Primitive Methodism was one of the three major Churches which united in 1932 to form the Methodist Church of today. It began as a movement to recover the original character and enthusiasm of John Wesley's Methodism, but was seen as unacceptably radical by the establishment of the older Wesleyan movement. The two chief Primitive Methodist leaders, Hugh Bourne and William Clowes, were both working laymen, but under their inspiration and guidance a new branch of Methodism evolved. It took Wesleyanism as its model in many respects but had distinctive aims and characteristics of its own, resulting in a movement somewhere between the radical and lay Independent Methodism on the one hand, and the more ecclesiastical and ministerially dominated Wesleyian Church on the other.
This book tells the story of the emergence of Primitive Methodism, its evolution over a century and more, its character and emphases, the sorts of people who committed themselves to it, and its contribution to the reunited Methodist Church in 1932.