Sunday, 24 May 2020

It's Wesley Day

Methodists the world over call this day, 24th  May"Wesley Day" - it marks the day in 1738 when John Wesley became a Christian. Wesley Day 1959 was the day on which another great Methodist, Dr William Sangster died.
I'm not a Methodist, but in 1970, I was given this book - the biography written by the man's son, published just a few months before.
I found it challenging and encouraging. Sangster was a good man, and a gifted preacher. He became the Pastor of "Westminster Central Hall" - that large place of worship close to the Houses of Parliament. During the War Years, the basement was a huge air-raid shelter, where he and his wife led a team of volunteers who looked after those who took refuge there. He was an inspiration to many Christians, of all denominations, during the war years, and afterwards. 
There are lots of brilliant stories in this little book - he had a great sense of fun [a quality sadly lacking in some members of the clergy] and his loving family showed care and hospitality to so many.
But in his fifties he became very ill, with progressive muscular atrophy, a form of motor neurone disease. He knew it was incurable, he knew he would gradually lose all his faculties, until he would be unable to breathe. His life would become locked down, more and more limited in what he could do. His attitude to this was amazing. 
He kept a diary for as long as he was able to write, and in this he spoke of his reaction to the diagnosis. He says "I made some resolutions...

  • I will never complain
  • I will keep the home bright
  • I will count my blessings
  • I will try to turn it to gain
And he did all those things - until the very end, his home was a place of joy, and there were many positive things which came out of his illness, which blessed many other people. The excerpts from the diary, and details in the book, show that he did keep his resolve. And I keep thinking of this brave man, whose unshakeable trust in God helped him through all his suffering, until he peacefully departed this life.
Perhaps during this time of lockdown I should copy out Sangster's Resolutions, and postthem on the fridge, to remind myself. My situation is easy compared to his - but these four simple statements will still be something of a challenge for me. [Especially the first one]


  1. Those are indeed challenging, esp the complaining one (I spent a LOT of life moaning about children!) Thank you for sharing- I shall certainly think about them and see if I can work on those.

  2. I like his resolutions. I try to keep two of those resolutions, myself - not complain and count my blessings. :)

  3. We are Methodists ! Thank you for this post Angela.

  4. This Baptist thanks the Anglican, the Buddhist and the Methodist who have commented on this post!


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