About Us

who are baptists

Who are Baptists?

Baptist churches are found in almost every country in the world. As part of the world-wide Christian church, Baptists form one of the largest families of faith, alongside other trinitarian Christian traditions such as Anglicans, Methodists, Reformed, etc.

For Baptists the concept of a family is important. The church is not so much a particular place or building, but rather a family of believers, committed to Christ, to one another and to the service of God in the world.

In this Baptist family everybody is equal, for everybody has a part to play in the service of God. There is no hierarchy of bishops or priests exercising authority over their members. Equality of status, however, does not mean that all have the same role.

Each local Baptist church appoints its own leaders - or ministers - to have particular responsibility for preaching, teaching and pastoral care. Working alongside these ministers are also deacons, who together with the minister(s) form the leadership team of the local Baptist church.

Baptists are grass-roots people, with a particular emphasis on the local church. These local churches are self-governing and self-supporting, ranging in size from twenty or so members to many hundreds. Although each Baptist church is an independent entity, Baptists nonetheless have always believed in associating with one another - and so the churches come together in regional, national and international spheres to promote and support the fellowship of Baptists everywhere.

Baptists also play their part ecumenically through membership with Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

The Baptist way of being the church is living together in community; in a family if you like.

To find your local Baptist church, have a look at our Church Finder.



Transitional Steering Group

In November 2012 BU Council agreed major reforms to the denomination’s structures to strengthen the support it gives to local churches.  Part of this has been the formation of a new leadership team responsible for implementing the strategy of our Union.  From 2014 this will be called the Baptist Steering Group (BSG) but it is recognised that 2013 is very much a year of transition to the new way of working and, therefore, a Transitional Steering Group (TSG) has been established to lead in this work:

Lynn GreenLynn Green - General Secretary 

My role is to provide guidance, support and leadership to the TSG, ensuring that we are listening to God, working collegially and are drawing together views from within the whole Baptist family so that we can be faithful to our vision of being a mission movement.

Alex AfriyieAlex Afriyie - London Baptist Association Minister
I feel privileged to be a part of TSG and pray we can help to bring significant change to the Baptist movement for future generations.

Nick BradshawNick Bradshaw - Regional Minister Team Leader South Wales Baptist Association 
TSG needed some Association Team Leaders and I was amongst those put forward by the Team Leaders.  My role is simply to share in the direction through this year of transition and preparation for the Baptist Steering Group to commence their work in January 2014.

Nigel ColesNigel Coles - Senior Regional Minister for the West of England Baptist Association
Recognising the challenge and need for transition, my primary concerns, as a member of TSG, are we find ways forward, which embody mission at the heart of our Union.

David EllisDavid Ellis - Baptist Union Council Representative
The task the TSG has seems massive but with God’s help we are looking to encourage us to continue to be a spirit filled Baptist movement inspiring and using all the diverse talents that we have.

Rob EllisRob Ellis - Baptist Colleges’ Representative 
Principal of Regent's Park College, Oxford
As Principal of one of our Colleges, my role on TSG is to represent the Baptist Colleges.

Paul GoodliffPaul Goodliff - Ministries Team Leader
I am a Baptist Minister, and was previously Head of the Ministry Department of the Baptist Union from 2004 until the new Teams were established in 2013.  Prior to this, I held pastorates at Lewin Road, Streatham and Bunyan Baptist Stevenage before my appointment as General Superintendent for the Central Area, then CBA Team Leader.

Paul HillsPaul Hills - Regional Minister/Team Leader Eastern Baptist Association 
I represent the partnership of the Central Baptist Association and the Eastern Baptist Association on the Transitional Steering Group.  Together with Rob Ellis I have a particular interest in and concern for the Ministries Team.

Phil JumpPhil Jump - Regional Minister, North Western Baptist Association
I am the appointed representative of the northern partnership comprising North Western Baptist Association, Northern Baptist Association and Yorkshire Baptist Association.  I also share specialist responsibility for communications.

Stephen KeyworthStephen Keyworth - Faith and Society Team Leader 
I was appointed to the role of Team Leader Faith and Society in March 2013, and represent this Specialist Team on the TSG.

David LockeDavid Locke - Support Services Team Leader
I am the Team Leader for Support Services. This covers finance, legal, property, pensions, information technolog, human resources and safeguarding.

Richard NichollsRichard Nicholls - Transition Manager 
The Transitional Steering Group (TSG) has been established for one year to facilitate the change from the previous structure of leadership to the permanent Baptist Steering Group in 2014, and it is my task to coordinate, chair and service the Group

Jenny RoyalJenny Royal - Baptist Union Trustee 
I am Moderator of the BUGB Trustee Board and a member of the TSG in this capacity.  I was heavily involved in the ‘Futures’ work and have been a trustee since 2007. 

Dianne TidballDianne Tidball - Regional Team Leader for the East Midlands Baptist Association 
I am involved with the Nominations Group, and have worked on budget issues and otherwise generally in seeking to discern God's way forward for our Union.




The President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain is elected annually and takes office at the Annual Baptist Assembly held in May. The President represents the Union at various events and visits Baptist churches across the Union.

President: The Revd Ernie Whalley
President Elect: The Revd Chris Ellis
Vice President: The Revd Jenni Entrican

Click here to read Ernie Whalley’s blog.

Former BUGB Presidents
2012 The Revd Chris Duffett
2011 The Revd Pat Took
2010 No president (following the death of The Revd R Martin)
2009 The Revd K Appiagyei
2008 The Revd Dr J D Weaver
2007 No president
2006 The Revd K O Coleman
2005 The Revd R Searle
2004 The Revd P D Manson
2003 The Revd J C Rackley
2002 The Revd Dr N G Wright
2001 The Revd P J Wortley
2000 Professor G W Ashworth
1999 The Revd M I Bochenski
1998 The Revd D G T McBain
1997 The Revd V F George
1996 The Revd J C James
1995 The Revd P H K Tongeman
1994 The Revd S J Gaukroger
1993 The Revd Dr B Haymes
1992 The Revd E J Westwood
1991 The Revd R Jenkins
1990 The Revd Dr D J Tidball
1989 Dr J Biggs
1988 The Revd Dr C Marchant
1987 The Revd M F Jarman
1986 The Revd D R Coffey
1985 The Revd N P Wright
1984 The Revd F Cooke
1983 The Revd Dr D S Russell
1982 Dr D J Charley
1981 The Revd T F Wilson
1980 Dr S G Browne
1979 The Revd Dr W M S West
1978 Mrs A Alexander
1977 The Revd E A Payne
1976 The Revd F A Goodwin
1975 The Revd S A Turl
1974 The Revd G Cumming
1973 The Revd D H Hicks
1972 The Revd J J Brown
1971 The Revd Dr G Henton-Davies

Specialist Teams

Younger Leaders' Forum


Younger Leaders' Forum

The Baptist Union Younger Leaders’ Forum (YLF) has a vision to see a generation of young adults united in faith to build each other up and have their voices heard. They are influential in developing Christ-centred community, creating cultural shift and being the voice of young people to the BU Council.

The YLF is a group of diverse young leaders from Baptist churches nationwide between the ages of 18 – 30 who meet twice a year to discuss and challenge the BU regarding:
  • How the Church relates to young adults in today’s society

  • The major issues facing Baptist churches from young adults’ perspective

  • Working out their own vision to revive the missing generation of 18 - 30s within the Church

They meet as an authentic worshipping community reliant upon honesty, support and trust, which seeks to provide an opportunity for young developing leaders to establish meaningful relationships and realise their potential.

For more details contact the YLF at their Missing Generation blog site and Facebook page.




Baptist Colleges prepare men and women for ministry and offer ongoing ministerial development and training once they are accredited.
They also provide training for youth ministry, lay pastors and preachers, and courses on a range of topics including Baptist history and principles, counselling, mission and pastoral care.
Use the links on the right hand side to find out more about our colleges.

Home Mission


Home Mission

Each year our Union has an appeal to raise money for its work and mission. The money raised funds:
  • The three specialist teams to resource churches in their work through legal, ministries and missional support. In addition, representing the mission of God in national ways such as engaging with Government, speaking out on matters of faith and developing national mission initiatives.

  • Regional associations, who are engaged in missional development in the area, supporting new initiatives and churches and supporting the on-going work of churches and their ministers and families.

  • Grants to local churches. These 200+ grants include church planting, renewing local churches and mission project grants. Through Home Mission hundreds of lives have been affected and many have found faith in Jesus. To find out about grants available to your church, please contact your regional association.

Home Mission is all about helping Baptist churches and individuals to reach their mission potential and bring the love of God to their communities.

Read more »