“Charles Wesley and the Mission of the Church”
The city of Durham in north-east England, with its university and Norman cathedral (one of the most impressive in Europe), is one of Britain’s major historic cities. The Wesleys made nearby Newcastle the northern apex of their triangle of bases (with London and Bristol) and Charles Wesley visited the north-east seven times between 1742-1751. The area was then already becoming one of the most important mining and industrial regions of the country. However, it was also a cultural centre:both Wesleys were friendly with Charles Avison, among the most important English-born eighteenth-century composers.
In his preaching forays into the ‘rude populous north’ of England, Charles Wesley encountered both hostility and welcome. The area is rich in its Christian past, at the interface between Roman and Celtic traditions, but by the 18th century the growth of mining and industry led to the need for new approaches to the church’s mission. This annual meeting will encourage exploration of those issues.