Aldersgate Day

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Aldersgate Day is a holiday celebrated by Methodists on 24 May to commemorate the day in 1738 when John Wesley experienced his conversion in a meeting room in Aldersgate Street, London.

According to his journal, Wesley found that his enthusiastic gospel message had been rejected by his Anglican brothers. Heavy-hearted, he went to an evening society meeting on Aldersgate Street "very unwillingly". It was there, while someone was reading from Martin Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, that he felt that his heart was "strangely warmed". He describes it as:

I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.[1]

24 May is recognised by Methodists as the day Wesley 'experienced confirmation of his salvation by the grace of God'. There exists some confusion in the United States' Methodist calendar between Heritage Day and Aldersgate Day. This confusion was only compounded when in 2004 the United Methodist General Conference moved Heritage Day to coincide with Aldersgate Day.[2] In the United Kingdom, Wesley's Aldersgate experience is celebrated on the Sunday preceding 24 May if that day is not a Sunday and the occasion is referred to as Aldersgate Sunday.


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