West Durham Methodist Circuit Website
Report to Spring Synod 2019
Worship: We continue to have a range of worship styles meeting mid-week and Sundays, in formal and informal settings. We are exploring new patterns for worship as we plan for reduced staffing levels. Churches are showing greater responsibility for worship if the circuit cannot provide a preacher. Some are keen to explore ecumenical relationships, others are keen to try worship mid week. Sedgefield have begun a Messy Church. New provision for children on a Sunday at Stanhope has begun. New screens at Crook and projection facilities at Sedgefield are enabling new styles and enhancing worship.
Learning and Caring: Many churches have held study groups during Lent and Advent, some have groups regularly. Some have used the Methodist Catechism others the gospel lection for Sunday as the basis of discussion. We have plans for "Bible month" later in the year in a number of churches. Two staff members were involved in the Inter-Faith day for primary school children in Upper Weardale.
Service: New ventures have begun- a Children's & Families Holiday Club in Crook and Byer's Green providing food as well as activities. New Lunch Clubs at Crook (through the auspices of Churches Together) and at Trinity in conjunction with Age UK have begun in the last year. The work of Foodbanks continues to develop as Universal Credit is rolled out.
Evangelism: A holiday Club was held at Stanhope in the Summer plus Christmas Tree and Star Festival. "Follow the donkey" at Frosterley continues to attract many and enables us to tell the Christmas story. Churches Together in Spennymoor celebrated "Love Spenny Week" which blessed the community- 2000 + people participated. Breakfast Church and Café Church continue to attract people from the community. We have plans for engaging with the "Talking Jesus" booklet to help equip us for the work of evangelization. We continue to have many opportunities for proclaiming the gospel at baptisms, weddings and funerals.