Wesley Historical Society

This post is to give details of the upcoming annual meeting of the Wesley Historical Society in July of 2015. The details are provided by Dr. John Hargreaves, BA MA PhD Cert Ed FRHistS FHA FSA, General Secretary Wesley Historical Society and Vice-President World Methodist Historical Society


Wesley Historical Society Annual Meeting and Lecture, Englesea Brook Museum Saturday 4 July 2015 ‘Prims in Print: the changing character of Primitive Methodism as seen through its literatureby the Revd Dr Stephen Hatcher

The Annual Meeting on Saturday 4 July 2015 will focus upon the history and influence of Primitive Methodism with opportunities to explore its historic origins and legacy through the Englesea Brook Chapel Museum and its environs. Parking will be available at Englesea Brook and refreshments served from 10.00 a.m. for a modest charge. At 10.30 a.m. there will be a welcome by the Chair of the Chester and Stoke District, the Revd Peter Barber, followed by a guided tour of Englesea Brook Museum led by Dr Jill Barber, Vice-President Designate of the Methodist Church and Director of Englesea Brook, concluding at 12.00. During the lunch break (bring a packed lunch to eat in the picnic areas around the Museum or under cover if the weather is inclement) bibliophiles will have an opportunity to visit the large second-hand bookshop at the Hassall Road Methodist Church Alsager (10 minutes by car). Others may wish to travel further to visit the evocative site at Mow Cop (20-30 minutes by car). The Wesley Historical Society AGM, to which all are invited will be held at Englesea Brook from 1.15 to 2.15 p.m. There are good public transport links from Crewe, Manchester and Birmingham to Alsager and car share possibilities for access to Hassall Road and Mow Cop.

The Wesley Historical Society Annual Lecture chaired by the Revd Dr Henry Rack will take place at Englesea Brook Chapel from 2.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. It will be preceded by a short act of worship during which a collection will be taken to cover expenses and followed by refreshments. For his lecture, the Revd Dr Stephen Hatcher will draw upon a major revision and considerable expansion which he has been undertaking of the Primitive Methodist bibliography that he originally prepared in 1980. An integral part of this process of revision has been to identify through consideration of title, author, publisher and content exactly what characterises a publication of significance to the history of Primitive Methodism. His lecture will summarise his key findings and examine the changes in the literature that is being printed across time and place zones and what this reveals about the character of the Primitive Methodist reading public and the theological, spiritual, social, educational, cultural and political environment in which Primitive Methodists lived. In viewing Primitive Methodism through the perspective of its books he will illuminate the changing character of this most ‘chameleon of denominations’.

The RevdStephen Hatcher is a Methodist Minister who served in Circuit 1968-1996. He was given permission to develop the Englesea Brook project during the years 1996-2008, and is now retired from the stipendiary ministry. He is currently a member of the Methodist Heritage Committee, and Chair the Methodist Heritage Sites Network Forum. He was previously a member of the Archives and History Committee, representing the Primitive Methodist interest. He holds the degree of PhD from the University of Manchester for a thesis entitled ‘The origin and early expansion of Primitive Methodism in the Hull Circuit 1819-1851’, presented in 1993. He believes that an understanding of our Methodist Heritage can lead to much greater effectiveness in the contemporary mission of the Church today. For further information contact Dr John A. Hargreaves, General Secretary, 7 Haugh Shaw Road, Halifax. HX1 3AH; e-mail: johnahargreaves@blueyonder.co.uk

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