IMG_2644 copying Hoxha

The author, taking notes for a book

Change and Decay: Primitive Methodism from late Victorian Years to World War 1 (2017)

After a chapter on the widespread Victorian crisis of faith and the decline of Evangelical belief among England’s churches in the nineteenth century, the book tracks changes in theology, ethos and practice among Primitive Methodists, its decline in membership, and the principal leaders who promulgated the accompanying modifications in belief.


There has been a gap in our knowledge of Primitive Methodist theology in the later period of the movement.  David Young has now produced a detailed and informative account, concluding that there was far more drastic theological change than has been supposed but also (and this is where the author’s sympathies lie) that there was a great deal of grassroots doctrinal conservatism.

– David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling

David Young has undertaken very extensive study of primary sources in Primitive Methodism. He has produced a book which offers detailed analysis of a range of theological issues within the movement Those interested in Primitive Methodist life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century period will find that Young’s work probes areas illuminatingly that have not previously received this kind of coverage.

– Dr Ian Randall, Senior Research Fellow, Spurgeon’s College, London

David Young’s study of late nineteenth-century Primitive Methodism breaks new ground in exploring the nature and impact of changes in the denomination. His detailed research and trenchant opinions will stimulate further work on an important subject.

– Rev Dr Martin Wellings, Superintendent Minister, Oxford Methodist Circuit

Very interesting … fascinating and explains a lot. The sad decline in theological certainty in the churches is expertly documented in David Young’s work.

– Pastor Richard White-Watts, Independent Primitive Methodist Chapel, Lowdham

Young’s book, with its wide and thorough research, is an invaluable addition to our understanding of the theology of Primitive Methodism during its later years as Methodist Union approached.

Rev Dr Tim Woolley, Superintendent Minister, Hinckley Circuit, and Adjunct Lecturer at Cliff College, in Wesley and Methodist Studies

the author … meticulously examines the inexorable movement away from the traditional belief in Christ as the sinner’s substitute.  … This reviewer has certainly never come across such detailed research and close analysis of this aspect of Primitive Methodism.

British Church Newspaper, 8th June 2018

Paperback, 318 pages. £6.50 including postage

Click here for reviews and further details

change and decay cover.jpg


The great River: Primitive Methodism till 1868 (2016)


IMG_3020 Gr River.JPG

This book explores the beliefs, ethos, methods, expansion and persecutions of early Primitive Methodism. It is illustrated mainly, but not exclusively, from personalities and events in northern Hampshire, where the movement was marked by the same character as elsewhere in Britain, and where the author was born and grew up.

The most comprehensive account by far of the heroic entry of Primitive Methodism into northern Hampshire … blending ‘insight and interpretation’, with ‘data’ … the remarkable geographical advance … the reasons for success … change … an overview of wider Primitive Methodist activity and belief. … this inspiring reading … does not gloss over the failings and faults of the Primitive Methodists … one of the most remarkable stories of all.

– Rev Dr Stephen Hatcher, Wesley Historical Society Proceedings, February 2018

This masterly account is both inspiring and scholarly.  It tells the story of Primitive Methodists from their early vibrant evangelistic beginnings until they slowed down and approached a plateau.  The story has implications for the whole of the movement in Britain while being illustrated mainly from events in Hampshire.  The Primitive Methodist way of life, persecution, morality and legalism, gospel message, and interaction with folk religion and other Nonconformist bodies are presented with a wealth of detail all arranged into a readable and remarkable narrative.

Professor William K Kay,  Glyndwr University, Wrexham

a balanced assessment and well worth buying

British Church Newspaper, 8th June 2018

Paperback, 234 pages. £6.50 including postage

Click here for reviews and further details

Primitive Methodism in North Wales (2018)


Prims N Wales

Beginning from the Burland Circuit’s first foothold in North Wales in 1820, the narrative  traces first the northern penetration into Wales based on Chester, and then the southern route from Prees and Oswestry. These chapters focus mainly on the period till 1852, with quotations from preachers’ journals to give a sense of the flavour and style of the faith they believed and preached.

There follows a chapter on later developments, including some effects of the Welsh Revival of 1904. Then come two chapters which take a further look at aspects of the movement’s ethos.

The final chapter focuses on one congregation, founded by a minister born in Flintshire and stationed in Wrexham: it looks at the physical and cultural character of the hamlet, individual Primitive Methodists, some ministers who served them. and the two chapels that stood in the hamlet, one possibly a short-lived Welsh cause whose chapel fell into around 1860, and then the Primitive Methodist chapel built at a cost of £23 in 1860.

Paperback, 151 pages, £5.50 including postage.

Click here for an idea of the contents:


These first three books should be available from me direct (see form on Contact page), or from the publisher (Tentmaker, Stoke-on-Trent), and the first two from Amazon; postage from Amazon may be slightly more.

Primitive Methodism: where did it go after 1920?

By the end of Change and Decay it was apparent that the direction was set towards union with the Wesleyan and United Methodist Churches in 1932. Thereafter, most of the Primitive Methodist congregations were absorbed into the new Methodist Church of Great Britain, which, despite some outstanding leaders, became increasingly liberal in its theology and pluralist in its character. Nonetheless, the beliefs and ethos of earlier Primitive Methodism have survived in churches and in individuals down to the present day.

Click here for further information.

Basingstoke: Church Street Methodist Circuit (2016)

This shorter book explores the coming of Wesleyan Methodism to the Basingstoke area, beginning with the visits of John Wesley and tracing the story to the first purpose-built chapel in Basingstoke and the formal establishment of the Circuit of which Basingstoke was the head. The author was sent to Sunday at George Street, and attended services at Church Street with his parents from the age of about 11. Church Street was a Wesleyan place of worship before 1932, and George Street featured on the Plan of the old Wesleyan Circuit before the delayed amalgamation of the previously Primitive and Wesleyan circuits.

Paperback, 47 pages. £3.00 including postage; also on-line

Click here for further details.

Turned east: half a life for Albania (2011)

This book (paperback, 273 pages) could be seen as chronicling a life-long pursuit of the Primitive Methodism which fired my imagination and ambitions in country chapels and books in my teen years. Many Christian biographies have left me feeling substandard and unworthy compared with the men whose lives and triumphs are related in them, even wondering, if that is what Christian service is like, whether I am a Christian at all. So I decided to attempt an autobiography that would give hope and encouragement to readers who, like me, have disobeyed, have tried and failed, and have sinned, and yet have found a God who gives second chances (and more still). “For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plenteous redemption.”

I have just read Turned East and could hardly put it down. Heartfelt thanks for writing it. – Andrew Geuter, former missionary in Albania

Paperback, 274 pages. £6.00 including postage

Click here for further details

Turned east.jpg

Where next? (2008)

Here is a collection of chapters on God’s guidance, arising from sermons preached by the author, who has preached in various Methodist Circuits from 1965 till the time of setting up this website: Basingstoke, Cambridge, Hawkhurst, Sevenoaks, South Molton, Buckley and Deeside, Wrexham, Cheshire South, Llanrhaeadr.

Paperback, 107 pages. £5.00 including postage

Click here for more information and comment.

Where next.jpg

How To Order

Contact me with details of the book you’re interested in ordering and I will get back to you with details. You can contact me via my Contact page.