The Essex Puritan Conference

‘Puritan Spiritual Practices Then and Now’

The Essex Conference (TEC) has the goal of doing theology. During the conference there will be:

  • Open Air witnessing on the Saturdays
  • Christian Heritage Ministry displays in the church hall
  • Guided tour of Southbank, Southwark and the City of London (the golden Puritan square mile) – a London church historic study tool is used as well as a guided tour in Essex to bridge Hertfordshire, Bedford, Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk, Holland, Europe and USA.
  • Introductory talks on English Puritans and their story, followed by lectures from notable speakers with specialisms in the history of Puritans and the Pilgram Fathers.

The Battle of Hastings and the Norman invasion of 1066 are basic English history lessons. But few are aware of the irregular and unchartered arrival of the French Huguenots (French-speaking Calvinists) in Kent during the Tudor, Stuart and Hanoverian times. It was a peaceful and large-scale immigration that took place over a long period of history in uncertain conditions.

TEC is aiming to be ‘A Beacon for England and to the World’ – a 16th century reference to Puritans and Pilgrims in Essex, Cambridge, and East Anglia.

The Conference is organized and supported by ‘Puritan Internationals(to be)’, Bridge Ministries/FEC, Essex Protestant Council and Christian Heritage Centre (Reformed Baptist Church Ministry nearby Birmingham)

Essex is Puritan County

Essex is a Puritan County. Its history is linked to the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, particularly of two Christian men who followed them, Thomas Hooker and John Eliot
Thomas Hooker

Thomas Hooker arrived in Chelmsford, Essex in 1625. A Leicestershire-born graduate who had been educated in Emmanuel College, Cambridge the most Puritan of the colleges, he became the town Lecturer.

The Mayflower

The Mayflower

The Mayflower ship transported over a hundred passengers, many of whom were religious separatists from England, to the “New World” of America in 1620. It was around 180 tons and 106 feet in length and set sail from London in July 1620.

These Puritans were led by:

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Freedom to worship biblically and
exercise faith in him, there being no
other way except the Lord
Fellowship of the Gospel they enjoyed
in the Saviour’s name, all glory being
given to Jehovah God, the living Lord.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Two centuries later, Puritan teaching was reborn through Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) whose father and grandfather were pastors of independent congregations in Essex. He was born in Kelvedon and was brought up and converted in the area. His preaching took him to Cambridge and London where no church building could hold the crowds. He experienced the reality and truth of Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth” when he was converted from nominal Anglicanism on 6 January 1850 at the age of 15.

He is known as the ‘Prince of Preachers’. He was an important figure in the Reformed tradition, defending the church in agreement with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.

John Eliot

John Eliot was a Puritan missionary to the American Indians. He was called ‘the apostle to the Indians’ and the founder of Roxbury Latin School in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1645
John Rogers

John Rogers (c. 1570–1636), nicknamed “Roaring” John Rogers for his fiery preaching style was a well-known Puritan clergyman and preacher. An elegy on is life states:

A person grave, a patron rare, most humble, godly, wise,
Whose presence made the wicked feare, when they beheld his eyes. -Elegy on the life of the Reverend John Rogers
John Owen

John Owen (1616 – 1683) Of Welsh decent became pastor at Coggeshall in Essex where there was a large influx of Flemish tradesmen. His adoption of Congregational principles did not affect his theological position, perhaps the greatest English-speaking Theologian. He also became a Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and an MP. One of roles was to become a chaplain to Oliver Cromwell and a Pastor of All Saints Church, Fordham.

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