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WM local preacher and from 1844 to 1846 Mayor of Maidenhead, was born in the town on 25 May 1800. In 1819 he became a chemist’s assistant in London. Like his father, in his youth he was ‘frivolous and foolish’ and seems to have had no Methodist connections. About a year after his marriage, when aged twenty-eight, he was converted at Windsor, his wife’s home town. He became a local preacher and through his efforts was mainly responsible for establishing Methodism in Maidenhead., where a chapel was opened in 1829, four years after preaching had begun in the Town Hall. He died at Windsor on 5 June 1867.

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John Taylor, the son of John Taylor, was born at Sutton Bank near Thirsk. At thirteen he entered his father’s ship-broking and coal-exporting business, subsequently becoming its head. He also became the senior partner in a Sunderland shipping firm owning a large fleet of steamers operating world-wide. Active in the life of the town, he was a River Wear Commissioner, Principal of the town’s Orphan Asylum and a Freemason. Originally he was a member at Sans Street Wesleyan chapel, saving the cause by helping it become a mission, and later at St. John’s WM Church. When his first wife, Mary Sanderson, died in 1901, he paid for the Grangetown WM opened in 1903 now closed), and paid for its pastor. He died on3 November 1927, leaving an estate valued at £189,000. A memorial window to him was unveiled in St. John’s.

His second son, Frederick William Taylor was a Sunderland councilolr and alderman, as well as a director of Sunderland Association Football Club.

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Entering his father’s Sunderland ship-owning and coal-exporting business in 1890, he became a partner in 1907 and subsequently inheriting the business. A Unionist, he was Mayor of Sunderland 1920-1922 and its Member of Parliament, 1922 to 1929, being knighted in 1929, In 1930 he became the Chairman of the British Coal Exporting Federation and was also a director of the Sunderland and South Shields Water Company, a River Wear Commissioner and Chairman of Sunderland Association Football Club. A Wesleyan, he was a member of St. John’s. Ashbrooke.

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Teacher and sociologist, was born in Dorset. The family moved to London, where hisI father became a chauffeur to bishop Davison and later a taxi-driver and a revivalist preacher at Hyde Park, having been converted under the preaching of Gypsey Smith. The family lived in Mortlake and attended Barnes Methodist Church. David was baptized at Westminster Central Hall by Dinsdale Young.

After leaving East Cheam Grammar School, he trained as a teacher at Westminster College just before it moved to Oxford.. While still teaching hetook his first degree by correspondence course with Wolsey Hall, Oxford, followed by a doctorate in 1964 at the LSE, published in 1965 as Pacifism: A sociological and historical study. Two years as a lecturer at Sheffield University led to a lifelong career as lecturer, reader and ,from 1971 until retirement in 1989, professor at the LSE and a prolific list of 24 books and numerous contributions to other titles on the sociology of religion. In 2000 he received an honorary doctorate from Helsinki University.

In his work he challenged the prevailing emphasis on secularisation and contributed significantly to the study of Pentecostalism in South America. He was a devotee of the language of the King James Bible and the Prayer Book, a skilful pianist and a lover of English poetry. From 1953 to 1977 he was a Methodist local preacher. After attending theological studies at Westcott House, Cambridge, in 1979 he was ordained into the Anglican Church and served as a non-stipendiary Assistant Priest at Guildford Cathedral. He died on 8 March 2019.

Hs many books included A Sociology of English Religion (1967), Tongues of Fire (1990) and Pentecostalism: the World their Parish (2002) .His autobiographicalThe Education of David Martin: the making of an unlikely sociologist,was published in 2013.

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The town of Rye, one of the Cinque Ports like its near neighbour Winchelsea, was visited by John Wesley from the towns along the Kentish border to the north, where Methodist societies already existed as a result of the pioneering work of Thomas Mitchell. Wesley himself came to have a warm appreciation of the local society despite the prevalence of smuggling along that part of the Channel coast. The first Wesleyan place of worship was a former Presbyterian chapel. It was replaced by a purpose-built chapel, provided by John Haddock, a prosperous citizen, and opened in 'Gun Garden' by Wesley himself in1789. Altered in 1812 and 1852, this was destroyed by bombing in World War II and replaced by its Sunday School building of 1901, converted for the purpose in 1954 and still in use.

The Wesleyan return at the time of the Census of Religius Worship in March 1851 recorded 180 free sittings and 370 others. Attendances: Morning187 plus139 scholars; Afternoon 50 scholars; Evening 300.

A chapel also existed throughout most of the 20th century at Rye Harbour to the south.

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Born at Caistor, Lincolnshire, on 31 December 1892, into a staunch Methodist family. His father, George Manning, trained as a teacher at Westminster College, but later left teaching to become a Congregational minister. Bernard, though baptized in the Methodist chapel at Caistor, eventually became a Conmgregationalist.

In 1911 he won a major scholarship in History at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he enjoyed a close friendship with Arthur Quiller-Couch, the new Professor of English Literature. For two years after his graduation he held the Lightfoot Scholarship, and his research for the Thirlwell Essay was eventually published in 1919 as 'The People’s Faith in the Time of Wyclif' . From 1920 to 1933 he was Bursar at Jesus College and from 1933 until his death in 1941 Senior Tutor. He spoke of his aim as to be ‘ultra- conservative in the little details of life, so asa to be able to strike out on liberal lines in the big things’. Despite his loss of one lung to tuberculosis in childhood, he was respected as a particularly energetic and effective member of staff. His lectures especially on religion in the Middle Ages were well attended and enjoyed. The quality of his scholarship was reflected in the chapters he contributed to the Cambridge Medieval History.

By Methodist readers he is chiefly remembered for his articles on the hymns of the Wesleys, which he first encountered as a boy in the gallery of Caistor Methodist chapel as an antidote to long sermons. They were published posthumously as The Hymns of Wesley and Watts (1942) with a Foreword by Henry Bett, and remained in print for many years.

He died peacefully on 8 December 1941.

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Revival came to the county initially through the work of the north Cornwall Anglican evangelicals, notably George Thomson, vicar of St. Gennys and his friend, John Bennet of Laneast. Both preached beyond their own parishes and established Religious Societies in parishes other than their own. James Hervey, curate at Bideford, composed the eighteenth century devotional classic, Meditations among the Tombs, in Kilkhampton Both men were friends of George Whitefield who made several preaching visits to the area , as well as other parts of Cornwall. The Wesleyan society at St.Austell may owe its origin to Whitefield’s preaching nearby. Samuel Walker was curate at Truro from 1746. During his lifetime John Wesley never trespassed into his parish. On several matters, notably the separation of the Methodists from the Church of England, John corresponded with him. Thomas Haweis, a Redruth man was Walker’s protégé. As an Anglican priest he became one of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chaplains, a Trustee of her Connexion in her will and one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society. He never held benefice in Cornwall, but took occasional ‘residence for duty’ breaks in the county.

At Bristol in 1743 John Wesleyl heard from a sea captain of a Religious Society in St Ives, and asked Charles to travel down from Newcastle upon Tyne to meet with it. Charles arrived in July and John in August. St. Ives became one of Mr. Wesley’s Societies, although ‘They took us into their Society rather than we them into ours.’ St. Ives became the western base for the Cornish mission, which to a great extent spread from the west.

One centre in the east was Trewint on the eastern edge of Bodmin Moor. John Nelson and John Downes, accompanying John Wesley in 1743, preceded him on the journey over the Moor from Launceston. At Trewint, finding there was no inn there, they called at the house of Digory and Elizabeth Isbel, opened their house to the travelling preachers. Soon Trewint Cottage became a small centre for the spread of Methodism in east Cornwall.

Methodism spread rapidly. Wesley made 32 visits to the county between 1743 and 1789d, travelling in laterr years by chaise. The open-air audiences he recorded at first were working class, notably miners and agricultural labourers, although a few property-owning people were attracted into the Societies. However, initially there was opposition and persecution. Instrumental in this in west Cornwall was the Rev. Walter Borlase of Madron (the parish then embracing Penzance. Wesley appointed many Assistants to advance the work in Cornwall. Their achievement remains largely unsung, although many larger Societies, including St.Austell, were not founded by the Wesleys themselves.

In 1756 Wesley recorded 'about 34' societies in the county. By 1767 the membership had risen to 2,160. By 1798 Cornwall was served by five Circuits, with nineteen ministers and 95 Chapels. Periodic revivals between 1782 and 1821 and the rapid population increase, saw the membership reach 9,405 in 1813, 12,891 in 1821, and a peak of 26,227 in 1840. The 'Great Revival' of 1814 had added 5,000 members, many of whom became the next generation of Methodist leaders.

When after John Wesley’s death Methodism began to fragment, Cornwall was little effected at first.

In 1815 the Bible Christians arose, the only major branch to come into being because of a Cornishman William O'Bryan (then called Bryant), who was a layman working with the Wesleyan Stratton Mission in north Cornwall and on the Devon border. On 1 October that year he separated; the first Society to align with him was at Week St Mary. O'Bryan was a flawed character, but the movement he founded survived his separation from it in 1829 and became the ‘second force’ in Cornish Methodism. They were the smallest component of the United Methodist Church in 1907.

The Primitive Methodists arrived in 1825 on the back of a Bible Christian dissident at Redruth. They never really found the space to compete with the similar Bible Christians, and unlike across most of Methodism, in Cornwall never rose above fourth place in numerical terms

The exact emergence of the Protestant Methodists in Cornwall remains hazy, but they had a Truro Circuit in 1830, stretching to Breage and onto the Lizard. They seem to have either joined the Methodist New Connexion after it reached Truro, or later became part of the Wesleyan Methodist Association.

The Methodist New Connexion had arrived in Truro in 1834, a dispute in the Wesleyans leading to the separatists inviting the MNC to join them. Later they acquired a small group of Societies in the west, but were always very small in Cornwall.

The Wesleyan Methodist Association presence grew out of the emergence of a ‘middle class’ in Cornwall, and the ‘age of reform’, with a strong lay-led reforming movement causing a significant separation at Camelford in 1835. With a rapid growth of the Association. It became a significant urban presence in the county, and no small rural presence in several places: the ‘third force’ of Cornish Methodism.

With the rise of teetotalism, and the Wesleyan rejection of its principles, a dispute at St. Ives gave rise to the Teetotal Methodists in 1841. Several Societies emerged in west Cornwall, but the failure to attract ministers into their ranks caused slow decline. By 1860 their remaining Chapels and Societies had fallen in with either the Methodist New Connexion or the United Methodist Free Churches. Bedford Road Chapel in St. Ives is their surviving heir, via the Methodist New Connexion.

The final schism in Methodism, that of the Wesleyan Reformers, was never very large in Cornwall asnd centred mainly at St.Austell and Liskeard with a small group in the St. Just area. In Cornwall they were undoubtedly encouraged by the presence of the Mevagissey-born minister Samuel Dunn one of the ‘Three Expelled’ in the Fly Sheets controversy.

When in 1857 the Association and the Reformers united to form the United Methodist Free Churches many Cornish Reformers were hesitant. St.Austell only joined after two years whilst the Liskeard and St. Just Circuits remained outside the UMFC, both becoming members of the Wesleyan Reform Union. The Liskeard group joined the Methodist Circuit in 1959, but the St. Just group is still WRU, albeit now just the Chapel at St. Just.

When the three smallest Merthodist branches united in 1907 they had forty one Circuits in the county – three MNC, fifteen UMFC and twenty eight BC (the Wesleyans had twenty seven). The 15,656 members in 1906 were 2.5% MNC, 32.7% UMFC and 64.7% BC (the Wesleyan membership was 21,110). Twenty five years of life together saw the United Methodist Church Circuits dwindle to 30, although there were still three separate Circuits in Penzance.

In 1932 the Wesleyans contributed the greatest number of members, although only 54% of the Cornwall total of 26,633. 42% were United Methodists and a mere 4% Primitive Methodists. There were initially 63 Circuits – and now five in Penzance

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