Walsall Methodist Circuit

Nine Churches of the Walsall Methodist Circuit
Superintendent Minister.  Rev: Rachel Wood

Fishley Rock Church.

Fishley Rock is a place that has some significance for Methodists in Walsall and surrounding areas. The site is on a road that used to be the main route from Bloxwich to Stafford and it is believed that John Wesley the founder of Methodism stopped on his travels and preached from the rock in Fishley Lane.

It is understood that the stone may have been a boundary stone which would have been visited on 'Rogation Tide' as part of the 'beating the bounds' process carried out by parishioners who would walk the parish boundary and sing hymns at specific boundary points.Since 2006 an annual worship event has taken place on Aldersgate Sunday to commemorate the occasion when Mr Wesley preached at this spot. Aldersgate Sunday is generally celebrated in Methodism to remember an event when John Wesley was in a room in Aldersgate Street and felt

his heart was strangely warmed. The picture above shows the plaque and the rock with our late friends, Rev John Davies and Gilbert Rowley who started this event. Later organisation was taken over by the late Ian Southall, all are remembered, especially on this day. The 2016 service was led by Linda Brown and Rev: John Howard.

About Fishley

Fishley Rock in Fishley Lane, Little Bloxwich, Walsall is also known as Fishley Church. A large stone in the lane marks the point where five parishes meet. The stone, known locally as 'Fishley Church,' was supposed to be a meeting place for musicians on summer Sundays in the last century and it is rumoured that John Wesley stopped to preach here. The stone was broken during the construction of a new sewer in 1987.

The meetings on Summer evenings were organised by the Keay Family and appear to have been both popular and well attended and drew people from both Pelsall and Bloxwich. It seems the stone was used as a pulpit by the people conducting the service and while it is rumoured that John Wesley the founder of Methodism passed along Fishley Lane on his way to Stafford and stopped to preach at this point no firm evidence to confirm this has been identified. Whatever the reality we do know that Mr Wesley visited the area around Walsall and Wednesbury on various occassions so the possibility of him stopping here to preach is perfectly feasible.

Services have been held at this spot on many occasions since the alleged visit by Mr Wesley and certainly for the last years on a Sunday in May which is designated as Aldersgate Sunday local Christians have gathered to remember Mr Wesley and the tradition will continue again.

LOCATION

Fishley Lane

Little Bloxwich

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This years service on 21st May 2017 was led by Rev: Elizabeth Dunning.

The first time she had taken part in this event, a special time enjoyed by all.