Methodists' 250th anniversary in Gibraltar

Methodists have been present on the Rock since 1769 and they celebrate their 250th anniversary this week with a reception at the Garrison Library on Thursday 23rd May, which will be attended by H.E. the Governor, and other local dignitaries. 

Although the exact date of the foundation of Methodism on the Rock is unclear, the first recorded information comes through correspondence between Sgt Major Henry Ince and John Wesley, founder of Methodism in Great Britain. Ince is of course one of the more prominent figures from Gibraltar's history, although more from his instigation and involvement in the digging of the tunnels through the Rock to place guns on the 'notch' which are now known as the Upper Galleries, or Great Siege Tunnels. It is less well known that he wrote to John Wesley in April 1769 to describe how he had set up a Methodist Society in Gibraltar.

This was followed by an order from His Excellency the Governor, General Cornwallis which stated: "‘Whereas divers soldiers and inhabitants assemble themselves every evening to prayer it's the Governor's Order that no person whatever presume to molest them nor to go into their meeting to behave indecently there’."

The roots were set, and since then, Methodism has had a presence in the continually growing multi-faith society for which Gibraltar is well known, though at times its presence was not welcome on the Rock.

"The Gibraltar Methodist Church today is a vibrant community of people committed to worshipping God and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through their words and their actions, which include feeding and providing clothing for the needy and being involved in other outward looking projects like Street Pastors etc," said statement.