International Brethren History Conferences are open to all who are interested in the history of the movement

11th International Brethren History Conference

4-6 July 2023

The Brethren and the Last Things

Shallowford House, Shallowford, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0NZ



The Last Things (Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell) have been central to Brethren thinking. This has shaped their understanding of Christian doctrine, but also their evangelistic message and mission, as well as their worship and spirituality. J. N. Darby set the tone for the movement with his understanding of the church as a heavenly entity and his espousal of a dispensational approach to interpreting the Bible, which stressed the disjunction between heavenly and earthly.

A key aspect of this interest has been the study of biblical prophecy. A stream of books and magazines have explored this, and Brethren made the prophetic chart peculiarly their own, lecturing on it and using it as an evangelistic tool. The impact of all this was immense: in large swathes of North American Evangelicalism, for example, dispensational understandings of the future became normative. The conference thus addresses a major element of modern religious belief and practice.

Following the success of our mixed-mode conference at Emmaus Bible College in the USA in 2022, this residential conference will again allow for both in-person and online participation.

Six plenary addresses will explore various aspects of Brethren interest in the Last Things, broadly conceived, and outline some of the background.  (See draft programme for more details.)

Call for Breakout Papers

In addition, we welcome offers of twenty-minute breakout papers on relevant topics. You may either present a paper in-person at a breakout session, or do so online. A selection of the papers will be edited and published as a volume in the Studies in Brethren History series.

If you would like to offer a breakout paper, please send your proposal to the conference organizer, Dr Tim Grass (, by 31 May 2023. Please provide a title and a short outline (up to 150 words) of your proposed topic.

We welcome papers for presentation in absentia and it will also be possible to present online in real time.


Conference Cost per Person

Resident:                                      £245 per person

Non-resident:                                £50 per day (includes lunch and tea)

Online participation:                      £15 per day

Full fee is payable at the time of booking.

Closing date for bookings is 15 May 2023.

In the event of cancellation, return of booking fees will be dependent on the venue’s decision.

Click here to register and pay


Getting to Shallowford House

Shallowford House is about 5 miles from Stafford, the nearest mainline station. Stafford is on the West Coast Main Line from London Euston, and enjoys an excellent train service.

The nearest international airports are Manchester and Birmingham, both of which are served by rail.

We hope to be able to meet those arriving by train; alternatively, you may take a taxi.

For driving directions, see:


Previous conferences were held at

  • Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque, IA, USA, on the theme of 'The Brethren: A Global Movement ', on 29 May–31 May 2022.
  • Sidholme Hotel, Sidmouth, Devon, on the theme of 'Elements and Ordinances in Brethren Life' on 2–4 July 2019. The papers from this confernce are availalbe as The Brethren and the Church.

  • Maynooth University, Ireland, on the theme of 'The Brethren and the Church' on 3-5 July 2017. The papers from this confernce are availalbe as The Brethren and the Church.

  • Bishop Woodford House, Ely, on the theme of 'The Brethren and the Bible' on 6-8 July 2015. The papers from this conference are available as The Bible and Theology in the Brethren.

  • Pilgrim Hall, East Sussex, on the theme 'Brethren Thought in Historical Perspective', on 15-17 July 2013. The papers from this conference are available as The Bible and Theology in the Brethren.

  • Lindors Country House, Gloucester, on the theme of 'Brethren and Mission' on 25-27 June, 2011The papers from this confernce are available as The Brethren and Mission.

  • Carberry Tower, Musselburgh (near Edinburgh), on the theme of 'Brethren Spirituality' on 9-11 July 2009. The papers from the conference and the previous one are now available as Cuture, Spirituality, and the Brethren.

  • Liverpool Hope University and was organized in conjunction with the Christian Brethren Archive. The subject was ‘Brethren, Culture and Society’. As part of the proceedings, Dr Ward Gasque of Canada gave a F F Bruce memorial lecture on the subject of ‘F F Bruce: an unhyphenated evangelical’. It was held on 5–7 July 2007.

  • Wiedenest Bible School, Germany, from 3-5 July 2005 on ‘Witnessing in Many Lands: the Theology and Practice of the Brethren Movement’. The papers from the conference are now available as Tim Grass (ed.), Witness in Many Lands: Leadership and Outreach among the Brethren.

  • Redcliffe College Gloucester in 10-12 July 2003 on "The growth of the Brethren movement: national and international experiences". The papers from the conference were published in Neil Dickson and Tim Grass (eds), The Growth of the Brethren Movement: National and International Experiences (Carlisle: Paternoster 2006).


For further information, contact Neil Dickson