Press Release

Unique resource explores spread of Christian faith in Britain since the Reformation

28 June 2017         Issued by: Wilberforce Publications

Academics and Christians with an interest in the spread of the Christian faith in Britain since the Reformation are to be offered a unique resource following the launch tomorrow (Thursday 29 June) of the first volume in a new four-volume work.

The Nation’s Gospel, a living history, telling the stories of the Christian faith of past generations and its outworking in society, has been written by Corporate Lawyer, Jeremy Thomas. The first volume will be launched at All Souls, Langham Place, London, hosted by Associate Minister Rev. Rico Tice.

Mr Thomas, who became convinced of the truth of the Christian faith as a young lawyer, has researched for this book throughout his working life in the City with the international law firm, Ashurst. During this time, he also made numerous contributions to a variety of legal periodicals, books and articles relating to public international law, human rights and general commercial law. Now, after seven years of writing this book, The Nation’s Gospel: Spreading the Christian faith in Britain since the reformation, it will be available to the public.

Volume 1 (1516-1791): Reformation to Revolution traces the stories of faith from the beginning of the Reformation, through the persecution under Queen Mary, the Elizabethan period, the rise of Puritanism and the Civil War to the Wesleyan revival.

This book is the first of four volumes:

Volume 1 (1516-1791): Reformation to Revolution
Volume 2 (1791-1900): Revolution to Revival
Volume 3 (1900-1945): Revival to Reports
Volume 4 (1945-2015): Reports to Renewal? 

Mr Thomas said: “This book will interest anyone who wants to understand how the Christian faith, which has helped form and shape the nation and which still does so, has been spread and some of its consequences. Theological students, ministers and many others will find it especially helpful in understanding why we are, where we are today and the remedies that the past reveals.”

The book has received commendation from Rev. Dr Garry J. Williams, Visiting Professor of Historical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), who said: “This book offers an accessible, detailed, and rich account of what was done to advance the cause of Christ’s kingdom in sixteenth-century England. Thomas draws on a wide range of primary and secondary material to describe official policy from the Centre and local, even individual, action on the ground. It is a humbling and inspiring account of our predecessors’ energetic and sacrificial attempts to spread the good news of the gospel.”

Rev. Jago Wynne, the current Rector of Holy Trinity Clapham, the spiritual home of William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect, added: “Serving in a church where Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect used to worship, I am only too aware of how an understanding of the past can enlighten and aid us in the present in our desire to proclaim the good news of Jesus afresh to each generation. The Nation’s Gospel is church history at its best. It lays out the past so that we can learn from it in the present. I am very grateful to Jeremy for his masterful and insightful research, and his coherent and engaging presentation of the material.”

At the launch, 6.30-8pm tomorrow (Thursday 29 June) at All Souls, Langham Place, Mr Thomas will be interviewed by Rev. Rico Tice, followed by a book signing opportunity. Copies of the book will be available for a special launch price of £15.

Notes for editors

Book details:

Title: The Nation’s Gospel: Spreading the Christian Faith in Britain Since the Reformation, Volume 1 (1516-1791): Reformation to Revolution
Author: Jeremy A. Thomas
Publisher: Wilberforce Publications

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