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Susannah Wesley – the mother of Methodism

Women’s history month 2024

Throughout March CSMC is celebrating the wonderful women that make our community extra special.

Susannah Wesley (1669–1742) was an extraordinary woman, primarily known for being the mother of John and Charles Wesley. However, Susannah Wesley’s influence and accomplishments extend far beyond her role as a mother.

Despite the limitations placed on women’s education during her time, Susannah was well-educated and deeply interested in theology and literature. She self-educated herself extensively and instilled a love for learning in her children. Susannah played a crucial role in shaping the spiritual lives of her children. She conducted daily family prayers and taught her children about the Bible and Christian doctrine. Her commitment to spiritual discipline and personal piety profoundly influenced her children, who went on to become leaders in the religious revival movement. Her approach to education laid the foundation for her children’s success and contributed to their intellectual and spiritual development too.

Susannah faced numerous challenges throughout her life, including financial difficulties, the loss of children, and a strained marriage. Despite these hardships, she remained steadfast in her faith and perseverance. Her resilience in the face of adversity serves as an inspiration to many.

Susannah also wrote extensively throughout her life including letters, essays, and poetry. Although much of her work has been lost over time, her surviving writings provide insights into her faith, wisdom, and intellect.

Overall, Susannah Wesley’s legacy is multifaceted and enduring. She is celebrated not only as a devoted mother but also as a woman of faith, intellect, resilience, and innovation whose influence extended beyond her family to shape the course of religious history.

What advice would Susannah give to women today?

Susannah Wesley’s advice for women today would likely revolve around themes of faith, learning, resilience, community, service, and self-care, reflecting her own values and experiences as a woman of faith and influence.

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