Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Helwys

Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Helwys

A special event is being held in March in Nottinghamshire to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Helwys. Helwys was the founder of the Baptist denomination and has become known as a pioneer of religious liberty for all.

The event is being organised by the Bassetlaw Christian Heritage Group and will be hosted by The Well in Retford at 10.30am on 12th March 2016.

The anniversary will be marked by this one day event which will include two keynote speakers

  • Baroness Berridge of the Vale of Catmose sits on the Select Committee for Social Mobility and the Ecclesiastical Committee, is a member of the London Policing Ethics Panel and the Co-Chair of the All Party Group on International Freedom of Religion and Belief. She will explain the importance of Helwys in the World today.
  • The Revd Tony Peck is the General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation (EBF) and also an ordained Baptist minister. He has spoken widely on religious freedom and wrote a well-received report on the history of religious freedom in central Europe.


There will also be a short film about Thomas Helwys, some music, and a chance to talk with representatives of groups campaigning for religious liberty today. A buffet lunch will be followed by an optional tour of local churches relevant to the Helwys story.

This free event is being held at The Well, also known as Retford Baptist Church. This is the nearest Baptist church to Helwys’s most likely place of birth and has been part of his denomination since at least 1691, when Baptist churches became legal.