At about five o'clock on the morning of Saturday the 25th April 1752, John Wesley "took horse and made to Pocklington". He was on his way from Hull to York, a journey which he was to repeat a number of times in one direction or the other in years to come, and which he evidently chose to break at the small town of Pocklington at the foot of the Wolds. It was market day on his first visit, a fact which initially caused Wesley some apprehension. Notice had been given of his intention to preach, and he was unsure of what his reception might be in the busy market place of a town where there was no known enthusiasm for his cause. Moreover, "the unusual bitterness of several who met us in the street made the prospect still more unpromising". A room had been provided for preaching but was rejected as being too small. A yard was then proposed, but Wesley noticed that it was plentifully furnished with stones and, having had to endure the hostile attentions of the mob in Hull only the day before, he was doubtless not keen that ammunition should be so readily to hand. Then it began to rain but this proved fortuitous, for it brought the offer of a large barn as a place of shelter.
"Thither I went without delay, and began preaching to a few, who increased continually. I have known no such time since we left London: their tears fell as the rain: none opposed or mocked; so that these made full amends for the behaviour of those at Hull".
Just over a year later Wesley stayed for a few days in York and, whilst there, preached at Stamford Bridge and Pocklington, before preaching again at Pocklington on his way back to Epworth. Four years passed before Wesley was at Pocklington again and if his hope had been for a strengthening of sympathies in the meantime, he may not have been altogether disappointed; for, though a large mob gathered in the main street, and though "for fear they should not make noise enough, the good Church-wardens hired men to ring the bells", nonetheless "it was lost labour; for still the bulk of the congregation heard till I quietly finished my discourse".
Two years later, in July 1759, Wesley remembered the bell-ringing incident, but despite arriving on Friday the 13th, he found that fortune this time favoured him, for "he who then paid the ringers is run away: so I had a quiet and serious audience". In June 1761 he was once again travelling the road from Hull to York. As usual, he was off to a prompt start so that "at seven I preached in Beverley, about one in Pocklington, and at York in the evening". There he met the Classes and was concerned that the York Society was not increasing. But he was also concerned to know what was happening in the countryside around, and so, on the 1st July, "The Stewards met from the Societies in the country" and, as in many a later District meeting, "we all wrestled with God for the revival of his work". Almost certainly there would have been a representative there from Pocklington, for Wesley concluded the very next day "by preaching and meeting the Society at Pocklington". Doubtless from amongst that "quiet and serious audience" who had listened to him in July 1759, there came the initiative that, within two years, resulted in the beginnings of organised Methodism in Pocklington.