From World's End to Mow Cop: 50 miles in 1807 dress

If you go for a walk in the countryside over the Spring BankHoliday weekend, you might find yourself in the company of a coupleof people from the early 19th century. On 25-27 May the RevdJonathan Kerry and Anthea Cox are donning period costumes to walkover 50 miles from World's End near Wrexham to Mow Cop nearStoke-On-Trent. The walk is to raise money for the Methodist ChurchFund for World Mission and to mark the 200th anniversary of thefirst open air Camp Meeting.

A special service will be held a Mow Cop on Sunday 27 May tocelebrate the anniversary of the first open air Camp Meeting, whichtook place on 31 May 1807 and marked the origins of the PrimitiveMethodist revival. Many people are expected at the service,although most will travel by car or public transport. For Antheaand Jonathan, however, the journey will take three days on foot.They will leave World's End on Friday 25 May and arrive at Mow Copin time for the service on the afternoon of the 27th.

The journey from World's End will take them past Chirk, Ellesmere,Whitchurch, Nantwich, Crewe and Kidsgrove, calling in at the Museumof Primitive Methodism at Englesea Brook. For much of the first daythey will follow the Llangollen canal, including a dramaticcrossing of the 130ft high Pontycyllte aqueduct. On Saturday theywill follow country lanes as much as possible, although severalfeatures not found in 1807 will play a part, says Jonathan: 'Wehave to deal with various dual carriage ways and of course the M6.We have found a route that sticks to the back roads as much aspossible, which is not only nicer for us but also closer to thereality of two hundred years ago. Most of the early MethodistPreachers had to travel on foot, and we will be remembering them aswell as taking time to appreciate the wonderful countryside.'

Anthea says 'we chose to start the walk at World's End because weboth liked the idea of starting at the End! And it recognizes boththe work that the Fund for World Mission supports people throughoutthe world and the way in which primitive Methodists traveled manymiles to preach. It is also good to start inside Wales, withinsight of Offa's Dyke, to remind us of all the history of this area.The birth of Primitive Methodism at Mow Cop was an important eventin local history and in the story of The Methodist Church, but itdidn't happen in a vacuum. It took off because it appealed to thepeople of the time, and walking their landscape helps us to seethat.'