On April 27th through the 29th, the Wesleyan Holiness Connection, held its first European conference at the New Life Wesleyan Church in Birmingham, England. Representatives from a variety of different denominations all sharing in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition came together under the theme, “Holiness for such a time as this.”

Participants from the Church of the Nazarene included 10 representatives from the Western Mediterranean Field of France, Spain, Italy and Portugal as well as many participants from the British Isle South District.

Pastor Ben-Oni Valentin, from France shared, “[He was] so thankful for this time of gathering: what an opportunity to meet brothers and sisters from other denominations and countries, who share the same Wesleyan holiness heritage. We’ve been reminded how much the deepness of the message of holiness from John Wesley is still relevant today.” He added that, “During the event, we have experienced the beauty of diversity and I pray that we all continue to learn together, grow together and be shaped by God, to do his will in this world.”


The three days consisted of prayer, worship, reflection, discussion and connection. Keynote speakers included Revd Dr Deirdre Brower Latz, president of NTC Manchester, Revd Dr. Kevin Mannoia from the Free Methodist Church, and  Bishop John Richardson, Wesleyan Holiness Connection Executive Director. With devotionals given by Bishop Lemuel Thuston from Church of God in Christ and Revd. David White of New Life Wesleyan.


Dr. Revd Mannoia reflected on how God is on the move, weaving people and the Kingdom together for God’s purpose. Reminding us that our differences in doctrinal background do not make us better than one another, but rather allow us to look at holiness through the lens of others.

This opened the way for deep discussions in small groups around questions like, “How do we envision the future of the Wesleyan Holiness Theology and its relevance?”  And, “How can we approach differences in interpretation or emphasis within the Wesleyan Holiness theology among leaders and congregations?”

Pastor Ben-Oni recalled that, “This observation took us to what leaders need most, which is a “pure heart”: we must be rooted in the heart of God and at the same time reaching as far as possible into culture, in order to bring transformation.


Participants had the choice of participating in one of the four workshops, each one answering the call to Holiness in action. The workshops were:

-Wesleyan Mission: The Oxygen Movement by Cassius Francis,

-Art and creative worship by NTC professor Louise Kenyon,

-How to bless the community through creative Engagement by Anji Barker,

-Collaborative leaders in the Wesleyan Way: with Denominational leaders/Representatives.

Many came away from the workshops challenged, energized and motivated, seeing the church working outside the box to minister in their communities and how they can go forth and do the same.


Revd Dr Deirdre Brower Latz reminded us that we are called to be transformed and agents of transformation. We are a people of hope; a resurrected people, however… we are not called to do it in isolation but called to be “One.”


In the midst of the conference, a small group of participants composed a worship song defining our commonality and our call, with hope that it too may one day be sung or professed in all our churches.


For more information on the conference and links to the workshops go to www.holinessconnection.org


-article written by Erin Ketchum.