The Methodist Church
The relationship between the Methodist Church Ghana and the Methodist Church Britain dates back to 1835 when as a result of the news of a fertile ground being prepared by some African Christians, the Reverend Joseph Rhodes Dunwell was sent to the then Gold Coast by the Wesleyan Missionary Society. Since then, Ghanaian Methodists who came to the United Kingdom to study or work have identified with local Churches wherever they have lived. With the influx of people from developing countries to seek greener pastures in UK over the past decades, the number of Ghanaian Methodists in the local Churches has increased tremendously.
The desire to identify with their traditional way of doing things brought some individuals in some local Churches together to form fellowships to support themselves, study the word of God in their own language and support their churches both locally and back home in Ghana.
These noble ideas caught up with many churches and by the 1980s there were identifiable groups in Walworth Road Methodist Church (Clubland), Brixton Hill Methodist Church, Bermondsey Methodist Church, Deptford Methodist Mission, Leytonstone Methodist Church, Upper Tooting Methodist Church and many others. Towards the end of the 1990s the late Reverend Dr Hayford Adu-Darkwa was mandated by the Church to coordinate the Fellowships.
The idea of a Chaplaincy was thus born. It began its meetings at Walworth Methodist Church. The fellowship later moved to the Bermondsey Methodist Central Hall and then Methodist Central Hall, Westminster where we currently worship.
The Methodist Church Ghana and Methodist Church Britain decided to bring the various Fellowships under one umbrella. A Chaplain was appointed and stationed in then Streatham & Dulwich Circuit as a minister in pastoral charge of a Church, a resource person to the ministers with Ghanaians in their congregations and a Chaplain to the Ghanaian Methodist Fellowships – UK Chaplaincy.
The inauguration of the Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship (UK Chaplaincy) in September 2002 was therefore the fulfilment of the dreams of those men and women who began in their own small way to meet as a Fellowship. The prayer must be that the good work they began will continue to grow from strength to strength, thus expanding the Kingdom of God on earth.
The first Chaplain was Rev Emmanuel Aggrey-Ogoe whose tenure of office ended in 2008. He was succeeded by Rev William Edmund Davis. The current Chaplain is stationed in the New River Circuit in North London and apart from being the Chaplain has pastoral charges over two Methodist churches.
The Chaplaincy has seen growth both in membership and in the number of fellowships within the local churches. Through the fellowships people have been helped to integrate into local Methodist churches.