MORE INFORMATION

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?


In the eighteenth century, the first people to be called ‘Methodists’ were friends in Oxford. They were serious about their faith and met regularly for Bible study, prayer and Holy Communion. It was this ‘methodical’ approach that gave rise to the name. One of them was John Wesley, who started the movement that eventually became the Methodist Church. In his time, a lot of people went to church just out of habit. But Methodists believed that religion should come truly from the heart, and that it had to make a difference to how you lived your life. And this remains true today. In Britain, there are around 173,000 Methodists in about 4,300 churches. But this is only part of a wider and greater Methodist family. With over 60 million Methodists all across the world, you’ll find Methodist or Partner Churches in countries from Antigua to Russia, and from Australia to Zimbabwe.




What is Stockton Methodist Church's Circuit vision?


Engage, Care, Share. ENGAGE WITH COMMUNITY [Local and global]
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. ​CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER
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. ​​ SHARE JESUS CHRIST
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?


Methodists are part of the universal Church of Christ, and bring our own special witness to it. We have always been clear that no-one is beyond the reach of God's love. That love and forgiveness is there for everyone who turns to God, and not just for a chosen few. Through Jesus' death on the cross, and his resurrection, Methodists (along with all Christians) believe that God broke the power of all that is evil, both in the world and in ourselves.




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.





© The Methodist Church Stockton Circuit 2016 -- 2020
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