In 1841 the MNC Conference expelled two preachers, Joseph Barker and William Trotter, for doctrinal reasons. Barker's followers formed themselves into churches, taking the name 'Christian Brethren'. They opposed a 'hired ministry' and believed in the complete equality of all members. Other characteristics were pacifism, refusal to take oaths, the rejection of force as means of government and, in some cases, refusal to accept laws and government. At its height the movement had about 200 churches, but its later history is lost in obscurity. Some churches became Unitarian and others UMFC or BC.
The name 'Christian Brethren' was also used by some churches in Yorkshire which seceded from local WM, MNC or PM churches and adopted free gospel principles. It is doubtful whether they had any connection with Barker's movement. They eventually became IM and a few still continue.