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.

Don’t miss this…

Posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

 And an additional date, 9th May, 7pm

Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EP, 

Appointment of Vice Presidents

Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Baptist Historical Society Committee has appointed four new Vice Presidents of the Society. Each has been honoured by the Society because of their long-time contributions to Baptist history and scholarship and to the work of the Society. The four appointed are:

Professor David W Bebbington MA PhD FRHistS FEcclesHS FRSE (Stirling)

 Professor John H Y Briggs MA FSA FRHistS (Bristol)

 Mrs Faith Bowers BA MPhil (London)

 The Revd Ian M Randall MA PhD FRHistS (Cambridge)

They join the current Vice Presidents, the Revd Dr Raymond Brown and the Revd Douglas Sparkes.

Professor Bebbington is a leading international Baptist scholar, a key figure in the Scottish Baptist history project, a noted author, a Professor at the University of Stirling and a distinguished visiting Professor at Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Professor Briggs is a former President of the Society, Editor of the Baptist Quarterly, a noted author and General Editor of the Dictionary of European Baptist Life and Thought. He has served extensively on the Executive and Committees of the World Council of Churches representing the Baptist Union of Great Britain. He has worked with Regent’s Park College, Oxford and the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, in addition to his work at Keele University and later the University of Birmingham.

Mrs Faith Bowers has served as Minute Secretary of the Society, sub-editor for the Society, represented British Baptists on the Baptist World Alliance and in conversations with the Church of England. She has author several books on Baptist life in London.  

The Revd Dr Ian M Randall has served in senior positions at Spurgeon’s College and the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, edited the Baptist Quarterly and is a prolific author.

John Fawcett Bi-centenary….

Posted on Monday, July 24, 2017

This year sees the 200th anniversary of  the death of Revd John Fawcett, Baptist theologian, pastor and hymn writer. Initially, he was minister at Wainsgate Chapel in Hebden Bridge Old Town, and later, when the congregation became too big for that chapel, they moved, first to Ebenezer Chapel in the centre of the town, and then to Hope Baptist Chapel.

A series of events is being organised to celebrate the life and legacy of this great man.

Wainsgate Chapel, Wainsgate Lane, Hebden Bridge HX7 8SU
Hope Chapel, New Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8EW
To get involved:

Here is a link to their dedicated website for this anniversary




The Centre for Anabaptist Studies 2017 Annual Lecture

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017


‘A Peace Witness under Pressure: The Bruderhof Community in England, 1936-1942’

Dr Ian Randall explores the experiences of the Bruderhof, a Christian community which began in Germany in 1920 and which had to escape from the country in the 1930s because of Nazi pressure. By this time the community was an explicitly Anabaptist one, inspired by the early Hutterites. At first, the community members were welcomed in England and their community, established in the Cotswolds, grew substantially. They were part of wider peace and community endeavours of the time. Significant numbers of British people joined the Bruderhof. But, with the start of the Second World War, the German members came to be regarded with suspicion, and British members were unpopular in the local area because they were pacifists. The result of these pressures was that by 1942 over 300 community members had left England to try to forge a new life in South America. This period of Bruderhof life shows Anabaptist convictions being worked out in England during a time of great political uncertainty.


  After training for ministry at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, Ian had two local church pastorates, and then lectured and supervised research for nearly twenty years at Spurgeon’s College, London, and the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague.


In recent years, he and his wife have lived in Cambridge, where Ian has been a hospital chaplain, a minister in an ecumenical missional church, and a research associate of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide.


He has written extensively in the areas of renewal, mission and Baptist and Anabaptist history.


The annual lecture will take place at Bristol Baptist College (The Promenade, Clifton Down BS8 3NJ) at 7.30pm on Tuesday 21 November. This event is free and no booking is required – unless you want to join us for a sandwich meal at 6.30pm, which does need to be booked and for which we’d request a £3.50 donation


Recordings of previous annual lectures are available on request. The Centre also offers an MA course, available via taught block weeks in Bristol or online, and postgraduate research degrees.


For further information about any aspect of the Centre please contact Stuart Murray Williams at the above address or email

AGM 2017

Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thursday May 18th

Regent’s Park College, Oxford.


Come and join us for our AGM and mini-conference….

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 Lecture

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: