Helen Kirk: January 2017
It is worth remembering that when Methodist founder John Wesley was preaching in the 18th Century our nation faced immense instability. Revolution was brewing in America & France; the Scots were seeking independence; innovation was rife in industry but many lived in deep poverty. It was into this social upheaval and unrest that John Wesley and his preachers brought a spiritual and social transformation. The emphasis of the Methodist movement was (and still is) social justice: that the poorest in the community should be offered practical help and the institutions that denigrated humanity should be reformed. Our Methodist DNA carries a passion for inclusivity as Wesley preached that no one is beyond God's love; all can know God's grace and hope.
This meant that leadership was not the exclusive privilege of the few but an opportunity for all and that church could be church even in a field, a home or a pub. It was this movement of social justice and inclusive grace that offered people a sense of hope and stability. I have to admit I am quite proud of our shared history.
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