Methodist Heritage

Winchelsea Historic
Methodist Chapel

Events and Calendar
Friends of Winchelsea Historic Methodist Chapel
History of Winchelsea Methodism
How to find The Chapel and Wesley Tree
How to book to visit or use the Chapel
About Winchelsea
Hastings Bexhill and Rye Circuit
Contact us


To find out more about this Historic Chapel please buy the book! It can be bought at the Chapel or Rye Bookshop. It can also be ordered by post with a cheque for £6 plus post and packing (£3 UK, £5 EU, £8 RoW) to Barry Turnwell, 7 Salvington Crescent, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 3NP.
NOTE: Please make cheque payable to 'Friends of Winchelsea Methodist Chapel'. They will then forward the book to you and the cheque to the Friends.
All proceeds go to support the Chapel

Next Event:

We hope to be able to open the Chapel for short visits once per month, restrictions permitting. See Events and Calendar for open periods.

Wesley and Winchelsea
The small gem which is Winchelsea's Wesley Chapel, has its own special atmosphere of peace, and still has the pulpit from which Wesley preached. The 'Friends of Winchelsea Methodist Chapel' organise monthly events, hold special services at times such as Easter, Ascension, Harvest and Christmas and contribute to social events in Winchelsea by holding open sessions. The Chapel can also be visited by groups or individuals by special arrangement and may be hired for seminars and for educational and other events.

The early history of Methodism in South-East Sussex starts in 1756 and after this John Wesley made many visits to the area from 1758. His first very successful visit to Winchelsea was on 30 October 1771, arriving on foot to preach to "a considerable number of serious people".

Wesleys Pulpit
Wesley's pulpit

A Prayer for the Chapel
God our Father, we thank you for your faithfulness shown to generations before us, and to us today. We pray for the Chapel at Winchelsea, that through discovering our story, those who come into the peace of this place might encounter your love for them. As the Methodists of old went out into the world and tried to change it, so may we, and all who come into our Chapel, be inspired to make a difference where you place us.

Rev. Ian Pruden, 2013


Wesley's (or Evens') Chapel and the Wesley Tree

John Wesley's first visit to Winchelsea in 1771 made a great impression on the townspeople. They formed a Wesleyan Society in 1774 and eventually built their own Preaching House (Evens' Chapel) which opened in 1785.
This Chapel, shown above, is virtually unchanged from that time.
Wesley returned in 1789 and preached in the Chapel. On his further return in 1790, so many people crowded to see him that he could not preach in the Chapel as it was too small. The Rector had banned him from using the local Anglican Church, so he preached his very last outdoor sermon here in Winchelsea. This was under an old ash tree which became known as Wesley's Tree, but it fell in 1927. A sapling grown from a cutting of the original tree was planted on the same spot in 1931. That tree still stands and every year a commemorative event takes place beneath its branches.
Unfortunately by 2012 the tree appeared to be danger once more. It had diseased limbs, which posed a threat to the public. These were removed and its crown lowered in late 2013. Happily it is looking very healthy again.