The Impact of Sunday School in England During John Wesley’s Times.


According to (Robson,2019), Sunday school establishments were meant for educating children in England during the 18th Century. In this case, a movement was formed that would equip children and help spread the Catholic faith. Notably, Sunday schools are essential establishments in society since they play the moral role of upbringing morally and spiritually upright children as they grow up. Noteworthy, in England, the first Sunday schools were founded by William King and Robert Raikes in their hometown with the intent to assist the children. Therefore, this paper discusses the impacts and effects Sunday schools had in England during Wesley’s times.

Impact of Sunday Schools

Following (Mohajan,2019), the industrial revolution that occurred in England had numerous effects on the people of England. In this case, among the effects was the increased number of uneducated and immoral behavior, especially from working-class adults and even children. Intrinsically, John Wesley, through the Methodism movement, campaigned for the need for individuals and children being literate, spiritually, and morally equipped hence the push for educational facilities, including Sunday schools.

According to (Cherry, 2020), the decade of the Sunday school movement were the final ten years of his life. Primarily, Wesley’s main intent with the Sunday school movement through his Methodism was to ensure the children from poverty-stricken families who could not afford education could be able to read and write, specifically be able to read the bible. Notably, the emphasis on the Sunday schools yielded fruits when Wesley allowed the youths and children to become literate and behave morally upright, enabling them to improve their lives in the future. Even though Sunday schools were meant to benefit children and the youth, they played a vital role in adult literacy, whereby adults also were able to learn to read and write through Christian education. Additionally, Wesley’s establishment and campaign of the Sunday school movement resulted in the growth of Christian education all over England, hence the increment in Sunday school establishments to help spread and promote religious and spiritual growth all over England.

In addition, Wesley’s Sunday school, literacy vision, and Christian education project resulted in peace and togetherness, bringing people together with a common goal to eradicate illiteracy and feed their spiritual thirst among themselves, both children and adults. However, a negative impact caused by the Sunday schools was seen when the Anglican community alienated themselves from the Sunday school movement due to the increased civil attacks from neighboring countries and further spread Anti-Methodist rumors. Additionally, Sunday schools created employment opportunities for teachers even though the teachers in the Sunday school movement were not being paid, unlike the paid Sunday school teachers in the Anglican community.

Furthermore, Sunday schools increased and improved religious socialization skills among the children and adults since they came together from different backgrounds united by the same bible and Christian education curriculum hence the bonding. Also, the Sunday schools provide the children from poverty-stricken families a sense of security and belonging due to the conditions they experienced back home; hence the Sunday school was their safe place where they felt comfortable and secure. In this case ( English Standard Version, Matt 19:13-14) Jesus allowed the children brought to him and said the kingdom if heaven belongs to them hence the feeling of security since from beginning religion and religious places was the children and poor’s safe place hence the impact of sense of belonging. Noteworthy, the Sunday school teachings instilled discipline and moral uprightness not only in the youth but also in the children who would grow up morally and spiritually nourished and upright since they were now capable of acknowledging both moral and immoral behavior.

Consequently, Sunday schools were beneficial to the poverty-stricken families who were granted an opportunity to improve their living standards through the free education they received in the Sunday schools. Additionally, they could experience fun times in the Sunday school and be part of events they had never been to before, especially the traditional season holidays and parades, thus giving them a sense of belonging and identity. Finally, Sunday schools are considered a blessing to vulnerable children since they positively impact their lives and make them feel wanted and worthy. Ultimately, Sunday schools provided a positive outlook of both Christian education and education in general to the parents hence creating a positive influence to the parents who ensured their children attended Sunday school so as to acquire both spiritual and educational nourishment. In this case,(English Standard Version, Deut 6:6-7), the scripture clearly, directs that children ought to be taught diligently and morally such moral uprightness was taught in the Sunday schools.  Impressively, Sunday schools facilitated and pushed for development of educational facilities hence improved infrastructure in the poverty-stricken areas in England since the need for better and well-equipped facilities was necessary. Furthermore, the Sunday school movement also resulted denominational divisions among the members of the Methodism and Sunday school movement.


John Wesley’s literacy and Sunday school vision played a major positive influence to not only the children, youths but also the whole of an England as a country. Additionally, John Wesley vision resulted to the creating awareness of the Christian education which in turn enabled individuals understand the benefits of spiritual growth nourishment and education. Finally, Sunday schools are platforms that enable our children grow spiritually connected to God and as such are able to identify good and bad at an early age.