Location: Champion Park, London
Artist: George Edward Wade
Leaders of The Salvation Army from across the world met in Champion Park, London on 8 July 1929 to honour and unveil a statue of the Army Mother, Catherine Booth. The wife of William Booth – with whom she co-founded the Salvation Army – she was an early Christian feminist and became a powerful speaker in her own right, smashing the convention that women were not allowed to speak at meetings.
British sculptor, George Edward Wade (1853-1933) was a largely self-taught artist best remembered for his statues of royalty and politicians. The statue, a depiction of Catherine in bonnet, hand extended and clutching a Bible to her chest; is a reflection of putting her whole heart into her preaching, her arm not raised but extended as if in plea for the souls of the listeners. 150 years on, Catherine Booth is honoured today for advocating for women’s equal rights to preach.