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of Methodism

The Wesley Historical Society Welcomes You and Values Your Interest

The Wesley Historical Society was founded in 1893 for the advancement of interest in the history of all branches of the Methodist Church.

Rev John Wesley
1703 - 1791

Rev John Wesley
'I look upon the whole
world as my parish'

Rev Charles Wesley
1707 - 1788

Rev Charles Wesley
'God buries His workmen,
but carries on His work'


Wesleyan and Methodist heritage is an integral part of the history of countries worldwide and we welcome everyone who is interested in their own roots, culture and history to visit the pages in this web site.


NEWS AND EVENTS
Please note the following changes and click on the link for full details.

The 2022 Annual General meeting will now be a Zoom meeting at 2.00pm on Thursday 7th July.

 

To book to join the Annual Meeting via Zoom and/or the Conference see Events page or click here.

The Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Cumulative Index to Volumes 51 to 60,
is now available on the Biblical Studies.org.uk website. The direct link is https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/whs/51-60-index.pdf

Do you have a query? See the "Frequently Asked Questions" on the About Us page.


FEATURE ARTICLE

"What's in a name?
That which we call a chapel by any
other name would be as sweet"
(With apologies to William Shakespeare.
)

 

As the General Secretary of the Wesley Historical Society I am the receiving point for the questions and queries that are addressed to the

 society. The range is immense from lost chapel signs, chairs John Wesley sat in-  and recently chapel names.

The question referred to the name of a chapel, and why had it been given the biblical name 'Ebenezer, ' as well as its town and street? Well I

 know why 'Ebenezer' is a powerful name, for to this point God has been with us. Why a particular chapel chose it, I didn't know.

On a simple basis, in the larger settlements, rather than simply say PM chapel West Street, or PM chapel High Street, the names did

 become in many cases the identifying mark. So I would suggest that 'Ebenezer', or 'Mt Zion' said all that needed to be said. Wolverhampton

 had both a 'Bethel' and a 'Bethesda', and in Lincolnshire Grimsby had both 'Bethel' and 'Ebenezer'- all Primitive chapels.

I looked through the My Primitive Methodist Ancestors website, as the most accessible list available, and went through the North Midlands

 counties  I am familiar with and came up with the following figures. Even if not fully comprehensive for PM chapels, it has to be a good

 indication, and other Methodist denominations would not be that different.

 

 

Bethel

Bethesda

Ebenezer

Mt Tabor

Mt Zion

Cheshire

 0

 0

 2

 1

 5

Derbyshire

 2

 0

 2

 1

 6

Lincolnshire

 5

 0

 3

 0

 1

Shropshire

 4

 0

 5

 0

 4

Staffordshire

 3

 2

 2

 0

 4

 

Yes there is some geographical variation, but Bethel, Ebenezer, and Mt Zion are clearly most used. There are some unusual ones, Chester

 had a 'City Temple', Ling's Row in Derbyshire a 'Salem,, 'Providence' appears in Belton, Lincolnshire, but Brownhills' 'Rehobeth' might be

 one on its own- unless you know differently.

 

David Leese  

 


 

                          

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