FLAG-WAVING crowds greeted the arrival of trains full of American methodists at Oxford station in May 1988.

The pair of special trains were named after the founders of Methodism – John and Charles Wesley.

Hundreds of methodists were in Britain to celebrate the 250th anniversary of John Wesley's conversion in 1738.

The priest experienced an epiphany whilst listening to the words of reformer Martin Luther at a Christian meeting in Aldersgate, London.

He went on to form the Methodist movement, which was known for its radical and non conformist approach.

At Lincoln College, Oxford, where John Wesley was a fellow, the American visitors were shown his room, preserved as it was in the early 18th century.

The visitors also sang a Wesley hymn in the college chapel, which was then featured in a edition of the BBC television show Songs of Praise.