A great story with a contemporary twist

I am delighted to draw your attention to For Christ and for Wales. a collection of essays in honour of the life and ministry of John Griffiths (1875-1947). John Griffiths, you might rightly say, who is he? He is one of yesterday’s servants of Christ who has been long forgotten – except by the family to which Caroline, my wife, belongs. For John Griffiths was her paternal grandfather: he was her Taid (the term people in North Wales use for grandfather). He was a remarkable man, who as a teenager went to work in the coal mines of North Wales and who ended up as principal of the Baptist college in Cardiff. In my judgement, his story should have been told many years ago. However, thankfully the story has now been told.

However, For Christ and for Wales is not just an exercise in biography and church history. It has also been an opportunity to reflect more generally on what patterns of mission and ministry appropriate for today.

As editor of For Christ and for Wales I have been blessed with the help of various friends to make this book possible. In addition to Adrian Walters, who has been researching the life of John Griffiths within the wider context of Welsh nonconformity, I have been able to call upon three distinguished church leaders. In the first place, Densil Morgan, a distinguished Welsh theologian and historian, who is currently President of the Welsh Baptist Union. Secondly, John Weaver, a former Principal of the Baptist college in Cardiff, who is also a prolific author himself. Thirdly, Rob James, a former student of the Baptist college in Cardiff, who has exercised a wide-ranging ministry and is the Executive Chair of the Evangelical Alliance in Wales.

The headings of the essays which make up this volume indicate the scope of the book:

  1. The Early Years (1875-1908) and the Ammanford Years (1908-1925) of John Griffiths by Adrian Walters
  2. The Cardiff Years (1925-1947) of John Griffiths by Paul Beasley-Murray
  3. Thoughts about Taid by Lynette and Gareth Hughes
  4. Treasured Memories by Caroline Beasley-Murray
  5. John Griffiths and the Culture of Welsh Nonconformity (1870-1945) by Densil Morgan
  6. Ministerial Training in Wales (1947-2023) by John Weaver
  7. Church Life in Wales Today by Rob James

As the ‘blurb’ on the back cover states: “Although the essays are focussed on Wales, they provide food for thought for Christians beyond Wales. The group today who are most likely to pray regularly are people under thirty-five, are the demographic missing in our churches. They are ‘spiritual’ but not ‘religious’. How do we reach out to the many who are longing for God, even though it is a God they are not yet able to name?”

For Christ and for Wales is now available for purchase. It has not been published through normal commercial channels, but by the College of Baptist Ministers in association with PB-M Books. The paperback edition retails at just £5, including UK postage and packing. The electronic version for use anywhere is available for £5 too. To find out how to buy a copy at this bargain price, please contact me at paulbeasleymurray@gmail.com.

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