Charles Wesley statue returns to Bristol after revamp

Statue of Charles Wesley Image copyright The New Room
Image caption The statue and its plinth are back in place after being sent away for conservation

A statue of Methodist Charles Wesley has returned to its home in Bristol after 18 months of restoration work.

The bronze figure, created in 1938, was removed in November 2015 as part of a £4.5m restoration of the New Room - said to be the oldest Methodist chapel in the world.

Wesley was the younger brother of John, who founded Methodism and built the church in Horsefair.

New Room manager David Worthington said having the statue back was exciting.

"We're delighted to have [it] back in such good shape, and we're giving him a more prominent position in the courtyard so that he'll be a welcoming first sight for visitors to our new visitor centre.

"The courtyard has been closed while the works take place and having Charles Wesley back on show really signals how close we are to completion.

"We're all very excited to have him home again."

Charles, who died in 1788, was a prolific hymn writer whose 9,000-plus compositions include well-known works such as as Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.

The New Room renovations, which have included the creation of a new visitor centre, museum, library, archive store and conference centre, are due to be completed later this month.

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