What is the Stockton Methodist Circuit?
Situated in the Tees Valley, the Stockton circuit consisting of 10 churches (755 members and three presbyters), is compact with an eclectic mix of churches ranging from urban to rural, long-established (John Wesley’s “favourite [sic] chapel, in continuous use since 1763) to most unusual (a shed on an allotment). The mixture includes modern, purpose-built premises and older, carefully-renovated ones. Other churches also have strong ecumenical links, both through Churches Together and through individual arrangements. Some of the churches play an active role in the ecumenical Street Pastors initiative. The circuit is blessed with over 20 local preachers and several worship leaders, as well as an excellent music group.
What is the Methodist Church?
What is Stockton Methodist Church's Circuit vision?
This means: - opening our buildings for others’ use e.g. Toddlers, Blood Donors, Councillors, etc.; raising money for charities e.g. Christian Aid, Butterwick Hospice, etc. In other words, being a presence and enabling people to know we are present and active within the community. Simple welcome leaflets with weekly activities readily available to anyone who crosses the threshold is a good example of this.
This reinforces the Methodist reputation for pastoral care such as the giving of flowers for the sick etc. This heading is also a reminder that pastoral care is the responsibility of all.
Both of the above are ultimately means to the most important end of all, to mission. This should include a realistic look at worship, daily activities and use of our premises. Would our bringing people to Jesus in turn bring people to church and Sunday worship? Under this heading it is also worth exploring the development of teaching programmes for sharing our faith or setting aside funds for people who feel called in that area to go on special training courses. The critical biblical text which encompasses our new vision statement of Engaging Caring Sharing is 1 Peter 3;15 Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you. (Good News Bible). The text reminds us that hopefully, by our daily living of Engaging Caring Sharing, someone will see something of Jesus within us, and want to know more.
What do Methodists believe?
What happens during Methodist worship?
Currently, whilst our churches are closed, we are holding services online.
Details can be found on the Worship section of this site.
Methodist services are led by a minister, a local preacher or a worship leader. They can range from the formal to the very informal, depending on those leading worship and on the practice of the local church.
However, worship is likely to include:
enthusiastic singing of hymns and songs (both old and new).
readings from the Bible in a modern easily understood translation.
heartfelt prayers which relate to what is going on in the world.
preaching which applies the gospel (good news or message) of Jesus to life today.
an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with God.
Some services also include Holy Communion (or the Lord's Supper) which recalls Jesus' last supper with his friends on the night before he was crucified. The bread is shared and the 'wine' is drunk, although the 'wine' in a Methodist church is non-alcoholic.