Saturday, 24 May 2008

Wesley day with Wesley's Chapel

Today we took part in the celebration of Wesley Day with Wesley's Chapel in London. It is the day when they celebrate the conversion of both John and Charles Wesley - which took place just a few days apart. 24th May is the anniversary of the conversion of John Wesley in 1738. His journal says that "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 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."

Aldersgate Street is very close to Wesley's Chapel and to St Paul's Cathedral. We began our celebrations at noon with a service at which I preached and Martyn presided. It was good that the vicar of St Giles was able to be with us. Then we processed (see photo of us gathering) from Wesley's Chapel across the road to the grave of Susannah Wesley - the mother of John and Charles (and 17 other children). There we sang a hymn and had some readings from a letter of Susannah and from John's journal before a wreath was laid. We said some prayers and wandered back across the road. We enjoyed a super lunch with Leslie and Margaret Griffiths and their other guests. Leslie (Lord Griffiths) is the Superintendent Minister at Wesley's Chapel and kept us moving to our various venues, leading singing and prayers and directing operations.

After lunch we walked to the Museum of London where the Aldersgate Trust flame sculpture is placed and we sang and prayed here and anther wreath was laid. (Leslie and I are holding the wreath here and Jennifer Potter is doing the readings), Then we wandered off to St Paul's Cathedral where London District Chair, Stuart Jordan, led us in hymns and prayers and another wreath was laid by John Wesley's statue in the grounds of the Cathedral. Then we went to Evensong in the Cathedral where the choir was wonderful. Thanks to everyone for a great day including the staff at Wesley's Chapel, especially Jennifer and Joy, who made sure we did what we were supposed to, more or less! I found it very moving to make those links from the past and recognise the movement of the Spirit then and now. I wonder what other people are doing to celebrate this anniversary.

Dropped Martyn at the station to go back to Cliff. Will be driving up to join him there tomorrow evening.

1 comment:

Olive Morgan said...

Alas! It hasn't had a mention at all here (though there's sill time in tonight's service perhaps), and I wonder if many of our members from other backgrounds are even aware of the significance of May