Wesley Methodist Church, Christchurch
The purpose of this little book is to help old members of Wesley Church to recall the cherished days of the past and to introduce new members and friends to the goodly heritage which they have received from those who have gone before them. The book does not set out to be an official history, duly audited and found correct; rather its aim is more modest. To give a read-able outline of 100 years of congregational life, and to highlight some of the 'good times', is all it seeks to achieve. Many people, ministers included, who have laboured faithfully at Wesley may not be mentioned. This is no mark of disrespect. There are some big gaps in the records, which up to the time of publication have not been filled. It may be that lack of records has led to such an omission. On the other hand, it is my desire to present the achievements of the congregation rather than of particular individuals-for the congregation is the people of God.
I am indebted to friends who have located old Minute Books and put them into my hands. I am also grateful to the Connexional Office for access to the early Church papers, and to the unknown reporters who, prior to 1913, kept the Connexional paper supplied with lively accounts of a vigorous church growing to its full strength. Special thanks are due to the Rev E. P. Blamires whose helpful correspondence has largely contributed to the sections entitled "Rider of the Black Horse" and "The Source of all Evil."
To Miss Gilling who has typed most of the manuscript and to Mr R. J. Fowler who has corrected it for publication, thanks are also due for painstaking services.
In the course of its history Wesley Church has gone by several names, viz. Avonside Wesleyan, Worcester Street, East Belt, Fitzgerald Avenue Methodist and Wesley. Do not be dismayed. All refer to the same congregation, and if this is kept in mind when reading the booklet, confusion, if not irritation, will be avoided.