What is a Methodist?
Methodism began in the 1730s as a movement for spiritual renewal, and its name denotes a ‘methodical’ approach to spirituality and practical Christian living. Its principal founders were John and Charles Wesley, whose quest for peace with God took them from Oxford University to work as missionaries in America.
The decisive change happened when they realized that the Christian life rests on what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, not on what we do for God. Methodist preaching and organisation reached people untouched by the existing churches, gathering local groups which met regularly for worship and to help one another learn and grow as Christians.
From the 1790s the Methodists gradually separated from the Church of England, and became the largest of the English Free Churches. Today there are more than seventy million Methodists world-wide.
Methodism is proud to stand within the mainstream of historic Christianity, working with other Churches locally, nationally and internationally.
We emphasise that the message of Jesus is for everyone, and that no-one is excluded from God’s love. We aim to grow in faith and to express our faith in daily life, continuing our Church’s long tradition of concern for the needy and the vulnerable.