Print of the Assembly of Preachers at City Road Chapel, London

Five facts about the Print of the Assembly of Preachers at City Road Chapel, London

1) All 446 preachers in this print can be identified.

2) It would not be uncommon for Methodist chapels like this one to be packed to the rafters in the 18th and early 19th centuries – sometimes the preacher would need to climb through the window to get to the pulpit!

3) The Wesleyan Methodist Church only ordained its first deaconess in 1890. Following the Methodist Union, the Methodist Church started to ordain women again in 1974.

4) On 2 July, 1974, at the Methodist Conference in Bristol 17 women were ordained.

5) The first woman to become President of the Methodist Conference was Dr K.M. Richardson in 1992.

About the Assembly of Preachers

This is a posthumous print of John Wesley preaching to 446 other preachers in his connexion at City Road Chapel in London. It was printed in May 1822 and is a fanciful depiction of an event which never took place, but it is one of the earliest depictions of the interior of City Road Chapel. The print gives an idea of the building’s appearance before the Victorian alternations. It is remarkable to place this picture next to the latest Methodist Conference photos, you cannot fail to notice the all-male, all-white congregation of preachers from 1822.

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