John Wesley led the Second English Reformation. His Methodist 'Connexion' was divided from the Church of England, not by dogma and doctrine but by the new relationship which it created between clergy and people. Throughout a life tortured by doubt about true faith and tormented by a series of bizarre relationships with women, Wesley kept his promise to 'live and die an ordained priest of the Established Church'. However by the end of the long pilgrimage - from the Oxford Holy Club through colonial Georgia to every market place in England - he knew that separation was inevitable. But he could not have realised that his influence on the new industrial working class would play a major part in shaping society during the century of Britain's greatest power and influence and that Methodism would become a worldwide religion and the inspiration of 20th century television evangelism.
Roy Hattersley is a politician-turned-writer. He was elected to Parliament in 1964, and served in each of Harold Wilson's governments as well as Jim Callaghan's Cabinet before becoming deputy leader of the Labour Party in 1983. He is the author of fourteen books.