Bristol, Gloucestershire

John Wesley's New Room, Gloucestershire

John Wesley was invited to come to preach in Bristol in 1739 by George Whitefield. Wesley performed his first open air sermon in April of that year. It quickly became apparent that a permanent building would be needed for the congregation was the open air sermons began to get larger and larger and were deemed a nuisance by the authorities of Bristol.

On May 9th 1739 Wesley bought land in the Horsefair and on May 12th the foundation stone was laid for what he described as "our New Room in the Horsefair". Once the building was completed it became the first Methodist Chapel in the world.

As the Societies in the area became more and more populous they joined to become Wesley's first full congregation. In 1748 the New Room was enlarged and remodelled in the style we see today.

Although it is not a spectacular building, Wesley's New Room in Bristol is historically important as the first organised place of worship for Methodists.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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