A few Anabaptists fled to England in the 16th century, hoping to escape persecution and find a place of refuge to the west rather than the east. Those who were detected by the authorities were soon rounded up and imprisoned. A few were many others were deported. The story of what happened to one such group of refugees is told by Alan Kreider in the book Coming Home. It was very clear that Anabaptists were not welcome in Britain. Even in the 39 Articles of the Church of England, there are still warnings about Anabaptists! During the next four centuries there were few, if any, overt Anabaptists in Britain.
Not until the end of World War II did Anabaptists begin to come to Britain again, but in the past twenty-five years the Anabaptist tradition has once again become visible in Britain and also in Ireland. Expressions of this include the London Mennonite Centre and the Wood Green Mennonite Church, and two Hutterian communities in the south-east of England. There is also an opportunity to study Anabaptism through a postgraduate programme at
Spurgeon’s College in London. But there are many others in all the main Christian denominations who are interested in Anabaptism and drawing on its values and practices. To these and others the Anabaptist Network offers resources and opportunities for dialogue.