Hello. I’m Deacon Merry Evans. I began working in Bradford North Circuit on September 1st this year – let me introduce myself.
I grew up in Ilford, in the London Borough of Redbridge. I attended Church of England and Congregational churches as I grew up but eventually found my home in Methodism when I was 17. At school I was good at science, but greatly enjoyed music and drama too. I trained as a teacher in Nottingham and while there I met and married Karen. We have three grown up sons.
Since I became a Deacon we have lived and worked in Salford, Stockton-on-Tees, Wakefield, Morley, Sheffield, and Leeds. The work in each of these places has been very different. Deacons are trained and appointed to circuits to further the witness of churches in the community. We are sometimes described as ‘bringing the Church into the World, and the World into the Church’. Much of our focus is on engaging with people ‘on the edge of society’ so sometimes my ministry has been outside of church settings (prisons, mental health units, caring charities and city centre work) and other times very much in church settings (particularly where the shortage of Presbyters have left a gap in the staff team) so I preach and may conduct baptisms, weddings and funerals although not preside at communion. Deacons particularly engage in facilitating churches in pursuing their spirituality and in outreach.
While Deacons are Ordained Ministers of the Church, we are also members of the Methodist Diaconal Order (MDO). This is a Religious Order following a Rule of Life, being committed to prayer and to witness. We are the nearest thing Methodism has to having monks and nuns!
I have been appointed to the circuit half time, and will be spending the ‘other half’ of my time working with other churches or circuits in the District.
I greatly enjoy training and leading groups, and am a trained Group Facilitator and Spiritual Director. I look forward to working with you and your churches, especially in helping you get to grips realising the next step of your church’s vision! Please talk to me if you think I might be able to help.