2013 marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of Rev. Arthur Hildersham, a celebrated puritan minister. On Wednesday 1 May, a lecture on him was held in St Helen’s Church, Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
Hildersham ministered at this church for over 40 years, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, and was buried there. Over 100 people from as far afield as London, Cambridge and Rochdale, with many from Leicestershire, including Ashby itself, gathered to listen to the lecture delivered by Dr Lesley Rowe.
Lesley is the author of the recently published book, The life and times of Arthur Hildersham: prince among Puritans (Reformation Heritage Books). The evening also served as a UK book launch.
The current vicar of St Helen’s, Rev. Brian Robertson, opened the lecture with a prayer of Hildersham’s from 1625, before reading Psalm 51:1-7, a passage on which Hildersham preached 152 times.
Hildersham’s preaching, charity and educational work in Ashby were highlighted, as well as his ‘silencing’, for refusing to conform to certain ecclesiastical practices. The audience was encouraged by his example of humble and faithful service, his commitment to truth and his rigorous approach to the Scriptures.
After the lecture, Dr Rowe signed and sold copies of her new book.