John Wesley Matriculation Anniversary

John Wesley by William HamiltonThis weekend, Oxford celebrates John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Three hundred years ago – on 24 June 1720 – Wesley came to Oxford as an undergraduate, beginning his studies at Christ Church. He had just turned 17 and it was to be the start of a long association with Oxford, a place which would become hugely significant to the development of his faith and the growth of the Methodist movement.

We give thanks for Wesley, his life and his connections with Christ Church in our services this weekend.

On Friday there will be a special service of audio recorded Evensong, put together in partnership with Wesley Memorial Church in Oxford and the Centre for Methodism and Church History at Oxford Brookes University. The reflection is given by the Revd Dr Martin Wellings, Superintendent Minister of the Oxford Methodist Circuit and an honorary canon of this cathedral. The audio service, with an order of service to download, will be available on Friday afternoon at

Wesley’s life and impact is also the focus of our Matins sermon for Sunday, preached by the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, the Revd Canon Sarah Foot. The sermon will be available on Sunday morning at .

The Dean writes:

Three hundred years ago John Wesley, founder of Methodism, arrived at Christ Church as an undergraduate.  It is a special pleasure and privilege to be welcoming our Methodist friends and colleagues to celebrate this in our Service of Evensong.  Methodism is a bright star in the Ecumenical firmament, and has given us some of the most remarkable exemplars of social activism, liberation and reconciliation movements, work with our poorest and most vulnerable, poetry, hymns – and powerful, engaged theology. We are delighted to be celebrating John Wesley in this special Evensong. Wesley was an undergraduate in this college, ordained in our cathedral, and began his journey of study, prayer and discipline as a member of this university. We celebrate his substantial, deep and wide-ranging contributions to Christian life and faith, and his continuing significance to Christians around the world.