The year 2003 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Wesley. Wesley did not originate the Evangelical Revival, which was transatlantic in its origins, but became the most energetic, original and pragmatic of the evangelical leaders, founding - even if it was not his intention - a world-wide Protestant Communion. This text seeks to set Wesley firmly in his historical context, analyzing his life, practice and theology. It shows that while there were "many Methodisms", there was a central core of spirituality and style which had a great influence on the artisan groups of men (and women), providing stability, purpose and meaning, and enabling "nobodies to become somebodies". The author also discusses the Primitive Methodist Church, which illustrates the fact that Methodism was a wider phenomenon than the more Wesleyan varieties.
Before retirement, John Munsey Turner was Superintendent Minister in Halifax and Bolton, he is the author of "Conflict and Reconciliation: Studies in Methodism and Ecumenism in England, 1740-1982" (Epworth, 1985) and "Modern Methodism in England, 1932-1998" (Epworth, 1998)