fonds MRC/2 - Circuit records of the Methodist Connexion, York, Wesley Circuit

Identity area

Reference code



Circuit records of the Methodist Connexion, York, Wesley Circuit


  • 1867-1981 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.2 cubic metres

12 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1867 the Wesley Circuit was formed out of the original York Circuit of the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion, for the parts of the city and villages west of the river Ouse.

The Circuit included the following chapels in York: Wesley, Southlands, Lidgett Grove, Albany Street, Dringhouses and Skeldergate Mission Hall, as well as the following chapels in North Yorkshire: Acomb, Acaster Malbis, Bishopthorpe, Copmanthorpe, Holgate, Hessay, Moor Monkton, Nun Monkton, Poppleton, Rufforth and West Thorpe.

In 1935, following the unification of the Primitive, Wesleyan and United Methodist churches, it joined with the former Primitive Methodist Victoria Bar Circuit. The united congregations agreed to retain the name 'Wesley Circuit.'

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1932 the Primitive, Wesleyan and United Methodist Churches united to form the new Connexion of the Methodist Church of Great Britain. Three years later the Wesley Circuit of the York Wesleyan Connexion and the Victoria Bar Circuit of the York Primitive Methodist Connexion were joined together to create a new Circuit. It was agreed in March 1935 that the new Circuit should retain the Wesley name.

Between 1935 and 1981 the new Wesley Circuit included the following chapels in York: Wesley, Victoria Bar, Southlands, Holgate, Albany Street, Skeldergate Mission Hall, Lidgett Grove, Dringhouses and West Thorpe. Outside of York it included chapels at Acomb, Acaster Malbis, Bishopthorpe, Copmanthorpe, Heslington, Hessay, Moor Monkton, Nun Monkton, Poppleton and Rufforth.

From 1957 the circuit was part of the broader York and Hull District of the Methodist Church.

In 1981 the Wesley Circuit amalgamated with the York, Centenary Circuit to form the York, South Circuit of the Methodist Connexion.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute prior to 1987. Further additions were made to the archive in 1989, 2000, 2009 and 2016.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Circuit administration, comprising Quarterly Meeting minute books, 1867-1883, 1901-1981; Circuit (General Purposes) Committee records, including Circuit Committee minutes, 1943-1980, account book, 1966-1981, and Circuit policy, 1976; Circuit Extension Committee minute book, 1877-1885, and accounts, 1872-1885; Local Preachers Local Preachers’ meeting minute books, 1867-1981;
Invitation Committee minutes, 1933-1943; Stewards’ Committee minutes, 1937-1942; Society Stewards’ Committee minutes, 1940; Ministers’ Houses Furnishing Committee minutes, 1942; Circuit schedule books, 1867-1974; Circuit plans and directories, 1868, 1936, 1974-1981; findings of the York Wesley Circuit Survey Committee, 1968.

Financial records, including Finance Committee minutes, 1933-1943; Circuit Stewards’ account books, 1867-1909, 1925-1981; and Circuit Chapel Debt Reduction Committee records, including minute book, 1869-1873, and circular and subscription list, 1869.

Property records, including annual United Trustees’ Meeting minute books, 1868-1976, and Trust property schedules, 1867-1979; Circuit Property Committee minutes, 1977-1980; Acomb, Southland and Wesley Manse Trusts minute books, 1868-1977; Chapel Committee Building Consents, 1878-1880; register of deeds and documents, 1976; and summary of Circuit property, 1980.

Records of Circuit groups and organisations, comprising Sunday Schools Committee minute book, 1868-1895, and Circuit rules for Sabbath Schools, 1877; Circuit Education and Sunday School schedule books, 1906-1914; Circuit Missionary Committee records, including accounts, 1870-1936, and minute book of the Juvenile Foreign Missionary Society, 1926-1948; Women’s Work (Methodist Missionary Society) minute books, 1941-1981; Overseas Missions Division records, including minutes, 1915-1979, and correspondence, financial papers and leaflets, 1958-1979; Choirmasters’ Committee minutes, 1940-1949; and Circuit Eisteddfod (later Musical Festival) Committee minute book, 1938-1954.

Historical material, including Circuit Centenary booklet, 1868-1968; Book of Remembrance created to mark the amalgamation of Wesley and Victoria Bar Circuits, 1935; booklet commemorating creation of York, South Circuit, 1981; list of ministers of the Circuit, 1855-1935.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

The archive incorporates the records of two successive Methodist Circuits, the York, Wesley Circuit of the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion, 1867-1935, and the York, Wesleyan Circuit of the Connexion of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, 1935-1981.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received up to and including 2009. Later material has not yet been listed, please contact the Institute for more information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Copies of obituary notices, 1868-1900 for the circuit, are also available on microfilm at the Borthwick Institute (References: MF 1764).

Related units of description

The records of chapels within the circuits are also deposited at the Borthwick Institute, namely Acaster Malbis; Acomb; Askham Bryan; Bishopthorpe; Copmanthorpe; Hessay; Moor Monkton; Nun Monkton; Rufforth and Upper Poppleton, as well as Albany Street; Dringhouses; Holgate; Lidgett Grove; Skeldergate; Southlands; Wesley, West Thorpe and Wilton Street in York. The records of Dringhouses and West Thorpe form a single archive.

The Borthwick also holds the records of the York District of the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion and the York and Whitby, and York and Hull Districts of the Methodist Connexion.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 17.11.16.




Accession area