Dr Rebecca Laird, D.Min., Associate Professor of Christian Ministry, Point Loma Nazarene University.
My time in Manchester was spent following two separate research avenues: 1) I searched the NTC/BINC archives furthering my biographical work on the Revd Dr Olive Winchester (1879-1947), American pioneer of theological education and the first woman ordained to the ministry in the United Kingdom. The archives of the University of Glasgow and the local church minute books of the Parkhead Pentecostal Church of Scotland housed in the NTC archives offered additional documentation of Winchester’s academic achievement as the first woman to earn a theological degree in Scotland and her local church involvement prior to her ordination. It was especially timely to uncover these details during the centenary anniversary of her ordination in 1912 which was celebrated at a Women in Ministry Conference in Glasgow in May. 2) I also worked in the Fletcher-Tooth Collection at the John Rylands Library examining the children’s catechism and 'good' death accounts of children associated with Mary Bosanquet Fletcher (1739-1815), early Methodist lay preacher, and her adopted daughter and ministry partner, Sarah Lawrence. Early documents illumine the rigorous religious expectation and transcendent experiences of children in the early Methodist societies of Madeley and warrant further investigation as to both the theological vision and attendant pedagogy utilized in the instruction of 18th century children.