An Anabaptist congregation existed in Coventry, England, of which no particulars are known except that together with Anabaptist congregations at London, Sarum, Lincon, and Tyverton, it sent a letter to Hans de Ries and Reinier Wybrands and their congregations in Holland on 12 November 1626, pleading for a union between these English congregations and the Dutch Waterlander churches. This letter had been preceded by correspondence between Elias Tookey and his followers of London and de Ries in 1624. The letter of 12 November 1626 was personally delivered to Amsterdam by two English Anabaptists, who are said to have been persons of high rank, and who were representatives of a group of about 150 adherents.
The English churches stated in this letter that they had read the confession of de Ries; they were much pleased with this confession, and asked for further information. In the name of the Dutch elders de Ries replied that the Waterlander Mennonites of Holland could not agree to the proposal of the English congregations because of the differences between the two groups: the English Anabaptists did not absolutely reject the oath, desired to have a communion service each week, permitted baptism and communion to be administered not only by the ministers of the church, but by any member if there was no minister present, and also permitted their members to hold government offices and to bear arms. Thus the union did not come about.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. II, Nos. 1368-1377.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 727. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Coventry (England)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/coventry_england.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1953). Coventry (England). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/coventry_england.