Werry, Mary Ann

Bible Christian preacher, about whose origins and early life little is known exept that she was born in St. Austell, Cornwall. Her youthfulness and the novelty of female preaching contributed to the impact she made in successive places. She first appears on the BC stations in 1820, when she was listed for St. Keverne on the Lizard peninsula. The following years she was stationed at Truro and on the Isles of Scilly (following a 'strong conviction' that this was were God wanted her to be), and had a powerful influence on the local smugglers. In 1823 she sailed to the Channel Islands as a pioneer of the Bible Christian work there. During five months on Guernsey she saw a preaching place opened and furnished, before moving on to Jersey. In typically unpredictable fashion, having been joined by Mary O'Bryan, she was convinced by a dream, repeated three times, that she should go to the north of England. She found a sea captain willing to give her a free passage to Northumberland, where in Blythe she laid the foundations of what became the Northumberland Mission. In May 1825 she turned up in Edinburgh, drew crowds of curious hearers and then disappeared from the records.

The assumption that she had died has now been disproved by references to her. work in Pontipool and Newport in the early 1850s and as a teacher in the Forest of Dean in the early 1860s. Later she resumed her evangelical role back in Northumberland, where at the time of the 1881 Census she was recorded as a patient at the Berwick Workhouse, dying in the infirmary there on 16 March 1882.

  • Richard Pyke, The Golden Chain: the story of the Bible Christian Methodists (n.d.) pp.47-51
  • Tom Nicholas, The Bible Christians in Jersey (Jersey, n.d.)
  • Colin C. Short, Durham Colliers and West Country Methodists: the story of the Bible Christian Mission in County Durham (Kidderminster, 1995).pp.11-13
  • James M, Bowen, in the Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, vol. 61 pt.6 ()ctober 2018) pp,274-9