Metal Methodism as a Methodist Way of Life

10 January 2024

Music and song are part of the Methodist tradition and thanks to Revd James Morley, it is the case for Methodists who enjoy metal music. The Metal Methodists had their own worship service at 3Generate 2023 and have a regular online Compline service of evening prayer.

On Sunday 8 October the first Metal Methodist Morning Moshpit was hosted in the Arena area of 3Generate, the Methodist children and youth assembly that took place in Birmingham. Around a hundred young people, and some not so young who were there as volunteers supporting the event, joined Revd James Morley to worship together.

 They came together to enjoy worship through metal music and share their faith in what some may consider an unusual context.

 Metal music is generally seen as a nocturnal activity, so making it a morning worship was a new experience for Revd James Morley, the Metal Methodist and one of the ministers from the Sheffield Methodist Circuit. “There is an energy in Metal music, people get into the mosh pit and jump around, or people who stand or sit with their arms folded and just enjoy the power of the music. We are offering the space for everybody to enjoy and worship how they want,” explains James.

Religion and metal music have not always seen eye to eye. “We know it's not the sort of music that everybody in the Church enjoys, but we are trying to create a space where no matter how old or young you are, everyone is welcome” adds James.

Now metal has its place within the Methodist church thanks to James Morley and James Carver, former Youth President. “What James Morley did at 3Generate was amazing. In just one hour, he depicted the trueness of the Methodist Church which is that everyone is different and so is everyone's style of worship", says James Carver having enjoyed the Metal Methodist Morning Moshpit.

James Morley always loved metal music but it’s only during COVID, after a journey to Whitby that he started to explore mixing his faith with his love for metal music in an online evening prayer. “Spirituality is often expressed in silence, but God is also in the noise,” adds James Morley.

His initiative touched people with the same interests and the Metal Methodist community has grown online. 

Metal Methodist is another brilliant example of the Methodist Way of Life, accepting people as they are and providing them the space to be themselves. “You can like the music you want, dress how you want and you are still absolutely awesomely wonderfully made by God,” concludes James Morley.