Author G M Best
Biography of the life of Charles Wesley
Charles Wesley is widely recognised as the world’s greatest hymnwriter and the one who most made hymn singing a central feature of Christian worship. What has received less attention is Charles’ major role as John Wesley’s co-worker. It was Charles who founded the Oxford Holy Club, which is so often seen as the precursor to Methodism. It was Charles who first had his heart strangely warmed and embarked on an evangelical mission. It was Charles who was the main preacher and pastor in the two biggest centres of Methodism, London and Bristol. For many years he was also a key itinerant preacher, particularly in the North-east, Cornwall, Wales, and Ireland. Indeed he was judged a better preacher than John and acted as a mentor to a number of lay preachers.
Charles was known as ‘the man made for friendship’ and many of his friends were critical to the growth of Methodism. In his latter years he fought a continuous battle with John to prevent Methodism becoming a separate church and this in part explains why he has never really been given the credit he deserves.