The legendary travelling preacher John Wesley is coming to Brean to take part in the 250th anniversary of Methodism there.

A matinee performance of ‘An Evening with John Wesley’ is being staged at Brean Methodist Church on Saturday July 20th at 2.30pm.

Actor Mark Topping who has appeared on BBC TV as John Wesley, has been touring the country as the charismatic clergyman for 13 years, performing in more than 175 churches and theatres.

The drama looks at Wesley’s adventurous life – including his confrontations with the drunken mobs which were frequently stirred up to disrupt his preaching.

“Wesley is a fascinating character who had an extraordinary life,” says Mark Topping.

“He had a profound effect on people’s faith and how they lived their lives. He influenced the culture of the whole country.”

“In the play I use his journal, letters and sermons to recount some of the key moments of his life. He was a gifted communicator and speaks with great charm, directness and wit.”

Wesley (1703-1791) was a Church of England priest who spent 50 years travelling England Wales, Scotland and Ireland on horseback and preaching in the open air. He founded Methodism which became a separate church after his death.

Wesley came to the Brean area on a number of occasions. On October 23rd, 1766 he recorded in his journal: “I preached to a large and serious congregation at Lympsham Green.”

“Two years later he had to be carried on someone’s shoulders to get to Lympsham because of flooding. In 1770, riding fast because of rain, he had to jump from his horse when the saddle came loose: “I was a little bruised but soon mounted again and rode to Lympsham.”

An Evening with John Wesley is at Brean Methodist Church, Church Road, Brean at 2.30pm on Saturday 20th July 2019. Tickets are priced at £10 per person and include a ‘Summer Tea’ to follow the performance. To reserve tickets, contact Morag Wood on 751660 or by email at moragwood2@btinternet.com.