Stockton Methodist Circuit Website
Report to Spring Synod 2019
The Stockton Circuit had a year of changes. The retirement of Rev Christine Hey, and no replacement being stationed, has led to new ways of working including the Authorisations for two of our Local Preachers to preside at the sacrament of the Lord's Supper and a reshuffle of pastoral oversight. The closure of South Billingham church in May was a time of sad celebration.
The baptismal project has taken shape and the extra resources has meant some creative actions being taken to engage with families requesting baptism. These have had a variety of responses from the families and from the local churches which is being used to discern the future direction of this ministry. We once again thank the District for support for this post.
We have launched a project to look at the ways we care spiritually for ourselves and for older member of the circuit community as we age. We have been using a training resource from BRF which was developed in Australia in conjunction with Aberdeen university. We are now into our second group and trying to develop resources that will be of use to local churches in this ever growing area of ministry.
We have seen developments in the ecumenical relationship at St Paul's Newtown which has led to an Ecumenical Letter of Welcome being issued to the Methodists so that a Church of England initiative of church planting can be supported in the parish. New life has been breathed into St Andrews Methodist church on the Hardwick estate with an increasing number of families attending a wider variety of worship opportunities. Through a property review and a willingness by some of the churches to work together we are hoping to find new ways to be a missioning presence in the community through renewal of buildings.