Wesley Memorial Church

New Inn Hall Street

Wesley Memorial Church interior
Modern stained glass featuring the building and workmen's tools.
Stone carved capital of roses, shamrocks and thistles

The church is a memorial to John and Charles Wesley who came to Oxford as undergraduate students in the 1720s and who founded the Methodist movement. John was later to describe their time in Oxford as the ‘first rise in Methodism.’

The building was opened in 1878 and was designed in neo-gothic style by Charles Bell. It features particularly fine stained glass. Visitors comment on its welcoming atmosphere.

Pilgrims

As Wesley Memorial is the only city centre Methodist Church in Oxford, many making a special tour or pilgrimage of the Wesley sites like to spend some time in this building prayerfully thinking through their response to all they have experienced whilst visiting ‘the birthplace of Methodism’.

The Church is usually open for visitors from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturdays.
Leaflets are available to enhance your visit and can be found at the back right hand corner of the church. Information is also provided in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Korean and Chinese.

Worship

A short prayer service is held in the church every Wednesday at 12.30. All are welcome.

Sunday worship is at 10.30 am. We are delighted to welcome visitors to the service. Refreshments afterwards allow us to share fellowship and all are invited to stay.

Origins of the congregation

The Wesley Memorial  church building replaced a more modest chapel, opened in 1818,  that was immediately behind the current building. This itself had been the new home of the congregation that had previously worshipped in a meeting house at 32 – 34 New Inn Hall Street.

Today’s congregation is therefore the ‘descendent’ of the congregation that Wesley would have preached to in the meeting house further down the same street.

These were residents of the city of Oxford who Wesley returned to whilst on his preaching tours around the south and east of England. His last visit was in 1783.

Group visits

We welcome group visits but do advise that you make a booking. This will ensure that the church is available on your preferred date, and that we can provide an appropriate welcome.

 Depending on the needs of your group, we can offer:

  • a personal welcome,
  • a brief introductory talk
  • a guided tour
  • a longer lecture
  • a quiet day with leader
  • light refreshments, as agreed  

Please email group booking requests to the Church Manager: nikos@wesleymem.org.uk or call 01865 201606

 

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