Degrees of Separation: An Exploration of Issues Arising from the Current Financial Relationship of UK Baptist Churches and the State

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Ivan King


This paper presents evidence to demonstrate a dependency among Baptist churches in the United Kingdom upon the state for their financial survival. It reviews a range of tax allowances and exemptions available to Baptist churches. It assesses the scale and impact of the three most usually accessed on an annual basis. The operant theology of Baptist churches is explored through examination of the published accounts of thirty churches of various sizes. The evidence of practice is contrasted with the espoused, normative, and formal Baptist principle of the separation of church and state. It includes some theological reflections on matters arising from the exploration, including possibly adverse aspects of charitable status, and proposes further study.

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Author Biography

Ivan King

Revd Ivan King is a Baptist minister in Southend-on-Sea, UK, with wide experience in the management of charities.