I was an undergraduate  and doctoral student at the University of Oxford, then held temporary posts at the University of York for 5 years. I first joined the Open University as an Associate Lecturer in the Yorkshire region in 1990, and joined the full time staff as Lecturer in Religious Studies in 1990. I was promoted Professor of Religious History in 2004. 

Professor John Wolffe

(CHF Chair)

I am an historian of Anglophone Protestant culture with a particular interest in Puritanism, Evangelicalism, and the relationship between religion, politics and ideas. My most recent book is Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr (Oxford, 2014), and I am currently doing further research on slavery and abolition, including work on the Wilberforce Diaries project (with Mark Smith and John Wolffe). My earlier work includes books on Samuel Rutherford and John Goodwin, and a study of Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558-1689 (Longman, 2000). With N. H. Keeble, Tom Charlton and Tim Cooper, I have edited a scholarly edition of Richard Baxter’s memoir, the Reliquiae Baxterianae, 5 vols (Oxford, 2020).

Professor John Coffey

Emeritus Professor

David Bebbington,

FRHist S, FEcclesHS, FRSE

An undergraduate and postgraduate at Jesus College, Cambridge (1968-73), David Bebbington subsequently became a research fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (1973-76). He taught at the University of Stirling from 1976 to 2019 and is now Emeritus Professor of History there. He has also served as Visiting Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University, Texas, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His publications include Evangelicalism in Modern Britain (1989), Patterns in History (4th edn, 2018) and Baptists through the Centuries (2nd edn, 2018). His chief research field is the Evangelical movement in Britain and abroad and his main project at present is work on Victorian Wesleyan Methodism at Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, and in the Shetland Isles.

Part way through a career in PR, setting up my own business gave me time to pursue my interest in history. After completing my PhD in Early Modern Bible commentaries I have written a number of peer-reviewed articles and have just finished a book on Sevenoaks in the long nineteenth century, jointly with Professor David Killingray.

Dr Iain Taylor (CHF Secretary)

Dr John Usher, FHEA

My research interests include (but are certainly not limited to) the development of early Pentecostalism, theological influences on early Pentecostalism, the intersection between Victorian Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism and mission history (particularly to China, and the Sino-Tibetan and Indo-Tibetan borders). I became an Honorary Research Fellow of the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham in 2016. In 2017 I became a Research Fellow in the Ministerial Theology department at the University of Roehampton, where I had been a visiting lecturer (‘Navigating Church History’) since 2012. In 2018 I also became a visiting lecturer (‘Introduction to the History of Christianity’) at the University of Birmingham. Since 2019, I have been Research Fellow and Archivist at the Institute for Pentecostal Theology, Regents Theological College, Malvern.

After two secondary schools, and a BSc.Econ at LSE (plus a wife, Margaret, from the same institution), I taught in secondary schools in Britain and Tanzania, then taught trainee graduate history teachers, before gaining a PhD in African history at SOAS.  After 30 years at Goldsmiths London teaching mainly African, Caribbean, and English Local History, I retired as Emeritus Professor of Modern History.  In active retirement I continue to research and write, particularly on English local history and the history of the black diaspora, based in the School of Advanced Study, University of London, where I am  a Senior Research Fellow.

Emeritus Professor David Killingray

Esther Counsell

I am currently an External Research Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. My PhD thesis, due for submission in early 2020, investigates the magisterial ecclesiology of various English lawyers, parliamentarians, ministers, and gentry between 1560—1642. I posit that the sixteenth-century Protestant consensus that civil magistracy had divinely-ordained rights over the visible church, which can be termed ‘magisterialism’, was consistently challenged by establishment figures in church and state during this period. This ecclesiological position caused sustained ideological conflict within Parliament and the English church. My research interests more broadly include early modern ideas of civil religion, Reformed and Catholic ecclesiology, English constitutional history, and the intellectual development of the modern state.

I studied Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford (1966-69). I was awarded a Boulter Exhibition in 1967 and finished with MA (Hons). After a further year at Oxford doing a Certificate of Education (PGCE equivalent), I taught at Gresham's School, Holt, (1970-74) and at Harrow School (1974-2009). Throughout those years CHF's publications were a tonic; retirement brought the invitation to be CHF Treasurer - and to relish its annual conferences.


Rob Collins (CHF Treasurer)