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Born on 13 February 1876 in Grimsby into a poor but well-cared for family. Following his mother’s death, he was brought up by his grandmother and like her became an agricultural worker. He was also a successful champion cyclist, until the death of a friend in a race caused him to give this up in 1896. He was encouraged by Thomas Champness to train as a Lay Evangelist. Despite his early lack of education he distinguished himself in both the academic and sporting life at Headingley College. During his first appointment at the ManchesterBarrow-in-Furness and Salford Mission he started the Central Hall Brotherhood and there as well as at the new Barrow in Furness King’s Hall, pursued his vision as a social reformer of helping the sick, offering loans to the needy, and opening a ‘labour registry’, together with opportunities for young men to become athletes.

In 1914 he became an army chaplain, rising to the rank of Major and being awarded the Military Cross. ‘During several days’ operations he continually went forward under heavy fire and attended to the wounded. On one occasion he saved the life of a wounded officer by carrying him to safety under close-range machine-gun and sniper fire.’ In 1918 he was mentioned in despatches and awarded a bar to his MC while serving in the fifth Battle of Ypres Salient.

After the end of hostilities his hatred of war led him to become a powerful Peace Advocate’ and public supporter of the League of Nations Union; also of many social reform movements, including the National Birth Control Association. He supported the Labour Party, speaking on the same platform as such leading figures as Clement Atlee. During his ministry in Wallasey he had a lasting influence on the young Fred Pratt Green. He died on 26 November 1945.

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Born in Coventry on 10 December 1840, the son of a bricklayer of the same name, who was transported to Australia in 1845 for stealing, was influenced by a Methodist grandmother who had heard Wesley preach in Coventry in the 1780s. At an early age he joined his mother and sister as a silk winder. From the age of five he worked as a chimney sweep’s boy, lodging with his master until he was 13 and claiming to be a journeyman sweeper. At 17 he walked to Rugby where he was employed as an assistant by a Wesleyan Thomas Partridge. Though living with his master’s pious family, he continued his dissolute ways as leader of the ‘Rugby Roughs’ until, after witnessing a public hanging in Warwick, he gave up smoking and drinking and became an advocate of teetotalism.

One Sunday evening he and a friend slipped into the back pew of Rugby Wesleyan chapel, but left after the service without speaking to anyone. This led eventually to his being invited to a class meeting and to his conversion. Although still illiterate, he was persuaded to teach in the Sunday School and with the help of his pupils began to learn the alphabet. In January 1865 he went to sweep the chimney of a housemaster at Rugby School and met his housemaid. They were married in December and she began to teach him to read and write. Within a few months he could read the New Testament and became a local preacher. He and his wife became members of the Railway Terrace Primitive Methodist Church and he joined a ‘Hallelujah Band’ which held evangelical meetings around the district in the face of much hostility.

Meeting William Booth in London in 1876, he so impressed him that he was sent to the Hackney Christian Mission, where day and night he visited the slums and cared for the poor. He soon became a travelling evangelist for the Mission. Sent to Whitby on a mission the following year, he called himself ‘Captain Cadman’ and referred to Booth as ‘General of the Hallelujah Army’, heading reports in the Christian Mission Magazine War News When the Salvation Army formally introduced ranks for its leaders, he became a Major in the Yorkshire Division, opening corps in York, Scarborough, Halifax and Shipley. In 1888 as a Colonel he became the first leader of the Men’s Social Work Headquarters, leading to the ‘Darkest England’ scheme. Appointed International Travelling Commissioner, he accompanied General Booth on his motorcades, travelling widely in Africa,Australia and Canada. He died on 12 December 1927.

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WM minister and polymath. He was born at Moybeg, Co. Londonderry in 1760 (or, according to his father, 1762), the son of a schoolmaster. He came under Methodist influence in 1778, travelled to England in 1782, met John Wesley in Bristol and was sent into circuit. Unusually, he was received into full connexion after only one year in the itinerancy. In 1788 he married Mary Cooke, daughter of a wealthy Trowbridge clothier, whom he had met during his first year in circuit. Part of his circuit ministry was spent in such outlying parts of the connexion as the Channel Islands and the Shetlands.

He became a leading figure and a moderating influence in British Methodism after Wesley's death. He encouraged the increasing role of the laity, including women, in WM, though distancing himself from the more extreme radicals. In 1815-1819 he managed to survive criticism from his fellow Wesleyans, including Richard Watson, over his adoptionist views on the 'eternal sonship' of Christ and his interpretation of Luke 1:35 in volume 1 of his New Testament Commentary (1817). Three times President of the British Conference (1806, 1814 and 1822), he also presided over the Irish Conference on four occasions. But in 1831 he was successfully debarred from chairing the British Conference for a fourth time by none other than Jabez Bunting. He was actively involved in combatting poverty and African slavery, and established Strangers' Friend Societies in several cities.

His scholarship was outstanding and wide-ranging. His chief reputation was as a linguist, particularly in Middle Eastern and Oriental languages (including Persian, Arabic, Ethiopian, Coptic and Sanskrit); this enabled him to play an important part in the work of the Bible Society. (But when shown the Rosetta Stone, now in the British Museum, in 1803 with its three parallel inscriptions in Greek, Hieroglyphics and demotic, he mistook the third of these as Coptic, which was at least a step towards the correct identification.) In 1808 he received an honorary doctorate from Aberdeen and was elected a Fellow of the Antiquarian Society and a member of the Geological Society in 1823. He was also a foundation member and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and was elected to the Royal Irish Academy. In 1808 he was engaged to edit a new and more complete edition of Thomas Rymer's Foedera, a collection of State Papers from the time of the Norman Conquest to the accession of George III, a task to which he gave much time during the next decade, though he resigned before much more than the first volume was completed. His major publication was his eight-volume Commentary on the Bible (begun with the Gospels in 1798 and published between1810 and1825), which was enriched by his extensive linguistic studies and was widely used for many years.

He was a keen advocate of missions at home and overseas, of which he claimed first-hand experience through his service in the Channel Islands, 1786-1789. He supported the moves in 1813-14 to create District missionary societies. In 1818 he undertook the Christian instruction of two Buddhist priests, Munhi Rathana and Dherma Rama, from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). They were baptized Adam and Alexander respectively in 1820, but problems arose in Ceylon after their return, where missionary attitudes towards Buddhism did not match his. In the 1820s he had oversight of the Shetlands Mission and in 1831 established six mission schools in counties Londonderry and Antrim. He died of cholera on 26 August 1832 and is buried close to John Wesley at Wesley's Chapel, London. There are memorials to him both at Wesley's Chapel and at Eastcote Methodist Church in West London.

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One of the Wesleys’ early travelling companions. In April 1744 he was sent by Charles Wesley to Wednesbury with £60 collected for the victims of the riots there. In 1753 he and William Briggs were entrusted with the printing, publishing and book sales at the Foundery, making them the first ‘Book Stewards’, and they sent out details of their proposals to the circuit stewards throughout the country. Butts earned a reputation for total honesty in his dealings, especially in the payment of debts. He is thought to have been the author of ‘A Letter from a Private Person to his Pastor, concerning the People Called Methodists’ (1743). His ms Diary is in the Library at Duke University, North Carolina.

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See Glastonbury Festival

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With a population of less than ten thousand, and an area of 3.74 km, Glastonbury is a town and civil parish in Somerset. It has become known worldwide for its music festival (originally the 'Pilton Festival') that lasts five days, and in billing terms has attracted the leading names in the various forms of contemporary music. The festival owes its vision and practicality to Michael Eavis, born in 0ctober 1935, a farmer by profession. a Methodist by Christian allegiance, and a fan of contemporary music in its various expressions.

The Festival began in 1970, the day after the death of rock legend Jimi Hendrix. The event is centred on Michael's Worthy Farm site. For the 2019 event, a six figure number of tickets were sold out in 37 minutes. Eavis pledged a special ticket allocation to trainee nurses. The Festival is co-run with daughter Emily. Although music dominates the Festival it has space for less well-known artists, and for the arts in general. The Festival does not push religious faith, unlike Britain’s largest contemporary religious gathering, Greenbelt.

Eavis, educated at Wells Cathedral School, has honorary degrees from the Universities of Bristol and Bath. Methodism has always been central to his life. His father was a local preacher. Michael attends chapel where his 93–year- old mother plays the organ. Eavis says: 'We’re chapel people.' He finds Wesley hymns and tunes have something in common with popular music. His Methodism is rooted in social conscience. He stresses that Charles Wesley, was a believer in 'love divine'. In 2018 he became the first patron of a revamped New Room, Bristol, the oldest Methodist building in the world.

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Wesley deaconess, who served as a teacher in Sierra Leone for five years between 1922 and 1927. before succumbing to blackwater fever. She taught at Wilberfoce, Freetown and then at her own request as a pioneer missionary among the Mende girls at Segbwema in the hinterland. Sha was also devotedly involved in evangelical work in one of the nearby villages. After repeated bouts of fever, she died on 18 July 1927.

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John Wesley's earliest building venture was the New Room in Bristol (1739, enlarged 1748), intended as a meeting place for the religious societies under his leadership there. The Foundery in London and the Newcastle 'Orphan House' were multi-purpose buildings, designed as much for community life and social service as for religious fellowship and nurture. The early Methodists often met in homes or on premises, adopted, like the Foundery, from other uses, before aspiring to purpose built preaching-houses (Wesley's preferred term, to distinguish them from Anglican 'chapels' and dissenting 'meeting-houses'). They were expected to go to their parish church for public worship and the sacraments. As late as 1788 Wesley's advice (in a letter to Hugh Moore) was, 'It is by no means expedient to make too much haste with regard to the building of [preaching] houses; if we do not take care the Methodists will be destroyed by buildings. If we make rich men necessary to us discipline is at an end.' He was also insistant on male and female worshippers being seated separately.

Inspired by Dr John Taylor's new meeting-house in Norwich, from 1757 Wesley strongly advocated octagonal chapels. Fourteen were built, beginning with Rotherham in 1761. But he also approved of the rectangular plan exemplified in Wren's St James' Church, Piccadilly, as effective for preaching. The opening of Wesley's Chapel in City Road, London in 1778 marked a new stage in Methodism's development from movement to denomination. Sacramental services had hitherto been held at West Street Chapel (taken over in 1743 from the Huguenots). The 'City Road arrangement', with its central pulpit in front of the sanctuary, copied the eighteenth century Anglican 'auditory chapels' - a layout swept away in nineteenth century Anglicanism by the Oxford Movement and surviving in Methodism only at Northbrook Street, Newbury (1838). Other Methodist chapels, including several designed by William Jenkins, were modelled on Wesley's Chapel.

In the later years of Wesley's life the growing debts incurred by chapel building were a matter of concern to Wesley himself and to the Conference. In response to the growth of chapel debts to a total of £11,385, he inssted: ' Let no other building be undertaken till two thirds of the money are subscribed. We will allow nothing to any house which shall be begun after this day till the debt is reduced to £3,000.'

The continuing growth of WM prosperity and respectability was expressed in the early nineteenth century in the proliferation of substantial and capacious chapels, classical or Renaissance in style, later to be furnished with impressive rostrums. Local trustees often had a decisive influence on the kind of building they wanted. But the burden of debt, which had become a concern of Conference even in Wesley's time, was intensified by years of economic depression following the Napoleonic wars, a problem addressed by Jonathan Crowther senr. and others and eventually by the setting up of a Chapel Committee in 1854.

Following the latest Anglican fashion, the mid-nineteenth century saw a revival of Gothic under the influence of F.J. Jobson and this continued in much simplified form into the twentieth century, with sanctuary and choir stalls in a chancel flanked by pulpit and lectern. The prolific building programme in the later nineteenth century was partly due to the divisions and rivalries within Methodism and coincided with the period when Victorian eclecticism was the architectural vogue. It left a legacy of buildings of varying architectural quality strewn around the country, mostly the work of architects known only within a narrow area. Exceptions to this included J. Wilson of Bath and Sir Banister Fletcher (St George's, Old Kent Road, London).

The Forward Movement of the 1880s produced a new wave of multi-purpose premises, notably the Central Halls in which the distinction between ecclesiastical and secular architecture was deliberately avoided.Extensive rebuilding of premises damages or destroyed in World War II was facilitated by generous support from the Joseph Rank Benevolent Fund. In these post-war years, the Methodist architect E.D. Mills was widespread. Architectural styles and building materials have diversified and there has been increasing emphasis on buildings which relate to community use. The flexible arrangement of the 'worship area' often reflects the emphasis of the Liturgical Movement on sacramental worship and increasing congregational participation; while the effect of the Ecumenical Movement is seen in the number of shared churches.

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PM layman, born at Market Rasen, Lincs, where he was apprenticed as a tobacco pipe maker and joined the Free Methodists. At 17 he moved to Grimsby, where he joined the PMs and entered the fishing industry. His business prospered and he served as a director of the Grimsby United Fish Merchants’ and Fish Curers; Association. An active Liberal, more than once he was pressed to contest the Grimsby seat, but declned. As a magistrate from 1914, he took a special interest in children's courts and for a time was chairman of the Cleethorpes School Board.

A member at Ebenezer PM church, Grimsby, he was superintendent of the Sunday School for 40 years and choirmaster for over fifty. As a gifted singer, he was precentor at the PM Conference and later a member of the Methodist Union Hymnal Committee and was Vice-President of the PM Conference in 1921, as well as being a member of the Connexional Sunday School Committee, General Committee and Missionary Committee.. He was a strong temperance advocate. He died at this home on 5 January 1934.

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Born at Donhead St. Mary, Wilts., where he attended the WM Sunday School. He became a member at Andover and in the same year a local preacher. Moving to Lincoln in 1867, he went into business as a retail clothier and outfitter, becoming a member at St. Catherine’s WM. Elected to Lincoln City Council in 1880, he was mayor in 1885, 1886, 1897, 1898 and 1904. An ardent temperance advocate, he was President of LPMA. He died at his home on 24 November 1914.

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Primitive Methodist minister, born at Lowestoft on 27 April 1867 into an Anglican family. His father, who was killed in a railway accident when his son was still young, was a cobbler. Educated at the National School, he was sent at the age of 13 to live with his Primitive Methodist uncle, a Swaffham grocer. In 1891 he offered for the Primitive Methodist ministry with the intention of going to Hartley College, but was persuaded to take pastoral charge at Reepham in the East Derham circuit. He was received into full connexion at Great Yarmouth in 1895. He became a member of the East Sussex Education Committee and was an examiner in religious knowledge. He served as the Conference Secretary in 1913 and was the Connexional Editor 1926 to 1931.

At Methodist Union in 1932 he became a member of the committee that in 1933 published the Methodist Hymn Book and also published The Devotional Use of the Methodist Hymn Book (1935); and also contributed to the ‘Book of Offices’. Besides contributing to other denominational magazines, his other publications, included Abraham Lincoln (1921), his Hartley Lecture, Essays in Evangelism (1928); The Faith of a Christian (1931); The Great Good News (1936), twenty-nine studies on Mark’s Gospel originally published in the Joyful News. Retiring to Wymondham, he died on 5 February 1943

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Joshua Bower I (c1773-1855) and his brother John were founder members of the Methodist New Connexion in Leeds and the family was active in Liberal politics. The family business, located in Hunslet, were they were major employers, included glass manufacturing by 1812 and aquafortis manufacturing. Joshua Bower I also had coal mining, chemical and glue manufacturing interests and was a substantial toll farmer, not only in Yorkshire but also in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire; he served as the Liberal councillor for Hunslet from 1835 to 1844, continuing as an alderman until his death. Politically he linked middle and working-class radicalism in Leeds and the Leeds Radical Political Union, which supported the Reform Bill of 1832, came under his control. In February 1834 he stood as an independent radical candidate in the Leeds parliamentary by-election, receiving the popular vote on nomination day, but was heavily defeated on the election day itself, even MNC members not voting for him. Having a reputation for being uncouth, including his language, he would arrive late at Hunslet Road chapel where his wife would be in their pew with hymn book open for him, awaiting his arrival. On his death on 7 September 1855 he was worth £100,000.

Other members of the Bower family were active in local Liberal politics. John Bower was a Hunslet councillor from 1835 to 1842: Joshua Bower II (d.1868, aet. 67) for the same ward 1856 to 1859; Joseph Bower failed to be elected for the ward in 1851. These three were all brothers. John Richard Bower (1845-1928), son of John Bower II, was elected for the Mill Hill ward in 1876 and became an alderman in 1877 and mayor in 1880. About 1880 he described himself as a “Methodist but attending Church of England at present”. He died on 27 May 1928.

The various members of the next generation had their own but similar business interests. John I’s and Joshua I’s merged in 1847, subsequently also absorbing those of Joshua II. The Bower glass manufacturing company subsequently was acquired in 1860 by Pilkington & Hartley, in an attempt to eliminate a major competitor.

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