Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity Church has a long, distinguished history.

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1782-1836

Between the years of 1782-1836 Holy Trinity Church was at the centre of a spiritual revival in Cambridge. This was sparked by the ministry of Charles Simeon when he was appointed vicar by the Bishop of Ely, against the wishes of the churchwardens and congregation who disliked the earnestness of his manner and the evangelicalism of his message. When Simeon proposed starting an evening service the wardens actually locked the church doors against him! This kind of opposition continued for a number of years, but Simeon never flinched and gradually the response to his ministry was so encouraging that he erected a gallery in the south transept at his own expense. At the end of his life he was one of the best known characters in Cambridge, his funeral in King's College Chapel being attended by over two thousand people.

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Charles Simeon

Charles Simeon’s ministry to students included sermons, classes and discussion groups which provided the only training then available for ordinands. His preaching was particularly notable, his declared aim being ‘to humble the sinner, exalt the Saviour, and promote holiness.’ In 1794 Simeon introduced into the church a barrel-organ with sixty hymn tunes to assist the congregation with their singing. Simeon also had a deep concern for Missions and raised up several missionaries. He was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society in 1799.

1873 - 1889

In 1887 the Henry Martyn Memorial Hall was erected next to the church as a centre for Christian undergraduates with a heart for world mission. Between 1873 and 1889 there were no less than 140 offers to the Church Missionary Society from Cambridge men, and in 1885 it was the famous ‘Cambridge Seven’ whose going out to China did so much to stir Christian interests in Missions. Holy Trinity has always been as concerned for the wider church as it has for its own particular field amongst both town and gown here in Cambridge. This rich history continues to influence our life together today as new chapters of our story unfold.