Monday Methodism: Wesley Museum at Bristol’s New Room and What About Methodist ‘Relics’?

Within The New Room’s chapel complex, there is a small museum of Wesley and Methodist artefacts (relics?).These rooms are where local preachers and Wesley himself stayed when he was in Bristol. As I said last week, the entire chapel is really a museum because there is no congregation there.

There is a sense in which the items in the museum are important for history, but I will admit that I find the connection to John Wesley fascinating. I am not saying that I believe they hold any particular power in the sense that relics hold for our Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters. But, there does seem something special (?) about the fact these are Wesley’s possessions.

Still, it begs the question, what role do these types of artefacts hold in a Protestant denomination whose theology holds that there is no power in these items?

Any thoughts?

Me and John Wesley on his Circuit Riding Horse

Me and John Wesley on his Circuit Riding Horse

Wesley's Riding Crop and Letter Opener

Wesley's Riding Crop and Letter Opener

Wesley's Preaching Gown

Wesley's Preaching Gown

A List of Society Members in Wesley's Own Hand

A List of Society Members in Wesley's Own Hand

An Early Methodist Membership Ticket, Signed by Wesley

An Early Methodist Membership Ticket, Signed by Wesley

A Bedboard Showing Scorch Marks from the Fire that Burned the Epworth Rectory (in which the 3 year old Wesley was pulled out)

A Bedboard Showing Scorch Marks from the Fire that Burned the Epworth Rectory (in which the 3 year old Wesley was pulled out)

Wesleyan Kitsch

Wesleyan Kitsch

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2 thoughts on “Monday Methodism: Wesley Museum at Bristol’s New Room and What About Methodist ‘Relics’?

  1. Can you help me with the information on how the Local Preachers’ Gown idea originated with the Methodist Church? What were the reasons ans benefit thereof?
    Is it still aplicable for the present generation?
    thanks.

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