The cottage where William had his school, made his shoes and lived as Minister still stands. Part of it is a small museum. Nearby is the church building he helped to rebuild. See the mural that tells his story and a modern stained glass roundel expressing his vision.
William and Dorothy Carey arrived in Moulton in the spring of 1785. The village schoolmaster had left and William wanted to use their rented cottage for teaching.
He brought with him his shoemaking tools and, of course, his precious books. (This cottage once stood in a row and was fortunately spared from demolition and restored in the 1950s). Three sons were born to them during their four years here: Felix, William and Peter.
Nearby was the small, thirty-five-year old Baptist meeting house which was by this time rather dilapidated. William was eagerly welcomed by these Baptists who knew he was a local preacher and asked him to give them his free Sundays. He was soon asked to become their minister.
Consulting his friends, it was John Sutcliff who suggested he should join Olney and put this calling to the test. He was turned down the first time he preached but accepted the following year when invited to try again.
He brought fresh heart to the people at Moulton, drawing them into a covenant of membership, and undertaking an ambitious re-building and enlargement project. Meanwhile he continued shoe making and mending, walking to Kettering every two weeks to take shoes and bring back leather.
He also studied hard to fit himself for his new role. He was improving his knowledge of Latin and Greek, and adding to them Hebrew, Italian, Dutch and French. Another task he undertook was teaching Dorothy to read and write. In his spare time he created a beautiful and productive garden.
Inside The Church
- The stained glass window in the porch with the church's logo – Carey's vision for world mission. His famous saying is in pewter lettering.
- The remains of a memorial tablet celebrates the achievements of a largely self-taught man in becoming Professor of Sanskrit, a Doctor of Divinity, '...the Father of Modern Missions'
- In an adjoining room, the mural painted in 1991 ready for the Bi-Centenary of the Baptist Missionary Society tells his story in six panels
Outside The Church
- The logo on the Carey Hall which was for many years the logo of the BMS
- The plaque on the wall of the cottage
- Carey's Cottage, part of which is now a museum (This is Carey's only home in this country that has survived.)
Inside the Museum is the room where he studied, taught, made and mended shoes. In the wall is a trough in which he soaked his leather. There is also the stool on which he sat to make his shoes, and a number of tools of the period. The pulpit from which he preached stands in the corner and pewter communion goblets and plate he would have used are on a shelf. There are also candlesticks presented to the church by Bangladeshi Baptists in gratitude for William Carey taking the light of the Gospel to their country. The walls are covered with a copy of his world map, many engravings of people and places of the time, and facsimiles of documents. The contents of the glass case include a first edition of An Enquiry, Carey's Covenant book, copies of some of his translations and Periodic Accounts - reports sent back from India.
While at Moulton he was increasingly challenged by the Great Commission of Christ to 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel.' He eagerly researched what had been done already, and assembled statistics of populations, beliefs, and characteristics of the world's peoples. He made a wall map that became a mission document and was encouraged to write down his research and ideas for mission in a pamphlet which was completed and published during his next pastorate in Leicester. It is known as 'An Enquiry'. In 1885 George Smith described it as 'the first and still the greatest missionary treatise in the English language.'
So during his time at Moulton:
- Carey’s dream for world mission grew. Some thought it impertinent. Sympathisers thought it impracticable. It would not go away.
- He became a Baptist minister.
- He baptised his wife Dorothy.
- He rebuilt the church, physically and spiritually.
- He studied hard, working on six languages.
- He won the friendship and respect of people like Andrew Fuller, John Sutcliff and John Ryland.
Despite his teaching, shoemaking and pastoring, he found it increasingly difficult to provide for his growing family. So when in 1789 Harvey Lane, Leicester, invited him to be their Minister, he accepted.
Church AddressCarey Baptist Church
34 West Street