Here are some articles I and others have written concerning Methodist history, belief and ethos.
Primitive Methodism: what is it?
A brief overview of the origin, beliefs and character of Primitive Methodism.
The Primitive Methodist (Continuing) Church
This article arose from a paper given at a residential conference held by the Christianity and History Forum at All Nations College, Ware, in 2017. It looks at the background, formation and later progress of the Primitive Methodist (Continuing) circuit of churches in East Yorkshire.
Methodism 1899: a personal narrative
A glimpse into Wesleyan Methodism at the dawn of the twentieth century, its ethos, and a society in which it flourished. Click on the link to read the article: Methodism 1899: a personal narrative
The Gospel Lifeboat Mission
A group of churches emerged from the 1880s in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire by secession from Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist circuits. They joined formally and took the name The Gospel Lifeboat Mission, or joined with the ‘Lifeboat’ congregations in fellowship and cooperation. Click here to read about them from their beginning till the time of this article being posted (2021): Gospel Lifeboat Mission
METHODISM 1960s: Hampshire, Cambridgeshire, Swabia
Methodism in Kosova
The first Evangelical congregations in what became, in February 2008, the Republic of Kosova were Methodist. This article explores their origin in the late nineteenth century down to the beginning of the present-day movement about a century later.
Arthur Samuel Peake
Peake is seen as probably the greatest influence, from the 1890s till his death in 1929, in bringing new teachings into Primitive Methodism, which moved away, under his and others’ influence, from its earlier teachings. Such writings disturbed the faith of many of his readers. This article is an abbreviation of a much fuller exploration of his influence and theological innovations which appears in the book Change and Decay: Primitive Methodism from late Victorian times to World War 1. Click here to read the article: Arthur Samuel PEAKE.
Wesleyan Methodism in Basingstoke and nearby Villages
A look at the introduction of Wesleyan Methodism into the area, from the visits of John Wesley down to the 1830s. The article and the book entitled Basingstoke: Church Street Methodist Circuit continue the story.
“Yonder Country is ours!”: what really happened at Botley Copse?
The prolonged and repeated prayer which John Ride and Thomas Russell held on the Russley Downs in February 1830, and concluded in the snow in Botley Copse, prior to the start of the Berkshire mission, are an integral part in the folk memory of Primitive Methodism. The story sometimes became compacted or a little confused over time. What really happened on that seminal day?
The Bourne Valley, 1950s
All the chapels in the Bourne Valley, in Hampshire, were previously Primitive except one Wesleyan. There was a resurgence of evangelistic life and activity in the 1950s, and the article consists of a narrative from two men who were in their 80s and 90s when they supplied their reminiscences.
Secessions from the Methodist Church, 1960s to 1990s, and 2019-2022
A number of congregations – maybe two dozen or more – were formed in the final four decades of the 20th century by people who decided for a range of reasons to leave the Methodist Church. This 60-page article relates something of their stories, and looks at their reasons and some repeated patterns.
Returning to Methodism
This short article tells of a personal return to Methodist belief and ethos, looking at experiences which began in the 1960s and take the reader finally to 2020. Click here to read it:
Village Chapels (and cottage services)
by David Young, Richard Pyke, sometime President of the United Methodist Conference, Lewis H. Court, Thomas Willshaw
“The restoration of the country chapel to its proper position as a citadel of spiritual power, is a necessity that demands patient and serious thought. There are few questions indeed which are more urgent than this. … We cannot afford to lose our hold upon the villages, neither can the villages afford that we desert them.”
Academic Theses about Primitive Methodism
This is a list and review of fourteen M Phil and Ph D theses about Primitive Methodism gained at British Universities from 1967, with a description of the theme of each one.
Blaenavon Wesleyan Methodism, a Glimpse into 1852 to 1923
This article is written to give a flavour of Wesleyan Methodism as it was in Blaenavon and no doubt other South Wales coal mining towns, through the experiences of my Wesleyan family (especially my father, grandfather, and greatgrandfather), drawn from family papers and reminiscences, Wesleyan archives, and the local press, including extracts describing the 1904 revival in the town.
Minera and Coedpoeth: one of the most powerful early Wesleyan circuits in North Wales
A short article, with photographs, about a powerful Wesleyan movement which began in a thatched cottage near Coedpoeth.
Another (earlier) “Primitive Methodist Church”
William Hammett formed an earlier Primitive Methodist Church in 1791 which lasted till 1803 or beyond. Click here to read an article about him and those churches: Another (earlier) Primitive Methodist Church .
The Methodist Squatters of Newtown Mountain
Newtown Mountain was in the old parish of Ruabon, between Llangollen and Wrexham, before the parish of Penycae was created. An article appears here (a talk is also available for your church, family history group, local history group, &c, if you book me up) about the settlement and its chapels. There were two chapels at the hamlet, an English Primitive Methodist chapel built in 1861 at the cost of £23.0.0, and an earlier Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel known as Capel y Mynydd.
Paul Mojzes on the history of Methodism in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia
Click on the link below to read Paul Mojzes’ 1965 doctoral thesis on this subject. Chapters 6, 7, 10-12 deal specifically with Methodism. The thesis also studies Congregationalism in those countries.
was there an affinity with Primitive Methodism?
The article explores the affinity, similarities and differences, between Primitive Methodism and early British Pentecostalism, or ‘classic Pentecostalism’. Click on the link below to read the article:
GUATEMALA: Primitive Methodists, and a misleading post on the Internet
A website run by British Methodists has published a muddled and misleading report on Primitive Methodism in Guatemala. Click here to read the a corrected and fuller version: GUATEMALA: a misleading post on the Internet
BRITTANY: William Jenkyn Jones (1852-1925), the “Bigouden Awakening”, and other Methodist missionary work in Brittany
Click here to read the article and see the photographs (76 pages), in pdf form: Brittany A5
Please also feel free to use or to pass on the article, providing it remains unaltered and this website is acknowledged as its source.
SMALL CHURCHES: is it worth bothering?
In hundreds, thousands, of towns and villages in Britain there are small congregations often struggling to keep their chapels open and hoping that their churches have a future. Is it worth bothering to put the time, effort and finance into sustaining them? Click on the link to read some serious thoughts on the matter. SMALL CHURCHES: is it worth bothering?
Methodist Emigration to America and elsewhere
Mid 19th century emigration from Britain to America and elsewhere in the New World set in motion a continuing problem for sustaining a viable Primitive Methodist presence, and was one of the contributing causes to the closure of so many rural chapels. But many emigrants who hoped for a new life in another land met only tragedy. Click here to read this brief article: METHODIST EMIGRATION TO AMERICA AND ELSEWHERE
LEGALISM, and how Methodism is perceived
Joyless, uncaring legalism has often been the image people have of Nonconformist or Evangelical religion in general, and of Methodists in particular, and writers of both fiction and non-fiction frequently portray Methodists in a cynical, mocking or dismissive tone. What is legalism? Why have Nonconformists in general, and Methodists very frequently, been portrayed as crabbed lovers of strictness and judgement, if not indeed as downright hypocrites? LEGALISM and how Methodists are often portrayed
TWO ARTICLES: (1) Affinities of spirit between Methodism and a Muslim sect, and (2) Suggested affinities between Islam and some of today’s Free Churches
Balkan traveler Edith Durham likened the Bektashi sect of Islam to Nonconformists of her day (probably meaning mainly Methodists). My first article explores and discusses this comparison.
Also, there seems to me to be some kinship or overlap of spirit between Islam and some of today’s Free Churches – an Islamic ethos breathed among some British Nonconformists. This article explores some aspects of the suggested similarity.
France, Switzerland, Methodists, and Pentecostals
The articles on this website on Brittany and on Classic Pentecostalism show the link between Methodism and classic Pentecostalism. This article narrates experiences (as one with a Methodist heart) in Pentecostal missions in France and French-speaking Switzerland.