Methodists are well known as enthusiastic singers, in choirs and congregations. Singing is still an important means of learning about, sharing and celebrating our faith.
Charles Wesley was the greatest ever hymn writer. 230 years after his death, his work remains as popular, relevant and inspirational as ever - Love divine, all loves excelling is still the hymn most often sung at church weddings.
Methodists like to sing their faith. This is largely because of the influence of Charles who wrote many well-known hymns. Charles was brother of John Wesley, founder member of Methodism. Charles wrote several thousand hymns and it is said that "The early Methodists were taught as much through Charles's hymns as through sermons and John Wesley's pamphlets.
John and Charles Wesley first realised the power of singing to strengthen faith when they were travelling across the Atlantic to Georgia in January 1736. There was a terrible storm at sea, but a group of German Moravian Christians inspired the brothers with their confidence in God. They preached and sang hymns together and the Wesley brothers realised their own faith was much weaker.
Two years later, back in London, both John and Charles experienced a kind of conversion in which they felt a deep assurance that they personally had received salvation.
Charles wrote in all about 6000 hymns, and many of them are still sung today, not only by Methodists, but by Christians across the world.