In the early 1906s John Morel Gibbs, a Methodist layman and art collector, became keenly aware that Non-Conformist traditions demonstrated no deep appreciation of insights into the Bible through the works of contemporary artists; he therefore decided to create a collection of original works to tour the country. In this, he was assisted by the Rev Douglas Wollen, also an art-lover. These works became the nucleus of the now widely-appreciated Methodist Modern Art Collection.
The Collection includes works by artists from over the past 100 years, from within and furth of Great Britain; it is still expanding and now comprises 54 paintings, prints, drawings reliefs and mosaic works. Although care and maintenance is provided by the Methodist Church, funds from charitable sources are often used for purchases. The Collection – as originally intended – tours the country; it is also available to view online, with some works also in postcard format.