375 years and counting
Members at Berkhamsted Baptist Church in Hertfordshire go back in time to celebrate a significant anniversary
In 1640 Thomas Monk, one of the founding members of Berkhamsted Baptist Church was arrested for ‘contemptuously absenting himself from parish church worship’ and for ‘failing to baptise his four children’.
The magistrates delivered the draconian sentence of death to Monk and nine other men and two women. Only the intervention of King Charles II prevented the sentence being carried out and Thomas Monk was released to continue his fruitful ministry.
Baptists from their early beginnings were non conformists, believing in religious freedom and serving their local communities in the name of Jesus Christ.
375 years later, in 2015, Berkhamsted Baptist Church continues to serve the local community, from its base in the High Street, through its regular worship services, lunch club, baby/toddler/parent/carer group, youth group, men’s and women’s groups, Open Church Coffee morning and Pre-School.
On 1 November, church members, Lydia Carmichael and John Carter were dressed in 1640s costumes to welcome everyone to a special Thanksgiving service and lunch.
The Mayor of Berkhamsted Cllr Ritchie and Mrs Ritchie attended, along with many visitors from near and far.
The service was led by the minister the Revd Stephen Ashby and the address was given by the Revd Dr David Coffey OBE.