Until recent decades confessional Presbyterianism was virtually extinct in the homeland of the Westminster Confession
Westminster College Cambridge was founded in 1844 in London as the Presbyterian Church in England’s Theological College. In 1967, having cast off its theological moorings, it merged with the Congregational Church’s Cheshunt College. Since 1972 it has been a training centre for the United Reformed Church.
For most of the last century England was devoid of a confessional Presbyterian seminary
The dramatic underperformance of the confessional faith in England over the last century can be explained in terms of this single cause. Wherever the Reformed faith has gone elsewhere in the world, almost the first order of business has been the establishment of a confessional seminary to sustain the long-term growth and health of the church.
There are now twenty nine confessional Presbyterian churches and counting
In 1969 the International Presbyterian Church planted a congregation in Ealing, London; 17 years later forty-six delegates at a conference in London signed a declaration that would lead to the founding of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales.
From these two denominations twenty-nine confessional Presbyterian churches have been planted in England and Wales, with others in major European cities. This is only the beginning.
In 2013 Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary was born
Initially a partnership between All Saints Presbyterian Church and Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in the USA, Westminster's purpose was to supply the growing need for suitably trained church-planting ministers.
Its first student, Benjamin Wontrop, completed his studies in 2016 and is now Minister for Pastoral Care at All Saints; he was quickly succeeded by Nathan Hilton and Florian Weicken, who have gone on to plant churches in pioneering fields. In October 2020 Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary became an independent academic institution. Degree courses continue to be accredited by Greenville.