From the Revd Dr John Bunyan
Sir, - I look forward to reading N. H. Keeble's
study of the events of 1662, reviewed by the Revd Professor Paul
Avis (Books, 10 April).
It is rather anachronistic, however, to describe John Bunyan as a
"Baptist" - or (though it is a term that he did use) a
He did not believe water baptism was essential for a
Christian - a view Quakers and Salvationists have shared. And he
preferred to call himself simply a "Christian", as do many of the
Middle Eastern patients (often refugees) whom I meet during my
hospital-chaplaincy visiting here in Sydney.
His Bedford church has remained to this day open to
differing views on baptism, and, as "Bunyan Meeting", is a member
of both the Baptist Union and the Congregational Federation.
Not all Nonconformists were opposed to a prayer book
in principle. Later, many English Presbyterian, Unitarian
Christian, and Methodist chapels in particular used services based
on the BCP, still the practice of a church of which I have long
been a member, the historic King's Chapel in Boston.
Colenso Corner, PO Box N109, Campbelltown, NSW,