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Our Hudson Taylor Heritage

Salem Wesleyan Reform Church is situated on Blucher Street, just two minutes walk away from the town centre. One of Barnsley’s famous sons, James Hudson Taylor, was born a stone’s throw away from Salem, in Cheapside.

Salem Barnsley Wesleyan Reform Church

Hudson Taylor’s father, James Taylor, ran a successful apothecary business. The shop at number 21 Cheapside overlooked the thriving Barnsley market on May Day Green. Amelia, Hudson’s mother, raised their family in the living quarters which were situated at the rear and above the shop. When James and Amelia discovered they were going to have their first child, they solemnly consecrated the unborn child to the Lord. They prayed: -

“Dear God, if you should give us a son, grant that he may work for you in China”.

James Taylor prayed with his children every day and encouraged them to “Learn to love your Bible”, and taught the children,
“For God cannot lie. He cannot mislead you. He cannot fail”. For years, due to Hudson’s poor health, his parents gave up the thought that their son might become a missionary. But God had plans for Hudson Taylor.  After his conversion at the age of 17, Taylor offered himself to God’s service, promising to go anywhere, do anything, and undergo whatever suffering Christ’s cause might demand. Distinctly, he heard God’s call,

“Then go for me to China”.

Hudson Taylor sailed for China in September 1853.  He arrived in China the following February. In 1865, he founded the China Inland Mission, as a faith mission.

“God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply” was one of Taylor’s famous quotes.

The mission he founded still thrives today as OMF International; its web site is

In February 2004, Brother Yun and Peter Xu came to Salem Church to celebrate 150 years since Taylor landed in China.  Brother Yun said: -

“It is as though Hudson Taylor handed a flaming torch to the Chinese Church and asked them to continue the race towards the finishing line”.

In Salem Church there is a beautiful plaque given to commemorate the work of the Taylor family at Salem and also to acknowledge the work of God’s humble servant, Hudson Taylor, who took the gospel to the heart of ‘The Chinese Nation’.

By Tim Naylor

Late News!

Salem is pleased to be part of a new group established in 2011 under the chairmanship of Dr John Foster MBE. This is the 'Barnsley Hudson Taylor Group'.

Our vision is 'To renew the memory of James Hudson Taylor in his home town of Barnsley and to present him as an inspiring example for current and future generations'.

Our mission is to: -

  • Create a fitting memorial to James Hudson Taylor from the people of Barnsley, as a mark of our esteem and love.
  • Create a trail, charting the ancestry and early life of James Hudson Taylor, to help inform, educate and inspire people from all nations about him.
  • Create a warm welcome to anyone following the James Hudson Taylor trail.