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Minister of Religion

Henry Forty, preacher and occasional religious writer, was the first professional minister to lead the Abingdon Baptist community after the death in 1656 of its founder, John Pendarves.

William Tiptaft, founder of the Abbey Baptist Church in Checker Walk, was born in 1803 near Oakham, Rutland, into a moderately wealthy family. He was educated at Cambridge and ordained into the Church of England in 1826. In 1829, he became vicar of Sutton Courtenay.

John Pendarves, minister of religion, was a Cornishman, born in 1623. He took his BA degree in Oxford just as the Civil War was starting, and then served in both the Parliamentary army and in its navy as a chaplain. He arrived in Abingdon in 1644 with the parliamentary occupation forces, and, finding St Helen’s vicarage empty, simply moved in. He was later confirmed both as minister at St Helen’s and as chaplain to the garrison.

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