Attendees of the 2013 World Methodist Council meeting in London will be in for a history lesson, courtesy of the Rev. Dr. Leslie Griffiths, minister at Wesley’s Chapel.
Lord Griffiths is scheduled to welcome attendees to the meeting on the opening day, and provide a historical perspective on the Chapel.
The chapel was opened in 1778 to replace John Wesley’s earlier London chapel, The Foundery. In 1776 John Wesley applied to the City of London for a site to build his new chapel and was granted an area of land on City Road, London. After raising considerable funds the foundation stone for the new chapel was laid on 21 April 1777. The architect was George Dance the Younger, surveyor to the City of London. It was built by Samuel Tooth who was a member of the Foundery Chapel. The opening service was on All Saints’ Day, 1778.
Wesley’s Chapel has a long and rich history with the World Methodist Council. Former General Secretary Dr. Joe Hale helped to save the Chapel from demolition and was a guest alongside Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip at the re-opening of the building in 1979.
The World Methodist Council is holding their 2013 meeting at the Chapel as a way to reconnect the Council to its roots and as a place to “reset our Methodist compass” according to the Council’s General Secretary, Ivan Abrahams. The meeting is scheduled to take place from September 10-13.