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About Us


The society was founded in 1893. It now aims to promote the study of the Wesley family and Methodism, in all its aspects.

It seeks to promote two things:

1 Wesley and Methodist academic research and excellence.

2 Explorations of local and family history.

If you are reading this then this probably means we are here to help you.

How can we help? Please read the frequently asked questions below, and/or ask us what you want to know. We welcome any questions or queries. We will respond speedily and helpfully.  



Who are you?
The Wesley Historical Society is a group of enthusiasts who both as a society and individuals are committed to promoting Wesley Studies and British Methodist history by encouraging those who share the interest, and helping those with Methodist queries.

How can you help me?
We welcome any questions, no matter how obscure or trivial the matter might seem to be. The membership of the society has a range of specialist knowledge which it is happy to share.

I only have a local query, or perhaps one that seems significant, can you help?
We welcome approaches from both academic researchers as well as local and family history enquiries. Even if you are not sure about your question, we would encourage you to ask us.

Can you help with the research?
We are not able to undertake the research itself, but we can point to the library, museum and archival facilities that may have the answers.

 Can you help with family history?
The national guidance is for baptismal, marriage and funeral records to be kept by the relevant County Archives. There is however often significant family history included in other Methodist records and literature. There is a page on the website giving further detailed information. Other websites that may be helpful are My Methodist History,https://www.mymethodisthistory.org.uk/  My Wesleyan Methodist www.mywesleyanmethodists.org.uk and My Primitive Methodist https://www.myprimitivemethodists.org.uk/

Do you cover all Methodist churches?
The resources of the society cover not only the principal Methodist churches that have combined to form the Methodist Church of today, but also the smaller related churches, such as the Wesleyan Reform Union.  

Does the society have information about all the United Kingdom?
The society principally covers England, Wales and Scotland, as well as information about overseas missionaries. Questions regarding Irish Methodism are best directed to the Irish Methodist Society, whose contact details are on the website.

How do you relate to the Regional Societies?
Within the framework of the Wesley Historical Society there are a number of regional societies, who have local knowledge and interests. As well as organising their own lectures, some of these have their own libraries. Their contact details are on the website.

How can you help?
The society publishes its journal, known as the Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society three times a year, organises an annual public lecture, a residential conference  and has its own library at the Oxford Centre for Methodist and Church History.  Access details for the library are elsewhere on the website.

Additionally a bibliography is issued annually and though these are available only to members a retrospective bibliography may be accessed through the website.

 Additionally the WHS provides online access to the Dictionary of Methodism through the W.H.S. website. This is a major resource which is continually updated and expanded.

Do I have to be a member?
The strength of the society is its membership. We are happy to help members and non- members alike, but hope you will see the benefits of membership that will enable us to maintain the resources so these continue to be available for others.

Please ask your question, directed to the General Secretary, e mail generalsecretary@wesleyhistoricalsociety.org.uk


Epworth Rectory
Epworth Rectory: the home of the Wesley Family

John Wesley's Chapel
John Wesley's Chapel
The New Room, Bristol
Built 1739 Enlarged 1748
the oldest Methodist building in the world

Wesley's Chapel
Wesley's Chapel
City Road, London
Built 1778
Mother Church of World Methodism
John Wesley's home 1779 - 1791

The scope of the Society has widened to include:

  1. the history of all sections of The British Methodist Church that United in 1932
  2. other Wesleyan and Methodist denominations

Englesea Brook
former Primitive Methodist Chapel, Cheshire

Built 1828 Enlarge 1832 and
Re-opened by William Clowes
Hugh Bourne is buried in the graveyard
Now The Museum Of Primitive Methodism
Englesea Brook

Mount Zion Methodist Church
Mount Zion Methodist Church
Upper Brockholes Halifax
Built 1774 and where John Wesley Stayed & preached in 1774 & 1790

Oldest surviving Methodist New Connexion chapel


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