Monday Methodism: Gwennap Pit

Before I went on holiday, a church member said that she and her family were going to Cornwall for the week. Being the Metho-nerd that I am, I immediately suggested they visit Gwennap Pit, which is near Truro. For a moment, it didn’t strike me that others may not be looking for Methodist sites on their holidays like I do. They were actually interested and said they would check it out. I have not idea if they got the chance, but will ask them!

Anyway, I began to think about all the photos I have of Methodist sites around England and knowing there are a few Metho-nerds who would interested in this sort of thing, I thought I would start a series of Methodist Sites I have visited. I will begin with Gwennap Pit!

Gwennap Pit is a mine shaft that caved in, making a sort of outdoor amphitheatre. John Wesley saw the benefit to this and put it to use as a preaching place! He preached here 18 times.

 

The Entrance to the Pit

The Entrance to the Pit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evidently, dogs and cyclists do not make good Methodists (sorry Dave!).

 

Me at the Bottom of the Pit

Me at the Bottom of the Pit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stone rings were an added feature in the 1800s to make a memorial to John Wesley. The original pit was just that – a pit.

 

Ready to preach!

Ready to preach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst there is no church here, they continue to hold services (even weddings) here. I think I saw a photo in the museum where the minister presiding at the wedding was dressed as John Wesley. Then again, that may have just been one of the festivals where the guy was Wesley at a re-enactment of some sort.

 

Getting a blessing from Mr. Wesley

Getting a blessing from Mr. Wesley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I will have a dig around iPhoto and see what I can find for next week!

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10 thoughts on “Monday Methodism: Gwennap Pit

  1. Gwennap Pit is a spendid place. I was there at a service a couple of years ago. I found it quite moving, for reasons I’m not sure I could explain. Something to do with standing where there once would have been crowds of tin miners and their families.

  2. Richard: Unfortunately, there were no services planned when we were there (I think they only do special occasions now), but I would love to attend one.

    Dave: Aw, you can cycle at our churches! You show them that cyclists are OK!

  3. I was brought up in the Redruth Circuit which in those days included services at the small chapel by the pit. I preached their many times.

    Npwadays the Pit is run by a District Trust. I know some of the people involved. About 8 years ago when I was working on the Isle of Man, I was invited to preach at one of the services held during the summer. The congregation was nothing too big – about 60 I think – but it was a special feeling to be leading worship where John Wesley once did. My sermon by the way was shorter than those of John and of infinitely less quality.

    The Spring Bank Holiday rallies continue to be quite a big event. Methodism is certainly indebted to those who work so hard to maintain this piece of history in such good order

  4. if there are no dogs or cyclists welcome thats the
    problem of the methodists,who could do with all
    the help they can get.Lord protect us against all
    religions.

  5. In April of 1999 Easter weekend I arrived in Redruth and was taken to Gwennap Pit by Peter Williams. It was an incredible moment one which stirs me now 12 years later. Having first read of the Gwennap Pit in John Wesleys Diary- and specifically after a strong impression on my mind that I should ‘Follow Wesley back’ after his having left Savannah,Ga where I am a resident. Six years earlier I had begun a series of annual concerts in Savannah in honor of John Wesleys having published a hymnbook’The Collection Of Psalms and Hymns’ in 1737. The collection was assembled by John and printed in Charleston- and he immediately got into trouble in the colony as he was ‘Using Unapproved’ and ‘unauthorized’ hymns. These were tunes and melodies drawn from daily life using new lyrics by Issac Watts and recently translated hymns sung by the Moravians in German. After August 1337 when John was hauled before the city magistrates and charged he returned to England- and George Whitfield took up his post here at Christ Church infuriating the city fathers by coninuing to use Wesleys hymnbook. I saw an interesting link in this to todays Contemporary Christian singer songwriters- and so promoted the Godrock series of concerts. All of the artists including myself were locally known in their own churches but not to the community at large. This culminated in the call to ‘Take It To England’ and to Follow Wesley back. Identifying with the outdoor environment of Wesleys favorite preaching place Gwennap Pit -I set about to learn whether it still existed and finding it did wrote numerous letters to names on a brouchure found at the Methodist Museum at Epworth By The Sea in St.Simons Island,Ga-and this ultimately led me to Peter Williams and David Bolton. Eventually the Gwennap Revival was held jointly by those 18 worship leaders and singers, songwriters that accompanied me to Gwennap in July 1999 and local members of churches in and around Redruth and Penryn. These places and those we met during those days remain fond memories and a strong faith builder in having ‘literally’ followed wesley back..I am indebted to Peter Williams of Redruth Pentecostal Church and David Bolton, who was then caretaker of Gwennap Pit. Both of their families remain warm memories their prayers and hospitality will never be forgotten. You are men of great stature and strong in the Lord. Thanks Again peter and David..

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