Baptist Historical Society: England and Wales
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Our news page allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the Baptist Historical Society.

We’re publishing again!

Posted on Monday, March 13, 2017

The Baptist Historical Society is delighted to announce the imminent publication of Challenge and Change: English Baptist life in the Eighteenth century. This multi-authored work edited by Peter Morden and Stephen Copson builds on the earlier BHS volume English Baptists of the Eighteenth Century written by Dr Raymond Brown. The forthcoming volume explores chronologically and thematically the development of Baptist life, including Particular Baptists and the two streams of General Baptists. Among other areas, it looks at worship, politics, culture, family life and relationships to other Christians .
The book will be generally available from March 31st and the cost is £25 plus p & p. As Committee members you will be interested to know that copies of the book will be on display at the day conference on Dan Taylor on Saturday March 4th at Regent’s Park College (where a copy will be presented to Dr Raymond Brown to whom the volume is dedicated), or at the BHS AGM in Oxford on May 18th.


Posted on Friday, February 3, 2017

The Society will hold its Study Conference at the University of Manchester from 5-6 July 2017

The Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe,co-author of Daughters of Dissent,will give the Annual Lecture on Constance Coltman – role model for women’s ministry or complete one off? The lecture marks the centenary of the ordination of the first woman to ministry in the Congregational Union of England and Wales


As usual, ADHSCL members will be welcome.

Useful information

Posted on Friday, February 3, 2017

Friends of BHS may be interested to see details of another History Society, this one of the New Churches. Here is the latest information pack

New Churches History Society

Come and take part….

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Our AGM this year is, as usual, combined with the opportunity to hear about interesting Baptist History. We meet on May 18th at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

This year, not one, but two events. The day will look like this

May 18th

12.45 pm     Short AGM of the Baptist Historical Society
1.00pm                 Lunch

Free afternoon
5.00pm                 Lecture 1 of mini-conference: Prof. Malcolm Yarnell, ‘The Priesthood of Believers and English Dissent 1688-1789: John Gill, Isaac Watts and Joseph Priestley.’

6.30 pm                Dinner
7.30 pm                Either a book launch or lecture 2 tba

What was New about the New Connexion? Dan Taylor and the General Baptists, commemorating two hundred years since Taylor’s death in 1816

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Centre for Baptist History and Heritage with the Baptist Historical Society

What was New about the New Connexion?

Dan Taylor and the General Baptists,
commemorating two hundred years since Taylor’s death in 1816

Saturday 25 March 2017, at Regent’s Park College, Pusey Street, Oxford OX1 2LB
10.00am – 4.00 pm

Revd Dr Keith Jones, “New Connexion, New Ecclesiology?”
Revd Dr Richard Pollard, “Dan Taylor: an Innovative Baptist Theologian.”
Revd Dr Peter Shepherd, “Dan Taylor and New Steps in Ministerial Formation.”
Revd Stephen Copson, “Dan Taylor and the Curious Case of the Old General Baptists.”

The study day will mark the publication of the new Baptist Historical Society volume on the English Baptists of the Eighteenth Century, which is dedicated in honour of Revd Dr Raymond Brown.
Dr Brown plans to be present to receive a copy at the study-day, and you are warmly invited to come and greet him.                                                                  

The fee for the conference will be £10, payable on the day, which will include unlimited tea and coffee throughout the day.
Participants are asked to bring their own lunch, or buy sandwiches at the time.
Please notify intention to attend to:

Preparing for Ministry; Then and Now… Nov 29th

Posted on Saturday, October 8, 2016

Join us to discuss the new book by Anthony Cross and explore the place of theology in ministry formation through four centuries of Baptist life and witness. We will hear from Anthony Cross, Sally Nelson and Ernie Whalley and have plenty of time for interaction and discussion.

Didsbury Baptist Church School Lane and Beaver Road Didsbury Manchester M20 6SX

10.30 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Bring your own lunch ◦ drinks provided ◦

Retiring offering to cover costs


For further details and registration contact

Time is running out….

Posted on Monday, October 3, 2016


Patterns of Ministry at Home and Abroad: Change and Continuity

Discussion of ministry is very much a contemporary concern but it has been at the heart of Baptist understanding of the church’s mission from the earliest confessions of the seventeenth century onwards, and it is there more recently as a vital part of the Faith and Order document – Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry – seeking consensus amongst the churches.

How do Baptists relate to a three-fold ministry of bishop, presbyter and deacon? The words may not come easily to Baptist lips, in this country at least, but the different functions are there – -the ministry of episcope or oversight, found in the role of messengers in the seventeenth century, later Association Secretaries,General Superintendents/Regional Ministers and the many who in subsequent years have exercised more informal patterns of episcope. Pastors have been highly esteemed, but what are their essential functions? Preaching, pastoral care, the ministry of sacrament/ordinance.? Churches have been anxious to serve those in need though without any precise definition of diaconal office, though the nearest to this is probably to be found in the history of the deaconess order. There may be debate today about the notion of bivocational ministry, but it might be argued that this has been part of a pattern of service over many years, with the pastor who also served as schoolmaster perhaps being the most common combination. The diversity of chaplaincy services also needs analysis, and the ministry of women both in this country and in the mission field is worthy of study. What too of the argument that ministers are not college-made but Spirit-formed: how are women and men best prepared for ministry? And how does the idea of the priesthood of all believers relate to all this? An evaluation of the work of a particular minister could be the subject of an appropriate entry.

Whilst the area of potential study has been deliberately set very wide, candidates are advised to limit their area of investigation to what can be properly encompassed within an essay of no more than 6,000 words for the main text. The essay should be original, unpublished, based on personal research, and not have been awarded another prize. The winning entry, and any other deemed worthy, will be published in the Baptist Quarterly. The Society reserves the right to make no award if no essay is of sufficient merit.

Submissions should be written with proper critical apparatus, for example professional footnotes, bibliography, and identification of appropriate archival material [preferably conforming to the style-guide for articles for the Baptist Quarterly]. They should be sent to the Secretary of the Baptist Historical Society no later than 31st December 2016

The Payne Memorial Essay commemorates the life and work of the Revd Dr E.A. Payne (1902-80), General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, a President of the World Council of Churches and President of the Baptist Historical Society.

Conference report

Posted on Monday, September 12, 2016

About 20 of us gathered at Luther King House in July to discuss themes around History and Tradition; we heard about Baptist biblical scholars, about issues of violence and peace in 17th c Baptist writings, the communion of saints, about early church theology explored in poetry, about Slavic Baptists, about 20th c thinking about how to function as a community of Baptists in the UK, being single in the church and scriptural ways this has been approached…. and more. Much conversation, making of friendship, renewing of friendships, developing of friendships.

LKH is a wonderful venue for a conference, even in the intense heat, and the variety of people who attended, who contributed, and who joined in the conversations made it a rich and nourishing experience.

From the papers, we discovered ourselves discussing the nature of Christological exegesis, the nature of history, the encounter with the Kingdom in the world and the breadth of Baptist identity through time and space.

As well as thinking about what (and whose!) papers might be appropriate for the Angus Library – and how to get them, and how to file them, we told each other stories of ourselves, and how our personal histories interacted, shaped and were shaped by our lives within the Baptist community.

To all who were there, many thanks. To all who missed it – come next time!

Joint Study Day

Posted on Friday, January 22, 2016

The Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, Oxford with the Baptist Historical Society and the German Baptist Historical Society are holding a study day marking the 360th Anniversary of the readmission of the Jews to Britain and Ireland (1656), together with a study of Baptists and Jews in Nazi Europe
Saturday 12 March 2016 at Regent’s Park College, Pusey Street, Oxford OX1 2LB

The fee for the study day is £10, payable on the day, and includes all drinks. To secure your place please write to:

Posted on Monday, October 26, 2015


Cohost this two day conference

‘Nonconformist attitudes to war and peace in the long twentieth century’
to be held on Friday and Saturday 16th and 17th September 2016 at the Friends’ Meeting House, 173 – 177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ (opposite Euston station).


Speakers to include Professor Clyde Binfield, Professor Densil Morgan and Dr. Andrew Chandler

All are welcome to come

Registration fee £18 per day to include lunch and all refreshments during the conference

Programme to follow

For further information contact Pauline Johns on