JW 6/5/1770 At seven in the evening I preached at Arbroath. The whole town seems moved; the congregation was the largest I have seen since we left Inverness; and the society, though but of nine months standing, is the largest in the kingdom, next to that of Aberdeen. I have seen no town in Scotland which increases so fast, or which is built with so much common sense as this. Two entire new streets and part of a third have been built within these two years. They run parallel with each other, and have a row of gardens between them; so that every house has a garden, and thus both health and convenience are consulted.
JW 5/5/1772 In the evening I preached at the new house in Arbroath. In this town there is a change indeed! It was wicked to a proverb; remarkable for Sabbath-breaking, cursing, swearing, drunkenness, and a general contempt of religion. But it is not so now: no drunkenness seen in the streets: and many, not only ceased from evil and learned to do well, but are witnesses of the inward Kingdom of God, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
6/5/1772 The Magistrates here also did me the honour of presenting me with the freedom of their corporation. I valued it as a token of their respect, although I shall hardly make any further use of it. 7/5/1772 I took Thomas Cherry away with me, but it was too late. He will hardly recover. Let all observe, (that no more Preachers may murder themselves,) here is another martyr to screaming!
30/5/1774 ...preached at Arbroath in the evening. I know no people in England who are more loving, and more simple of heart, than these. From John Wesley's diary.
This church is on the site of the first Methodist Church in 1772, which was built as a result of John Wesley's ministry in the town.