not returning to its former full name of United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, but will become United Society Partners in the Gospel.
The agency has played a long and important role in the history of international Christian missionary activity and in the spread of Anglicanism across the globe.
The agency was formed by Royal Charter in 1701 as the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). In 1965 the agency merged with the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa to form the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
It adopted United Society in 2012 “with a reinvigorated desire to participate in God’s global mission.” But many people found the abbreviated form of the society’s name, Us, confusing on a global stage, where it ran the risk of confusion with the United States.
“During 2015, we undertook some research to discover how our new brand had been received,” said the agency’s chief executive, Janette O’Neill. “We learned that, while our partners in Britain and Ireland and around the world greatly appreciated the energy, values, and practical work embodied in the Us brand, many remained saddened that we were no longer referring to the gospel in our name.
“As well as reintroducing ‘gospel’ into our name, the new meaning of USPG emphasizes our focus on working in partnership with the world church, while also encouraging the Anglican Churches of Britain and Ireland to participate more deeply in that partnership.”
The agency will renew its USPG name and unveil a new logo at Greenbelt in August.