PASTORAL OVER SIGHT AND T HE ROLE OF THE CONNEXIONAL ECUMENICAL OFFICER … … 2
HELLO TO NEW MINISTERS AND UPCOMING EVENTS ……...………….. 3
T HE CIRCUIT VISION ............ 4
Our New Logo to go here.. Please see below
COMM UNIC AT ING NEW S ACRO SS OUR S ANKEY V ALLEY METHODIST CIRCUIT.
Welcome to the first Sankey Valley Circuit Newsletter. This issue contains information affecting our new circuit and shares news on events and activities. We hope this will be a helpful way of communicating across our circuit. Much has happened since the amalgamation in September 2011 and we have welcomed new people and said farewell to others including The Rev’d Neil Stubbens. We are grateful for Neil’s ministry, and whilst we miss him, we know God has blessed him with many gifts which will be fully utilised in his new role as Methodist Ecumenical Officer See page 2). Our priorities, as a developing circuit, centre around setting our mission goals and circuit vision. There are so many exciting initiatives in our circuit and much to celebrate and affirm though alongside this is addressing finance and governance and the circuit leadership team have spent many hours in prayer as we embrace change and the future.
Please pray for the Circuit Leadership Team (CLT) as it meets each month to plan and pray. We hope you find this newsletter interesting and informative and we would welcome your suggestions for future editions. A great way to stay connected about circuit news is through our new website, facebook page or you could sign up for our email newsletter. For others this newsletter will be distributed three times a year, in hard copy (though this will be reviewed). We would appreciate your choice of whether you would prefer an electronic or hard copy newsletter by completing and returning the slip on the back page. May God bless us as we embrace the present, respect the past and plan for the future.
Revd Jackie Bellfield Jackie is our Circuit’s Fresh Expressions minister and leads worship at the hugely successful New Song Café at Bold St on 4th Sunday of each month from 7pm to 9pm.
Logo Competition Sankey Can you design us a Circuit Logo for use on all our Letterheads, Newsletters and Website? Send your entries to Logo Competition, Valley Circuit Resource Centre, Bold Street Methodist Church, 1st Floor, Palmyra Square North, Warrington WA1 1JQ by 25th May. Logo can Methodists be in colour but needs to also reproduce in mono-chrome.
Prize of £25 in Amazon or M&S vouchers for the best entry as selected by members of Circuit Leadership Team.
Pastoral Oversight Interim Measures Following the departure of The Revd Neil Stubbens for the dizzy heights of Methodist Church House, the Circuit has put interim arrangements in place for ministerial pastoral care of its church congregations. Revd Philip Wren: Cronton Revd Martin Wood: Nutgrove, Parr,Sutton & Wesley (incl. Balmer St), Revd John Payne: Ashton, Burtonwood, Haydock, Heath Street, and Newton
Revd Sally Ratcliffe: Lymm, Rixton and St. Martins
Revd Mark Coles: Antrobus, Padgate and Stockton Revd Neil Drayton: Farnworth, Halebank, St Michaels & Trinity,
Revd Geoff Farthing: Prescot & Whiston
The Revd Neil Stubbens
Revd Jackie Bellfield: Bold St., Latchford
Revd Sue Smith: Hood Manor, St Philip’s and Penketh
Revd Pete Summers: St James (Rainhill)
Photo of NAS needed
The role of the Connexional Ecumenical Officer Many people are asking me about my new appointment. These are early days but, among other things, I’ve met with those who hold similar posts in some other denominations, begun to understand my role in relation to Sharing Agreements and ecumenical Constitutions, learnt that I’m expected to attend the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in South Korea next year, arranged to meet with key people in Scotland and Wales to get deeper understandings of their ecumenical situations, and asked lots of questions! In February, I’m meeting with the District Ecumenical Officers for a day and then going on a course for those new to that post and the equivalents in other churches. In future, I’ll be one of the tutors, but this year it will be invaluable to attend as a participant. The job description says that the Connexional Ecumenical Officer ‘will work in close collaboration with the Secretary for External Relationships to develop strategy and policy for engagement with ecumenical partners in the connexion. This work will include existing partnerships and exploring and initiating new ones.’ I will, therefore, be involved with more ‘traditional’ forms of ecumenism (e.g. our dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church) and looking at how we will, in the words of our General Secretary, ‘share in the work of God with new Christian Church communities and with organisations that focus on specific Christian ministries which we recognise we need in order to be helped and strengthened as a discipleship movement shaped for mission today.’ All this is very challenging and it’s too soon to say what can be achieved in the next year or so; it depends on so many people within and beyond Methodism. What I can say is that’s it’s an enormous privilege to be serving Christ and his Church in this way. Neil A Stubbens Page 2
In September we say Hello and Goodbye….. Beginnings and Endings are significant times in all of our Christian Journeys. In this issue we welcome the four ministers who will be joining our Circuit in September 2012. We will seek to affirm our colleagues moving on in our next issue. Revd Lucille Rogers as our Supt, who is joining us from South Bedfordshire Circuit. Lucille will have pastoral oversight at Prescot & Whiston, Ashton and Golborne & Lowton (Heath Street).
Revd Stephen Froggatt, our Probationer Presbyter, who will have pastoral oversight at Lymm and St. Martins.
Revd. Jennifer MacGregor who is coming from Audley Circuit and will have pastoral oversight at Cronton, Farnworth, Halebank, St James, St Michaels & Trinity.
Deacon Angela Shereni a probationer, who will be working in Ashton, Golborne & Lowton developing links in the community especially with the very young.
8th June to 10th June Sponsored Event in aid of Action for Children organized by Prescot MC. Launch event on Friday evening; 50 mile relay walk around the Circuit starting 9am on Saturday through to early Sunday; Children’s Games in Walton Park 1—4pm on Saturday; Service & Meal on Sunday. Info from
Sunday 22nd July 3pm Farewell Service at Stockton Heath MC for Revds Neil Drayton, John Payne and Sally Ratcliffe Friday 27th July 5—10.30pm New Song More than Gold Olympic Event at Stockton Heath Primary School. Includes Big Screen showing of Opening Ceremony. Sunday 29th July 4pm Celebration of life and work of Haydock Methodist Church Led by Revd John Payne. Thursday 30th August 7.30pm Welcome Service at Penketh MC for Revds Lucille Rogers, Stephen Froggatt, Jennifer MacGregor and Deacon Angela Shereni.
Have you any comments about this Newsletter or ideas of future content? If so, please complete write them here on the back of the return slip or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sankey Valley Circuit launched in September 2011 with the following Vision: We believe that we are called to be a grouping of Churches that are looking for what God wants in a period of transition and are responsive to God and to all people's needs, outward looking and relevant to the current context, vision oriented and willing to take risks for God, and celebrating all that God has given us. We will be working in partnership with each other, developing spiritually, and including fellowship and prayer in monthly acts of joint worship. The 2011 Methodist Conference reinforced the belief that the Methodism Church is a discipleship movement shaped for mission. In March, the Circuit Meeting adopted the following Mission and Focus Policy: The Mission of the Sankey Valley Circuit is to make disciples for the Kingdom of God. To achieve this we commit to: putting a disproportionate amount of resources into Evangelism, particularly with children and families; regarding our buildings and resources as God’s, entrusted to us for God’s mission and purposes;
putting our worship at the heart of our longing to transform the Church and world; and
engaging in partnerships - ecumenical, worldwide and within the Methodist family.
The Circuit has taken the first step by approving the funding of the Nutgrove Community Project which is a great opportunity for the whole Circuit to get involved in extending God’s kingdom in this specific area. By working with families and children that may not be part of the church community, the Circuit will be able to share its love of God and its resources and seek to draw others into God’s love through work to be developed during the next connexional year. There is also a chance to plant a new kind of church here. Circuit Leadership Team (CLT) also believes: We need to explore how best to support our work with children and families amongst the rest of our churches. As a Circuit we need to adopt the principles of “Stewardship” if we are to finance God’s work. Each of our churches needs to identify the main route for Evangelism in its community and then develop a plan of action. All of our churches need to review the work it is carrying out to ensure that its scarce resources in terms of both money and people are targeted at the areas which will achieve the greatest impact in terms of meeting the Circuit’s objectives. CLT recognizes that financial constraints mean the Circuit unfortunately cannot maintain all the work currently being carried out and needs to make hard choices.
Do you wish to receive future editions of the Circuit Newsletter? If so, please complete this slip and either cut off or photocopy the page and return to your Church Stewards. Name(s):
I / We wish to receive future copies of Circuit Newsletters: by email sent to (please print clearly) ……….……………………………..…………. …………….…… OR
(state name of church)
The Newsletter of the Sankey Valley Methodist Circuit, published three times annually. Newsletter 1 is dated May 2012.