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.
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.
Resources for online worship on Aldersgate Sunday 2020
A Reflection on Aldersgate Sunday 2020
The President of the Methodist Conference the Revd Barbara Glasson reflects on Aldersgate Sunday 2020. Please feel free to use this video in your own online services this Sunday 24 May
A Prayer for Aldersgate Sunday 2020
By the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins
Resourceful Holy Spirit of God,
We thank you for your servants, John and Charles Wesley.
That you fuelled their zeal
and tempered it with divine grace;
brought them through dark times,
enlightened and renewed.
That you warmed their needy hearts,
assured and shaped them by your active holiness.
That through their willingness,
you worked out Your purposes of hope, mercy, and justice.
Somewhat daunted, we stand today in their deep footsteps.
In a world of new challenges and old needs in a time like no other.
But undaunted, we humbly ask you to do in us,
what you did in and through them.
May we know both your infilling and outpouring,
that whatever our situation or condition,
we will serve and honour Christ,
and in these, our days, know and believe
that the best of all is, “God is with us.”
Feast of Faith resources
To commemorate Aldersgate Sunday, we invite you to plan a Feast of Faith.
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