In the Methodist Church calendar, Aldersgate Sunday is the Sunday nearest to 24 May (traditionally known as 'Wesley Day') or the Sunday before it.
It commemorates a life-changing moment in the Christian journey of John Wesley, the most prominent of the founders of Methodism.
Faith is a work of God in us, which … makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers…
(Extract from Martin Luther’s Preface to the Letter of St Paul to the Romans (1552), translated by Bro Andrew Thornton © 1983 St Anselm Abbey)
Aldersgate Sunday is a great opportunity to celebrate the work of God in our lives, and to reflect on how we should respond to everything that God has given us.
In May 1738, John unwillingly attended worship at a Moravian ‘Religious Society’ meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. It was during this service that he felt his "heart strangely warmed", as he experienced God's love in a most personal and life-giving way. Until then he had known God in his mind, but not in his heart. Now he understood the value of a personal experience of God that would bring assurance of salvation to the believer.
For hymns for Aldersgate Sunday see Singing the Faith Plus
Feast of Faith resources
To commemorate Aldersgate Sunday, we invite you to plan a Feast of Faith. This year the dates of Pentecost and Aldersgate Sunday coincide. Your main worship services should focus on Pentecost. Maybe your Feast of Faith could be an afternoon or evening celebration on 20 or 24 May or thereabouts to prompt sharing about the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of your congregation.
In the context of a joyful sharing of food, and inspired by John Wesley's 'Aldersgate' experience, encourage your church members to talk about how their experiences of God's love and grace have changed their lives or are inspiring mission in your church or community.
For you and every member of your church, Feast of Faith should be about:
- your relationship with God
- your story
- your thankful response to the call to live generously.
Having shared your faith stories, how might your congregation respond to the work of God in their lives: how we can each live more generously?
Download everything you need to hold your very own Feast of Faith here:
- background information about Aldersgate Sunday and John Wesley's experience
- ideas for your Feast of Faith event and prompts to start the conversation flowing
- organiser's prompt sheet
- organiser's notes
Many of us have regular financial commitments to charities close to our hearts, but do these include the mission funds of the Methodist Church?
In response to sharing your individual experiences over a Feast of Faith, we encourage you to introduce the needs of mission across Britain and how individual Methodists can make a regular commitment to support the wider work of the Methodist Church. We encourage you introduce them to the #igive2mission fundraising campaign.
- We have provided supporting web content and a video for you to show.
- There is a free promotional leaflet for people to take away and prayerfully consider. Download the leaflet here or order copies from Methodist Publishing
- For more information on how the Church supports projects in Britain and overseas financially, subscribe to One Mission Matters magazine. You can also order copies in bulk to give away to the congregation from Methodist Publishing.
- We are working in partnership with Stewardship for the #igive2mission campaign; visit their website to find out more: Stewardship website