Methodism

john-wesley-The Methodist Church is a worldwide communion of over 70 million people which originated from the time of the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, in the mid-eighteenth century.  John was ordained by the Church of England and he and his hymn writer brother Charles, were members of a group of young men who met daily to pray and study the Bible whilst at Oxford University. Nicknamed “the Holy Club”, they were so methodical in their lifestyle that they were called Methodists, a name which eventually became that of the religious movement which followed.

John Wesley visited Ireland twenty-one times, where he preached in thirty-one of the thirty-two counties.

Today Methodist Church in Ireland has 212 churches or ‘societies’ with a total community membership of around 53,000.

Below is a brief synopsis of Methodist Belief

A. Methodism as part of the Worldwide Church

When people are received into membership of the Methodist Church, the congregation  recites the Apostles Creed. This is a reminder that the historic faith of the worldwide church of all ages (otherwise referred to as the church universal) is the faith of Methodism.

B. Methodism as Part of the Protestant Tradition

The Protestant Reformation which began in the 16th century was not only a protest against what were seen as abuses within the Church, but was an affirmation of what were judged to be the essential beliefs and practices of the New Testament church. The Methodist Church originated as a reforming movement within the Church of England.

C. Distinctive Emphases in Methodist Belief

In the 18th century, John Wesley, an Anglican clergyman, began the evangelistic work that led to the formation of Methodist societies throughout Britain and Ireland. There were some elements of the Christian faith, which, though not peculiar to Wesley, were given special emphasis by him. These are still the ‘Distinctive Emphases’ of the Methodist Church.

D. Organisation and Worship of the Methodist Church

Every church has its own form of organisation, government and style of worship. Some of these are directly influenced by particular aspects of the teaching of scripture; others are accidents of history. Here we look at various features of the Methodist Church in Ireland.

E. Practical Expressions of Methodist Belief

Belief should affect behaviour, not just in terms of church life and practice, but also in everyday life. Here are some of the statements made by the Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland on various social and ethical issues. Through them we see the relevance of the faith professed by Methodists to their relationship with each other, with other Christians, with society at large and with the whole of creation.