Tag Archives: Wesley Memorial Methodist Church

Methodist Church in Oxford, UK repairing stained glass

Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford continues work on its stained glass windows.

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Wesley Memorial Methodist Church on John Wesley and Oxford

In the sanctuary of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford, I found a number of flyers. One was entitled John Wesley and Oxford.

John Wesley entered Christ Church as an undergraduate at the university in June 1720.

He graduated in 1724 and on September 19, 1725 was ordained deacon by Bishop Potter. He delivered his first sermon shortly after at Fleet-Marston, a small village east of Oxford.

In 1726, Wesley became a fellow at Lincoln College where he received free board and lodging with a small stipend which was increased when he became Greek lecturer and class moderator.

Wesley was ordained a priest in 1728 and he went home to Epworth to assist his father.

Lincoln College recalled Wesley in 1729. He found that his brother Charles, William Morgan and Robert Kirkham had joined in study of the Greek Testament and attending the Sacrament on Sundays. This was the beginning of the Holy Club and what Wesley called the first rise of Methodism.

Morgan introduced the group to social work. He went with the brothers to the Castle Prison where they met debtors and criminals.

The group became know for religious observances. They took the Sacrament as often as possible, fasted twice a week and recited a collect at the hours of 9, 12 and 3. They were called a number of names including Methodists.

Wesley preaches at the university in 1738, 1741 and 1744. His last sermon was critical of the university for its sluggishness and spiritual apathy. Later he preached in private homes in Oxford to Methodist societies.

When he was married in 1751, he was required to resign his fellowship at Lincoln College.

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Open Doors of Weslely Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford

When we visited Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in July, we found them true to their open doors policy. We had taken the bus from London to Oxford and arrived in pouring rain. The stop was in front of Christ Church. We got our bearings and made our way to New Inn Hall Street. I remember the front door to the church being open, and shaking my umbrella and raincoat off as we entered. The church is in the busy downtown area and the streets were busy with several people walking into the church to see the beautiful sanctuary and its stained glass windows.

The church’s Open Doors brochure outlines building improvement plans to be welcoming, hospitable and flexible. A new entrance will encourage more visitors to enter the building and take advantage of available activities and facilities. The church want to create a place of encounter, belonging and hope for everyone while leaving room for new ideas and upgrades.

Inspired by the Past

Oxford is the city where for many, Methodism was born. There has been a Methodist Chapel on this site for nearly 200 years and the Open Doors Project seeks to fulfill the mission of the Wesleys: to worship God and to reach out to others.

Planning for the future

We occupy a prime site in Oxford and have unique opportunities for witness and service. Our redevelopment project, which is estimated at 1.2 million pounds, aims to bring the facilities at Wesley Memorial in line with th needs of the 21st Century.


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Wesley Memorial Methodist repairs stained glass

The Facebook page of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford reports that scaffolding went up today for the restoration of the church’s stained glass window that displays flowers and plants of the Bible.

The church opened in 1878 featuring the stained-glass windows in the East and West. The windows need urgent attention. An architect confirms that ‘the East Window is at risk if the lower panels are not straightened and re-attached to the saddle bars…’ and the Rose Window has ‘suffered distortion’ resulting in the panels bulging outwards.

The church launched an Appeal for the Victorian Windows in March. Through the generosity of several individual donors, the ‘virtual’ wedding presents on behalf of a newly-married couple and a grant from Oxfordshire Historic Churches’ Trust, the church raised £47,000 for the renovations.

Work is due to start on 11 August and take eight weeks.

–Summer 2014 Wesley Memorial News

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Photos of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, Oxford

Methodism in Oxford dates from the 1720’s. The first Methodist House was built in 1783. Wesley Memorial Methodist Church was built in 1878. You can find photos of the church on the JohnWesleyBlog flickr page.

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Kate Dobson on Wesley at Oxford

John Wesley graduated college from Christ Church in Oxford. He became a fellow at Lincoln College. Kate Dobson of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford talked about Wesley’s days in Oxford and impact on the community.

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