Brontes’ Methodist links are explored in Haworth museum exhibition

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bronte Parsonage Museum education officer Sue Newby looks at Good Friday 2006: Walking on Water, by Maggi Hambling Bronte Parsonage Museum education officer Sue Newby looks at Good Friday 2006: Walking on Water, by Maggi Hambling

A new exhibition at the Bronte Parsonage Museum explores the connections between the Bronte family and Methodism.

Artists of Faith features ten works by modern British artists from the Methodist Church Collection of Modern Christian Art.

The Bronte family’s connection with Methodism mostly centres on the writers’ parents. The Rev Patrick Bronte’s career was nurtured by Thomas Tighe, a friend of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Patrick’s wife Maria Branwell’s family were devout Methodists from Penzance in Cornwall.

The pair met because Patrick had been invited to become the examiner for the Wesleyan Methodist Boarding School.

Aunt Branwell, a strict Methodist, was a powerful influence in the family’s lives.

Charlotte Bronte described the Methodist Magazine as “mad… full of miracles and apparitions, of preternatural warnings, ominous dreams and frenzied fanaticism”.

Executive director of The Bronte Society Professor Ann Sumner said: “This exhibition coincides with new research on the Wesleyan Methodist Branwell and Carne families.”

Artists of Faith will be on display until July 30.

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