27th November 1747. Letter from William Grimshaw to John Wesley
".. The want of preachers here at present is very great. That the harvest in these parts is really large, and the labourers but very few, is very manifest… You desire a particular account of the progress of the Lord's work here. Indeed, I have the pleasure of assuring you, that I think it never went better, from its first appearance amongst us, than it has done within these two months.
I may say at Leeds, Birstall, Keigthley, Todmorden, Rossendale, Heptonstall, Pendle-forest, and in my own parish, the societies are very hearty; souls are daily added to the church, and I may say, multitudes on all sides (many of whom have been enemies to us and our Master's cause), are convinced of the truth, run eagerley to hear the gospel, and are continually crying out for more preachers... Such a mighty presence of God has been in those visitations, and also in many of our weekly meetings, as I have rarely seen before..."
John Nelson was John Wesley's main and most powerful supporter of Wesley in the first years of the Awakening. John Wesley came here 40 times which shows how important Birstall was in the north. William Grimshaw was the other great leader in the area.