ABOUT DRONFIELD CHRISTADELPHIANS
We’ve been around for over 150 years
Not many people know this, but there’ve been Christadelphian Churches and communities continuously in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire since the 19th Century, for over 150 years! They’ve been based primarily in Sheffield and Chesterfield, and now more recently in Dronfield where our church was established in 2005, by God’s grace.
We may be a relatively small branch of Christianity, but we have very friendly and active congregations all over the UK.
The name Christadelphian means “brothers and sisters in Christ“. It’s a name which emphasises the family bond that develops amongst believers and families in our church. The name was chosen by a British doctor in the USA back in the 1860’s, because it was necessary to identify and register as a Christian organisation during the Civil War. Read more in Our History.
Christadelphians are a world-wide community who simply seek to follow the teachings of the Bible and the example of Jesus Christ as our Lord. We see our faith as a ‘calling’ and that’s why you may hear our churches described as ‘ecclesias’, which mean ‘called out’. We see it as a way of life.
Our church has a number of Bible-based beliefs and you can find a brief summary of them under what we believe.
Whatever you decide, we hope you find what you are looking for.
OUR BELIEFS IN BRIEF
- There is one all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing God who is the creator of the whole universe,
- Jesus Christ is the son of God,
- The Bible is God’s word – it’s God’s way of speaking to us,
- And the Holy Spirit is God’s power to create and save.
- God gave men & women free-will to choose whether or not to honour Him, but no matter how hard we try, we all fail to follow God’s ways completely (we sin).
- Jesus lived in complete harmony with his Father and did not sin, but he gave up his life on the cross as a sacrifice so that believers in him could have their sins forgiven.
- God raised Jesus from the dead, and now Jesus is with God in heaven.
- We can communicate by prayer to God, through Jesus Christ.
- God is working in the world today to fulfil His ultimate purpose. He will judge mankind and eventually fill the earth with His Kingdom.
- Jesus Christ will return to the earth to bring judgement and establish God’s Kingdom.
- Through faith in the gospel, repentance and baptism we have the hope of eternal life in God’s Kingdom. God has made important promises to those who develop that faith.
- The gospel is the Bible teaching about the Kingdom of God AND the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We are all about Learning from the Bible; Waiting for God’s Kingdom on Earth; Watching for Christ’s return (it could be any day now!); and Hoping for resurrection and eternal life in God’s Kingdom.
The spiritual origins of the Christadelphian community are based on the Holy Bible. We have no other sacred books and we seek to base our beliefs and way of life on the Bible teachings and principles followed by the first century church.
The Christadelphian community was founded by Dr John Thomas (1805-71), in the USA in 1848.
Thomas was a British doctor who emigrated to the USA in 1832. Whilst on his way to there, he was shipwrecked, and it was while he was in grave danger that he realised that he knew little about the future and what would happen to him after death. So he decided that, if he survived, he would devote himself to religious studies, and he was as good as his pledge.
In 1834, John Thomas founded a magazine called The Apostolic Advocate, in which he published his developing ideas of true and proper Christian beliefs.
By the 1840s his views were attracting a following, and gradually congregations grew up both in the USA and the UK.
One of his major works was a book called Elpis Israel, which was published in 1848, and set out the basis of his biblical faith.
He made several speaking tours of the UK during this time and this continued to attract a growing following.
It was during this next period that the growing groups of believers became a recognised movement and took their present name in 1864, partly as a result of the American Civil War. Their principles meant that members had refused to fight and kill, and so were “conscientious objectors”. But, they could only claim this status if they were members of a recognised religious group that opposed war… and so the ‘Christadelphians’ came into being.
The name ‘Christadelphian’ comes from a Greek phrase, Christou adelphoi, which simply means ‘brothers and sisters in Christ’.
Another important name in Christadelphian history is Robert Roberts. He was a Scot who helped to organised the movement and did much to communicate the beliefs and practice of the community.
The first record of Christadelphians in this area of England is as far back as 1860 when they are known to have been meeting in Sheffield, in the home of a lady called Mary Savage. Later, a room was hired at Carbrook — much better known today as the location of Meadowhall Retail Park, and some of the members used to walk there from central Sheffield every Sunday.
A Wednesday evening Bible study class was started in 1872, and today Sheffield Ecclesia continues to hold both Sunday Services as well as a Bible Class — which is still on a Wednesday evening!
By the early 20th century Christadelphians in Sheffield were meeting at Devonshire Hall, on Devonshire Green, and that building can still be seen today — now in use as shops and flats. Then from 1922 to 1964 the Sheffield Christadelphians had a hall in Rockingham Street.
We find the first records of Christadelphians in Chesterfield in 1877 and by 1881 there was an ecclesia of 11 members. Over the years the numbers have fluctuated, and the place where they met has also changed repeatedly. Initially meetings were in Chesterfield, then in Brimington, then later again in North Wingfield and then finally in 1948 they settled into the building that they still occupy today at 19A Sheffield Road.
Meanwhile in the mid 1960’s Sheffield Christadelphians were on the move again as the Rockingham Street building, dating back to the 1830s, was demolished in 1964 as part of the modernisation of the city centre. After a couple of years at an old school in Broad Lane, They moved to their present hall on Cemetery Road in September 1967.
In 2005, after prayer, a group of people living in Dronfield but then attending either our sister churches in Sheffield or Chesterfield decided to establish a new church (or ecclesia) in the place where they lived — and Dronfield ecclesia was born.
Originally meeting in the small committee room at the Peel Centre, near to the middle of Dronfield, we have gradually grown in numbers since then and continue to meet at the Peel Centre but now in the large room downstairs.
Activities aimed at promoting our faith in action, and supporting individuals and families have seen the development of a Youth Club; and Sunday School with Family Church starting this year!