Castle Eden Methodist Circuit Website (formerly United North East Circuit)
Report to Spring Synod 2018
In February, we were privileged to welcome the President of the Methodist Conference, Revd Loraine Mellor, to the Castle Eden Circuit as part of Milbank's 114th Chapel Anniversary service. It was a wonderful evening, shared with friends from across the circuit, outside the circuit , and also friends from the Anglican churches in Wingate and Wheatley Hill. Loraine reminded us of some of the things that happened 114 years ago, she encouraged us to continue to sing the Good News, but she also urged us to look forward to the next 114 years in confidence — because "Christ ain't dead".
That's a message other churches in this circuit need to hear this year too as they celebrate significant anniversaries — Peterlee celebrate 60 years of mission and service and Blackhall celebrate 90 years.
And there is much to celebrate. We are working increasingly with our ecumenical partners. In Peterlee each year we are joined by friends from St Cuthberts for our annual covenant service, in several places we share lent groups together as well as sharing in leading worship in nursing homes, in Easington Forest Church is done ecumenically and at Christmas, we took the Christmas journey into several schools, again helped by volunteers from other churches, and that was an amazing experience.
Through many of these things, as well as through Messy Church and the various lunch clubs which meet across the circuit, we are not just making important links with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are also making vital links with the various communities which we serve.
In addition to this, the circuit has also been identified as a "baptism hotspot" and those encounters also give us the opportunity to share the Good News with others.
Of course, like all circuits, we have our challenges. But we do have hope. And no matter what the future holds, we will do as Loraine said, and look forward in confidence, because Christ ain't dead!