Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Charles Wesley Issue from Montserrat

Another new issue for Charles Wesley, this time from a British overseas territory, the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

The Montserrat Post Office will issue a miniature sheet on 18th December to mark the 300th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Wesley. The sheet features four $2.50 stamps, three of which show portraits of Charles. The fourth stamp portrays Bethany Methodist Church on the island.

Montserrat's Georgian-era capital city of Plymouth was destroyed and two-thirds of the island's population forced to flee abroad by an eruption of the previously dormant Soufriere Hills volcano that began on 18 July 1995. The eruption continues today on a much reduced scale, the damage being confined to the areas around Plymouth including its docking facilities and the former W.H. Bramble Airport.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Charles Wesley stamp from Ireland

The following details come from the Irish Stamps website:

300th Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Wesley
Charles Wesley (1707-1788) and his brother John were instrumental in the birth of the Methodist tradition. Their teachings and practices earned the name 'Methodist' because of their strict adherence to the Book of Common Prayer. Charles Wesley is also remembered for his achievements in lyrical composition. Over the course of his lifetime, he published the words of more than five and a half thousand hymns, and composed the words for a further two thousand. Among these are a number of timeless classics, including Hark! The Herald-Angels Sing. The stamp was designed by Steve Simpson, based on a painting entitled The Lily Portrait-which is reproduced courtesy of the Methodist Studies Unit, Oxford Brookes University, England. The First Day Cover, also designed by Steve Simpson, features a church organ from Saint John's in the Wood Church, Dartry, Co. Monaghan.

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 15 November, 2007
Value & Quantity: 78c (.28m) - This is the rate for international letters up to 100g.
Design: Steve Simpson
Stamp Size: 29.79mm x 40.64mm
Colour: Multicolour with phosphor tagging
Make-up: Sheetlets of 16
Perforations: 14 x 15
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Irish Security Stamp Printing Ltd

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Methodist cover from Switzerland

An interesting 1927 "printed matter" cover and contents from an American Methodist charity "Methodist Child Welfare" based in Zurich. Click on the pictures to view them full size.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Methodist Philatelic Society AGM in pictures!

A good turnout for today's AGM at Keynsham Methodist Church and congratulations to Roger Lee on his election as Society Chairman. Here are some pics of the occasion:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

GB Christmas Minisheet to commemorate Charles Wesley

The Royal Mail will be issuing a miniature sheet version of its Christmas stamps on 6 November 2007. This sheet will commemorate the great Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley who was born 300 years ago in 1707. Charles was, of course, the author of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", an ever-popular carol for stamp designers!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Methodist Philatelic Society AGM

The Methodist Philatelic Society Annual Meeting will take place at Victoria Methodist Church, Charlton Road, Bristol BS31 2JA, UK on Saturday 29th September 2007. See a location map here. Please note that Victoria Church is located in the High Street, we will have access to the meeting room via the rear door in Charlton Road.

The Paddington/Bristol railway service stops at Keynsham station.

The programme will be:
10.00 am. Start. The room will be available for members to meet, arrange displays, buy and sell material.
2.00 pm. AGM will commence and results of competitions will be announced.
4.00 pm. Close of meeting, tea will be available.

Entries are welcome for the two competitions:
1. The Tom Aungier Trophy for an exhibit of 8 to 12 sheets illustrating some aspect of Methodism, its mission or its organisation.
2. The Grace and David Clark Cup for a single sheet of philatelic material of Methodist interest.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Montserrat Charles Wesley issue 18 December 2007

MPS Cover Service Secretary Ronnie MacMillan writes to confirm that a miniature sheet containing 4 stamps will be issued on 18 December 2007:

"I have seen a copy and it will be a joy to add to our collections! Three portraits of Charles, with the fourth stamp showing Bethany Methodist Church. Sheet music for Hark the Herald Angels Sing is shown in the margins. Only the miniature sheet is being issued, no stamps! The portraits are, The lily, c. 1735, artist unknown; John Russell c. 1771; and the 1786 engraving by Jonathon Spilsbury.

As far as my contact in Montserrat knows, no other Caribbean nations are commemorating this event."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cover Service Update 2007

The first cover produced by MPS this year, 2007, is now in stock with the Cover Service Secretary and commemorates John Wesley and William Wiberforce. Issued on 22 March on the first day of issue of the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade stamps. The cover design features the letter written by Wesley to Wilberforce on 24 February 1791, encouraging him to continue his work to abolish slavery. This was the final letter of John Wesley's life, he was to die a few days later. Wilberforce's 20 year campaign against the slave trade concluded when the Slave Trade Act received Royal Assent on 25 March 1807. The Royal Mail postmark used is the quote, "Am I not a man and a brother". Covers priced at £2.00 plus postage are available from the Cover Service. As this cover is to hand it will be included in the 2006 sending to subscribers.

Other covers planned for this year will commemorate:

  • The 300th anniversary of the birth of Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, who was born on 24 August 1707.

  • The 150th anniversary of the first assembly of the United Methodist Free Churches.

  • The 75th anniversary of the signing of the Deed of Union of the Methodist Church of Great Britain.

  • And of course the Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, which this year will be held in Blackpool. As in previous years we will sponsor a special one-day handstamp.
Two other important events will also be celebrated with covers which will also bear special one-day hand-stamps. The first, in May, will recognise the 200th anniversary of the First Camp Meeting of the Primitive Methodist Church at Mow Cop. The design selected illustrates Hugh Bourne and William Clowes, the founders of Primitive Methodism and is based on the frontispiece of a book published many years ago. Royal Mail have approved Paul MacMillan's artwork for the hand-stamp, featuring the folly at Mow Cop.

The second sponsored hand-stamp is planned for the tercentenary of the birth of Charles Wesley and at this time is only at the planning stage until Royal Mail releases details of the miniature sheet planned for issue in November. We have learned that Ireland will issue a stamp for this event and it is thought that Montserrat are also planning to release stamps to celebrate this notable occasion. Arrangements are being made with MPS members in the USA to produce a Charles Wesley cover with a Georgia hand-stamp.

During the latter months of the year we will see the launch of the Methodist Church in Wales and there is a possibility that something may be done for this too.

Can I also mention that I hold a "for sale" list of Methodist covers going back over many years. If it is of interest please contact me for more details.

Ronnie MacMillan
Cover Service Secretary

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Antigua Methodist Church Anniversary

This attractive set, issued on 7th November 1983, celebrates Antigua's Methodist Church Anniversary.
The 15c portrays John Wesley, while the 16c and $3 values illustrate St John's and Ebenezer churches from the Antigua Methodist Circuit.
The 50c features a portrait of Nathaniel Gilbert, described on the stamp as the "Founder of Methodism in Antigua". Gilbert (c.1721-1774) was born on Antigua, the son of a wealthy planter and slave-owner and was a descendent of the famous explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert.

Gilbert trained for the law in England and returned to Antigua, where he entered the House of Assembly. He visited England in 1757 and was converted after hearing John Wesley preach in London. Upon his return to Antigua, he started preaching to his slaves, although he did not emancipate them, despite John Wesley's urgings. This marked not only the beginning of Methodism in the West Indies but also the commencement of the movement's missionary activities.

Gilbert remained prominent in Antiguan affairs and was elected Speaker of the House of Assembly in 1763.

Friday, January 26, 2007

An Epworth League Cover from 1899

This interesting cover (click on the picture for a larger version) was posted in Los Angeles, California on February 7, 1899. It is a printed cover for the Second Annual Epworth League Assembly and School of Methods due to be held on February 21-24 in Los Angeles. It is addressed to Canada and the reverse bears a Toronto receipt cancel of February 12, 1899 and an Epworth League Assembly cachet:

The Epworth League (named after the Wesleys' birthplace) was an organization of the young people of the Methodist Episcopal Church, formed in 1889 at Cleveland, Ohio, USA, by the combination of five young people's organizations then existing. The purpose of the league was the promotion of "intelligent and vital piety" among the young people of the church. The League existed in both the Northern and Southern branches of the Methodist Episcopal denomination and also in the Methodist church of Canada.

The membership of the Senior branch in the Methodist Episcopal Church North in 1913 was 593,465, and of the junior branch 218,509. In the Methodist Episcopal Church South there were, in 1913, 3,846 chapters of the league, with 133,797 members. The headquarters of the Northern League was in Chicago and its magazine was the Epworth Herald. The magazine of the Southern branch was the Epworth Era, published monthly at Nashville, Tennessee. The League's motto was "Look Up, Lift Up".