Frequently asked questions about Methodism

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Your questions about Methodism answered

A chance to learn a bit more about Methodism, our beliefs and our history.

The Methodist Church is Britain’s fourth largest Christian denomination with about 180,000 active members of a local church and many more involved in activities that take place on our premises. Although numbers in the United Kingdom are not as big as they were, we remain part of a worldwide Methodist family of over 60 million committed members and a further 20 million adherents.

If there is a question that isn't answered here, please do contact us and we will do out best to answer it.

Yes, we are! Like other Christians we want to respond to the good news that God loves us and sent his son, Jesus, to show us what love is. We try to follow Jesus in the way we live our lives and in the way we worship.

John and Charles Wesley were part of a group of friends in Oxford who met regularly (methodically!) to pray, study the Bible and encourage good works. While travelling to America the brothers were moved by the faith of a group of Moravians during a dangerous storm. Shortly after their return to England, in May 1738 both John and Charles experienced a renewal of their faith (described by John as "a warmed heart").

john wesley preaching on fathers grave

John began a teaching ministry travelling all over on horseback and preaching in the open air. His ministry was particularly important to the working classes and those excluded from the organised religion of the time. Lay preachers were encouraged and like-minded groups set up around the country. Whilst not his intention, theological differences eventually led to separation from the Church of England.

  • All need to be saved.
  • All may be saved.
  • All may know themselves saved.
  • All may be saved to the uttermost.

This is a traditional summary of Methodist teaching. Methodists have always been clear that no one is beyond the reach of God's love. Salvation is there for everyone who turns to God and not just for a chosen few. We can all be assured of God's promise to love us. There are no limitations on what God can do for an individual.

"Salvation" and "being saved" are theological terms which can involve a lot of unpacking so on this website we use a slightly modified version of those Four Alls.

  • We want to live a Holy Life

    jpit logo We want the love of God to shine through every part of our lives and communities so we have a commitment to social justice.
  • We are a Covenant People

    We hold an annual convenant service in which we celebrate all that God has done for us and affirm that we continue to give our lives and choices to God.
  • Worship

    Our services may vary from week to week and we do not have a fixed liturgy. Worship may often be led by a local preacher, a lay person who has undergone special training.
  • We are Born in Song!

    a group of singers We are enthusiastic singers and singing is an important way for us to learn about, share and celebrate our faith. Charles Wesley wrote about 6000 hymns, many of which are sung today by Christians across the world.
  • We are a grassroots movement

    Ordinary people play a major part in running the church. Small groups (class or fellowship groups) are important ways to encourage each other.
  • We are part of a Connexion

    Methodists feel part of a large connected community, across this country and throughout the world. We aim to put the good of the whole body before our own individual needs.

A circuit is the Methodist name for a group of churches in a given locality. Sizes vary from circuits with just a few churches to mega-circuits which may have up to fifty (eg. Bristol is one such circuit). Our circuit has eleven churches and covers the coastal area from Rye down to Bexhill and inland to Battle and Brede, what is often today described as 1066 country.

The name is derived from Methodist history when ministers would travel from place to place (often on their horse) to visit the churches in their care.The route they would take was their particular "circuit".

The "wine" we use at our communion services is non-alcoholic and alcohol is not allowed on Methodist premises. This is due to the influence of the Temperance Movement on Victorian Methodism. However, we now feel that the decision about whether or not to drink alcohol is a matter of personal conscience whilst ensuring Methodist buildings are "safe spaces" for those who may find their relationship with alcohol difficult.
The Four Alls of Methodism
  • All are loved by God.
  • All need to know of that love.
  • All can know that love.
  • All can be loved to the uttermost.
  • All are loved by God.
  • All need to know of that love.
  • All can know that love.
  • All can be loved to the uttermost.