Skip to main content

Message from the Ministry Team - March 2018

At the Circuit Meeting at Allerton on 6th March I challenged our circuit churches to be honest with themselves about their mission and ministry, and the obstacles and opportunities they face in fulfilling their calling to serve God in today’s world. Two factors led me to do this.

Firstly, the fact that a number of our churches are facing difficulties, with various combinations of the following factors making life challenging:
  • ageing congregations and a lack of people able to take on leadership roles;
  • the continuing state of austerity in society, leading to reduction in groups wanting to use our buildings with subsequent loss of income; 
  • changes in demographics, bringing questions of how ministry and mission should be exercised in areas where the majority of residents are Muslims;
  • suites of buildings that are either not fit for purpose or unsustainable financially;
  • a cumulative tiredness in those carrying the burden of leadership. 
Secondly, the request from last year’s Methodist Conference that:
  • “Each year, every Church Council be encouraged to address and answer the question ‘Do you have a growth plan or an end of life plan?’, with the answer to be presented to the Circuit Meeting in order to aid its wider, strategic, oversight of mission and ministry.”
In offering the challenge to be honest, I said a number of positive things:-
  • In every place good things are happening – celebrate them! 
  • Challenges are being faced with faithfulness and dedication;
  • We need to remember what we are, and what we are not. We are a people called by God to praise, serve, learn, and share God’s love with others. We are not small businesses struggling to turn a profit –and we are not independent congregations needing to struggle alone. 
But I also asked some questions and the Circuit Meeting agreed unanimously that, between now and the next CM (13 June), each church will consider these questions and bring some answers (or at least some working out) to that meeting. Indeed, the meeting asked for those responses to be with the Circuit Office by June 1st so that we can circulate them to members and begin to reflect. 

Here are the questions: 

  1. What good things happen because of your church?
    For each good thing identified - Who benefits? Who makes it happen? What (realistic) resource would be needed to increase the benefit? How might that resource be identified? 
  2. What would be missed if your church wasn’t there? And by whom? 
  3. The Conference asks, ‘Do you have a growth plan or an end of life plan?’ Is this a question with an obvious answer (which kind of plan you should have), or is it more difficult? 
  4. If it’s obvious, and it’s growth, what is the plan? 
  5. If it’s obvious, and it’s end of life, what is the plan? 
  6. If it’s not obvious, what are the factors to weigh in coming to a view? And who are the potential partners you could consult in discerning the way forward? 
My hope and intention is that, from the June meeting, we will be in a position to discern some strategic direction, identify some partnerships, and initiate some action. Each church will work with the questions in ways appropriate to them. Please contribute appropriately in your church, with a spirit of openness to God’s calling, and holding one another in prayer as we journey together. 



Popular posts from this blog

Pancakes and Poems at Thornton

Pancakes and Poems, what a great evening we had on 13th February (Shrove Tuesday), in aid of 2nd Mile Project.

People were invited to come along for tea/supper and enjoy a variety of pancakes both savoury and sweet.

The selection was most tempting with fillings such as chilli. chicken and avocado, mushroom or cheese and onion. The sweet fillings were too many to mention, but my favourite was fresh fruits with ice cream – yum, yum.

Throughout the evening, many people had brought poems to read to everyone. The genre of this was amazing with funny, romantic, knowledgeable and even a little bit naughty.

It was good to be together with laughter and smiles all round. A special thank you to everyone who came and all who helped.

Elaine B, Thornton

Virtual Worship - 14 June 2020

Call to worship (based on Psalm 100)Shout with joy to the Lord
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Know that the Lord is God
It is God who made us, and we are God’sEnter God’s gates with thanksgiving
Come into God’s courts with praise Give thanks to God and praise God’s holy name.
The Lord is good God’s love endures for ever. Amen.
PrayerLord God, you made us, and we are yours, we are your people, the sheep of your pasture. As we focus on you this morning, and acknowledge that your presence makes the place in which we do this (wherever it is) a holy space, touch our hearts afresh with your love, that our lips may praise you and our lives serve you in all things. Amen.

You might like to sing, or reflect on the words of, Hymn StF 363, which begins, “My Jesus, my Saviour, Lord there is none like you. All of my days I want to praise the wonders of your mighty love”.

Read Romans 5:1-8First silently to yourself, then, if you can, out loud, from the Message Bible. I love the way…

Soupermums! Wilsden Trinity Church

Do you have a young baby? Looking for something to do? If the answer is yes then Soupermums is for you. We're here from 11 until 1 every Monday, Mums (and dads) have a rest and the babies can play. Have a lovely sit down whilst you sip on a brew. Enjoy having someone else make lunch for you! Come along to Wilsden Church, meet the rest of the group. Lovely ladies cuddle the babies, whilst you eat your soup. Chat with the mums, new friends you will make. Swap tips and advice over a slice or two of cake. So what are you waiting for? come on along, For homemade treats, good company and if you're lucky a song. We're looking forward to meeting you, please come take a peek, 11-1 at Wilsden Trinity, we're here every week!

Celine V  (a Soupermum!)
Where can new mums go, to have lunch where it’s warm and safe and you get to eat fresh soup and homemade cakes, while someone holds your baby? Too big an ask? Not at Wilsden Trinity! Every Monday lunch time, young mums come together and turn the gi…