About Paul Beasley-Murray

Ministry Consultant

Since 1994 Paul has been Chairman of Ministry Today UK, an inter-denominational organisation, whose aim is ‘to provide a supportive resource for all in pastoral leadership, so that they may not only survive, but also grow and develop, becoming more effective’ in their ministry, and General Editor of its journal, Ministry Today, which appears three times a year, both in hard copy as also as e-journal. Ministry Today is the only UK ecumenical journal devoted to the practice of ministry. For further details see ministrytoday.org.uk.

Paul is also chairman of the College of Baptist Ministers launched in February 2014. It is a body independent of the Baptist Union, and provides peer support for ministers who find themselves in dispute with their church, as also a framework for continuing ministerial development; it helps ministers seeking advice, spiritual direction, and work consultancy and seeks to promote excellence in ministry, not least through the development of a code of ministerial ethics. For further details see: collegeofbaptistministers.org.

Over the years Paul has taught all over the world on a wide range of topics related to Christian ministry. In autumn 2012 he was a guest lecturer at the Wuhan Theological Seminary in China; in December 2013 he returned to the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut to teach a two week intensive course; and in autumn (Sept/October) 2014 he will teach an intensive MTh module at Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand.

As a member of the Society of New Testament Studies as also of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research, Paul retains his interest in New Testament studies.

Ministry Experience

As Senior Minister of Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford (1993-2014) he transformed a traditional declining city-centre church members into a strong vibrant, growing fellowship; at the time he left there were 399 committed members, together with a much larger church community.

As Principal of Spurgeon’s College, London (1986-1993) he doubled the student enrolment, increased the faculty by one-third, and developed new patterns of ministerial training.

As Pastor of Altrincham Baptist Church, Cheshire (1973-1986) he enabled a small declining church to develop into a strong virile church, quadrupled in size (from 83 to 300+ members).

As a BMS Missionary in Congo/Zaire (1990-1992) he taught Greek and New Testament in the Protestant Theological Faculty of the National University.

Prior to going up to Cambridge Paul served as a ‘Time for God’ worker with the German Baptists (1962-63), helping with Baptist youth work in Southern Germany.

Interests Beyond Ministry

In Who’s Who? and Debrett’s People of Today Paul lists as his interests cooking, travel and parties! His grand-children are also another major interest!

Married to Caroline, HM Senior Coroner for the County of Essex, he has four grown-up children: Jonathan, who is an associate professor in Latin American studies at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and is married to Fiona, a compiler of computer textbooks – they have one child, David, together with Sophie and Theo ; Timothy, who is a senior lecturer in European philosophy & culture at University College, London University, and married to Charlotte, a lawyer – they have two children, Felix and Clara; Susannah, a senior social worker specialising in child protection in East London, is married to Rob, an artist – they have two children, Jemima and Raphael; and Benjamin, a free lance journalist.

Paul is an active member of Rotary (Rivermead, Chelmsford).

He is a patron of the Society of Mary and Martha, a retreat centre based at Sheldon, near Exeter, which specialises in supporting ministers experiencing stress, crisis, burnt-out or break-down (see www.sheldon.uk.com), as also a patron of the J’s Young Adults Hospice (thejshospice.org.uk).

As an act of ‘penance’, he is also a member of a local gym, and does a good deal of walking in the early morning!

An Author

Paul is a prolific author. With over 350 articles to his credit, he is a regular contributor to Ministry Today and also writes for a wide variety of other publications, for the most part reflecting on the practice of ministry.

His writings currently in print are:

  • Radical Believers: The Baptist Way Of Being The Church (Baptist Union 1992, and translated into Czech, German, & Norwegian; revised edition 2006)
  • Radical Disciples: A Course For New Christians (Baptist Union 1996; revised edition 2005)
  • Power For God's Sake? Power & Abuse In The Local Church (Originally published by Paternoster 1998; but since republished in 2005 by Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon, USA)
  • Happy Ever After? A Guide To The Marriage Adventure (Baptist Union 1996; revised 2003);
  • Radical Leaders: A Guide For Elders & Deacons In Baptist Churches (Baptist Union 1997; revised edition 2005);
  • The Message Of The Resurrection: The Bible Speaks For Today (IVP 2000. Also published in the USA and translated into Burmese, Chinese, Romanian and Korean);
  • Building For The Future: A Guide To Those Considering Entering A Building Project (privately printed, Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford 2003; 2nd edition 2004)
  • A Loved One Dies: Help In The First Few Days (Baptist Union 2005).
  • Joy to the World: Preaching at Christmas (IVP 2005 – also available in a special OM edition in India, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Bahrein & Kuwait)
  • Transform Your Church! 50 very practical steps (IVP 2005)
  • Baptism, Belonging and Breaking Bread: Preparing for Baptism (Baptist Union 2010).
  • Leading Teams in Larger Churches (2010): www.teal.org.uk
  • A Retreat Lectionary (Society of Mary & Martha 2012)

A Blogger

Since the autumn of 2011 Paul has been publishing a weekly ‘blog’, Church Matters, which appears simultaneously on the web-sites of his church and of Ministry Today, as also on his own personal web-site (paulbeasleymurray.com). In the last two years or so his blogs have dealt with:

  • Why I am a Christian (05/04/2012)
  • Singing the National Anthem (21/06/2012)
  • Signatures and image (30/08/2012)
  • The Bath Hole Phenomenon (22/11/2012)
  • We are born to believe in God (31/01/2013)
  • Appraisals are to be enjoyed (11/04/2013)
  • Brothers – and sisters – we are professionals (25/07/13)
  • Some day the silver chord will break (31/10/13)
  • 50 lessons in life (16/01/14)
  • Missionary leadership is vital (13/03/14)
  • Ministry Today celebrates its 20th anniversary (20/03/14)

Books no longer in print

Turning the Tide: An Assessment of Baptist Church Growth in England (Bible Society, 1980) co-authored with Alan Wilkinson; Pastors under Pressure (Kingsway 1989); Dynamic Leadership (Monarch 1990; translated into Swedish); Faith & Festivity: A Guide For Worship Leaders (Monarch 1991); A Call To Excellence: An Essential Guide To Christian Leadership (Hodder & Stoughton 1995); and Fearless for Truth: A Personal Portrait of the Life of George Beasley-Murray (Paternoster 2002). He edited Mission To the World (Baptist Historical Society, 1991); Anyone For Ordination? (Monarch 1993); and along with others co-edited Prayers For All Peoples (Oncken 1993).

Education

Paul read Modern Languages (German & French: Part 1 of the Tripos) & Theology (Parts 2 & 3 of the Tripos) at Jesus College, Cambridge (1963-1967). He then trained for the Baptist ministry, first at the Northern Baptist College, Manchester (1967-1969) and then at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Ruschlikon-Zurich in Switzerland. In 1970 he was awarded a PhD in New Testament studies (‘The Lordship of Christ over the World in the Corpus Paulinum’) from Manchester University, having spent the final year of his doctoral studies at Zurich University.

Significant Dates

Born:14 March 1944 in London (Ilford)
Baptised:November 1957 in Zurich (Salemskapelle, Zurich)
Married:26 August 1967 in Wrexham (The Old Meeting)
Ordained:10 October 1970 in London (Holmesdale Road Baptist Church, South Norwood)

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