Visit to Hong Kong

To celebrate the legacy of The Revd Paul Jefferies, Margaret (nee Jefferies) and Mike Wilson visited Hong Kong last month.  Mike gave a lecture at Chung Chi College where his father-in-law, Paul (a graduate of Wesley House) was the founding Dean.

HC.9 The Methodist contingent at the lecture 19mar15



HC.14 Presenting the President with WH linocut. Also Revd LI Pong-kwong and Revd CHANG Tak-cheung 22mar15HC.10 addressing congregation Kowloon MC 22mar15

Paul was also a minister at Kowloon Methodist Church where Margaret and Mike also visited, pictured here with David Mak.  We look forward to developing relationships between Wesley House and Hong Kong through the Paul Jefferies scholarship programme.



Easter School in full swing

easter school 2015 372 easter school 2015 40020 preachers and ministers are reflecting together this week on how to preach and pray the passion.  Lectures by Prof Eamon Duffy on the depiction of the cross in Christian art, and by Prof Tom Greggs on the theology of the cross have generated discussion about the ways in which we interpret the cross today and about how we help others explore its meaning through words and images.

A big lump of Concrete!


It was going so well. The demolition company was going to finish this Friday and then the drainage team would move in and we would be ready to start building by Christmas. Then two things happened. The big digger we use to break up the foundations broke down. Wesley House 18-11-14 -03

And we found a very large piece of concrete foundation which was not on the plans.

Very big: 1.5m by 2.8m by 20 m. That is equivalent to about 6 concrete lorry loads and far too large to move with the equipment we have on site.

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Frantic searches across the country procured the spare part for the digger while our structural engineers have been working overtime to work out what to do about the remaining concrete. They have reworked the design to relocate the piling and the good news is that we have a solution which will fit with our existing design and avoid delays.

Wesley House 11-11-14 -10

At the back of the college, Jesus has started to demolish the potting sheds which will give us better access to our site. And we are digging a 25m borehole to make sure there is nothing there to disrupt our piling. We are still on track to let the main construction contract in mid-December.

Greetings from the Candler School of Theology


Jane writes:  on 18 November I spent a very helpful day at the Candler School of Theology, meeting with Dean, Jan Love (left) and with Dr Ellen Purdum (right) who has been involved for several years in the selection of Candler students to study in Cambridge.  Yesterday we agreed the outline of the programme that future students will study on the Cambridge DTM, the details of which will be finalised between Dr Cindy Wesley and Dr Jonathan Strom.  We hope that the first student will begin their programme in Cambridge in September.

It is a pleasure to be back in Atlanta after 20 years (I spent a month here working on my PhD) – though lots has changed in that time in terms of the physical layout of the university. On the left is the new atrium connecting the new building for the Pitts Theological Library and on the right the original Cannon Chapel.


The day ended with a meal at the home of Carl and Donna Holladay.  It was a pleasure to spend time with them and Jonathon and Siri Strom, and with Jim & Fentress Waits & Don Saliers, all of whom have spent time in Cambridge and wanted to know the details of the plans for development. They were also full of stories about figures like Charlie Moule & Donald McKinnon and of the benefits of studying in Cambridge.

The children of Wesley House

Wesley House invites previous residents to share your memories of what it was like to live in the old college.

Julia Ingram sent us her recollections of living at Wesley;

As one of the daughters of Brian and Margaret Beck I lived in or around Wesley between 1968 – 1984 when my father was first tutor and then Principal. Being brought up in a theological college has both positive and challenging aspects to it. You have both a unique extended family of people who watch and support you grow up and also a very public observation of both your triumphs and your mistakes. I have a very strong memory of being frogmarched with one of my sisters round the quad by my father back to 31 Jesus Lane with the knowledge that every one could be in no doubt that we were in trouble. I also remember the fun of discovering the access hatches at the back of the college to the heating pipes and playing dare with other friends as we crawled in the dark between the openings with the doors shut for added fun.  With three teenage girls mum and dad supplied the students with easy babysitting solutions for Friday night dinner for years. I earned my first wage being paid 50p an hour painting the sets between terms and cleaning the brass door handles in no 32. Somewhere between the floor boards in the Principal’s lodge is a note I wrote when I was 17 thinking with the typical introspection of youth that it would be of some interest to the person who in the future finds it. One last surprise when the builders finish their digging in the corner of the principles garden might be the discovery of the remains of Waffles my beloved white rabbit. After all Wesley House was a home.

Holes in the Ground

On Monday the last vestiges of the end of the Rank building were swept away.Wesley House 11-11-14 -07

On Tuesday, in its place was a ten foot deep hole as we dug out the foundations.

Wesley House 11-11-14 -09


I arrived just in time to remind the digger driver that there was a cellar under No 31! Careful measurement ensued and we adjusted the digging accordingly. The western end of no 31, where the cellar is, has deep foundations. Left of the back door the foundations are less than one foot deep. Looking up you can see the huge chimney block directly above so we decided not to risk piling there and changed the building plans slightly.

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On Wednesday we exposed the back wall of No 31 to show a rather attractive Georgian niche as well as some interesting holes and arches


And finally, nature takes over in the Jesus section of the court and all sorts of unlikely growths are springing up. Here is a tomato plant which has sprung up between the paving slabs outside the New Common Room. It ought to have died from the frost by now but it has survived and has two flowers. Tomatoes anyone?