Darlington Methodist Circuit Website
Report to Spring Synod 2021
This a joint report from the two Circuits as we continue to prepare for our merger in September 2021. Whilst we have been unable to meet, we have continued to have a weekly service that is put on YouTube, we share a Circuit Sunday evening service by Zoom and a weekly study meeting. We are presently working through Holy Habits.
Revd Brian Hutton has introduced a weekday daily devotion that people receive on their mobile phones / computers. This has been very well received.
Our Pastoral Missioners host a Tuesday morning session where there is an opportunity for a chat and worship and ensured that people were able to enjoy Holiday at Home with goody bags, filled with activities and surprises distributed at the end of the week. Christmas gifts have also been distributed.
Individual groups have also made their own arrangements for services.
Our Children and Young People workers delivered food parcels and activity bags to families during the October, Christmas and February holidays, and plan to also do this at Easter. Within the Covid guidance some work was carried out with schools at Christmas and we look forward to recommencing this as soon as is possible.
So that they maintain important regular contact with our children and young people they have also hosted Messy Church and Youth work sessions on Zoom.
We are also continuing to move forward with our Mission and Property Plans, we will shortly have completed the sale of two manses in Darlington and are in process of selling two Church buildings that are surplus to requirements.
Barnard Castle and Teesdale Circuit has not stopped during these strange times.
Staindrop has had a dial-in service each week and has reached people far beyond the church walls and circuit. Mark Bagnall, the missioner in Staindrop organised these, and are so successful, going back to 'normal' seems a negative step for Sunday mornings. Revd Graham Cutler is busy making links physically and digitally at Barnard Castle.
Barnard Castle and The Pathway have joined together with Zoom services each Sunday morning, resulting in the two church families really getting to know each other. Attendees go into breakout rooms with coffee at home! Paper literature has been sent or taken to those unable to join in the Zoom services. The Pathway has run holiday clubs at home last Summer, in October and Christmas, as well as joining in the organisation of 'The Doorstep Switch-on' of the Christmas lights and Christmas window displays in the village. A Christmas lunch was cooked on Christmas Day, and delivered by volunteers to 17 people. Baking has continued for the school staff at Middleton, and to those unable to join in the Zoom services.
Bible studies, cell groups etc. have continued in innovative ways in the circuit, meaning the church is the people not the buildings.
We are in the process of selling a cottage at Mickleton, and Cotherstone Church, but neither are as far as completion. A group in Cotherstone is exploring buying the church, and a task group from Barnard Castle and Teesdale are in talks with them and TMCP.
Hazel Neasham & Josie Pollard