BEWDLEY church-goers will meet the president of the Methodist Conference when he visits the town today.

The Rev Dr Mark Wakelin will be at Bewdley Methodist Church for a special service on Saturday.

His six times great-grandfather, the Rev Henry Oasland, who was born in Rock and educated in Bewdley, was one of 2,000 Puritan priests who left their positions in the Great Ejection of 1662, following the restoration to power of Charles II. The Rev Oasland was priest of St Mary’s Church – now St Anne’s, in Load Street – during the ejection.

The short service at the Methodist church, in High Street, will include an act of reconciliation to celebrate the unity between Christians who are the successors of those who became divided by the Great Ejection 350 years ago.

Afterwards, the Rev Keith James, Rector of St Anne’s, will take Dr Wakelin on a visit to the church.

Dr Wakelin was also due to visit Trinity Methodist Church, Kidderminster and Wesley Methodist Church in Stourport, yesterday.

The Rev Mary Austin, Superintendent Minister for Kidderminster and Stourport Methodist Circuit, said: “We are all very much looking forward to having him with us and to listening to what he has to say.

“The extra links through his ancestor in Bewdley have given an important focus for his visit.”