A special Pentecost & Aldersgate service led by Revd Tony, Revd Lansford, and Deacon Ali can be heard on all 39 BBC Local Radio stations this Sunday 23rd May at 8 a.m. Some of the music included will be from the Methodist Central Hall Choir and congregation. Please do tune in on radio or online! However, if you miss it, it will be available on BBC Sounds and here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p088lxpw.
This year, these two festivals fall on the same weekend:
Aldersgate Day is a commemorative day celebrated by Methodist Christians on 24 May or the nearest Sunday. It recalls the day in 1738 when John Wesley attended a group meeting in Aldersgate, London, where he received an experience of assurance of his salvation. This was the pivotal event in Wesley’s life that ultimately led to the development of the Methodist movement in Britain and America.
Pentecost, also called Whitsunday, (Pentecost from Greek pentecostē, “50th day”), is a major festival in the Christian church. It is celebrated on the Sunday that falls on the 50th day of Easter. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and other disciples following the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus and it marks the beginning of the Christian church’s mission to the world. It is sometimes called the birthday of the Church.
On Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit filled the Church with power and added 3,000 new believers. The account in Act 2 reports that, after Jesus ascended into heaven, Jesus’ followers were gathered together for the Feast of Harvest (aka Pentecost), and the Holy Spirit “filled the whole house where they were sitting”. “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them”
This strange occurrence drew a large crowd, and Peter stood up to speak to them about repentance and the gospel of Christ. By the end of the day that the Holy Spirit came, the Church grew by 3,000 people. This is why Christians still celebrate Pentecost.