The Methodist Church is the fourth largest Christian Church in Britain, after the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches and the Church of Scotland. It has more than five thousand churches and a total membership of approximately 240 000 confirmed members. It has contact with many more thousands of people through its community rolls. There are Methodist Churches in nearly every country in the world and global membership numbers some 70 million people.
Methodism has its roots in eighteenth century Anglicanism. Its founder was a Church of England minister, John Wesley (1703-1791), who sought to challenge the religious assumptions of the day. In 1738 John Wesley had a profound spiritual experience. "I felt," he wrote, "my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins." The experience transformed Wesley, and inspired him to become one of the greatest preachers of all time.
Today the calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission
It does this through:
- Learning & Caring
Methodists have always been clear that no-one is beyond the reach of God's love. Salvation is there for everyone who turns to God, and not just for a chosen few. Our faith rests not on our own feelings, but on the promises of a faithful God.
Methodists hold an annual Covenant Service, at which we celebrate all that God has done for us, and affirm that we give our lives and choices to God.
Methodists are well known as enthusiastic singers, in choirs and congregations. Singing is still an important means of learning about, sharing and celebrating our faith.