I look upon the whole world as my parish; thus far I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right and my bounden duty, to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.
John Wesley Journal (11 June 1739)
John Wesley wrote this in 1739 and since those early times Methodists across the world have been trying to emulate his achievements in spreading the message of hope to all in society.
Initially seen as a revival movement within the Church of England it did not become a separate denomination until after Wesley's death in 1791. Schisms led to the formation of separate Methodist groups; the larger ones being the Primitive Methodist Church, the Bible Christians and the Methodist New Connexion. The original church became known as Wesleyans to distinguish it from these other branches.
In 1907 The Bible Christians, Methodist New Connexion and some smaller groups came together to form the United Methodist Church which in turn merged in 1932 with the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodist Churches to form the current Methodist Church of Great Britain.