The connection of the Methodists with the north-west of Ireland goes back a long way.
The Church’s founder, John Wesley, gives an account in his diary of a visit to Ireland in 1769. He preached a sermon in ‘a village called the New Buildings’.
He also spoke in Dungiven and he had two ’full houses’ in Derry.
The Church grew, although it was always a minority movement. A beautiful building was opened on Carlisle Road in 1903. From the outset, the Church has tackled social problems, including prisoners’ welfare and slavery. The Church’s social work is ongoing. Services and activities for the congregation are held in the Clooney Hall on the Waterside and the hall’s facilities are made available to the general public. The staff of the hostel for homeless men in Derry does invaluable work.
The Methodists are a minority but they are always fighting above their weight. There are two small churches in Inishowen and a hall in Moville. The hall is used for joint ventures with the three other churches in the town as well as for the congrgation’s own activities. But the building is in very poor condition – it is over one hundred years old. The administrators intend to demolish it and build a new hall on the site. The Church is organising a concert to raise money for the project in the Methodist church on Carlisle Road on Sunday, 4 September. Music has a central role in the Methodist tradition: John Wesley and his brother Charles are well known composers of sacred songs. This event deserves the widest support locally: this would show our gratitude for the outstanding work that the Methodist Church does for the whole community.