Education at the New Room


Who was John Wesley?

What did he do in Bristol?

Why is his story important to people all over the world?

Why did his views on slavery cause a riot?


Find out the answers to all these questions and more by booking a visit to the New Room for your class or group. We offer age-appropriate and curriculum-linked tours and workshops for all ages in our new, expanded facilities, which include:

  • The New Room – 18th century chapel and gallery, the oldest Methodist building in the world and still a working chapel.
  • The Museum – this creative space tells the story of the Wesleys and Methodism with hands-on displays and learning opportunities across 12 rooms.
  • Education Room – a fully equipped room for school groups, including film and PowerPoint facilities.
    (NB this room can also be used as an indoor lunch space if required.)
  • Café
  • Accessible toilets
  • Shop
  • Lift

School travel bursaries available.  Contact our Education Officer to book and to find out more.

Activities exploring Holy Week and Easter

Easter is a very important festival in the Christian calendar.

Over the period known as Holy Week, services are held in churches and elsewhere to remember events in Jesus’ life leading up to his death on Good Friday.

Easter Sunday is also a big day as Christians celebrate their belief that Jesus rose from the dead.

It is difficult for Christians to meet together to mark Holy Week and Easter this year and at the New Room our services in the chapel and activities planned in the museum can’t go ahead.

So if you would like to explore Easter at home, here is a list of useful resources to look at and download.

Happy Easter from the New Room Education Team!

New resource for planning trips exploring slavery and abolition

Our leaflet on “Transatlantic Slavery and Abolition in Bristol” provides a one-stop source of information for teachers wanting to arrange a visit to the city to explore this particular topic:


General Information

Bookable Workshops:

Introducing John Wesley and the New Room (Reception and Key Stage One)

Curriculum Links: RE – Why are some places special?

Through an introductory talk and tour around our chapel and interactive museum, pupils can learn about John Wesley and his work in Bristol and beyond. Why is the chapel such a special place? Who are the Methodists? Can be tailored to include a quiz and/or other activities as required.

Length of workshop: 2 hours

Price: £5 per pupil with accompanying teachers/helpers free.


Introducing John Wesley and the New Room (Key Stage Two)

Curriculum Link: RE – How should we live and who can inspire us?

Curriculum Link: History – A Local History Study

Through an introductory talk and tour around our chapel and interactive museum space, pupils can learn about John Wesley and his work in Bristol and beyond. Why is the chapel such a special place? Who are the Methodists? What did John Wesley believe and how is this relevant to us today? Includes a talk, museum quiz and other tailored activities.

Length of workshop: 2 hours 

Price: £5 per pupil with accompanying teachers/helpers free.


Slavery and Abolition (Key Stages Two and Three)

Curriculum Link: History – A Local History Study.

John Wesley caused a riot when he preached against slavery from the pulpit in the New Room in 1788. Local merchants sent men to disrupt the service. Undeterred, he continued to support the abolition movement. His last letter before his death was sent to the MP William Wilberforce, supporting his anti-slavery campaign.

We have developed workshops for Key Stages 2 and 3 which explore issues of slavery and abolition in Bristol.

A typical running order over two hours would be:

  • a tour of the chapel and introduction to John and Charles Wesley
  • a tour of the museum, particularly looking at the exhibits featuring slavery and abolition and finding the answers to quiz questions
  • a ‘re-enactment’ of John Wesley’s anti-slavery sermon and the ensuing riot (this is a noisy activity)
  • a short workshop  (30 mins) featuring a letter writing activity

Length of visit: 2 hours

Price: £5 per pupil with accompanying teachers/helpers free.

We are happy to work in partnership with other sites featured in the Transatlantic Slavery and Abolition leaflet to create a ‘tailor made’ day visit to Bristol to explore this theme. 


Charles Wesley’s House – (Key Stages One and Two)

Curriculum Links: RE and History

Take a step back in time at Charles Wesley’s House (near Bristol Bus Station). Pupils can learn about the story of Charles Wesley and his very talented family. During a two-hour visit, a typical class of 30 is split into four smaller groups who take part in four 30-minute workshops.

  1. Dressing up in 18th century costume and exploring the house
  2. Learning about life in the 18th century and writing on slates with chalk
  3. Learning about the kitchen and making lavender bags
  4. Finding out about the portraits of Charles Wesley’s two sons and drawing their own portrait

Cost: £5 per pupil with accompanying teachers/helpers free

RE Days for Primary Schools

Our education team have devised an RE Day which introduces a whole school to John Wesley. We can run lesson plans and assemblies for Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 across a day! Please contact our Education Officer  for details.

Booking a Visit

If you would like to know more about any of these workshops, or would like to make a booking, please contact our Education Officer, Mandy Briggs via or by ringing 0117 926 4740.

Self-Led Visits

If you would like to visit with a school/college group but do not wish to have a guided tour or talk, then the cost of visiting the museum and chapel is £2.50 per pupil, with accompanying teachers and helpers free.


Our Education Officer and members of the education team are all DBS checked.  

Risk Assessment: Available for download here:  THE NEW ROOM – RISK ASSESSMENT FOR SCHOOLS

Other Groups for Young People – if you are a leader of a uniformed organisation, Junior Church group, Sunday School, activity group or any other group for children or young people, please contact our team if you would like to bring your group to visit the New Room. Early evening and after-school slots are available.

Adult Learners and Groups: please contact the New Room to discuss a tailored visit and group booking.