From John Wigger’s Taking Heaven by Storm:
As in America, Methodism in England grew fastest on the peripheries of society, gaining the most of any denomination from the expansion of the English population and economy between 1750 and 1850. As David Hempton notes, English Methodism was most successful wherever there was a migratory labor force and in areas where the traditional influence of squire and parson was fading. English Methodism grew rapidly in mining communities, seaports and fishing villages, market towns, factory villages, canal settlements, and the rural “highland” areas of northern and western England. Wesley, as John Walsh observes, “had a sharp strategic eye for the new industrial settlements out of the sound of church bells and away from the old community life of the village.”
As I read this history, I wonder about what if any parallels we can draw to our day.