CENTENARY APPEAL

Our Centenary in 2021 is a chance to celebrate Wesley House’s past by contributing to its future. Every donation you give to this campaign will go fully towards enabling us to further our mission.


The funds will enable us to support students and their learning by:

  • Providing match funding for bursaries

  • Providing books and electronic resources

  • Providing weekly community meals

  • Funding seminars, conferences and courses

  • Contributing to the costs of our free online journal, Holiness

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Jane Leach, Principal, writes

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We stepped out in faith;
we look forwards with hope;
we invite you to share the journey…

 

We stepped out in faith;

 

In 2021 we will be celebrating the Centenary of Wesley House, the Methodist College in Cambridge, with a series of events.  We will be celebrating the rich heritage of Wesley House which trained Methodist Ministers for over ninety years.  We will also be celebrating the success of our initiatives since 2012 when the Methodist Church decided to consolidate ministerial training elsewhere.  At that point the Trustees determined that Wesley House should have a new focus as a resource for Wesleyan leadership and scholarship for the transformation of church and world. In 2014 we stepped out in faith…

 

 

We look forwards with hope;

 

Six years on, as I write, our first 3 year full time bursaried PhD students are preparing for their viva voce examinations.  We have major partnerships with Africa University, Zimbabwe and with Kenya Methodist University to build the capacity of Methodist theological education Africa.  With Africa University we are working with a cohort of 13 PhD students from all over the continent and with KeMU we are researching and teaching a Post Graduate Diploma in Leadership for the Methodist Church in Kenya.  With independent PhD and DProf students from as far flung places as Latvia, Norwich, Singapore, South Africa and the USA, and a further 15 African PhD students we shall recruit and teach in conjunction with staff from Kenya Methodist University, our research student numbers will have risen to 60 by 2023.  Such a network of researchers and supervisors, mostly from the global south, will be a position to renew and take forward Methodist scholarship and leadership into the future, tackling contemporary issues including those that Covid 19 has exposed and exacerbated in and between communities all over the world.

 

The Jesus Lane site remains an important hub for our work.  We remain embedded in the Cambridge Theological Federation and through this ecumenical partnership we are able to sponsor visas for overseas students and sabbatical visitors and offer MA and BTh programmes.  We also partner with Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC to deliver a DMin programme that meets on site in Cambridge. Wesley House maintains a small, praying, residential community and welcomes many others on shorter stays.  Like other organisations, Wesley House has had to adapt the way it operates and many of our activities have moved online with great success.  But our premises in the heart of Cambridge are an important part of our future and this year work has been under way on renovating our premises at 31 and 32 Jesus Lane, with completion expected next month.  These rooms will give us the staff accommodation, staff studies and teaching spaces we need to work with our increasing student and staff numbers.

 

In addition to our work with validated students we are also involved in the generation of research and its dissemination through public lectures, webinars, short courses and professional development activities.  We work through three centres:

 

  • Our Centre for Global Wesleyan Theology from 1 January 2021 will be directed by The Revd Dr Paul Chilcote. Paul is an eminent North American Wesley scholar who has taught in Kenya, Zimbabwe and in the USA. His recent works include:

    • The Methodist Defense of Women in Ministry: A Documentary History.

    • Active Faith: Resisting 4 Dangerous Ideologies with the Wesleyan Way.

    • Singing the Faith: Soundings of Lyrical Theology in the Methodist Tradition.

    • Living Hope: An Inclusive Vision of the Future. With Steve Harper.
       

  • Our Centre for Leadership, Ministry and Supervision is a centre of excellence in the practice of reflective supervision. Wesley House has been instrumental in designing and delivering the ambitious training programme for the supervision for all ministers within the British Methodist Church and is supporting the United Methodist Church in the USA in piloting reflective supervision in their context. We were glad to welcome The Revd Bill Mullally as Director of Supervision on 1 September 2020 to diversify and enhance our work.

 

  • Our Centre for Faith in Public Life will be led, from 1 January 2021 by Dr Richard Davis.  Richard comes to Wesley House from the ecumenical Pacific Theological College (PTC) in Fiji where he has been teaching theology and ethics since 2014. Richard has a PhD in Public Theology from the University of Edinburgh and other degrees in theology, philosophy, and business studies. His current research interests include political theology, climate change, domestic violence, child poverty, and Christian spirituality.

 

We believe that at this challenging time for the church and the world it is more important than ever that Wesley House continues its work of service to both, supporting us all to ‘speak and act Christian’ in contemporary and emerging contexts.

 

 

We invite you to share the journey…

 

Our significant achievements since 2012 have been delivered by a small, dedicated professional staff who are supported in their work by a wider network of volunteers.  Though our running costs are relatively low we receive no core funding from the Methodist Church in Britain (or elsewhere) and we have no endowment on which to rely.  Much of our funding is generated by projects we undertake with partners such as the World Mission Fund.  We have also relied on the College’s bursary fund which has been a valuable source of support to some of our students but which constantly needs replenishing in order to support future students.

 

We are asking our friends to consider helping us in two ways:

 

  • by making a donation to the Centenary Appeal - to help meet immediate needs;

  • by considering leaving a legacy to Wesley House - to help secure our longer-term future.

 

We understand that these are difficult times, and we know that everyone’s financial circumstances are different, but we are asking you to consider making such donation to the Centenary Appeal as you are able.   A gift of £100 would represent £1 for each year that Wesley House has been serving the Church and all donors who give £100 or more will be included in our Centenary Roll which will appear on our website and at Wesley House.  Additionally, those who are able to give £1,000 or more will be recorded as Centenary Benefactors. A handful of substantial legacies from those who have property to leave, for example, would secure a future for our bursary fund that supports global south scholars and leaders.

 

It is easy to give online and information about legacies is available here: www.supportwesley.com/legacies

 

We do hope you will join us in helping to ensure this journey of faith into God’s future...
 

The Church of Christ in every age

Beset by change but Spirit-led

Must claim and test its heritage

And keep on rising from the dead.

 

We have no mission but to serve

In full obedience to our Lord:

To care for all without reserve,

And spread his liberating Word.
 

Fred Pratt-Green

 

 

 

Jane Leach, Principal

November 2020