The Upper Room Sponsors 2019 Wesley Pilgrimage

December 21, 2018 by The staff of The Upper Room (Nashville, Tennessee)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Dec. 20, 2018 /The Upper Room / -- The 2019 Wesley Pilgrimage in England, a 10-day event that helps leaders deepen their understanding of Wesleyan heritage by engaging in spiritual practice while exploring historic Methodist sites, is now accepting registrations.

The Upper Room is a new sponsor of the pilgrimage, which is scheduled for July 8-18, 2019, and features visits to six cities important to the Wesley family and the founding of Methodism.

Tom Albin, director of spiritual formation and congregational life for The Upper Room, said he sees the Wesley Pilgrimage as another demonstration of The Upper Room’s “deep and long-standing commitment to spiritual formation in the Wesleyan tradition.”

“When the Wesley Pilgrimage needed a new partner for logistical and administrative support for this formational event, it was a simple step for us to take on this role,” Albin said. “Because of our deep roots in Christian formation and Wesleyan spirituality, we will open the door wider to other members of the Wesleyan family.”

Lecturers for the 2019 pilgrimage will include:

  • Rev. Steven Manskar, former director of Wesleyan Leadership at Discipleship Ministries
  • Dr. Paul Chilcote, Professor of Theology and Director of United Methodist Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary, Florida Dunnam Campus, Orlando.

Manskar, senior pastor of Trinity UMC in Grand Rapids, Mich., said he still carries advice from one of his seminary professors who believed “United Methodist preachers need to make pilgrimage to two places: the Holy Land to walk where Jesus and the apostles walked, and to England to walk in the footsteps of John and Charles Wesley and the people called ‘Methodists.’”

“Something powerful happens when you travel to the Old Rectory in Epworth and walk through the rooms where Susannah Wesley taught her children how to read the Bible and pray,” Manskar said. “Visiting these pilgrimage sites brings them to life.”

In addition to The Upper Room, the 2019 Wesley Pilgrimage is sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Discipleship Ministries, and the General Commission on Archives and History.

Manskar said he continues leading the pilgrimage each year because he sees the impact it has on those who attend. 

“[A participant] shared with us that he had been a pastor for 25 years and was burned out. Before the pilgrimage he was considering giving up and leaving pastoral ministry,” Manskar said. “But during the 10 days of the pilgrimage, after visiting Epworth, Oxford, Bristol, and London and experiencing the community of pilgrims in our daily worship and small groups, the flame that had nearly been extinguished in him had been rekindled and was burning bright once again. The pilgrimage helped him renew his call to pastoral ministry. Stories like this happen during every pilgrimage Paul and I lead. That’s what’s meaningful for me." 

Participants will pay $1,998 to cover 10 nights of lodging, most meals, coach travel to sites, admission fees, and more. Round-trip airfare to England is not included. Participants will receive 3 CEUs. For more information go to

Albin said he believes participants will be deeply impacted by being in this historic setting. 

“Something too deep for words takes place when you are immersed in the culture, context, and experience of God,” Albin said. “We will grow together, learn together, walk together, talk together, eat together, worship together, and pray together. On the individual side, you will find your teaching, preaching, and living positively impacted by this pilgrimage. On the relational side, you will find the spiritual connections we make with one another during this 10-day pilgrimage will result in life-long friendships that continue to enrich our lives and our ministries.”

Scholarship funds are available for those preparing for Christian service, including commissioned provisional elders and deacons, licensed local pastors, lay servants, lay speakers, and certified lay ministers. Scholarship recipients will pay a reduced registration fee of $999. Scholarship applications must be submitted no later than Jan. 30, 2019. To apply, visit here

A $350 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration, and full payment must be received no later than June 3, 2019. Participants needing to pay in installments may contact Edna Vaughan at to set up a payment arrangement.

Albin said the Wesley Pilgrimage in England provides a unique opportunity for history to show how God is working today.

“A pilgrimage uses the sites to remind us that the things God did then can still happen in us today,” he said. “Through study, prayer, worship, and reflection, we invite the Holy Spirit to work in us today—for our generation—as the Holy Spirit worked then, through the spiritual leadership of John and Charles Wesley.”

The Upper Room is a global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual formation of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully. From its beginnings as a daily devotional guide, The Upper Room has grown to include publications, programs, prayer support, and other resources to help believers of all ages and denominations move to a deeper level of faith and service. The Upper Room is a part of Discipleship Ministries. 

Visit to learn more.


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