Conscientious Objection

Commemorating 100 years of the right to Conscientious Objection

See Service Resources for 8 May (to mark International Conscientious Objectors Day on 15 May 2016)

Watch the message and reflection from Dr Jill Barber, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference


A recording of the whole service from Englesea Brook Chapel, Sunday 20 March 2016, can be viewed below.

Order of Service (Pdf)

A service reflecting on the historic and current witness to peace of those who refuse to fight in war.

At the start of the First World War, many Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists were challenged to reconsider their attitude to war and peace. Methodists such as Bert Brocklesby and Jack Foister faced prison, rebuke from their families or church community, and even death, for their principled refusal to take up arms. See Brave enough to say no, and Blood and guts - a community at war. You can also read more comments from family members of conscientious objectors here.

As a result of their courageous stance alongside others, Britain became the first nation to enshrine in law the right to Conscientious Objection. 

Broadcast live from Englesea Brook, the home of Primitive Methodism, the service was led by the Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal, former President of the Methodist Conference, and featured a reflection from Dr Jill Barber, Vice-President of the Methodist Church.

On social media, please use #co100

See also Singing the Faith Plus  for more reflections on war and conscientious objection, as well as  hymn suggestions.


Service Resources for 8th May (In advance of International Conscientious Objectors Day on 15 May 2016


Order of Service for service at Englesea Brook on 20th March - Harder to Make Peace: a service honouring the witness and courageous action of conscientious objectors to World War One

Please feel free to use this order of service in whatever way suits your service best.

Conscientious Objectors: Background

The Story of Bert Brocklesby, Wesleyan Methodist Local Preacher and Conscientious Objector



Methodist Podcast on Conscientious Objection after the Englesea Brook Service: 

Listen here



Primitive Methodist Conscientious Objectors

The story of Jack Foister

The story of William Burwell