Broadmead Baptist Church, Bristol UK
                                                           "The Church Above the Shops"

EDWARD TERRILL 1634 - 1685

Edward Terrill was born in the country north of Bristol. He came, with his family, to live in the City. This was in the year 1640. At the age of 24 having spent a number of years contemplating spiritual issues he embraced believers' baptism and became a member of Thomas Ewins church (later known as Broadmead).

This church had been started in 1640 by one Dorothy Hazzard and by the time he was baptised, had grown out of the house church it had been. However, the persecutors of non-conformists were just beginning and in 1662 the Act of Uniformity declared it unlawful not to use the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

The following year, Thomas Ewins, Edward Terrill and many members of the church were jailed for their beliefs. it became so dangerous that the church had to meet where it could, all around the outskirts of Bristol. This was necessary to avoid the sheriff's officers. During this time Edward became a firm friend of Thomas Ellis a member of the church who had a sugar refining business. Thomas Ellis saw that the wandering church really needed a home and to this end he offered the upper part of one of his warehouses so that members could meet. In 1671 the church moved in and has stayed there ever since.

The persecution continued and the first two ministers died, broken in health by imprisonment. During this time Edward Terrill's faith remained strong but he was concerned as to how the Baptist churches of the future would find adequately trained ministers, as all universities were barred to non-conformists. He knew Latin, Greek-and Hebrew but who would train the ministers of the future?

Terrill resolved to leave money to train these young men and for Broadmead to have a second minister to educate them. This deed was signed on 3 June 1679. This became the basis for the Bristol Baptist College which is still providing the teaching for today's ministers.

We know these things because Edward Terrill left a hand written account of the progression of the church entitled "Records of a Church of Christ in Broadmead". Today this is more affectionately known as the Broadmead Records and remains in our possession, serving to remind us of Terrill's thought for the future of the church.

John Matthews