Epworth Memorial Methodist Church

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Epworth Memorial Methodist Church

Date of travel

November, 2015

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Epworth was the home of John and Charles Wesley. Although credited with the foundation of Methodism, they both remained Anglican ministers until their death. Their ambition was to reform the Church of England, not start a new movement. The Epworth Memorial Methodist Church was built in 1889 as a memorial to John and Charles Wesley.

I have visited twice. The first visit was on a dull dark day and I needed to put on the lights in the church. The pictures taken had a definite warm yellow glow to them. The next visit was on a bright sunny day. However the altar faces due south and the sunlight was streaming in through the chancel window making it almost impossible to photograph the chancel. I didn’t need to use the lights and the colour is a much more accurate representation of the church. This explains the mixture of pictures taken with natural or artificial light. I’m not sure which I prefer.

The church is a large dark stone building with an offset tower on the edge of the town, surrounded by attractive gardens with tall coniferous trees.

Steps lead up into a porch and there are two doors leading into the church, separating the congregation into male and female. Inside, cast iron pillars separate the nave from the narrow side aisles. Above wooden arches support the wooden barrel ceiling.

At the back of the church is a wooden gallery with banners proclaiming John Wesley’s famous words “the best of all is “ and then “God is with us”.

In front of the pews is the heavily carved wooden pulpit on a stone base. The small wooden font by it was given in memory of Susanna, John and Charles’s mother.

Steps lead up to the chancel. The altar originally came from St Andrew’s Church and was gifted here when St Andrew’s commissioned a new altar. This would have been the altar used by Samuel, father of John and Charles. The wood panelling below the east window has the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer. Above then is written ‘Faith’ and ‘’Peace’. In the centre is ‘The greatest of these is charity’.

One of the glories of the church is its stained glass windows. The chancel window is at the south end of the church and was gifted to the church by Emerson Bainbridge, the local MP. In the centre is Christ telling his disciples to go out and preach the gospel. In the top roundel are the heads of John and Charles Wesley.

The organ and choir stall are to the right of the chancel. Appropriately the stained glass window here was given in memory of Mrs Emily Breeze, who died in 1946 and was church organist for many years. The central figure is St Cecilia, the patron saint of organists. On either side are angels with bright scarlet wings, holding music. Beneath is the inscription “Come let us sing to the Lord”. In the roundel at the top is an angel with a banner with the words of Mrs Breeze’s favourite hymn “In heavenly love abiding”.

To the left of the chancel is the Blade’s Memorial window dating from 1925. In the centre is the Virgin Mary presenting the Christ Child in the temple. On her left is Simeon with the words “ Lord now lettest they servant depart in peace”. On her right is the prophetess, Anna with the words “Mine eyes have seen they salvation”. In the top roundel are two angels holding a shield with lilies on a blue background, the symbol of the Virgin Mary. Round it are smaller cherub heads.

On the wall to the right of the window is a memorial tablet to John Wesley, which came from the old Wesleyan Chapel.

The church is open daily. The light switches are through the door to the left of the altar, on the wall on the left. Toilets are also through this door. There is some on street parking on High Street.

The postal code is DN9 1EP and the grid reference is SE 782038.

I am having problems adding pictures to my reviews. There are pictures of Epworth Memorial Methodist Church “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/lincolnshire/lincolnshire_two/epworth_methodist/index.html


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