The Baptist Church in Middleton Cheney was originally an independent fellowship, founded in the days when being independent from the state church led to much persecution. Baptists stood in vehement opposition to any king’s “divine right” and any church’s determination of their lives. Their call for freedom of conscience between an individual and God opened a door to both conflict and opportunity. The 1660's saw Parliament passing a series of Acts that excluded Baptists and other non-conformists from holding public offices, forcing them out of schools, penalising them for not attending Anglican services and for preaching without a licence.
The Middleton Baptist Church became part of the Baptist movement in 1740, building its present place of worship in 1806. The Baptists form the fifth largest Christian church in the world. Baptist churches are found in almost every country in the world and have over 40 million members worldwide.
Today, the church in Britain may be facing an assault on its beliefs and practises much as it did in the 17th century. As then, so now, the church will rise to the challenge. Those attending church today do so out of strong conviction of the truth revealed in the Bible, and not because of social convention, resulting in the church growing stronger than ever. We celebrate our faith across the nation. As the writer of the gospel of Luke puts it, we are happy to make "a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.” Luke 1:1 (KJV)