At our latest meeting Ian Moat gave
us a very informative talk on the “Dissenting Churches in Canterbury”.
He covered the history of the growth of
the non-conformist church movement in Canterbury which included Baptists, Congregationalists,
Countess of Huntingdon, Methodists, Presbyterian, Quakers and Salvation Army.
He also covered the background of the Jewish and Huguenot communities who settled
in Canterbury over the centuries. He explained that his interest had grown from
his own family’s connection with the Plymouth Brethren chapel in Sturry where his
great-grandfather, grandfather and father had all been preachers in the past.
One of the interesting stories was the story of Robert Cushman who was an apprentice
grocer living in Canterbury in 1611 and questioning the teachings of the established
church was imprisoned and excommunicated. After his release he went across to Leiden
in Holland from where he established a separatist community with himself and John
Carver as Elders. Finally in 1620 he sailed to England on the Speedwell meeting
with the pilgrims on the Mayflower who were ready to sail to Virginia to start a
new life free from the restrictive religious edicts of England. He served as agent
of the New Plymouth Colony and representative of the colony with the company of
Merchant Adventurers of London until he died in the spring of 1625.
David Birch, Chair, thanked Ian for his
very illuminating talk with fascinating local and national history connections.
He announced that an extra feature of the
next meeting would be the launch of the latest society’s publication “Will
Scott and Herne Bay” He said that both Kay Steventon and Judith Ford
the authors, would be attending to explain the background of their researches. The
main speaker for the meeting on Thursday March 7th at the Herne Bay United Church
Hall, High Street, would be Anthea Bryant appropriately speaking on “Authors
and Artists of the South East” starting at 7pm. Doors open at 6.30pm
and visitors are most welcome at £2 members are free. For more information contact
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