2nd – 4th January

The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 1AU


Robert Strivens, Luke Jenner, Ruth Shaw, John Benton, Matthew Bingham, Bill James

Please plan to join us for the Carey Conference in Swanwick. Pastors and their wives are warmly welcomed, along with all men and women involved in Christian ministry and leadership.

As Baptists we believe that the church is a voluntary association of believers. As each member is united to Christ, so we are united to one another in the church; Luke Jenner will be preaching on this foundational theme. How did this conviction of a Believers’ Church develop from the time of the Reformation, when Church and State seemed inseparable? Matthew Bingham traces the origins of Congregational and Baptist ideas and practice.

Ray Evans will help us to put these principles into practice, encouraging all members to grow to spiritual maturity, and to develop their gifts in the church and the world. Ruth Shaw will speak on supporting one another in the tough times. John Benton will tackle the tricky subject of Christian Liberty; how can we accommodate the consciences of believers within the church? Some emphasise the gathered local church so strongly that they become isolated, or in rejecting the State Church withdraw from engagement with society. Robert Strivens will speak on Independency and Interdependency, and Bill James will take the theme of being salt and light in the world.

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Robert Strivens

Robert Strivens is the Pastor of Bradford-on-Avon Baptist Church. He was formerly the Principal of London Seminary and, before that, was a pastor in Banbury. He lectures in church history at London Seminary and has a particular interest in the history of the dissenting churches in Britain.

Independency and Interdependency.
Independency at its best avoids the Scylla of isolationism as well as the Charybdis of denominationalism. This paper will examine, from historical, biblical and theological perspectives, how independent churches should relate to one another and consider some of the practical implications.

Matthew Bingham

Matthew Bingham has recently completed his PhD in history at Queen’s University Belfast, focussing on the development and theology of mid-seventeenth century Calvinistic Baptists. Before coming to Queen’s, Matt served as the pastor of Flint Reformed Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia.

From National to Believers’ Church.
These papers trace the origins of the Particular Baptists in seventeenth century England. As Congregationalists developed their convictions about the New Testament’s teaching on the church, they rejected the idea of a National Church. This made the continuing practice of paedobaptism unsustainable. These historical developments are relevant to our situation today.

Ruth Shaw

Ruth Shaw is married to Spencer who is the Pastor of Emmanuel Church Chippenham. She is passionate about encouraging and supporting Ministry wives, women in ministry & those in training. Ruth was an author of the IVP “Ministry Wives” book, and speaks to ministry wives at conferences and events, and the London Seminary wives course. She studied Modern Languages at University & works part time as a supply teacher.

Women’s Track
The circumstances that we’re confronted with both in our personal and church contexts can so easily leave us on a downward spiral of discouragement, dread disappointment or even despair. The book of Philippians shows us how we can support one another to persevere by refocusing our hope on Christ.

Ray Evans

Ray Evans has been lead pastor at Grace Community Church, Bedford for 35 years. Recently he took up a part-time ‘Leadership Consultant’ post with the FIEC. He is the author of Ready, Steady Grow (IVP) and Church Leadership (10 Publishing), and teaches a Leadership course at London Seminary.

Leading a Believers’ Church
In his two papers on developing every-member ministry, Ray will look at the key interface where vital spirituality meets good organisation, helpful structures and constructive teamwork.

John Benton

John Benton was Pastor of Chertsey Street Baptist Church, Guildford for 36 years before taking up a new role in 2017 as Director of Pastoral Support at the John Owen Centre, which is part of London Seminary. He is also Managing Editor of Evangelicals Now.

Christian Liberty
Paul insists in Romans 14 that believers should be free to live according to their conscience. But what are the limits of such freedom and flexibility within the church? How can elders provide clear leadership without being authoritarian?

Bill James

Bill James has been pastor of Emmanuel Church, Leamington Spa, for 26 years. He has been appointed Principal of London Seminary from January 2018.

Salt and Light.
While we reject a “state church”, this does not mean that we withdraw from society. Jesus speaks of believers as those who maintain a distinctive testimony in the world.

Luke Jenner

Luke Jenner has been part of the team that pastors Grace Baptist Church, Halifax since 2010. He also teaches part of the New Testament course at London Seminary.

Living Stones
Luke will preach on the pivotal theme of union with Christ, particularly as it relates to the local church and its growth together.


Tuesday 2nd January

Registration from 13.30 to 14.30
13.00 Lunch (if pre-booked)
14.30 Matthew Bingham 1
16.00 Tea
16.30 Ray Evans 1
18.30 Evening Meal
20.00 Luke Jenner

Wednesday 3rd January

07.45 Prayer
08.30 Breakfast
09.30 Ray Evans 2
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Robert Strivens / Women’s Track
13.00 Lunch
14.30 Free Time
16.00 Tea
16.30 Q&A
18.30 Evening Meal
20.00 John Benton

Thursday 4th January

07.45 Prayer
08.30 Breakfast
09.30 Matthew Bingham 2 / Women’s track
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Bill James
13.00 Lunch and Depart


The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire DE55 1AU
Tel: 01773 526000


You can book and pay online or by sending payment cheques payable to ‘Carey Conference’ to:

Lois Collier, The Manse, 47 Long Street, Great Ellingham, Norfolk NR17 1LN

Costs: Full Conference £165, Bible college Students £120 (Additional lunch on arrival £7) Day visitors are also welcome.

For more information you can contact us by email: or by phone 01953 453347


“Reformation Today” is registered in the UK as a charity. Charity no: 1017000

© 2016 Reformation Today