Please note that Wesley’s House is not accessible to wheelchairs, buggies or those who may find stairs difficult. The Museum, Chapel and toilets are fully accessible.
The Museum of Methodism and John Wesley’s House are committed to providing the widest possible physical, intellectual, social, geographical and cultural access to its collections and buildings. Different users have different needs and the objects are held and displayed for the enjoyment and study for everyone regardless of education, income, residence, or personal circumstances.
This Policy Statement has been informed by the Curator’s Access Assessment and has been written with reference to the heritage stewards, the trustees of the museum and other day-to-day visitors and users of the museum. It is ‘open access’ access, i.e. it is available for inspection to the public in the museum together with the Visitor Charter, the Environmental Sustainability Policy and the Collections Development Policy.
The Museum aims to:
1. Provide physical access to the site and collections; thus visitors with physical special needs are catered for by reducing the barriers to entering the Museum (e.g. ramps, lift, disabled toilet) and collections are displayed at easy viewing heights with clear, easy-to-read panels, labels and reference guides. The Museum’s signage was reviewed and wholly re-developed in line with DDA guidelines in 2010/11 and the museum refurbished in 2012-15. Where possible, obstacles to physical access were identified and integrated into the refurbishment works. Any new displays and development will be organised in accordance with physical and intellectual access requirements.
2. Encourage the widest possible audience to study and enjoy the collections. This includes everyone, as far as possible, to have access to scholarship and information about the collection by providing archive material not immediately accessible in the museum displays for further study on the Museum iPads, and relevant scholarly publications in the Museum shop.
3. Encourage individual as well as group visitors of all backgrounds and nationalities to visit all of the Wesley Chapel site, including the Museum of Methodism, John Wesley’s House, the Chapel, the Foundery Chapel and the graveyard to foster understanding and a true sense of place. Tours will be led by trained and knowledgeable guides.
4. Enable students and specialists to view and/or handle the collections not currently on display to access stores and archival collections, including the Archives Room in John Wesley’s House by appointment with the Curator, providing the objects and documents are sound. This includes specialist handling sessions for individuals and/or groups by appointment.
5. Review and augment written information continually, especially collection and buildings-related leaflets, with the aim of translating these into yet more languages for non-English speaking visitors and pilgrims whenever an opportunity arises. Also, to develop the museum’s audio-visual presentation to include languages other than the existing English and Korean versions as resources permit.
6. Keep entry to the Museum of Methodism and John Wesley’s House free of charge because we realize that a need to pay an admission fee can be a barrier to access for all; also, to open up the front door of John Wesley’s House into City Road during the summer months as often as possible to encourage passers-by and non-visitors to walk in and discover the rest of our heritage site.
7. Encourage people unable to visit in person (for physical or geographical reasons) to use the Museum website (www.wesleysheritage.org.uk) by keeping it up-to-date and making available information about the museum and collections, an on-line tour of John Wesley’s House, contact details and providing an online shop for museum-related purchases.
8. Make available all details pertaining to visiting the Museum, John Wesley’s House and the Chapel in ways which are easy to access, for instance by the entrance gates of the site, in the Visitor Charter, on leaflets and on the Museum’s website.
Our aim is to build accessibility into everything we do to develop and improve the service. Our commitment is long term and our aim is to make continuous improvements as our resources permit. Our commitment to accessibility extends to our visitors as well as to our staff and volunteers.