Pastor Craig is honored to welcome David Worthington, the Manager of The New Room in Bristol, England.
David is the primary host for groups making a pilgrimage to the historic “birthplace” of the movement we know as Methodism. His wit and candor allow people from all walks of life experience the deep history of John Wesley’s preaching ministry.
David will be leading two different events in the life of First Church during the month of May. He will preach in the Wesley Pulpit on Sunday, May 21 at all three Sanctuary services. David will also be leading the morning and evening Wednesday Bible Study on May 24 which is the anniversary of John Wesley’s heart being “strangely warmed” on May 24, 1738. Make plans now to attend each event in the life of our church as we discover the keys from our past.
About David Worthington
David has been the manager of the New Room/John Wesley’s Chapel since 2006. He is responsible for overseeing the staff and volunteers who welcome visitors to the oldest Methodist building in the world. The building, which dates from 1739 and was enlarged in 1748, is referred to as the ‘cradle of Methodism’. It was John Wesley’s first purpose-built building for the Methodist movement and became the template for the provision of spiritual and social care that was taken by John and Charles Wesley and others around the country. It was also the place from where many who are associated with the establishment in Methodism in America, such as Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, began their journeys.
David has overseen the development of the site, which is located in Bristol city centre, to the stage that the New Room is now the most visited Methodist Heritage site in the UK. Recent developments include the creation of the Broadmead Courtyard garden in 2011 and the new Visitor Centre in the Horsefair Courtyard in 2017. These projects have enabled the New Room to extend its welcome and provision of services as it now offers a café, shop, library and archives, education and conference facilities plus a new and expanded museum focussing on Bristol and the development of the Methodist movement in the 18th century.
David graduated from Staffordshire University in 1987 with a degree in International Politics, majoring on the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the US. He began work in the insurance industry, spending sixteen years in the sector before leaving his management role in 2003 to take up a new position in the charity sector. Three years later, he was appointed into his current role at the New Room which was initially focussed on the events scheduled for the Charles Wesley 300th anniversary and Abolition 200 in 2007.
David has undertaken a number of speaking tours in the US where he’s shared the story of Bristol’s pre-eminent role in Methodism coming to America in the 18th century. He has been hosted at UMC churches and seminaries across the country and several of the UMC defined Methodist Heritage landmarks.
David and his wife, Elizabeth, met at the Christian Union whilst at university. They have been married for 27 years, have two adult children, Sarah and Andrew, and a white German Shepherd dog called Billy. They live in the village of Long Ashton, just outside Bristol, and are members of a local Anglican church called Emmanuel. David is a keen music fan and he especially enjoys jazz and blues. He also loves his sport, particularly baseball. Through his travels across the US, he has visited nearly three-quarters of all the MLB ballparks, including all the ones in California. However, his proudest baseball moment came during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown when the librarian remarked, ‘David, you sure know your baseball!’