About Paul Beasley-Murray

About Paul Beasley-Murray

Ministry Consultant

Ordained in 1970, Paul is an experienced minister who has a real ‘heart’ for ministry.  He enjoys reflecting on the practice of ministry – as also serving as a ministry consultant. Over the years Paul has written widely on ministry matters and has taught all over the world on a wide range of topics related to Christian ministry

Paul remains an accredited Baptist Minister of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, but is now part of the Chelmsford Cathedral community. He regularly speaks at the Cathedral’s Sunday morning seminar-style ‘Breakfast with the Bible’, and also leads a ‘fellowship group’. Paul continues to preach in churches of various denominations, although he is happy just to be part of the Sunday 9.30 Parish Eucharist at the Cathedral.

Paul co-founded a bi-monthly lunchtime for retired Baptist ministers in Mid- and South Essex, and takes the lead in presenting topics for discussion.

Since 2005 Paul has been a member of the Rotary Club of Chelmsford Rivermead, and was the 2016-2017 club president. In June 2018 he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. With its aim of ‘service above self’, Paul sees his Rotary involvement as an expression of Christian ministry.

Ministry Experience

As Senior Minister of Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford (1993-2014) he transformed a traditional declining city-centre church 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? Paul lists as his interests cooking, travel and parties! His grandchildren are also another major interest!

He is married to Caroline, a past President of the Coroners Society of England and Wales 2018-2019. They have four grown-up children and eight grandchildren.

Paul 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.  He is a patron of the J’s Young Adults Hospice and also a company member of the Havens Hospices based in Essex.

In January 2019 he became Chairman of the Cambridge Society of Essex, an alumni group which meets for lectures, lunches, and other social activities.

He seeks to keep fit by engaging in a good deal of walking in the early morning.

An Author

Paul continues to be a prolific author.

Since retiring from stipendiary ministry he has written a definitive guide to ministry entitled Living Out the Call (Feed-a-Read 2015; revised in 2016 and available through Amazon both electronically and as soft-backs).  It consists of four volumes:

  1. Living to God’s Glory (on Amazon, also available as a PDF);
  2. Leading God’s Church (on Amazon, also available as a PDF);
  3. Reaching God’s World (on Amazon, also available as a PDF);
  4. Serving God’s Church (on Amazon, also available as a PDF).

According to Derek Tidball, a former Principal of the London College of Theology. this is “the most comprehensive practical introduction to ministry currently available.

He has written his autobiography, This is my story: a story of life, faith, and ministry (Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon 2018). In the words of the cover blurb:

This is a book for pastors – and for any Christian – who want the “inside story” of the pains and triumphs of a Christian leader.

He has updated two popular pastoral resources. The first is Happy Ever After? A workbook for couples preparing for marriage (College of Baptist Ministers, Chelmsford 2017). Biblically-based and solidly practical, it covers everything from money to matrimonial disagreement, from coming to terms with the past to sharing jobs in the house. The second, A Loved One Dies: help in the first few weeks (College of Baptist Ministers, Chelmsford 2017), gives down-to earth advice on how to arrange the funeral service, and the many other practical matters that arise after a death. It also provides clear thoughts on the Christian understanding of death to help the bereaved discover hope where at first there is only sadness.

Following his 2017 survey of the reading habits of British ministers – the first survey of its kind in the UK, he published a major 8000-word article, ‘Ministers’ Reading Habits’, Baptist Quarterly 49 (January 2018).  The full analysis together with further reflections is found on this website.

He has written three books on ministerial retirement.

His two latest books are:

  • Fifty Lessons in Ministry: Reflections on Fifty Years of Ministry (Darton, Longman & Todd, London 2020) written to coincide with his 50th anniversary of ordination
  • There is Hope! Preaching at Funerals will be published by IVP and surprisingly is the first British guide to preaching at funerals.

He has edited two major books:

Other writings currently in print are:

  • Happy Ever After? A Guide to the Marriage Adventure (Baptist Union 1996; Revised 2003 as Happy Ever After? A workbook for couples preparing for marriage. Revised and updated 2017 and republished by the College of Baptist Ministers.)
  • Power For God’s Sake? Power and Abuse in the Local Church (Originally published by Paternoster 1998; but since republished in 2005 by Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon, USA)
  • The Message Of The Resurrection:  The Bible Speaks For Today (IVP 2000.  Also published in the USA and translated into Burmese, Chinese, Romanian, Korean and Turkish);
  • 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)
  • A Loved One Dies: Help in The First Few Days (Baptist Union 2005; Revised 2016; Revised and republished by the College of Baptist Ministers, 2017.).

Other writings currently available electronically:

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).

Articles

With over 445 articles to his credit, he has written for a variety of publications, for the most part reflecting on the practice of ministry. For further details see paulbeasleymurray.com/articles.

A Blogger

Since the autumn of 2011 Paul has been publishing a weekly ‘blog’ which has a world-wide following: viz Church Matters. As at the end of 2020 he had written 475 ‘posts’.

Significant Dates

Born: 14 March 1944 in London (Ilford)
Baptised: 17 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)