Anabaptist Events in South-west Scotland

In March 2006 David Kirkman organised and hosted an Anabaptist day conference near his home in Scotland. Several months later he reports on that event and writes of plans for a further event:

‘It is now over nine months since a group of 20 people met in a small village hall in South-west Scotland (Kettleholm) to explore Anabaptism and its relevance to the Bible, evangelism and discipleship. We were guided through this with the assistance of Stuart Murray Williams. That it has taken this long to report on this event is a reflection of too busy a life and the need to prioritise!

‘After looking at a brief history of Anabaptism we turned our attention to the life of Dirk Willems (an Anabaptist martyr). After discussing his decision to turn back and rescue his pursuer, we asked ourselves ‘What shapes our reflexes?’

‘We also looked at an account of an Anabaptist meeting in Strasbourg in 1576 and the house arrest of Margaret Hellwart (1610).

‘For me there were three highlights of the day:

1. The privilege of meeting with other people with similar interests to discuss the effects of Anabaptism on our discipleship.

2. The examination of the Anabaptist practice of interpreting Scripture within community rather than the modern individualistic approach.

3. Removing evangelism from the context of technique and systemisation used in the ‘megachurch’ movement and setting it in the environment of relationships and family – a context that may be less slick and rougher at the edges but more in line with daily life.

‘This was a good day, reportedly enjoyed by all present. The plan is to follow on from this with another meeting, probably in March or April 2007. I have tentatively suggested as the topic for the day a look at the relationship between church and state (especially as legislation such as the Sexual Orientation Regulations seek to dictate the practice of Christians). We may be able to learn lessons from our Anabaptist forebears.

‘If anyone is interested in being involved in this day, I can be contacted on 01576 510440.’