On 26 September the publication of volume 1 of the collected letters of the hymn writer and religious leader Charles Wesley was celebrated in a reception held at the John Rylands Library.
The event was attended by representatives of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, including the President of Conference Reverend Ruth Gee. Guests from the Church and the Library were joined by senior academics from the University of Manchester and Liverpool Hope University where Reverend Professor Kenneth G.C. Newport, the joint editor of the letters, is Pro-Vice Chancellor.
Prior to the reception, many guests took advantage of the opportunity to have escorted tours of the building and to view treasures from the Rylands and Methodist collections.
After a few words of welcome from Simon Bains, Head of Research Services and Deputy University Librarian, guests heard presentations on the significance of the publication and the textual challenge from Professor Newport and his co-editor, Dr Gareth Lloyd of the John Rylands Library. Professor Jeremy Gregory then chaired a lively Q&A session.
The letters of Charles Wesley comprise one of the most important collections of personal papers in the University of Manchester Library’s Special Collections. Their publication by Oxford University Press is the product of a ten-year collaboration between Manchester and Liverpool Hope, with the support of the Methodist Church, and has been widely reported in the mainstream press.