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John Wesley - food for thought

Yesterday when following Craig and Edwin's services of worship I was naturally struck by Edwin's encounters At The New Room, in Bristol. Now as Methodist theological students we had to attend The New Room for an annual Eucharist and full preaching service and I can assure you, looking at that pulpit and sitting on those hard narrow pews is most uncomfortable, but you will not fall asleep!!

I would have loved to meet John Wesley and his hymn writing brother, Charles. He must have been some character! He was thrown out of many a parish church and even whole parishes, though invited into some churchyards and even churches as at St Illtud's Llantwit Major. He knew all about protesters and how uncomfortable it could make things. As students, and before even going to theological college, we were expected to have read some at least of Wesley's sermons and inwardly digested them. There was much stuff raised which is current today and as Wesley spoke out we need, as Christians, to not only speak out, but to be actively involved in raising these topics.

We have heard much about historical figures this week and seen shocking images around them too in our own living rooms. What John Wesley said that as Christian people these issues should be part of our active discipleship and something we can all be involved with, not as angry aggressive protestors but rather as thoughtful, considered members of society. This should give us all on this Monday something to think on, something to challenge us in our faith and something to motivate us as we share the Good News of God in Christ.

The New Room is Methodism's Oldest Church and is certainly well worth a visit. It is easy to get to as in the midst of Bristol's shops. I am told the tearoom is excellent! - While we are in lockdown, this will at least give you a bit of a taste of the New Room and maybe inspire you to visit.

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