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Islington, London

John and Charles Wesley preached in the old St Mary's parish church 1738-42, during the incumbency of the Rev. George Stonehouse. It was the scene of one of the most concentrated evangelical efforts of early Methodism, until protests by the Vestry brought it to an end. John Wesley continued to minister in Islington and Finsbury from the Foundery and Wesley\'s Chapel. The New Wells, near to Sadler's Wells, was a Methodist 'Tabernacle' from 1752 to 1756 and John Wesley preached there in 1754. He frequently retreated to 25 Highbury Place, home of John Horton, a drysalter and member of the Common Council of London, dining there for the last time on 22 February 1791, a few days before he died. In 1821 Wesley's Chapel hired a butcher's shop in White Lion Street and established a Sunday School which evolved into the Liverpool Road WM Chapel (1826). Sir Francis Lycett and Samuel D. (\'Judge\') Waddy were members there and notable ministers included James H. Rigg, W. Morley Punshon and Luke H. Wiseman. The church closed in 1930 and the society joined with Drayton Park to become Islington Central Hall under the ministry of Donald O. Soper, who held open-air meetings in Highbury Fields. The congregation moved to Albans Place in 1953 and then in 1963 to Palmers Place as Islington Central Methodist Church.

There were Calvinistic Methodistchapels in Providence Place and Gaskin Street. The first two ministers of Union Chapel in Compton Terrace (1806) were former Methodists who became Congregationalists. In Cross Street from 1860 to 1866 a WM Missionary College founded by Dr Andrew Kessen taught Tamil and other languages to a dozen students from Richmond College preparing for work in India and Ceylon. The headquarters of NCH Action for Children is at 85 Highbury Park.


  • WHS(LHC) 26 (1982) and 36 (1987)

Entry written by: NM
Category: Place

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