A letter written by John Wesley to Tommy in King’s Lynn on 3rd April 1782 sold last year for $5063 to a collector. In the letter Wesley tells Tommy  to be of good courage. “You have had a token for good at  Lynn, where things were desperate. And I do not doubt, but you will see good days again in and around Fakenham.”  

A few years later, In Wesley’s own diary for January 1, 1790, he wrote of being an old man. “I am now an old man, decayed from head to foot. My eyes are dim; my right hand shakes much; my mouth is hot and dry every morning; I have a lingering fever almost every day; my motion is weak and slow. However, blessed be God, I do not slack my labour: I can preach and write still.”

Wesley travelled continually, up and down the country, visiting the churches and preaching the Gospel. In July he visited Lynn again, writing “No coach going out for Lynn today, I was obliged to take a postchaise…. The wind, with mizzing rain, came full in our faces, and we had nothing to screen us from it; I was thoroughly chilled from head to foot before I came to Lynn. But I soon forgot this little inconvenience, for which the earnestness of the congregation made me large amends.”

Some sixty years later as I have written previously, revival hit again, doubling the congregation in a few years and requiring London Road Methodist Chapel to be built to accommodate the 770 church members.

What do we learn from these snapshots of Lynn Church history?

  • Be of good courage! The Apostle Paul challenged us to never be lacking in zeal. Wesley writes be of good courage! Lift up your eyes to God, look to Him and enjoy the favour His grace and the Spirit provides.
  • The church will prevail – it won’t die out in a secular society – the good news about Jesus is as powerful now as it was 2000 years ago. This snapshot of church history shows increase and setback. Churches ebb and flow in size. Keep pressing on and God will give the increase, using us to rescue people from a desperate state to the blessings of knowing Jesus.
  • Pray like it all depends on God, work like it all depends on us. Wesley’s life exemplified this! I’d add sleep like a Calvinist, because at the end of the day it still all depends on God!

Our church, like many others,  has entered the year with a growing sense of ease in extending the Kingdom of God that comes from walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. To paraphrase Wesley, things may be desperate out there, but good things are happening in Christ’s churches. Let us catch the wave!

Andy Moyle


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