Thursday, 12 June 2014

Wesley Day and Cliff Festival

On Saturday, May 24th Daleep and I celebrated Wesley Day in London.
First there was the service in Wesley's Chapel. Daleep preached and I presided at the Communion service.

 We went from the communion to John Wesley's tomb where we sang a hymn and placed flowers. It was now raining heavily so it was just a few of us who walked to Susannah Wesley's tomb to hear the words John wrote about his mother after her death and to lay a wreath.

A little later we walked to the Aldersgate Flame where we heard the words from John Wesley's Journal recording the events of May 24th 1748, when he felt his heart strangely warmed. Here Azra, Daleep's wife placed flowers before we walked on to St Paul's Cathedral for evensong.

I found it very moving to attend evensong and hear the same readings that Mr Wesley would have heard before he went to that meeting in Aldersgate Street. I read the gospel and brought brief greetings from the Methodist Church. At the end of the service we went out to the statue of John Wesley and sang a final hymn.
At St Paul's Cathedral before evensong
There is something very powerful about remembering John Wesley's experience on the date and in the places where it took place. It was and experience that confirmed for him the reality of God's grace just three days after his brother Charles had a similar experience which he described in his journal, saying that that the Spirit of God “chased away the darkness of my unbelief.”

On Sunday I preached in the morning at Archway Methodist Church and in the afternoon went to Dalston Methodist Church where they were celebrating their centenary year.

I left London very early on Monday morning to go to the final day of Cliff Festival. I joined the people who had gathered there to take part in a huge variety of activities and to celebrate together. Daleep was here too and during the day I preached in the Celebration service, Daleep led a seminar, we both shared in conversation with a group and finally I took part in the chat show with the Principal, Chris Blake.
Gathering for worship in the big tent at Cliff

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