11 October 2021
Exhibition at Wesley's Chapel - Leadership on a Journey
Inspirational stories of Methodists from across the globe at the heart of a new exhibition at Wesley’s Chapel in London
An exhibition that celebrates the rich diversity of heritage and experience in the Methodist Church opens on Tuesday 19th October at the Museum of Methodism at Wesley’s Chapel in London. Coinciding with Black History Month and with the aim to inspire young people, Leadership on a Journey, explores the stories of Methodists from Black British, Asian and the global diaspora in Britain, each nominated for their outstanding leadership.
At the heart of the exhibition is an oral history project with interviews having taken place during the last few months in Wesley’s Chapel and across Britain, in churches, chapels, living rooms and kitchens. Current leaders in the Methodist Church such as the President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Sonia Hicks, and Youth President, Daud Irfan’s testimonies will be featured. Long serving circuit stewards and activists, Norman Mullings and Bala Gnanapragasam’s experiences of this country are shared alongside the views of academics, Dr Margaret Byron and Professor Anthony Reddie, who have helped to shape some of the historical and theological elements of this exhibition.
The Revd Sonia Hicks, President of the Methodist Conference, said:
“The annual Black History Month event highlights the need to tell the inspirational stories of the Black diaspora. This exhibition reminds the Methodist Church of the inspirational stories we have among us. It is a great privilege to share my own story for the project and I am truly honoured to be amongst so many people for whom I have the greatest respect.”
The exhibition’s curator, Deanna Lyncook said:
“The migration stories, experiences and selfless work of people such as the Revd Inderjit Bhogal have thrown into relief the clear necessity for an exhibition such as this.
“The words of each nominee are featured within the historical context of migration in Britain. Beginning with the Windrush Generation and their descendants and ending with more recent migrations from a variety of regions in Africa, the exhibition tracks the movements of those from across the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands. The show celebrates their achievement and the rich and diverse history of the Methodist Church in Britain.”
The Superintendent of Wesley’s Chapel, the Revd Canon Jennifer Smith, said:
“We hope this exhibition will reclaim the deep history of global Methodist leadership and further a debate on the very nature of leadership itself. Oral histories will be supplemented by artefacts from the museum including from Antigua, China, the Gold Coast (Ghana) and many from Britain – including John Wesley’s own shoes and belongings, alongside the boots Inderjit Bhogal wore to walk from Sheffield to London during his Presidential year.”
The exhibition launches on Tuesday 19th October 2021, running Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-15:00 until January 29th, entry is free.
Read a blog on the exhibition by Deanna Lyncook here.