The Church by the Bridge

came into being towards the end of the 18th Century, largely as the result of the work of John Wesley. Wesley travelled an estimated 250,000 miles throughout the country, mostly on horseback in extremely difficult conditions, to spread his message that God’s love was for all regardless of class, gender or race. Wesley.jpgAs well as spiritual matters, Wesley was greatly concerned with social injustice – he believed that Christianity demanded action as well as faith. Most churches would not allow him access so he preached in the open air mainly to those who, for reasons of poverty or lack of education, felt excluded from the established church.  

That message combining inclusiveness, spiritual wellbeing and social justice is one which is sorely needed in the 21st Century and which the Methodist Church still proudly proclaims and actively pursues. 

Methodists in Evesham can claim to belong to one of the oldest Methodist scoieties in existence. When Charles Wesley (John's brother) visited the town in August 1739 he found a small society already in existence. John Wesley visited Evesham on many occasions. In October 1739 he visited a friend, Benjamin Seward, in Bengeworth and preached in his house, now the Evesham Hotel. On 18th February 1745 he travelled to Evesham through floods, commenting in his journal that, "The brooks were so swollen with late rains that the common roads were impassable. We came after sunset (wet and dirty enough) to Evesham." On his many subsequent visits he preached to large crowds, some still and attentive while others "did not design to hear or let anyone else hear." Wesley's last recorded visit was on March 17th 1786 - he died on 2nd March 1791. (Extracted from The History of Evesham Methodist Church 1739-2014 compiled by Mrs Sheila Himsworth.)

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