Wesley and Well-being

John Wesley's Primitive Physic and the enduring legacy of “holistic holiness”

"By salvation I mean, not barely (according to the vulgar notion) deliverance from hell, or going to heaven, but a present deliverance from sin, a restoration of the soul to its primitive health…”

John Wesley

Wesley and Well-being – the exhibition

Wesley and Well-being is a travelling Methodist Heritage exhibition, initially visiting six Methodist heritage sites in spring and summer 2012. This display was commissioned by the then Heritage Officer, Jo Hibbard, for the Methodist Heritage Committee, and in collaboration with the Methodist Church's Olympics Co-ordinator, Ish Lennox, to feature the work of the More Than Gold initiative. More Than Gold is a multi-denominational Christian partnership, which is determined to use sporting events to reach out to communities in fresh and exciting ways.

Sport and healthy living, hospitality and community, are all higher up the agenda because of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 in London, and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. These themes as they have strong, but often over-looked resonances in John Wesley's holistic approach to ministry and in Methodism's concern for social justice and outreach. The Methodist Heritage Committee was keen to grasp the opportunity to link this heritage into the Methodist Church's work with the Games.

The Wesley and Well-being exhibition comprises of six panels that explore Wesley's spiritual and medical advice to ensure healthy living and a holiness of body, mind and spirit. There is a FREE leaflet to support the display explaining how the Methodist Church has, and continues to have, a holistic approach, including engaging with communities through sport and hospitality.

Five of the panels offer Wesley's advice with modern opinion on these matters and Biblical references: You can download pdfs of the panels below (NB these are large files)

Wholeness and holiness
Water: The wholesomest of all drinks
Plant cures: A decoction of leaves
Exercise: Strengthen any weak part
Diet: Plain food with due labour

The last panel takes a more light-hearted look at some of the ‘cures' Wesley prescribes that today we may want to think of as best left as curiosities of the past

Rotten Remedies & Curious Cures

Read more


The exhibition was written and designed for Methodist Heritage by Precaedo
The ‘Rotten Remedies' cartoons were drawn by Fred Richmond.
Panels and leaflet © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 2012

See the exhibition:

2 April – 27 April:
Epworth Old Rectory, Lincolnshire

30 April – 24 May:
John Wesley's Chapel/The New Room, Bristol

25 May – 22 June:
Wesley Cottage, Trewint, Launceston, Cornwall

25 June – 20 July:
Englesea Brook Chapel & Museum of Primitive Methodism, near Crewe

23 July – 23 August:
John Wesley's City Road Chapel, House & Museum, London

24 August – 30 September:
Holy Biscuit Gallery / Newcastle Brunswick Methodist Church

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