Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
NameRev John VENN, 7852
Birth1759
Death1813
FatherRev Henry VENN , 7858 (1725-1797)
MotherEling BISHOP , 7859 (1730-1767)
Spouses
Death1803
ChildrenJane Catherine , 7851 (1793-1875)
 Henry , 7861 (1796-1873)
Notes for Rev John VENN

John Venn 1758-1813

Principal founder of the Church Mission Society

John Venn was born in Clapham, London, as the son of Henry Venn who was then curate of the parish. After studies in Cambridge, ordination, and nine years in ministry in Norfolk, John returned to Clapham in 1792, this time as rector, remaining in this post until his death 21 years later.

Clapham, and specifically John Venn's rectory, became the focal point for a number of significant church leaders who had been influenced by the Evangelical Awakening in England and who developed strong links with others elsewhere in Europe who held to evangelical piety. The group later became known as the Clapham Sect, the best known member of this group being the anti-slave trade politician William Wilberforce.

With his friend Charles Simeon (1759-1836) and other members of the Eclectic Society, John did much of the work which led to the founding of the Church Mission Society on 12 April 1799 at the Castle and Falcon Inn, Aldersgate (opposite the Moravian Chapel where John and Charles Wesley were converted). John Venn then served as the prime organiser and representative of CMS during its first period of development.

In an era when almost all those serving overseas were ordained chaplains, Venn argued strongly for the advantages of recruiting lay catechists for service overseas, taking his lead from the New Testament where many lay missioners are seen to be highly effective in sharing faith. In considering who should be sent in mission service John wrote in 1805, "Men, and not the Institution, are chiefly to be considered. If you can find proper men, whether English or foreign, whether poor or rich, whether learned or not, I would accept them." This focus on spiritual preparedness, together with John's European links, led to many of the first CMS missionaries being German Lutherans.

John Venn's son Henry Venn became one of the greatest General Secretaries of CMS in 1841.


From Venn’s

Education Cambridge
Occupation between 1783 and 1792 ‎(Age 23)‎ Rector of Little Dunham, Norfolk

Marriage Catherine King - ‎[View Family ‎(F6074)‎‎]
22 October 1789 ‎(Age 30)‎ Trinity Church, Hull


Note: they had five daughters and two surviving sons

Occupation between 1792 and 1 July 1813 ‎(Age 32)‎ Rector of Clapham

Occupation 1799 ‎(Age 39)‎ First chairman of the Church Missionary Society

Marriage Frances Turton - ‎[View Family ‎(F6075)‎‎]

August 1812 ‎(Age 53)‎ Clapham

Occupation Church of England clergyman; see ODNB


Note: mentioned in Noel Annan, 'The Intellectual Aristocracy', in J. H. Plumb, ed., Studies in Social History: A Tribute to G. M. Trevelyan ‎(London: Longmans, Green, 1955)‎, 244, 274 ‎('the Rector of Clapham' and the sixth 'generation of this notable clerical and academic family to graduate from Oxford or Cambridge')‎, 276
Last Modified 17 Jun 2012Created 26 Jan 2020 using Reunion for Macintosh