Loughborough Circuit: 250 years of Methodist history

In July 2022, the Loughborough Methodist Circuit celebrated our local Methodist history with an open-air service in Wymeswold, the oldest chapel in the circuit still in use.

Whether July 2022 was the best date to celebrate was open to question;

  • John Wesley’s Journal records that he preached in Loughborough on Tuesday 31 July 1770;
  • John Wesley preached in the first preaching house in Loughborough in Rectory Place on the evening of March 1772, and described it as ‘new’ (which is why we are celebrating now);
  • Primitive Methodists missioned Loughborough in 1817, just six weeks after six men were hanged in Leicester for smashing machinery in a Loughborough lace factory.  Hugh Bourne visited in 1818 and a chapel was built in Dead Lane, before a remarkable camp meeting was held in Woodhouse Eaves in 1820.

And that’s just the start of the story that still goes forward.

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