Methodism is a branch of Christianity and is based on the ideas of a man called John Wesley.
Each Rosehill pupil, from Reception through to year 6, belong to one of four Houses, the names of which commemorate pivotal points in the life of John Wesley: Epworth, Georgia, Aldersgate and Bristol. He is, perhaps, the best known member of the Wesley family. But who was he?
John Wesley was born in 1703 in Epworth and was the fifteenth of nineteen children born to Samuel and Susannah Wesley. When he was five years old, Epworth rectory where he lived caught fire. Everyone rushed outside and it was only then that it was noticed John was missing. The fire was so fierce that his father could not get back in to rescue him, but thankfully John appeared at a window. A human ladder was created allowing him to be pulled to safety. His mother Susannah, seeing this miraculous escape, began to refer to her son as ‘a brand plucked from the burning’.
She believed that God had rescued him from that fire for a purpose and that this was a sign that his life would have an important meaning and that he would undertake crucial work.
After being ordained as an Anglican priest in 1728, John Wesley became a tutor at Lincoln College and joined a club of like-minded people founded by his brother Charles Wesley. The members of this ‘Holy Club’ earned the nicknames of ‘Bible Moths’ or ‘Methodists’, such was their dedication to their faith, even getting up at 4am to pray.
In 1735, at the age of thirty three, John Wesley travelled to Georgia in America where he carried out missionary work for two years.
Then, one evening in 1738, following his return from America, John had a profound experience at a meeting in Aldersgate street. Of it he wrote “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ…” This experience made his faith stronger and inspired him to preach even more passionately.
John Wesley set up the first Methodist Church in England, where he preached in Bristol. It was built in 1739 and today is known as ‘The New Room’. It also acted as a school for the children of local miners.
John Wesley spent fifty years travelling around the country preaching and though not always received warmly, he changed many lives by his ministry. Although there is some doubt whether he actually said this, the famous quote, (which is also our school prayer), is often attributed to him:
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”