Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Protestant Truth Society

0 My profile mentions that I work part-time for the Protestant Truth Society. Later today we'll be heading off to Bridport in Dorset to take a PTS meeting at Chardsmead Baptist Church. We know the people there well as I used to preach in the Church regularly before we moved to Wiltshire. Bridport is a lovely little seaside town. With the children being off school for half term, we hope to go for a wander along the seafront before the evening's meeting. I hope to speak on the subject, "What is an Evangelical Protestant?"

But, you might be wondering, what is the Protestant Truth Society? Here's a potted history and a statement of our aims:
The Protestant Truth Society was founded by John Kensit (1853-1902). He was concerned about the Catholicising tendencies of the Oxford Movement. This movement was dedicated to taking the Church of England back to its pre-Reformation state. Its leaders like Pusey and the later Cardinal Newman advocated the use of Rome-like rituals in Anglican services.
To counter this, in 1889, the PTS was founded. In 1898 the first Wickliffe Preachers were sent out to warn of the dangers of Catholicism and preach the simple Gospel of the grace of God. In August 1902, John Alfred Kensit, the son of John Kensit was arrested and imprisoned for three months for leading an anti-ritualist meeting in Liverpool.
On September 25th 1902, John Kensit led a peaceful protest meting at Claughton Music Hall in Birkenhead. As the Kensit party endeavoured to board the Ferry to take them home, they were met by an angry mob. A heavy industrial file was thrown at John Kensit. It struck him on the forehead. By 8th October John Kensit lay dead.
Opinions differ as to the work and ministry of John Kensit, founder of the PTS. To some he was little more than a rabble-rouser and “an unpleasant nuisance”. But to others John Kensit was a courageous defender of the Evangelical Protestant Gospel and a brave exponent of free speech. The lasting legacy of John Kensit is the continuing work of the PTS.
The Society has one full-time itinerate Wickliffe Preacher, Dafydd Morris (Wales). There are also a number of honorary Wickliffe Preachers. Under the leadership of Gordon Murray, it was decided that the society would appoint part-time ministers as Wickliffe Preachers. These men would then be free from the constraints of secular work to concentrate of the ministry of the Gospel. Three part-time pastors/Wickliffe Preachers have been appointed over recent months (including me!). Bill Cairns, (East Anglia) Stephen Holland (North West England). Update: PTS has recently appointed a Jeremy Brooks as our new Director of Ministries. See here for an interview with Jeremy.
We are still dedicated to exposing the errors of Roman Catholicism. But we recognise that Rome is not the only threat that to the gospel in the 21st Century. At a recent staff meeting, our Chairman Gordon Murray set out our Mission Statement:
* To help churches and individual Christians to fulfil their calling to uphold and spread the truth revealed in Scripture and so to glorify God.
We endeavour to further this mission:
* By Preaching the Word of God
* By application to relevant issues
* By the use of suitable literature
* By dealing with the media. Writing to Newspapers, BBC, Internet ministries
* By countering errors that are held today that affect the fundamentals of the gospel
We are an interdenominational Evangelical Protestant Society that is committed to contending for and positively preaching the faith once delivered to the saints. It is not our purpose as a para-Church organisation to tell Churches which Bible translation or Hymn Book to use. What we want to do is hold before the churches the rich heritage of Reformation history and Theology. In these days of compromise and drift we need the robust, Bible-based doctrines of the Reformation more than ever.
If you live in the South West of England and would like to hear more about our work and vision, please drop me an e-mail.


Anonymous said...


That's a great article summarising John Kensit's history.

I am interested in the history of John Kensit. I believe his father died when he was young and he became a Christian in his teenage years.

Do you have any information on who his parents were, and who brought him up?



Guy Davies said...


Thanks for your comments. John Kensit's father died before he was born. He was brought up by his mother.

The Protestant Truth Society has published two books on John Kensit:

Contending for the Faith & John Kensit's Death and the Threat to Free Speech

You can contact the PTS office by e-mail: to order the books of you wish. The first one is more biographical and contains some facts about his early life.


Guy Davies

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am interested in finding out more information on John Kensit and the work of the Wickliffe preachers in the mid to late C19th. Where could i obtain more information on this area.


Guy Davies said...

See my remarks in the comments above yours.

Unknown said...

I have read "Contending for the Faith" and it doesn't mention his father. His birth certificate states he was born in a workhouse with Elizabeth was his mother, but father wasn't mentioned.