Welsey went on to found the Methodist Church, but that was never his intention, seeing his ideas as more of a movement than an institution.

Originally he hoped his ideas would be accepted within the Church of England, but his interest in all levels of society, and his criticism of some parts of the church made this impossible.

Wesley Day - 24th May

On 24th May 1738 John Wesley finally accepted that his enthusiasm and methods for spreading the Gospel message through all parts of society, and the world, were being rejected by other members of the Church of England, in which he was a minister.

He felt his heart "strangely warmed".

With those simple words he acknowledged a life changing experience that would shape his life and lead to one of the most significant movements in church history.

"In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine and saved me from the law of sin and death.

picture of John Wesley preachingThis was more than a simple "God experience" or conversion moment. From this moment Wesley knew that it was his calling to take his ideas further still: to spread the Gospel to all in order that they might be saved through Jesus Christ. Yet this was also a personal moment: he felt that he was saved.  The importance of this can not be underestimated. It was recognising that even he, an ordained priest in the Church of England with a reputation as a great theologian and thinker, needed to be saved.

When Wesley said "All needed to be saved", he really meant everybody
regardless of rank, wealth or status.

For a full account of the life of John  Wesley, and the founding of Methodism, please follow this link to The Methodist Church website.

Aldersgate Sunday
 
20th May 2012.

Tolpuddle Chapel will be open, and volunteers will be their to show people around, answer questions and assist in prayer if needed.

24th May is recognised as Wesley Day in Methodist Churches through out the world.

In the United Kingdom it is commemorated on the Sunday before as Aldersgate Sunday. Many churches have special services, or include items in their regular Sunday service.