Centenary Funds

A fund was established by the WM Conference to mark the centenary of the first Methodist societies in 1739. (Noticeably, there was no celebration of the centenary of John Wesley's Aldersgate Street 'conversion'.) £222,589 (approximately £10m today) was raised, partly by the sale of white metal medals bearing the heads of John and Charles Wesley and the words 'The world is my parish'. The major allocations included Foreign Missions and Centenary Hall as their London headquarters, the Hoxton Theological Institution and the Chapel Fund. In 1913 the WM Missionary Society marked the centenary of the first District Missionary Society (in Leeds) by launching a Thanksgiving Fund, which cleared long-standing debts in the Caribbean.

Another Centenary Fund, created by the MNC in 1897, raised some £100,000 (approximately £6m today) and was used mainly for work in circuits, but also for connexional projects. The Primitive Methodists celebrated their centenary between 1907 and 1910 and launched their own Thanksgiving Fund with a target of £250,000. By 1911 a total of £330,379 had been raised or promised, with substantial contributions by Sir William P. Hartley.

See also: Jubilee Fund; Thanksgiving Funds

  • A History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, vol.4 (1988) p.439
  • David J. Jeremy, 'Who were the Benefactors of Wesleyan Methodism in the Nineteenth Century?' in WHS Proceedings, vol.61, May 2018, pp.186-200
  • Brian E. Beck, 'The 1839 Wesleyan Centenary Fund' in Wesley Historical Society Proceedings, Vol.62 pp. 255-264