World News‎ > ‎

Birthplace of Romney Mormonism in industrial 19th century England

posted 8 Oct 2012, 08:54 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 8 Oct 2012, 08:55 ]

This rain-soaked square in Prestonnorthwest England, is the spot where the Mormon roots of Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney lie.

UK-ROMNEY UK MORMON ROOTS - 175 years ago, his great great grandparents, Miles and Elizbabeth Romney stopped to listen to Mormon missionaries and they liked what they heard, according to historianElizabeth Basquill.


"They used to have Mormon missionaries come to for a visit to their house on a Sunday, so they obviously got very involved in that short period of time with the Mormon Church."

This is the exact spot on Preston's River Ribble where in 1837 the first Mormon baptisms took place, and as historian Aidan Turner Bishop explains it became the birthplace of Mormonism in Europe.


"That is where it all began. That is the River Jordan of European Mormonism."

The Preston area is now home to Europe's largest Mormon community, many of whom worship at this temple. There are detailed family records, documenting the lives of the British Romney's both before and after they emigrated. The congregation is proud to have such a high-profile believer who could one day be in the White House.


"I think it's an exciting time for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. To have a candidate who is a member of the church is fascinating, it's interesting for us."

But for Mitt Romney, his faith and English roots remain a sensitive issue, partly because his Mormon religion is still regarded with suspicion by some voters.