“What happened to radical Christianity that turned the world upside-down? What happened to the category- smashing, life-threatening anti-institutional gospel that spread through the first century like wildfire and was considered (by those in power) dangerous? What happened to the kind of Christians whose hearts were on fire, who had no fear, who spoke the truth no matter what the consequence, who made the world uncomfortable, who were willing to follow Jesus wherever he went? What happened to the kind of Christians who were filled with passion and gratitude, and who every day were unable to get over the grace of God?”

So asked Episcopal priest Robert Capon.

Well, in the 18th Century, a Christian movement began which was all these things. Its members turned society upside- down, took risks to share their faith, had a passion for helping the poor, stood out from others like a sore thumb, were open to the Holy Spirit, were disciplined and unceasing in their devotions and, above all, were thankful for Christ’s saving grace. Under John Wesley, these people were called ‘Methodists’.


‘SEED’ is an exploration of how Methodism might be lived out in community in a contemporary context. Its intention is to be informal and participatory and its aim is missional discipleship i.e. outward looking. It recognises that Methodism was, initially, a movement. ‘SEED’ comes under the Methodist Church in Ireland’s Home Mission Dept. with the freedom to experiment and evolve, sharing the learning with the wider MCI. The hope is that ‘SEED’ will become what God wishes it to be. It is open to listening and learning from other movements and initiatives. For some, SEED (in Phase 4) may become their main place of fellowship, learning and springboard for mission, for others it may be a helpful ‘add- on’ to life within a traditional congregation and for still others, the process of Phases 2 and 3 alone may be helpful.

There are four phases:

1) gathering those interested

2) exploring early Methodism together

3) identifying how it can be applied in contemporary society

4) living it out in a faith community

Phase 2 (7:15 to 9:15pm UNLESS otherwise stated):

Saturday 30th Sep. / Glengormley Meth. - Methodism as a Movement and Institution - ALAN LORIMER

Saturday 4th Nov. / Glengormley Meth. - Methodism: A Move of the Holy Spirit - MICHAEL SPENCE

Saturday 2nd Dec. / Skainos, Belfast - Personal and Social Holiness – KEN WILSON * 6:00 start with meal

Saturday 6th Jan. / Belfast South Meth., Lisburn Rd., Belfast - How Early Methodists were Organised - JOHN ALDERDICE

Saturday 10th Feb. / Edgehill College - The Methodist Quadrilateral - JANET UNSWORTH

Saturday 10th Mar. / Seymour Street Meth., Lisburn - The Four Alls - DAVID TURTLE

Saturday 24th Mar. / Edgehill College –collective reflections & sharing * 4:00 until 7:00 pm, possibly with meal at end (this session will be preceded by 48 hours of prayer in people’s own spaces)

Saturday 12th May / Skainos, Belfast – ‘Where do we go from here?’ * 6:00 start with meal

Best if you can commit to all these but we record content (of first six meetings) which will be available.
The group will, collectively, determine how to do Phase 3 and become Phase 4.

WHO is SEED for?
Laity (18+) and clergy for whom missional living is a heartfelt desire and are willing to wrestle with their faith and the challenge of living it out. For those in church, outside church, longing for church or who have a new vision for faith community. Those who can commit to others. Those who are excited about potentially shaping a new expression of a faith community and ‘turning society upside-down’ by appreciating some of the values and practices of early Methodism. For those for whom this sounds like it might be worth the risk and could be what they’ve been waiting for; creating something not for self but for God’s needy world.

Queries / more info: Jonny & Lisa Best , Tim & June Dunwoody 

Council of Reference: Heather Morris, Brian Fletcher, Charles Harris, Des Bain, Laurence Graham
SEED WhatsApp Group: join the ongoing discussions, receive notifications, catch up if you’ve missed sessions