On October 17, I was pleased to deliver the annual Samuel Chadwick Lecture for the Samuel Chadwick Centre at Cliff College. I visited the beautiful Cliff College campus in May, where I spent several days (and evenings!) going through the Chadwick material housed in their archives. I am so thankful for the warm and generous welcome I received from the Cliff community, and for the invitation from Dr Ben Pugh to give the Chadwick lecture. Revd Dr George Bailey also offered an insightful response to my lecture.
Chadwick is featured in my forthcoming book, British Methodist Revivalism and the Eclipse of Ecclesiology. He is a contrasting figure in the arc of the book, which focuses on how British Methodist Revivalists marginalized the church in their theology, emphasizing the personal work of the Spirit at the expense of the Spirit’s corporate work. Chadwick, on the other hand, had a very robust ecclesiology and a balanced pneumatology, which, I argue, helped to blunt the sometimes-divisive impulses of his revivalism.
I went to Cliff not knowing quite how much relevant material I would find; when I got there I was overwhelmed by how much Chadwick wrote about the church and questions of Christian unity. In fact I ended up with much more material than I needed, and I hope I’ll be able to continue writing about Chadwick in the future.