Saturday, 1 May 2010


Today I visited the small town of Epworth in the Lincoln and Grimsby District in order to visit Epworth Old Rectory and see the plans for its redevelopment.

I was welcomed by Revd David Leese, superintendent of the Epworth and Crowle circuit and Revd Graham Carter, Chair of the Trustees.

The Old Rectory was built to replace the original thatched house that burned to the ground in 1709. The classic picture of the 5 year old John Wesley being plucked from the house just before the roof caved in now hangs on the wall above the staircase.

It is now a place of pilgrimage for Methodists around the world, and a map shows the many countries from which visitors have recently come. The hope is that through a major redevelopment, building a visitors centre and refurbishing the Old Rectory, it will become even more a place of spirituality, inspiration and challenge.

After many years of hard work and planning by volunteers, trustees and Development Manager Revd Claire Potter, English Heritage have now given their approval. The task now is to raise the necessary funding to make this vision a reality.

A heritage trail snakes around Epworth taking visitors to other places of interest in this charming town. Samuel Wesley was Rector at St Andrew’s Church and John famously preached on his father’s gravestone in the churchyard.

Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, whilst also on the heritage trail, is very much at the heart of community life today in Epworth. It is a vibrant church that has regular contact with a large proportion of the town.

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