Epworth Old Rectory celebrates diamond jubilee

A Lincolnshire museum, which attracts visitors from throughoutthe world, is celrbating its diamond jubilee this year.

Epworth Old Rectory marked its 60th anniversary ofthe building having been open to the public, last month (June2017). Following being opened as a bed and breakfast facility andlatterly as a museum, having been bought by the World MethodistCouncil (WMC).

Until 1954 the Old Rectory was still used as the accommodationfor the rector of Epworth's parish church. It was then sold and fora number of years stood empty.

"When it was bought by the WMC it was obvious that it hadundergone significant changes over the years," said the Manager atthe Old Rectory, Gill Crawley.

"It was in need of restoration, and an appeal was also launchedto find artefacts relevant to the era when it was the Wesleys'home," she added.

 Initially, as the Old Rectory had to pay its own way, itoperated as a bed and breakfast venue, as well as being a magnetfor Methodist pilgrims from across the world.

"Initially B&B guests would sleep under what is now known asthe Whitney Quilt, which John Wesley himself used to sleep under,"said Gill. "We don't even allow people to touch it today, as it isone of our most precious possessions."

The Old Rectory was built in 1709 to replace a previous rectory,which had been burnt down in a fire. This became the childhood homeof John and Charles Wesley, who formed a movement that went on tobecome the worldwide Methodist Church.

The Old Rectory became an Arts Council accredited museum in 2009and the restoration work is still continuing. It attracts some5,000 visitors a year from both near and far.


For more information, please contact Methodist HeritageOfficer, OwenRoberts