The photograph on one possible front cover of this book, now in the process of being written, shows me in strong Primitive Methodist country – the Yorkshire Wolds – in the course of an enjoyable walk with my son, Matthew Dinsdale. But the sunshine was replaced by a gathering mist, and in the picture I am walking into an unknown and unseen future. The grassroots members of the Primitive Methodist churches were in a similar situation in the years following the study set out in my book Change and Decay (q.v.). This proposed third volume, following on from The great River and Change and Decay, will trace and explore the survival of earlier Primitive Methodist ethos and faith, both within the post-1932 Methodist Church of Great Britain, and outside, in church and individual.
This preview of the book, not yet written, is added to the website with an invitation to offer information and reminiscences which can contribute to the search for these survivals. Here is a review from one reader of the draft of the book:
This book offers an examination of the critical transitional years for the British Primitive Methodist church in those years leading up to Methodist Union, over union itself, and the years thereafter. This may imply a dry historical account. Reader beware- it is anything but! You will either find this a compelling truth revealing account of church history and doctrine, or else find it too partisan to tolerate.
In the First World War it was sometimes said of the British soldiers that they were ‘lions led by donkeys,’– brave soldiers sent to death by incompetent generals. For David Young much of the Methodist history in these years reflects faithful Christians being battered by false theological perspectives from those who should have been wise in the things of the kingdom. It is hard hitting.
The tone of the book balances regret for what has happened, with hope for the possibility of what might still be. Therefore this account fulfils two purposes– it is not only an autopsy of that which has died, but a surgical examination in the hope that some can still be saved.
- Rev David Leese, minister, Cloud Methodist Church, Cheshire