VIDEO: Rare bust of Epworth Methodist returns

A rare miniature bust of one of the forefathers of Methodism has been returned to his birthplace of Epworth.

The stone bust of Alexander Kilham was spotted at auction by Epworth Methodist Minister the Rev David Leese.

At just 8.5 inches tall with a three inch square base, the statue is tiny with an inscription on each side.

Kilham was born in 1762, the son of an Epworth linen weaver. A preacher for John Wesley, he went on to form the Methodist New Connexion in 1797 and is thought to have died from exhaustion aged just 36 in 1798.

The Rev Claire Potter, curator at Epworth’s Old Rectory Museum, said: “The Old Rectory has been able to purchase the bust for £930 thanks to a generous grant from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum’s Purchase Grant Fund and donations given by the Friends of Epworth Old Rectory.”

The new bust will be central to a special display when the Old Rectory re-opens on March 1.

“There is no doubt Alexander Kilham played an important role in the heritage of today’s Methodist Church,” said Rev Potter. “His achievements need to be recognised and the rare bust will help to tell his story.”