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October 2020

Joshua Kellard introduces John Eliot, the Cambridge graduate whose work as a translator and missionary visionary in 17th century New England was well ahead of his time.  Jesus College, Cambridge, with its 12th Century chapel, cloistered courts and sleepy wooded surroundings, does not seem a likely springboard for a globe-trotting missionary pioneer; certainly not one who would find it necessary, just 10 years after leaving his college, to abandon the Church of England and seek a new life in a young colony perched on the edge of the world then known to his people. But appearances can be deceptive, for this is the path that John Eliot was to take.  Born in Widford, Hertfordshire, in 1604, John was the third child of Bennett Eliot and Letesse Agar. Being a yeoman and possessed of some lands, Bennett Eliot was able to send his son to Cambridge as a pensioner (fee-paying student), and he graduated BA in 1622. He narrowly missed being contemporary with Oliver Cromwell (who left in 1617) and John Milton (who arrived in 1625), but would have been aware of the poet George Herbert, who held the chair of University Orator from 1620 to 1627.  While little is known about the years...

Adrian works with Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage to promote interest in the Christian history of Lincs and Notts. His most recent book, Restless Souls, Pilgrim Roots, tells the story of the Christian faith in these two counties. The year 2020 was meant to be the big commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower but Covid had other ideas, and so the mass events and supposed millions of American tourists have never happened. This is not to say that nothing has happened. What has filled the void is a host of people who have used the occasion to float their own ideas with little regard to the motivating issues of Christian faith and worship that caused Carver, Brewster, Bradford et al to set sail in the first place. Various places in England have jostled for the dubious position of being the most ‘significant’ in the story, and various causes have shouted themselves hoarse to turn the Mayflower story to suit their own purposes. Issues like the persecution of Native Americans and Slavery have been thrown into the mix (somewhat illogically, as they came later) whilst in America there is always controversy to be...

  Isaac Watts lived through a time of collision between traditional Christian faith and the forces of 'Enlightenment'. How he engaged with, critiqued and adapted to the veneration of reason is fascinating and still instructive. In this webinar, Dr Graham Beynon, Watts scholar and pastor, profiles this fascinating man, his thought and his times.   ...