Monday, November 16, 2009

A memorial to an amazing church planter

Hugh Bourne, the main founding father of the Primitive Methodist movement, died on Oct 11th, 1852 aged eighty years. More than sixteen thousand people (note that number!) lined the streets for the funeral procession between the town of Tunstall in North Staffordshire and the little village of Englesea Brook where he was buried.

At the funeral sermon, the Rev. W. Antcliff said this: “On the Cathedral of St. Paul’s in London, in honour of its illustrious architect, Sir Christopher Wren, there reads an inscription in Latin, the English of which is, ‘If you ask for his monument, look around.’ We appropriate the beautiful sentiment, and to all the inquirers for the monument of Hugh Bourne respond – ‘Look around!’

Look on the

five hundred and sixty (560) travelling preachers,

the nine thousand three hundred and fifty (9,350) local preachers,

the six thousand six hundred and thirty two (6,632) class leaders,

the five thousand three hundred and eighteen (5,318) chapels and other places of worship,

the one thousand four hundred and sixty three (1,463) Sabbath schools,

the twenty two thousand three hundred and ninety eight (22,398) gratuitous teachers,

the one hundred and eighteen thousand five hundred and eight (118,508) scholars,

and on the one hundred and nine thousand nine hundred and eighty four (109,984) members,

belonging to the Primitive Methodist Connexion, not forgetting those who have already gone home (in other words, those who have died) ….

If he has not left behind him wealth and worldly glory, he has left what will survive them”

How about that for a monument and a memorial to a man of God? Let us pray that God will raise up church planters in our day and generation who make such a large impact on our world for Christ and the gospel.

“Memoirs of the Life and Labours of Hugh Bourne", Volume II, p380, republished by Tentmaker Publications 121 Hartshill Rd, Stoke-on-Trent (

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