John Wesley Chapel, BristolJuly 20 in the United Kingdom
The New Room, the oldest Methodist building in the world, was built in 1739. It was too small and not well-built, so it was rebuilt and enlarged in 1748. Except for the pews, it is the same as then. At that time, men and women sat separately on benches. There was no organ, but the congregation was taught the hymns in stanzas, and then they sang with enthusiasm. In other churches singing was only done by a choir or not at all. There are no windows on the ground floor, to protect against mobs.
Wesley promoted the idea of helping the less fortunate. The New Room was a multipurpose building with a food shelf, natural medicines, a school for children, and visits to a nearby prison were arranged. Services are still held there: we attended one that day, and thought, "This is where it all began!"
Note: The chapel was used in filming a courtroom scene for the BBC series, Poldark, season 2.Read more