Dr Gary Lewis  – An Australian co-operatives historian who re-wrote this prayer a couple of years ago. 

  • Save us from academics that pour over the entrails of co-operatives, then consign them to the footnotes.
  • Save us from managers who think cooperatives are like their egos – bigger is better. (Many CEO’s  educated in Australia with MBA’s don’t know or see the overseas value or vision for coops)
  • Save us from Politicians who periodically promote cooperatives but, when elected, put them back into the too hard basket.
  • Save us from governments who cut cooperation to suit their ideological pursuits. 
  • Save us from the headless dogma that has narrowly confined cooperation for economic enterprise.  (Larger coops don’t see the coop movement structures needed to start and grow and support others) 
  • Save us from investors who believe money is always more important than democracy (schools and banks don’t understand coops)

Egar Parnell in the  UK – originally wrote the prayer in the early 1990s

God save cooperatives keep them from the following:

  1. Academics who wish to pull them apart to see how they work
  2. Professionals that believe that nothing can be achieved by ordinary men and woman
  3. The advisors never tire of finding new problems but never having the time to solve any.
  4. The managers who want they’re cooperative to work for them rather than them work for it.
  5. The politicians who seek to use cooperatives as their stepping stone to power
  6. The governments that would bury them in democracy
  7. The pedlers of dogma who try to make them fit their view of the world and who do not accept coops as economic enterprises
  8. The investors who would take them over and cash in their assets.

Help them deliver benefits working in their members’ interest without transgressing their rights of those out with the cooperative.


Not a lot has changed. We still have the same issues today!


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