Three years ago, local historian Paula Collett published Rutland in Dissent: 350 years of Protestant Meeting-Houses and Chapels (Stamford: Spiegl Press, 2011). In England’s smallest county and with this well-illustrated book, Ms Collett has identified more than 100 Dissenting congregations. The majority has disappeared but not all invisibly: their new guises include homes and village halls.
The Chapels’ religious life, their Christian witness and their contribution to the local community has continued to develop. The county itself, rescued from its incorporation into Leicestershire remains England’s smallest county with distinctive characteristics.
The Friends of the Congregational Library Summer Event 2014 will be held on Saturday 7th June, from 10.30 am till 4.30 pm, at Oakham Congregational Church. Hosts, Pastor Trevor Wilson and the Oakham congregation will kindly provide lunch, teas and coffees on the day. We hope to be joined by some Friends of Dr Williams’s library.
We are grateful too for the three guest speakers whose addresses will form the backbone of the programme:
Professor Clyde Binfield, ‘The Evangelical Noels: a Low Church exploration with Dissenting ramifications’;
Ms Paula Collett, ‘Researching Rutland’s Chapels and Meeting-Houses’;
Dr David Wykes, ‘The development of dissent in Rutland after the Toleration Act’.
The fee for the day is £10 for individuals and £15 for couples (including refreshments).To book a place please email Andrea, Secretary to the Friends of the Congregational Library
The Congregational Lecture this year will be at 5:30pm on 9th October at Dr Williams’s Library, preceded by tea at 5pm. The lecturer is David Ceri Jones of Aberystwyth University speaking on the subject of George Whitefield and his influence on Congregationalsim. His research is currently focused on the trans-Atlantic revivalist, George Whitefield (1714-70). He is the co-organiser of the ‘George Whitefield at 300’ conference to be held at Pembroke College, Oxford in June 2014 (http://www.mwrc.ac.uk/whitefield-conference/), and is preparing a critical edition of Whitefield’s correspondence in conjunction with the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. Further information about his researches and publications can be viewed at http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/history/staff/dmj/.
When the Congregational Library was founded in 1831, it promoted the Annual Lecture, first given in 1833. The original stated purpose of the lecture was that it should be on subjects of importance to Congregationalists. Over the years since then, the lectures have not been given continuously and have varied from a single printed lecture to a series of lectures published in book form.
In recent years there has been a revival of the lectures and a list of these is available on the lecture webpage. When the lecture was revived the Library Committee added to the original purpose, which they endorsed, that it should be an opportunity for younger scholars to do research and contribute to the thinking of those of their tradition. It is hoped that the lecture will also add to the theological thought of the whole Church.
RSVPs for the lecture should be sent to Maurice Lawrence (Maurice Lawrance doreen[@]mauricelawrance.demon.co.uk (remove the square brackets).
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