A Bristol Pilgrimage

bristol-pilgrimageFinding inspiration in the Methodist story for the Church today.

Friday and Saturday 6-7 July 2018

Intro: Methodism was really born in Bristol. Following the Wesley brothers' heartwarming experiences which moved them from law to grace, John reluctantly (and Charles still more reluctantly) followed their friend George Whitefield's encouragement to preach outdoors.

bristol-pilgrimage-hanham-mountThe key site associated with this is Hanham Mount, some four miles East of Bristol City Centre, and from that point the Methodist movement grew exponentially.

From there we will walk down to and along the River Avon to reach Wesley's 'New Room', right in the heart of the shopping quarter; the oldest Methodist Church in the world. Wesley used the New Room not just as a preaching house, but as a resource for holistic mission which addressed health, poverty, and education.

Nearby is the period Georgian house in which his brother (and fellow gospel worker) Charles and his family lived for many years, and where he composed some of the most well known hymns which still speak to our heart and imagination today.


bristol-pilgrimage-pillThen we will walk out along the waterfront of Bristol's 'floating harbour' and on along the Avon Gorge to Pill, some 8 miles West. It was from there that many preachers set sail as missionaries; mostly famously Thomas Coke to the West Indies, and Francis Asbury to America.

Thus, our pilgrimage will enable us to connect with many of the strands of 'Methodist DNA' as we identified them in Wrexham: Holiness and risk, Biblically shaped mind, Pray without ceasing, Whole life discipleship, The heart strangely warmed, For all, for all, my saviour died, Building each other up, Amazing grace, Raised for a purpose, Personal conversion and assurance.

The successful 'mutation' of such DNA is vital for the future of the Church in Britain, whatever Christian tradition with which we identify.

Accommodation: Pilgrims from Wrexham will be welcome to stay Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights at Parkway Methodist Church, St Werburgh's (approached by Rosebury Avenue BS2 0TN), arriving Thursday evening from 8pm. Please bring your own sleeping bags/mats. Richard and/or Biddy will also be staying. There are various rooms for men/women and singles, and there is a large car park. Breakfast will be provided there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, and it is a pleasant 20 minute walk into Broadmead to the New Room.


Friday: Bristol pilgrims can gather at Parkway Methodist from 9am, for a 9.30am departure. Short walk and then bus out to Kingswood from where we will walk the mile to Hanham Mount for pilgrim prayers; then Hanham Mount in Bristol (5 miles) and plenty of time to engage with the New Room, including the new excellent interactive museum. Also possible that afternoon to arrange access to Charles Wesley’s house.

Communal meal at Parkway provided that evening for those staying at the Church.


Prayers at 8am to which others are invited. Short walk to New Room. Bristol pilgrims may gather there for a 10am departure for walk out to Pill (8 miles), and we are expected for tea/cake/prayer at Pill Methodist Church between 2-3pm. Bus back into City. Pilgrims free to pack up and go, or - if staying - to have a meal out in Bristol.


Breakfast for pilgrims staying at Parkway Methodist. Morning worship there at 11am, or 10.30am at Victoria Methodist Church, where Richard will be leading worship. Faith lunch at Victoria 12ish with members of congregation, followed by departures.

For more information, contact Richard. And in any case, please book yourself in so I know who to expect!

Email: rvsharples@phonecoop.coop; Tel: 0117 962 9679

38, Northumbria Drive, Henleaze, BRISTOL BS9 4HP