The Methodist Recorder was intended from its inception to be a new, vigorous and independent newspaper which would expound the basic tenets of Wesleyan Methodism and report and comment upon general news from all over the world.

It has performed this role with outstanding success, so that the history and development of Methodism over the last 125 years can be traced in detail. The growth of the movement, especially in the late nineteenth century, is reflected by reports and articles from all over the world, particularly the USA, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, where the work of the missionaries played such an important part.

Contributors to the Recorder include the most influential Methodist writers, and under editors such as W.T. Davison, Nehemiah Cumock and F.D. Wiseman it has been a powerful force in scholarship and technology. All the great events are here; the Ecumenical Conference of 1881 and the regular World Methodist Conferences which followed it, the full story of Methodist Union, and, more recently, the attempt to form a Union with the Anglican Church, the reports on them provide comprehensive source material.