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’.

Paul co-founded a bi-monthly lunchtime meeting 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 another major interest.

He is married to Caroline, a past President of the Coroners Society of England and Wales 2018-2019, who in retirement has become the lead governor of the Mid and South Essex Hospital Trust, the ninth largest trust in the country. Paul and Caroline have four grown-up children and eight grandchildren.

Paul continues to be 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.

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 as soft-backs). According to Derek Tidball, a former Principal of the London College of Theology. this is “the most comprehensive practical introduction to ministry currently available”. It consists of four volumes: 1. Living to God’s Glory; 2. Leading God’s Church; 3. Reaching God’s World; 4.Serving God’s Church.

He wrote his autobiography, This is my story: a story of life, faith, and ministry (Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon 2018). Later he wrote a sequel, Growing Older: our story of new adventures and new horizons which covers the period 2017-2022 (College of Baptist Ministers, Chelmsford 2022, in association with PB-M books).

First published by the Baptist Union in 1996 and revised in 2023, he updated two popular pastoral resources: Happy Ever After? A workbook for couples preparing for marriage (College of Baptist Ministers, Chelmsford 2017) and A Loved One Dies: help in the first few weeks (College of Baptist Ministers, Chelmsford 2017). Since 2020 both of these are available electronically.

Following his 2017 ground-breaking survey of the reading habits of British ministers, 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.

Another significant article ‘Giving others the travel bug’ was published in Ministry in Conversation: Essays in Honour of Paul W. Goodliff (Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon 2022) edited by Andy Goodliff in which amongst other things he reflected on his experience as ‘a training vicar’.

He has written a number of books on retirement.

His most recent latest books are:

  • Fifty Lessons in Ministry: Reflections on Fifty Years of Ministry (Darton, Longman & Todd, London 2020)
  • There is Hope! Preaching at Funerals  (IVP 2021) is the first British guide to preaching at funerals.

He has edited three important books:

  • Ministry Today UK: UK 1994-2018 (College of Baptist Ministers, Chelmsford 2018) is a ‘cornucopia of pastoral wisdom’, whose eight volumes contain all 520 articles of the former journal of MTUK.
  • A College of Peers: The College of Baptist Ministers 2013-2021 (College of Baptist Ministers, Chelmsford 2021) should be of interest to all who are concerned for the wellbeing of ministry in Baptist churches.
  • For Christ and For Wales: a collection of essays in honour of the life and ministry of John Griffiths [1875-1947] (College of Baptist Ministers Chelmsford 2023, in association with PB-M books). John Griffiths was Caroline’s paternal grandfather, who spent 10 years in the coal mines of North Wales, then after training for the ministry at Bangor had a significant ministry in the mining town of Ammanford in South Wales, before becoming a tutor and finally a principal of the Baptist college in Cardiff.

Other writings currently in print are:

  • Power For God’s Sake? Power and Abuse in the Local Church (First published by Paternoster 1998; republished in 2005 by Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon, USA)
  • The Message Of The Resurrection: The Bible Speaks For Today (IVP 2000). It was 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 co-edited Prayers For All Peoples (Oncken 1993).


With over 500 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 beginning of June 2023 he had written just over 600 ‘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)