Apostolic Succession

The Apostolic Succession, or more specifically the idea of an uninterrupted succession, was declared by John Wesley to be 'a fable' and remained an issue at the time of the Anglican-Methodist Conversations.

In 1974 F.B. Westbrook traced an alternative Wesleyan succession from John Wesley to the present day through an unbroken line of ordinations: 'Thomas Coke (who had been ordained as bishop/superintendent by Wesley in 1784) had ordained Thomas Squance on 19 November 1813. On Wednesday 31st July 1861 Squance among others (with John Rattenbury as President) had ordained Charles H. Kelly. On Thursday 1st August 1889, at the Sheffield Conference, Charles Kelly, who was President that year, ordained among others Herbert B. Workman. On Tuesday 29th July 1930, when he was President of the Conference, H.B. Workman ordained among others Maldwyn Edwards, Kingsley Lloyd and Francis Westbrook. Both Maldwyn Edwards and Kingsley Lloyd were themselves to become Presidents of the Conference.'

  • Albert B. Lawson, 'Apostolic Succession and the Threefold Ministry', in WHS Proceedings, 34 pp.141-47
  • Norman Wallwork, The Gospel Church Secure: The Official History of the Methodist Sacramental Fellowship (2013), pp.133-4