Willian Enfield

Age of Enlightenment

William Enfield succeeded John Seddon as Minister of the Academy. It was a time of scientific revolution and religious debate, the old Protestant Dissent began to give way to what its opponents called ‘Arianism’ the belief in one God and Jesus as a human ethical teacher. Influenced by Joseph Priestley and other Arian theologians, the congregation gradually became Unitarian. Not however without dispute and in 1799 a group who had withdrawn from the chapel opened Stepney Chapel as the first Congregational Chapel in Warrington. At Cairo Street, the humanity of Jesus became more and more emphasised. A noted theologian, his hymnal published in 1772 ‘Hymns for Public Worship’ included five hymns written by Anna Barbauld. William Enfield was whilst a Minister in Liverpool, a friend and supporter of William Roscoe MP the anti-slavery campaigner and Unitarian.