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

A Significant Centenary

Posted on Friday, November 30, 2018

100 years ago, John Howard Shakespeare, who was then General Secretary of the Baptist Union, published his important book  The Churches At The CrossroadsHe challenged Baptists to rethink who they were, and, most significantly, how they related to others, asking them to reflect on the nature of the full Church of Christ.

Adrian Hastings commented that the book was ‘one of the most important books of twentieth century English Christianity because it sets out so clear the logic of the forthcoming ecumenical movement’ (A history of English Christianity 1920-2000 (SCM, 2001, p98))

As we mark 100 years since the publication of that ecumenical challenge – and as we continue to ask how we relate across denominational borders – here are some resources to help engage with the book, its impact and its legacy.

Keith Clements has written an article for the Baptist Times

JH Shakespeare and The Churches at the Cross-Roads (1918)

There are also articles in the Baptist Quarterly

JOHN HOW ARD SHAKESPEARE Prophet of Ecumenism by Michael Townsend

John Howard Shakespeare by his son, Geoffrey Shakespeare

and John Howard Shakespeare, 1857 .. 1928 An address delivered at a service in St. Mary’s Church, Norwich, to commemorate the centenary of his birth  by M E Aubrey.


E A Payne Prize Essay

Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Submissions are invited of an historical essay, exploring and assessing the contribution of a woman or a group of women to Baptist life. The topic may include women who have served in ordained or non-ordained ministry in the churches. Length of essay is 6.000 words. Deadline is December 31st 2019. The winning essayist will receive £200 and the Editors retain the right to publish essays in the Baptist Quarterly. Submissions are to be sent to Stephen Copson on

Next Year’s conference

Posted on Monday, September 24, 2018

2019 BHS Summer School and CBHH Conference
16-19 July
Woodbrooke Conference Centre
Selly Oak

People, Places, Principles

Main Speakers include:

Professor David Bebbington
Dr Ruth Gouldbourne, Dr Sally Nelson
Dr Keith Clements, Dr Simon Oxley,
Dr Ian Randall, Andy Goodliff,
Alec Gilmore, Dr Keith Jones

Early Bird Rate. Until 30th April 2019
Single Room: £350 Day Rate: £40

Full Conference Fee: Booked and deposit paid after 30th April 2019
Single Room: £380 Day Rate: £42

A non-refundable deposit is required with each booking £50 – full booking and £35 – day booking

If you are willing to pay extra when you book, the difference will be sued to help young scholars attend the conference. Please inform us of the amount and include it in your payment.


By email: andy [at] goodliff [dot] com

Payment can be made either:
By cheque made payable to ‘The Baptist Historical Society’
Or by online bank transfer (email Andy for account details)

Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

Don’t miss this

Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2018

In case you haven’t seen it, this is now available

A Baptist History Timeline

Coming soon; the 2019 conference

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Our next BHS Conference will be in July 2019. The theme will be Baptists of of the 20th century.


Watch this space for details…..!!

For your interest…

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A conference to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Serampore College in India, is to be held at Oxford on October 19-21st.

The Baptist Historical  Society is one of the co-sponsors of this event.

Places at the Conference and the meal occasions are limited so if you wish to reserve a place, please go asap to 

2018 AGM & LECTURES Thursday May 10th

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Bloomsbury Central Baptist church, Shaftesbury Avenue, LONDON WC2H 8EP

AGM at 1.30 and lectures from 2pm. Anticipated close 4pm

“Journeying to justice: Where do we go from here?”

Revd Gale Richards, minister of Zion Baptist church, Cambridge, co-ordinator of the Baptist Union of Great Britain Black and Minority Ethnic Women Ministers’ network, and co-editor of “Journeying to Justice: contributions to the Baptist Tradition across the Black Atlantic“

“Diversity and Unity – some reflections on European baptistic gathering communities”

Revd Dr Keith G.Jones, formerly Rector of the International Baptist Theological Seminary (Prague)

 These lectures are free

BHS members and non-members welcome

New publication in March 2018; update!

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Amid This Gigantic Sorrow: The First World War and the Strict Baptist Communities prepared by Dr Kenneth Dix and edited by Judith James will be available in March 2018. This will now be priced at  £9.50 plus p & p.(and not at £15 as previously advertised). This volume is a collaboration by the Baptist Historical Society and the Strict Baptist Historical Society. Enquiries or orders may be processed via Andrew Jones at“.

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.