The Charles Wesley Room for John Wesley’s Chapel

Built in 1739, John Wesley’s Chapel in Bristol is the oldest Methodist Chapel in the world. Going from Bristol’s busy Broadmead into the chapel is like stepping into a time machine and being whisked back almost 300 years.

Above the chapel are the rooms once used by the Methodist movement’s itinerant preachers including Charles Wesley, John’s prolific hymn-writing brother.

The custodians of the chapel approached us to create an experience in Charles Wesley’s room, to give visitors new insights into this pivotal figure in the early Methodist movement. Our challenge was to convey a sense of Charles Wesley without interfering with the atmosphere of spirituality and tranquility of the Chapel.

We drew on the knowledge of the Wesleys of the managing project team, to create two stories based on events that may have happened in Charles Wesley’s Room . We captured those stories by recording in the room itself, using talented local actors and immersive audio techniques, so that when the visitor listens to the stories via a sympathetically-designed audio installation, they’re transported back to the same room in the 18th century.

We also, in conjunction with the client, created a stunning vinyl for the room’s window (see below). Now, visitors no longer look out at the bland roof of a 20th century shopping centre but over 18th century Bristol, as Charles would have done.

You can listen to one of the stories, ‘Hell from Beneath was Moved to Oppose Us’ below. Use your headphones to get the full 3D effect.

If you’d like us to create an interactive exhibit or immersive experience for you, just call on 01242 256970 or email ben@pastporte.co.uk.