From Bristol to George Marsden at the Methodist Chapel in Sunderland. He is sorry that he has notwritten sooner but he has been pretty busy.
For some time after Conference, Barber had such an attack of rhumatism that he could barely walk.He is now much better. His dear wife has had a considerable degree of affliction but likewise ismuch better now.
A revival started here in one place just before the last Conference, with one hundred newmembers. It has now spread to other parts of the circuit and in the last quarter, they enrolledbetween three and four hundred new members in addition to as many children belonging to the variousSunday schools who are also under religious impression, but have not been joined. Most of the placesof worship are too small. Barber estimates that there are between three and four thousand morehearers than they can accommodate. There is however little progress with regard to getting a newchapel, although the people are doing all they can in that regard. Barber's colleagues areexcellent.
He has not heard of any similar revival, elsewhere in this district, although the circuits areat peace and doing well in a general way.
Edmund Shaw has withdrawn from the Connexion to avoid trial on some charges arising from`before' [his last circuit]. His colleague 'Father' [Francis] Wrigley was left to himself in thatcircuit fora while, but has now received a promising young man as his helper.
Barber hears that things are going well in Liverpool, Manchester, Salford, Stockport and aboveall at Newcastle. He is afraid that the committee/committees in London do not get along very well,particularly with regard to [overseas] missions. He has also heard that [Samue] Bradburn has notpreached in London for four or five weeks and it is feared that he will never do so again [due tofailing health].
He presumes that Owen has heard of the very complex state of affairs at Woodhouse Grove School.[The Woodhouse Grove Committee had appointed a new headmaster to replace the acting head ThomasFletcher, only to discover that the Conference had also appointed an headmaster. This was againstthe background of concern that the school was failing to provide adaquete teaching in certainareas.] Also, the committee has given notice to the Kingswood School headmaster to leave, it is saidfor drunkenness and cruelty to the boys.
[William Wragge was appointed headmaster of Kingswood in 1809. At first things seemed to goquite well under his charge, but within a few years, there were indications that he was too harsh inhis punishments and that he was drinking heavily. He left in 1816.]
Barber trusts the work is going well in the north. What does Marsden fancy for his nextappointment? Manchester or Bristol?
Some time ago, he received a letter from [John] Waterhouse... asking for a station in the south.
Marsden should be so good as to inform him that there is no opening for a married man and he hasdoubts that one will appear before Conference.
[Joseph] Butterworth seems to be feeling his way step by step towards leaving the Methodists.Barber suspected that it would happen when he got into the House of Commons.
- John Waterhouse (1789-1842) was bom at Rawdon near Leeds inYorkshire, the son of a farmer and wool manufacturer. He was converted and joined the Mlethodists in1803. Waterhouse commenced to preach locally at the age of nineteen and exercised an active homeministry until 1838 when he was appointed General Superintendent of the Missions in Australasia andPolynesia. Waterhouse arrived in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in February 1839 with his wife andchildren. The following year, he commenced extensive journeys to New Zealand and the Pacificislands. The hardships which he experienced, sapped his strength and he died on March 30 1842. Fourof Waterhouse's sons achieved prominence in the Australian Methodist Church and in political life.Source:Minutes of Conference 1843 and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, 1739-1860, edited byDonald Lewis (1995)