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Assistant

At the first Conference, in 1744, all John Wesley's itinerants were called 'Helpers', i.e. of Wesley himself and the other ordained clergy. Their work was 'in the absence of a minister, to feed and guide the flock'. By 1745 the term 'Assistant' was in use and, as the movement spread, this became the term for the supervising preacher in each circuit, responsible to John Wesley for the other itinerants (now called 'Helpers'), for local preachers, for regulating the societies, making the quarterly Preaching planspreaching plan and keeping Membershipmembership lists up to date. After Wesley's death, the term was replaced by 'Superintendent'.

Sources

  • WM Minutes, 1744, 1745, 1792
  • A History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, vol. 4, 'Documents and Source Material' (1988),pp.116-19

Entry written by: MB
Category: Subject

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