The New Room
The New Room is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm all year round. Entry is free although donations are welcome.
We look forward to welcoming you to the New Room; over 25,000 visitors come every year from all over the world! As well as the chapel, there are Preacher’s rooms upstairs which accommodate our museum. There is also our shop which stocks a range of items relating to John & Charles Wesley and the New Room.
Telephone: 0117 9264740
HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND GRANT SUCCESS FOR THE OLDEST METHODIST BUILDING IN THE WORLD – AND IT’S IN BRISTOL
The New Room (John Wesley’s Chapel) in Bristol has been awarded a grant of £2.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The historic 276-year-old Grade 1 listed building, in The Horsefair, is known as “the cradle of Methodism”. In 1739, preacher and priest John Wesley bought a plot of land to build a meeting room for those who were responding to his message of faith and social justice.
The New Room, as Wesley called it, was the starting point for the growth of the Methodist Church, which currently has 75 million members around the world. Now, the grant from the HLF, alongside a grant of £1.4 million from the Bristol Methodist District, will enable the existing facilities to be updated.
The trustees are planning to create a new three-storey building in the Horsefair Courtyard. The ground floor of the new building will feature a shop and a café for visitors. On levels 2 and 3 there will be a large multi-media lecture and education room for up to 60 people, an extensive resource library on Methodist history, an archives room and offices.
A lift will connect the floors and the existing museum will be completely revamped to reflect John Wesley’s work in Bristol, in 18th century Britain, and around the world. The interior of the chapel, an architectural gem, will not be changed.
Step back in time
The New Room in Bristol is the oldest Methodist Chapel in the world (originally built in 1739) and the cradle of the early Methodist movement.
It was built and used by John Wesley and the early Methodists as a meeting and preaching place and the centre for helping and educating the needy members of the community.
The chapel itself is on the ground floor (where there is also a shop) and is accessible from either the Broadmead or Horsefair courtyards. Upstairs, are the Preachers’ Rooms where the MLA accredited museum is located. This contains a unique collection of papers and artifacts and tells the story of John and Charles Wesley and their life and work in Bristol.
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There is a short service of Holy Communion in the chapel at 1pm throughout the year to which all are welcome. There is also a prayer book in the chapel for visitors to write in during the week.
There is also a regular series of lunchtime concerts during the course of the year; held on Fridays at 1.20pm, immediately after the service. Please check for details of upcoming concerts by visiting the ’Events’ section of this website.
The New Room has hosted numerous events to mark significant anniversaries, including, most recently, the 300th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Wesley and the 200th Anniversary of the Bill to Abolish the Slave Trade in 2007.
The chapel also hosted the Unchosen Human Trafficking Film Festival in 2008, Celebrating Sanctuary as part of National Refugee Week in 2009, Sheona Beaumont’s ‘Bristol Through the Lens photography exhibition in 2010, Jane Taylor’s Winter Concerts in both 2010 and 2011, Mark Cazalet’s ‘Stations of the Cross’ art exhibition in 2012 and Bristol’s Heritage Buildings; Relics or Legacies? exhibition in 2013.
Please see information attached and below about Asbury celebrations the first weekend in September.
Saturday, September 3rd: A Community Fun Day on The Green in Pill organised by Pill Methodist Church. From 11am-3pm there will be games, food and drink, a village trail, crafts, competitions, storytelling, face painting and stalls – plus a chance to find out about Francis Asbury and his unique link with Pill.
Sunday, September 4th, a ‘Pill-grimage’ will leave the New Room at 11am to walk approximately 6 miles from Bristol to Pill. After a short reflective service at Asbury’s Memorial Stone (the American Monument) at 2.30pm, there will be a service of celebration and commemoration at Pill Methodist Church at 3pm, plus refreshments.
I hope you will all be able to help us celebrate this important weekend!
All the very best
Community Engagement Officer
The New Room/John Wesley’s Chapel
36 The Horsefair, Bristol, BS1 3JE
Tel: +44 (0) 117 9264740