Established Church, Sectarian People: Itinerancy and the by Deryck W. Lovegrove

By Deryck W. Lovegrove

This booklet examines a ignored element of English social heritage - the operation of itinerant preachers in the course of the interval of political and social ferment on the flip of the 19th century. It investigates the character in their well known model of Christianity and considers their influence upon latest church buildings: either the possibility it seems that posed to the confirmed Church of britain and the results in their task for the smaller Protestant our bodies from which they arose. the actual energy of the e-book lies within the broad use it makes of formerly untapped neighborhood records drawn from many English counties - documents which come with various parochial, criminal, associational and congregational assets. this can be a learn of faith in transition that is set opposed to the broader canvas of social switch attendant upon the early business Revolution and the political surprise waves emanating from France.

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Extra resources for Established Church, Sectarian People: Itinerancy and the Transformation of English Dissent, 1780-1830

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A genuine undenominational temper appeared based upon a shared evangelical concern to promulgate the essentials of the gospel. 103 But it was not until the mid-1790s that this irenical spirit became predominant. Contemporary comments make it clear that the change was recognized at the time. 104 The substance of the new spirit is found in the ideas with which village preaching was preoccupied: the central elements of Christian teaching which united paedobaptist and antipaedobaptist, Churchman and Dissenter, and which in some cases even managed to span the deep division between Arminians and Calvinists.

This impression is confirmed by a comment made by John Saffery, the energetic minister at Salisbury. ' 80 Though appreciation of the need for evangelism was growing, the initiative remained with individual ministers and laymen; with activists such as Saffery and Steadman in the Western Association, Samuel Pearce of Birmingham in the midland counties and John Palmer, the architect of the new Shropshire Association. In some parts of the country societies for the promotion and support of itinerant preaching assumed an undenominational character.

Ivimey, in quoting the estimate of Particular Baptist numerical strength made by J. C. Ryland in 1753, suggested that his figure of 4,930 members for the congregations located in England required a 33 per cent increase to allow for deficiency, and a further augmentation of 66 per cent for those who attended as 'hearers'. 109 The figures, which cover both England and Wales, show that the number of Congregational and Baptist registrations recorded dropped from 122 in the ten years from 1701-10 to a nadir of 62 in the period 1731-40.

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