Using churches for tourism
Jo Hibbard
Methodist Heritage Officer
1C100U / 25 March 2011
Methodist Heritage &
Contemporary Mission
• Approved by the Methodist
Conference in 2008
• Recognised potential for mission of
Church’s heritage
• But agreed poorly co-ordinated,
under exploited and without
necessary resources
Telling the story of the
people called Methodists
Over 100 places to visit …
Family homes, unique
outdoor preaching places,
chapels linked to the life
of John Wesley and his
legacy of the Methodist
… and that’s without most of
our hundreds of historic
chapels: c550 are listed
Methodist Heritage Handbook
Travel trade show launch in
March 2010:
Online from
March 2011:
Our Calling – as a model for
Methodist Heritage
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the
gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its
discipleship in worship and mission.
Worship – work is rooted in worship
Learn & Care – stewards of a rich heritage, responsible
for its care, but also custodians and tellers of its story
Service –heritage can help us to engage with our
communities and neighbours
Evangelism – our heritage is a tool to
speak about God’s love in Christ
Telling a good story –
the good news
John 20: 30 & 31
Jesus did many other signs
in the presence of the disciples,
which are not written in this
book; 31but these are written so
that you may believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God, and
that by believing you may have
life in his name.
Telling your Good News story
1. The local story – invite others
(including in your wider community)
to share ‘memories’
2. YOUR story ‘then’ – seek out oral
histories, experts, records
3. Your story ‘now’ – similarities?
4. The Methodist story – when and
why did the Church engage in this
ministry or teach this theology?
5. The Gospel story – why we do, what
we do!
Four ‘key’
heritage sites
and two ‘Connexional
Englesea Brook
Chapel &
Museum, Crewe
The New Room,
The Old
Wesley’s Chapel,
House & Museum,
Building from the bottom up
An ‘upside-down wedding cake’ model for
developing Methodist Heritage
Historic chapels (c550 listed), church collections,
church/circuit/private archives
’Second tier’ Methodist Heritage sites and regional
groupings of wider Connexional significance
And District Archives Network
Key site
Key site
Key site
Key site
The New Room & Charles Wesley’s House,
Bristol – tourist attractions with
discipleship potential
The New Room
• First ever Methodist building
• Multipurpose from start
• Engaging today with civic and
community life
• A city centre pastoral ministry
• A new green space in shopping
centre coming soon
Charles Wesley’s family home
• 18thC town house nearby
• Aim to focus on the heritage of
our hymnody
• Developing educational
2nd tier: Tolpuddle Martyrs’
Chapel, near Dorchester –
making friends and having
• Nationally famous and
internationally significant story in
development of trade unionism
• “Martyrs” mostly Methodists and
local preachers
• New Friends Development Group
aiming for ‘new’ chapel to become
part of village attractions: ‘old’?
• Developing displays that explore
complementary stories to TUC
• Linked in; being relevant to 21stC
What about our historic
chapels: 550 are ‘listed’?
• Can… get involved:
Methodist Heritage Sites’ Network
Annual meeting – 25 February 2012
At Englesea Brook Chapel & Museum of Primitive
Methodism, near Crewe
• Keep in touch: Heritage News
• Tell your story online
Next phase (2012) of new Methodist
Heritage website; in collaboration
with Connexional Property Team
North Shore
Methodist Church,
Blackpool –
opening the doors
and telling their
8 – 11 September 2011
The Churches Tourism
The UK's leading body for
promoting best practice in
welcoming visitors to places of
worship and developing the
Contact Jo Hibbard
Methodist Heritage Officer
Methodist Heritage
Methodist Church House
25 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5JR
E: [email protected]
T: 020 7467 5257