On Monday 7 October seven members of the Men’s Breakfast Fellowship visited Edgehill House in Belfast as guests of the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland. On arrival Mrs Jennifer Stutt, Society Secretary warmly welcomed them. Following refreshments the party moved to the Society’s offices on the lower ground floor. Here they were introduced to Rev Robin Roddie, the Society’s Archivist and Editor, who in retirement devotes himself to the preservation and safe keeping of church records.
There are three strands to the work of the Society
(1) Collection and recording
(2) Conservation and preservation
(3) Access and indexing. This element of the work allows people curious about their Methodist past to come in and look at old registers of births, deaths and marriages, as well as supporting third level academic research, the Society’s archives being rich in Irish history.
In the course of the visit each strand was explained by reference to journals and publications dating back to the 18th Century and more recent church records in the form of registers of births, deaths and marriages. The archive is a safe and secure repository of documents, ledgers. prints and photographs that collectively tell the story not only of Irish Methodism but of social and political change spanning 200 years.
For those on their first outing to Edgehill House the visit to the Historical Society proved to be informative, educative, enlightening, thoroughly enjoyable and truly memorable.