Our Union of over 2000 churches is supported by staff in thirteen regional associations and three specialist teams based in Didcot, Oxfordshire. Our six Baptist Colleges prepare men and women for ministry and offer ongoing development and training.
Home Mission Grants are given to support a variety of ministries in and through Baptist churches and chaplains across the country. It also enables all our churches and ministers to be supported and helped through the work of the Regional Associations and the specialist teams in Didcot.
Safeguarding for the protection of adults and children from harm, abuse or neglect. Every church should adopt safeguarding policy statements for children, young people, and adults at risk. We help churches maintain safe environments for all, with processes to follow should something go wrong, and support for everyone involved.
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It was with profound regret that we heard of the death of our President, William Thomas Whitley, M.A., LL.M., LL.D., F.T.S., F.R.Hist.S., in his eighty-seventh year, on Thursday, December 18th, 1947. By common consent he was the outstanding British Baptist historian. No one had done more to preserve and interpret the records of our past.
We owe a great debt to the research pioneers, Crosby, Ivimey, Rippon, Underhill and others, but all would agree that the debt owed to Dr. Whitley is immeasurably greater.
Baptist history and traditions were his close study for sixty years. To this study he brought a trained and disciplined mind, with the result that obscure and disputed points were settled, inaccuracies corrected, and conclusions reached which have stood the test of time. His knowledge of dates, persons and churches was encyclopaedic, and this knowledge he cheerfully placed at the service of others.
He was known among Baptists of the five continents as a statesman of international repute, and his correspondence was world-wide.
He was the founder and driving force of our Society, and his service during the past forty years can hardly be measured.
Prior to the Society's formation he enlisted, and obtained, warm-hearted support from Dr. J. H. Shakespeare, Principal G. P. Gould, Judge William Willis, and others who were high in the counsels of the denomination.
He convinced them, and through them, the Baptist Union Council, of the urgency and usefulness of such a Society; and he it was who, on the instruction of the Council, moved the resolution at the fourth session of the Assembly at Bloomsbury on Thursday, April 30th, 1908, "That the members of the Assembly of the Baptist Union cordially approve of the proposal to form a Baptist Historical Society, and trust that this 'important denominational work will receive practical and general support."
Naturally Dr. Whitley was elected the first secretary and, with unselfish devotion to the work of the Society, he retained this office for 27 years.