Keswick teaching in Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh, 1962-1966

This section is to draw attention to a Ph.D. thesis, A Critical Analysis of Elements of the Keswick Teaching in the Preaching of Alan Redpath at the Charlotte Baptist Chapel.

These are available available at the website:

Alan Redpath was the minister at Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh, from 1962 to 1966. Ian was an elder there and worked closely with him. An Edinburgh chartered accountant, Robin Finlay, recorded the Sunday services and the Thursday Bible School and sent up to twelve hundred tapes a year, free of charge (at his own expense) to enquirers from seventy countries all over the world. Making tapes of sermons available to postal enquirers was in its infancy in the 1960s, and there was, of course, no Internet in those days.

Alan Redpath

On Robin’s death in 2006, his widow asked Ian to take possession of the hundreds of tapes and supporting paperwork, which Robin had stored at home. They included ninety of Alan Redpath’s Sunday morning sermons (teaching for Christians), ninetyeight Sunday evening sermons (evangelistic), twenty-two Children’s Talks and forty from the Thursday Bible School. Ian was therefore interested in, and supportive of, a study carried out over several years by Phillip Weaver, of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, into the influence of Keswick teaching on Alan Redpath’s preaching at Charlotte Chapel. This study was possible because Ray Ottley, another Chapel member, had digitalized 160 of the 250 Alan Redpath reel-to-reel tapes and he made them available to Phillip.

Phillip’s 2017 Ph.D. thesis sets out the main elements of the teaching of the annual Keswick Convention meetings (a fascinating study in itself) and then analyses sixty of Alan Redpath’s Sunday sermons at the Chapel, to determine how far Keswick-related themes influenced his preaching. An added bonus is biographical information about Alan Redpath himself. The thesis is available on line at the website mentioned above.

One anecdote about Keswick ministry is worth recording here, as otherwise it will pass into history without a mention. When Derek Prime, who succeeded Alan Redpath as pastor at Charlotte Chapel, was due to speak at the Convention in Keswick on one occasion, he had in mind to take the Prodigal Son as his subject. The Chairman of the Convention suggested that he should telephone to the other speaker for that evening, Alan Redpath, and liase on their respective themes. He did, and Alan Redpath said that he intended to speak about the ‘Elder Brother’ in the same parable. This led to a memorable evening of complementary addresses on the familiar parable.