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On Tuesday 6th February, LIV and MIV visited John Wesley's New Room Museum in Bristol to learn about the foundation of the Methodist Church as part of the Academic Enrichment Week's theme, 'People who changed the world'. Here, Georgia and Jemima (MIV) report on their visit:

'When we arrived by coach at John Wesley's New Room Museum in Bristol, we met our tour guide and headed to the main room, where we sat on the pews and learnt about the history of the building. We learned about John Wesley who founded the Methodist movement in the Church of England. The museum was situated in the very first Methodist church in Bristol, it was a large, airy, stunning but simplistic building with a chapel, museum, and café. We then went outside to a statue of John Wesley on his horse and were told about how much he cared for animals, especially his horses, and learnt that he travelled a total of 250,000 miles on horseback preaching throughout his life. We were told that he was usually depicted on a horse, as he often preached from his horse so that people could see and hear him while he preached. This was one of the only churches in the world that had a stable!

We then split off into two groups, both doing separate activities, then swapping over. My groups’ activity involved looking at John Wesley’s rules and having a go at making our own. We also watched a video from the Methodist Church showing their response to the cost-of-living crisis, as they give free meals on a Wednesday to anyone who wanted one, and provided advice for adults and entertainment for the children. It was lovely to see how they were helping the community.

After that, we switched activities, and we went into the museum and explored John Wesley and his friends’ house and bedrooms. This was my favourite part of the museum as we could interact with everything and there were lots of fun tasks to engage with. This included looking at some medicines that John Wesley had created using natural ingredients, his campaigning work for the abolition of slavery, and many other interesting and unusual facts about him.

After an exciting re-enactment of a particular speech John Wesley performed regarding the abolition of slavery and the audience’s reaction to it (this involved either booing or cheering as loudly as we could), we got on the coach to go back to school.

When we got back to school, after lunch we split into our classes and created a poster about a religious person who changed the world. We looked at how they might have done this, and how their faith influenced their actions. We created posters on several different people, including Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, John Wesley, the Dalai Lama and Joan of Arc. We then then headed back to house for a well-deserved tea.

Our last activity for the day was a Zoom call with someone who worked at the Müller Museum. We learnt about George Müller, who was a devout Christian and built the first orphanages in Bristol, housing over 10,000 orphaned throughout his lifetime, with many more today as the charity is still running after all the years. It was very interesting to hear about his life, and how, although he wasn’t the most well-behaved as a child, he changed and never asked for money, instead praying for money and resources he needed, putting his faith in God and trusting that He would provide. We learnt of many stories where George asked God for things for the orphans in his care, such as bananas and money, and those things would be donated to him.

It was really fascinating to hear about all these people who have changed the world, and inspired us to make a difference and stand out. The day was very fun, enjoyable, and thought-provoking. Teaching us about a few of the many inspirational people who have changed the world in so many wonderful ways.'