Holy Club

This name was derisively given to the group of earnest “Methodists” which in the early 1730s met in John Wesley's rooms at Lincoln College, Oxford, and included Charles Wesley, Benjamin Ingham, and George Whitefield. Its members, in addition to spiritual exercises, visited prisoners, relieved the poor, and maintained a school for neglected children. Membership was never more than twenty-five, and when John Wesley left Oxford in 1735 the group disintegrated. The Club owed much to Moravian example and to the earlier religious societies which flourished in the Anglican Church. The practices and discipline of the Holy Club became the model for the later bands, classes, and societies of the Methodist revival, and the inspiration for the movement's social concern.