Incorporating The Wesley Fellowship Quarterly
Continuous Series: Volume 24, Number 2
Autumn 2009
The Wesley Fellowship was founded in 1985
Former Hon. Presidents:
Rev. Dr Arthur Skevington Wood (1986-1993); Rev. John Lawson (2000-2003)

The Executive Committee includes the following officers:

CHAIRMAN: Rev. Dr Herbert B. McGonigle
7 Albemarle Avenue, Manchester, M20 1HX

TREASURER: Mr Alistair Barclay
SECRETARY: Mrs Valerie Barclay
10A, Barnet Road, Sheffield, S11 7RP. Tel. 0114 230 1439.

BOOK/TAPE SALES: Rev. Tony Tamburello, 13 Charles Street, Colne, Lancashire , BB8 0LY
Tel/Fax: 01282-859014   Email:

PUBLISHING: Mr Paul S. Taylor     E-mail:

EDITOR : William T. Graham      Email:

WITHOUT PORTFOLIO: Mr John Gibby     Email:



It’s still not too late to book…and now at too-good-to-miss bargain reduced prices for everyone!!!

"The Wesley’s: The Word & the Spirit”

This Joint Conference of the Wesley Fellowship and the League of Prayer will be held at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire, DE55 1AU, from late afternoon on Wednesday 4 November to early afternoon on Friday 6 November 2009. The good news is contained in the special announcement (below) from WF Treasurer, Mr Alistair Barclay:

“At a recent joint Wesley Fellowship/League of Prayer committee meeting it was agreed to subsidise the cost of this year’s residential conference, reducing the price from £110 to £85 per person.

The committee were concerned at the lack of response and it was felt that cost might have been a deterrent. Rather than trying to subsidise a few where cost may have been a hindrance to attendance, it was agreed to reduce the price for everyone.

This was made possible because The League of Prayer agreed to underwrite any loss with the proviso that a thanksgiving offering be taken during the last worship service. This will give an opportunity for people God has blessed not only spiritually but financially to give according to their ability.”

Please find enclosed a ‘flier’ that gives more details of the revised programme and how to book. As time is now short, a simple phone call to WF Treasurer Mr Alistair Barclay (or WF Secretary Mrs Valerie Barclay) would be enough to begin the booking process and/or answer your queries (their full contact details are to be found on the front page of this copy of the Bulletin). It is also worth noting that it is possible to book to attend the conference on a non-residential basis (please ask for details).


Members will notice that this edition of the Bulletin is unusual as it does not contain the normal ‘From the Chairman’ or ‘Your Questions Answered’ columns. This is because, as many members may already know, the Wesley Fellowship Chairman, Revd Dr Herbert McGonigle, suffered a stroke last June, and so he has not been able to write his usual articles. However, the good news is that we can praise the Lord that Dr McGonigle has made some excellent progress since June, so that his mobility is now fine and he can walk and move about freely. He is now even able to drive again – very wisely, for shorter journeys only at present! Dr McGonigle’s speech was also affected by the stroke, and here progress has also been steady – but slower – and so he is still receiving regular speech therapy. In addition, we are delighted to report that, all being well, Dr and Mrs McGonigle are planning to attend ‘The Wesley’s : The Word & the Spirit’ conference at The Hayes, Swanwick, from 4 November to 6 November 2009. Sensibly, Dr McGonigle is certainly not planning to be taking on any official duties at the conference (such as chairing meetings or presenting his planned Paper). Clearly we need to keep Dr and Mrs McGonigle in our prayers. They are both aware of - and very much appreciate and value - the prayers of, and messages from, friends and colleagues from around the world. They firmly believe that this support from the Lord’s people has been effective in sustaining them during these challenging times.


1. Autumn 2009 Joint Residential Conference of the Wesley Fellowship & League of Prayer.

Naturally, Dr McGonigle’s illness in June was a major concern to all involved with the planning and organisation of this Autumn’s Conference. After all, Dr McGonigle is acknowledged by everyone as the one member of the WF Executive who can be fairly described as ‘wholly irreplaceable’! Naturally, our prayers are that he should make a full recovery in the Lord’s time! Nevertheless, although his illness has necessitated some changes to be made to the original programme, the Executive committees of the Wesley Fellowship and the League of Prayer were unanimous in believing that, DV, the The Wesley’s: The Word & the Spirit conference should go ahead as planned at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire, DE55 1AU, with Registration beginning from 4.00pm on Wednesday 4 November, and ending after lunch on Friday 6 November 2009. The excellent en-suite accommodation with full-board was already booked and, at the very least, it would not have been good stewardship to have cancelled at such a late date. With the considerably reduced rate of just £85.00 per person for full board (well below the true cost!) this is a unique opportunity to enjoy some refreshing Christian fellowship, teaching, preaching, and worship, in a pleasant and relaxing environment at such low cost. Our last similar residential conference (in 2007) was a blessing enjoyed and still remembered with praise to the Lord by all those who were there. We urge all who can, to try and come to the 2009 conference – and to let others know about this event. With a full programme including: preaching by the well-known convention speaker, Revd Douglas Crossman; a Love Feast; singing of good hymns; devotional sessions led by Mr John Gibby; and papers on ‘The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Charles Wesley’s Hymns’ (Revd Harold Moore); ‘The Otley Revival and the Emphasis on Entire Sanctification’ (Revd Trevor Staniforth); ‘John Wesley and Preaching’ (Bill Graham); and ‘The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in John Wesley’ (Paul Taylor), and much else, it promises to be an informative and uplifting occasion not to be missed! Further details of the programme and how to book can be found in the revised booking form enclosed with this Bulletin. If you would like further information, or want to book for the conference, please get in touch with the WF Treasurer, Alistair Barclay (using contact details as listed on the front page of this Bulletin). If you are attracted by the programme and simply want to book a place at the conference without more ado, please send the £20-per-person booking fee (with your name and address) to the WF Treasurer, making your cheque payable to ‘The Wesley Fellowship’).

Please do all you can to join with us for a Wesleyan celebration of Word and Spirit!

2. Wesley Fellowship Events during 2010.

Although no details are available as yet, the dates for regular Wesley Fellowship meetings during 2010 (held jointly with the League of Prayer) are planned as follows.

Spring Meeting: Saturday 24 April 2010.
Autumn Meeting: Saturday 6 November 2010.

The venue booked for both of these meetings is Zion Church of the Nazarene, Brearley Street, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 0JJ; for this we again thank the Pastor, the Revd Fred Calvert, and members of the church, for their hospitality. It is planned to have the usual format, with the day to begin from 10.30am, ready for a formal and prompt start at 11.00am. The meetings to end by 3.30pm.

3. Please Pray for Mrs Pauline Gibby

Pauline (‘Pim’) Gibby is reported to be making a good recovery following recent surgery. Her husband, John, reports that:

“[Pauline] is getting stronger every day, for which we praise the Lord! She has an appointment for her Chemotherapy Assessment on Sept. 29th so do please pray for this next phase of treatment. We are trusting our Father's wisdom and grace as we journey through this next period in our pathway of faith, knowing that we are safe in His hands.” John thanks everyone for their love and prayers.

4. New Wesley Fellowship Publication.

Members will be pleased to receive with this issue of the Bulletin their complimentary copy of Revd Dr Herbert McGonigle’s latest book, A Burning and a Shining Light: The Life and Ministry of William Bramwell. We are grateful to Dr McGonigle for making this interesting account of one of John Wesley’s preachers available to the Wesley Fellowship for publication at very short notice.

5. Geordan Hammond, Audience Development Officer at Epworth Old Rectory reports that the popular Candlelit Tours are coming again!

There are Candlelit Tours every Friday and Saturday at 7pm during the months of October & November 2009, and February & March, 2010. Tickets cost £5. If you would like to book please ring the Rectory at 01427 872268.

6. Report on the joint WF & L of P Spring 2009 Meeting.

WF Executive member, John Gibby, has written an interesting and full report on this meeting held at Zion Church, Birmingham on Saturday 25 April 2009 which will appear on the WF website. Briefly, he writes:

Both morning and afternoon sessions were characterised by the enthusiastic singing of some of the Wesley’s great hymns.

The Morning paper was delivered by Dr Geordan Hammond on “John Wesley in Georgia” emphasising first of all Wesley’s Pastoral Oversight on board ship as they crossed the Atlantic. J.W followed the example of his father in providing individual pastoral care as well as maintaining a systematic pattern of set times for prayer, exposition of the word of God (including extempore preaching), communion and catechism of the children; obviously applying his ‘Oxford Methodist Piety’. Under Moravian influence he studied German and began translating some of their fine hymns.

As Pastor in Savanna he continued with the same spiritual disciplines as well as teaching in the school, daily house visits, weekly celebration of the sacrament and baptisms. He also encouraged the ministry of Deaconesses, small society meetings and Saturday preparation for Sunday worship. Many talk of J.W’s failure in Georgia, as on his journey back he lacked inner assurance of salvation. Nevertheless a foundation was laid for his future ministry with his emphasis on holy living, the first hymnbook published in America, learning German( plus some Italian & Spanish), praying & preaching without a script and encouraging ‘lay’ and women leadership.

In the afternoon Session Pastor Alan Longworth preached an excellent holiness message from Colossians chapter 1 on The Sanctifying Saviour…his main points were:

  1. Paul’s Great Subject…”We proclaim Him” v28…Paul’s heart was full of Christ!
    • A Divine/Human Christ v19 “God was pleased to have all His fulness dwell in Him”
    • A Risen Christ v18 “The Firstborn from the dead”
    • A Reconciling Christ v22 “He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body”
  2. Paul’s Great Method…His means of Communication!
    • By Preaching v28 “We proclaim Him”
    • By Teaching v28 “Teaching everyone with all wisdom”
  3. Paul’s Great Goal (Aim)…
    • Perfection v28 “Present everyone perfect in Christ Jesus” cp. v22 “Blameless”
  4. Paul’s Great Strength…
    • Christ’s power in me v28 “I labour struggling with all His energy He so powerfully works in me”…The power of Christ to root out evil from the human heart…’ What is our calling’s glorious hope but inward holiness’!

A great silence and a sense of God’s felt presence fell on the meeting at the close flowing on into prayer before the closing hymn was sung!



Wesley and Methodist Studies [WMS], Volume I, edited by Geordan Hammond and David Rainey (Manchester: Didsbury Press, 2009. pb. £10.00. iv. 89pp. ISBN 978 0 9552507 1 2).

This volume is planned to be the first of a new peer-reviewed series to be published annually under the auspices of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre (MWRC) based at Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, UK. Future volumes of WMS will be a collaborative project of both the MWRC and The Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, Oxford Brookes University, and essays within the thematic scope of WMS from the disciplinary perspectives of literature, philosophy, education and cognate disciplines will be welcome. The aim is to publish scholarly essays that examine the life and work of John and Charles Wesley, their contemporaries (proponents or opponents) in the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival, their historical and theological antecedents, their successors in the Wesleyan tradition, and studies of the Wesleyan and Evangelical traditions today, with contributions that shed light on historical and theological understandings of Methodism. This first volume contains the following essays: Henry D. Rack, ‘A Man of Reason and Religion? John Wesley and the Enlightenment’; Joseph W. Cunningham, ‘Pneumatology through Correspondence: The Letters of John Wesley and “John Smith” (1745-1748)’; J. Russell Frazier, ‘John Wesley’s Covenantal and Dispensational View of Salvation History’; Randall D. McElwain, ‘Biblical Language in the Hymns of Charles Wesley’; D. R. Wilson, “‘Thou shal[t] walk with me in white’”: Afterlife and Vocation in the Ministry of Mary Bosanquet Fletcher’.

Geordan Hammond

Wesley Country: A Pictorial History based on John Wesley’s Journal compiled by Richard Bewes. (Worthing: Bible Matters with Creative Publishing, 2003. hb. Illus. £20.00. vi.120pp. ISBN 978-1904636014).

This is an important contribution to Wesley Studies by a well-respected Anglican, writing from All Souls Church, Langham Place, London. It is unusual in its format. The book is 33cm. x 25cm., a big book! It has about 120 pages (unnumbered). There is no Index, but the compiler has provided a very helpful 'Table of Places, People and Illustrations' to help us find our way. The pages are written, partly with normal type face and partly in a simulated calligraphic script (by Elaine Cooper) which adds to the impression of authenticity. The book is packed with quite marvellous drawing-like pictures, some of which are well known, others the reader may well be seeing for the first time. Well done to the researcher(s)!

The pages of this extraordinary book contain journeys throughout Britain based on John Wesley's Journal. They take the reader to the familiar Wesley places, Oxford, London, Epworth, Bristol, Cornwall, and Wales. Then the journey takes in Yorkshire, Winchester, Scotland, Durham and Ireland. There are extracts from the Journal and quotations from letters. Many treasures have been unearthed. The places visited are described in chronological order; for example, the Oxford entry begins in 1738 and, four adjacent pages later, ends in July 1783 with a truly magnificent full-page picture of Oxford from Headington Hill. Richard Bewes has placed us in his debt. So impressive is the work that to describe the value of the book is almost impossible for this reviewer. The writing is excellent, illustrations are breath-taking. But, the value? I can only say, please buy the book, read… and see for yourself!

Paul Taylor

Editor’s Note: New copies of this remarkable book have been seen for sale on the Amazon website recently for £5.99. It would make a lovely Christmas present!

John Wesley’s Preachers: A Social and Statistical Analysis of the British and Irish Preachers Who Entered the Methodist Itinerancy before 1791 by John Lenton (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2009. pb. £34.99. xxviii. 506. ix. pp. ISBN 9781842276259).

This substantial volume of intriguing text and illuminating tables on the subject of John Wesley’s ‘Sons in the Gospel’ has undoubtedly taken many years of painstaking work to produce. John Lenton is to be congratulated on selecting and organising material from the vast amount of information he has accumulated on Wesley’s preachers into a form which has been suitable to be published in this attractive and user friendly book, in the series of Paternoster’s scholarly ‘Studies in Evangelical History and Thought’. Even a casual reader will find that information can be extracted fairly easily thanks to the over twenty carefully thought out chapters, listed in the Contents, that deal with key subjects in the lives of the preachers, such as ‘Education’, Probation’, Marriage’, Family’, ‘Circuits’, ‘Conference’, ‘Numbers and Destinations of Leavers’, ‘Ordination’, and ‘Retirement’ – supplemented by tables and appendices overflowing with helpful timelines, charts, and maps. Beyond this the book has an excellent 22-page index (compiled by John Vickers) that accurately points the reader to the precise information being sought, together with an invaluable and extensive bibliography with 23 pages of primary and secondary sources listed for those who might want to delve further into areas of interest. The resulting volume is unique. Never before has anything so comprehensive in scope been published on the subject of Wesley’s travelling preachers (defined, for the purposes of this study, as those who entered the ministry under his leadership and before his death in 1791) that attempts to present an array of hard facts (rather than anecdotes) and then subjects them to statistical analysis. Page after page in this book is crammed with interesting footnotes that point the reader directly to the author’s sources. Lenton has clearly gone beyond even the vast resources at his disposal (as Convener of the Methodist Church Archives and History Committee, as well as Honorary Librarian of the Wesley Historical Society) to seek data further afield. In fact, the Revd Dr Frank Baker, before his death in 1999, had presented Lenton with a ‘great folder about the preachers’. In this Baker had listed 677 persons from his own indefatigable research from the 1930s to the 1990s. From Lenton’s own systematic investigations since then, after establishing criteria for a person to be included in his list, he has been able to establish a database of over 800 different men who appear to qualify as being one of Wesley’s ‘travelling’ preachers (there are no women; even Sarah Mallet, who was de facto acknowledged by Wesley as one of his preachers, is eliminated) . The focus of the book is based on the statistical analysis of information about the lives and experiences of these men that the author has added into his ‘Wesley’s Preachers’ Database’. However, the book does not claim that the information presented is all that can be said about each of these men! The names on this database are helpfully recorded in an appendix in the book, and include, of course, men who were appointed by Wesley and who served in the American colonies and for some years later. The reader is also directed to an online database. The web address supplied for this (on p.9) is incorrect, The URL is: This online database shows only ten fields, whereas Mr Lenton’s own (privately held) database has 100 fields, each with a different possible facet of information recorded.. This project is on-going, so enquiries are welcomed from anyone who seeks information, or believes they can add to the database from their own research or knowledge. John Lenton can be contacted by email at or by post at: WHS Librarian, Wesley Centre, Westminster Institute of Education, Oxford Brookes University, Harcourt Hill Campus, OX2 9AT.

Without doubt this book, together with the growing database, provides an invaluable aid to scholars working in Wesley studies, particularly when investigating matters connected with John Wesley’s ‘sons in the gospel’. The volume also has much to interest the general reader because, quite apart from the plain facts and figures and statistical analysis, the author has assembled fascinating and little known insights into the lives of many of the preachers. For instance, I found the descriptions of the challenges faced by some of Wesley’s preachers working on the Isle of Man of great interest, not least in their having to contend with the fact that a majority of the islanders in some areas spoke no English, only Manx. If you were thinking of ordering this book online, be aware that the ISBN printed in the book is not recognised on the Amazon website. The ISBN that Amazon appears to recognise is: 978-1606088784; unfortunately the price they quote is £39.30.

Bill Graham


© The Wesley Fellowship 2009.