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Charles Wesley Society

Charles Wesley (1707-1788), Anglican priest and co-founder of the Methodist movement, is regarded throughout the world as one of the greatest hymn-writers of all time. His contribution to theology, English literature, history, and the community of faith will take years to fully appropriate and assess.

The Charles Wesley Society was founded in 1990 for the purpose of the study, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of Charles Wesley's poetry and prose. While acknowledging a strong Anglican/Methodist heritage, in the spirit of the broad, dynamic, spiritual impact of his hymns and poetry, the Society is ecumenical, pluralistic, and inclusive. Its concerns are wide-ranging, and include textual, musical, historical, theological, pastoral, and literary studies.

We hope that this website provides important information to you and stimulates your interest in this amazing man of God. We encourage you to become a member of the Society! Enjoy the website, and feel free to forward to us your comments and questions.

Paul Wesley Chilcote is President of the Society and welcomes inquiries of any kind. Contact him on pinel-loi-gouv.fr.


CWS Executive and Board of Directors

Paul W. Chilcote, President

Timothy S. A-Macquiban, Vice President

Robert Williams, Treasurer

Patrick Eby, Secretary

Peter S. Forsaith, Sec-Treasurer for the U.K.

S T Kimbrough, Jr., Director of Publications

Jason Vickers, Program Coordinator

Board of Directors

Friedemann W. Burkhardt

Kenneth G. C. Newport

Maxine E. Walker

William White

Carlton R. Young


Membership in The Charles Wesley Society is open to all who are interested in the study, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of Charles Wesley's poetry and prose. Annual meetings provide opportunity for hearing lectures by specialists in the study of Charles Wesley, meeting other persons interested in Charles Wesley, and participating in research or publishing projects related to the poetry and prose of Charles Wesley.

Workshops for more informal and intense discussion of special interests are included with the annual meetings, and each member is asked to choose two sections for such participation. The six sections are:

  1. Text
  2. Music and text
  3. History
  4. Theology
  5. Community of faith
  6. English literature

Members receive The Charles Wesley Society Newsletter when it is published. They also receive The Proceedings of The Charles Wesley Society, an annual collection of papers presented at the meetings of The Society. Additional copies of these publications may be purchased by members at a discount.

Other publications of The Charles Wesley Society are made available to members of The Society at a substantial discount. Such publications include a series of facsimile reprints of first editions of Wesley materials and additional material offered by The Society to its members from time to time.

There are four categories of membership: regular, student, retiree, and life. Annual dues are payable by the regular, student, and retiree members. Life members pay a one-time fee of $750. Dues and other gifts support the work of The Society and assist it in promoting and publishing the works of Charles Wesley. In the years since The Charles Wesley Society was organized in 1990, its membership has consisted of both clergy and laity from around the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, the U.S.A., Zimbabwe, and the West Indies.

The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of The Charles Wesley Society

The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of The Charles Wesley Society was held 30 September 30-2 October, 2004 at Point Loma Nazarene University, being jointly sponsored by the Wesley Center for 21st Century Studies, directed by Dr. Maxine Walker, one of our Board members. The theme of the conference was “Charles Wesley and Worship.” The conference formally opened on Thursday evening with a banquet and Presidential Address on “Preliminary Explorations” of the theme. Other papers delivered included the plenary keynote address by Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker on “Charles Wesley and Worship;” “Crucifixion, Fillmore and Sagina: And Can It Be and its Circuitous Path” by Dr. Bill Clemmons, Professor of Music at PLNU; and “The Art of Hymn and Lyrical Theology,” by Dr. S T Kimbrough, Jr.

Workshops and hymn sings also gave the event a practical and uplifting ambiance. Rev. Swee Hong Lim, a doctoral student from Drew University, provided a workshop on “Re-tuning Charles Wesley for the 21st Century” and Dr. Juliette Singler, Assistant Professor of Music at PLNU discussed her experience in producing a delightful musical drama in a workshop entitled, “‘Family of Faith': A Faculty and Student Collaborative Effort in Music Narrative Portraying the Wesley Family.” At the close of the first evening of the conference, S T Kimbrough, Jr. treated the assembly to a characteristically fine hymn sing of Wesleyan Eucharistic Hymns, and President Chilcote formally closed the event with the celebration of the Eucharist, using a service composed entirely of Charles Wesley poetry/hymnody.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the conference was a trip to the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, where we toured the mission, participated in an early evening worship event in the basilica, and shared dinner together on the grounds. A musical feast, “‘Found' in Wonder, Love, and Praise,” followed dinner and crowned the evening. No fewer than eleven different performing groups from various churches in the San Diego area presented Wesleyan hymnody. We all felt united in Christ through the wonderful vehicle of Charles Wesley's hymns as soloists, instrumentalists, and various groups from Congregational, Catholic, Nazarene, Church of God, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Church of God in Christ, Salvation Army, United Methodist, and Episcopal traditions performed. Dr. Walker and her staff organized this event, and many thanks go to them for their fine effort.

(San Diego CA)


Publications of the Charles Wesley Society

One of the purposes of The Society is the publication of various materials related to Charles Wesley. The Society publishes some books and facsimile reprints, in addition to the Newsletter and the Proceedings, all of which may be obtained directly from us. But on these pages we also want to direct you to other resources. You can obtain many books related to Charles Wesley through Cokesbury. For information on these, call their toll free number, 1-800-672-1789. From time to time, we may feature special books or collections here. It is our hope to have a full bibliography on the life and work of Charles Wesley available soon. In the meantime, peruse, download an order form, and enjoy these resources.