Communion on the Mount. Our first stop this morning was Hanham Mount, a hill with a breathtaking view of the English countryside. We were met by two members of the Friends of Hanham Mount who explained to our group that John Wesley preached to the colliers in the open air on this very site to crowds of as many as 3,000. Many of the colliers listened with tears streaming down their checks, tears black with coal dust.
We shared communion with one another in this holy space. Mark Fowler and Jane Zekoff explained a bit about the influence of the Moravian Christians on Wesley’s theology. Jane, who served in a Moravian church for several years, served communion in a most personal meaningful way. A joyful way to start the day!
Our next stop was Kingswood School in Bath. John Wesley founded the school in Bristol in 1739. It was moved to its current location in 1748 and is still operated under Wesley’s principles. The school archives are a treasure trove of Wesley documents, including menus that Wesley wrote specifically for the students. We learned over the past few days that Wesley was big on lists of rules and that he was something of a micromanager, but did not know he was a dietician, too!
After Kingswood School, we headed for the Roman Baths in -you guessed it - Bath. The Roman name for the town was Aquae Sulis. The ruins were rediscovered in the 1800’s. A fascinating historical site. The exhibits gave us a glimpse of life in this remote Roman outpost in the AD 60’s.
Our final stop of the day was Glastonbury Abbey, the site of the earliest monastery in Britain. King Arthur and Guinevere are said to be buried there. Some of us hummed tunes from the score of Camelot as we headed back to our hotel in Bristol to process the day.