Mark this date in your diary now! For on 24 May 2014 the whole Methodist world is invited to sing to mark the very day— indeed the very hour —that the Methodist mission really began. The Trustees of The New Room in Bristol (the oldest Methodist building in the world) have proposed to the World Methodist Council the first ever ‘World-Wide Methodist Songfest’ to celebrate the 275th anniversary of the Aldersgate experience. The plan means that starting from the Pacific islands east of New Zealand and traveling westwards as the day unfolds across the world to Hawaii in the west, congregations will gather at 8 pm (20:00 hours) local time to sing Wesley hymns in a variety of languages and styles. As the clock reaches “a quarter to nine” – the very time that John Wesley records that “my heart was strangely warmed” – Charles Wesley’s famous hymn O for a Thousand tongues to Sing will bring the song-fest to its climax. Although the moment will be different in each time zone, every celebrating church will mark the occasion at their local time of 20:45. The event may include prayers and readings and other hymns as each local situation prefers.
The New Room will of course be celebrating this occasion, and we shall be looking for a congregation to help. But we also want as many of our Friends and supporters to promote an event in their locality—whether it be in the Pacific, Australasia, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas—in fact, in every time zone.
This event— encircling the world —will remind everyone that it was from John and Charles Wesley͛s heart-warming experience in May 1738 and from the opening of The New Room in Bristol, England in June 1739 that Methodism spread across the globe.
For more information on how your church can participate in the World-Wide Song-Fest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th November.