Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Church of Ireland
Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Church of Ireland This body was formed in 1816, and was the result of a division in the Wesleyan Methodist Connection in Ireland. In that year tile Irish Conference, by a majority of thirty-six in a house of eighty-eight, resolved to authorize the preachers of the Connection to administer the sacraments. As a result of this decision, most of the minority separated from the parent body, and, being followed by a large section of the lay members, organized the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Connection. Until a few years ago they did not assume to be a Church, but merely a society composed of members of the Established Church of Ireland. The great changes produced by the disendowment and disestablishment of this Church in 1870, together with an increasing desire in the society for the administration of the sacraments at the hands of their own preachers, led to a complete change in the constitution of the body, and the members have now the option of partaking of the ordinances from their own ministers in their churches. The statistics printed in the Conference minutes of 1876 are, 58 effective ministers, 13 superannuates, 144 churches, and 7518 members of society. An annual missionary income of $70,000 in gold is now devoted to the support of the ministers on the poorer circuits. Over $75,000 in gold is invested as a fund for the support of superannuated ministers. Negotiations are at present in progress to effect a union with the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Ireland, the constitution pf the two churches being now almost identical.