The Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel at Waddesdon Hill, near Aylesbury, recently held its Association of Historic Baptists annual service. This has become a regular event since 2007.
This chapel was built in 1792 by Francis Cox, a local farmer. Within a few years, it is recorded that there were 65 members in fellowship. A number of full-time pastors were in office until the 1890s, some of whom had to move elsewhere as the congregation could not afford to pay them much stipend.
During the twentieth century, the chapel was supplied by itinerant ministers until it finally closed in 1976. Since 1984, it has been owned and maintained by the ‘Friends of Friendless Churches’. The building still has no electricity or water and it is a matter for conjecture how baptisms once regularly took place there!
This year’s service was convened by Pastor Jared Smith of Bethesda Baptist Church, Kensington, London, who emphasised the four affirmations of the Association — exclusive use of the Authorised Version, the doctrines of grace, strict communion, and church government by pastors and deacons.
The preacher was Pastor Kevin Price of Zoar Particular Baptist Chapel, Bradford. Pastor Price spoke on ‘doubting’ Thomas, although Thomas was also willing to go with the Lord Jesus that he might die with him (John 11:16).
The congregation was reminded that, even though there had been a considerable decline in the number of Strict Baptist causes, the truths contended for remain the same. We should be bold to proclaim these truths fearlessly.
Also taking part was Pastor Chuck Pietrowski, who has recently moved from Kentucky, US, to pioneer a Strict Baptist church in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Services are being held in a Harrogate hotel every Lord’s Day evening and door-to-door work is being conducted in Harrogate and Bradford, alternately.
Following the service, the congregation were invited to nearby Quainton Baptist Church for refreshments and fellowship. This church was originally a plant from Waddesdon Hill and dates back to 1815.