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The Financing of John Wesley's Methodism c.1740-1800$
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Clive Murray Norris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198796411

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198796411.001.0001

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Wesleyan Itinerant Preachers

Wesleyan Itinerant Preachers

(p.13) 1 Wesleyan Itinerant Preachers
The Financing of John Wesley's Methodism c.1740-1800

Clive Murray Norris

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains that the key Methodist imperative was to spread the Gospel. Itinerant preaching was one of its main means of so doing, though the preachers had other administrative functions. The early arrangements for deploying and supporting preachers were informal, and life often precarious, but gradually the system became formal and standardized, based on groups of local societies (‘circuits’). There was a shift to full-time ministry, accompanied by the routine provision of stipends (‘quarterage’), accommodation, family allowances, and pensions. The growing numbers of married preachers with children greatly increased the financial pressures on the movement as the century wore on, but many preachers had other income, including commission on Book Room sales, and gifts from the laity. However, although over time life for the preachers improved, money was still often tight.

Keywords:   itinerant preaching, circuits, preachers’ incomes, quarterage, allowances, pensions

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