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John Berridge (1716-93)

John Berridge was born at Kingston in Nottinghamshire. He was educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and after graduating B.A. in 1738, was ordained and held a fellowship there until his appointment as Vicar of Everton in Bedfordshire in 1755.

Berridge experienced an evangelical conversion in 1757 and became a good friend of John Wesley and George Whitefield. In addition to carrying out an active parish ministry, Berridge undertook extensive preaching tours in the midlands.

Wesley and Berridge had a public falling-out after the latter switched his alleigance to Calvinism and attacked the Wesleys in print. The rift widened when Berridge published a collection of hymns in 1760, including several by the Wesleys which he had altered to reflect Calvinistic views.

Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974), Kenneth Hylson Smith, Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984 (1988), pp.43-44 and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)

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