2016 November

November 2016

Dear Friends,

As you read this, the churches in the Crosby Circuit are embarking on a Circuit Review. This is both an exciting and a challenging opportunity.

This is an exercise, where each church will look at its history, the views of the church members and users of the church, the views of people outside the church and an assessment of the needs of the local community to take stock of where we are, and where God is calling us to be.

It is an exercise that involves the whole church. At the heart of the Methodist Church is the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. In other words, every member has a part to play. Each one has gifts and talents to use, and each one has a responsibility to offer those gifts and talents to the church.

So this review is not being conducted by the clergy, or the circuit stewards, or the church stewards, although church stewards may well get involved. It is a task for every member of the church to get involved with. It is also a task that requires a good deal of prayer, so that as we undertake this review, we may hear God speaking to us and leading us.

We’ll be looking at our history. Why was it that our founding mothers and fathers sought to start a Methodist Society in a farmhouse in Chesterfield Road? What were their aspirations, their hope and their dreams? Why did they choose the current location of our church? In the 80-plus years since then, what have been the driving forces behind the ministry of Moor Lane Methodist Church? Are these aims and aspirations still relevant today? Are we being faithful to those aspirations? If you have a penchant for local social history, this may be for you.

Consider our place within our local community. Where are the local community centres – sports clubs, churches, community halls, shops, transport links, gathering places? Over the last 80 years, how has our community grown and changed? What does the 2011 Census tell us about our local community? What are its needs? What needs remain unmet by our local community groups? Are there opportunities to work alongside churches of other denominations as well as Methodist churches? If you have an interest in our local community, could you help with this?

Or perhaps your interest is in our church life? What are the opportunities for worship, Bible Study, prayer, fellowship and pastoral care? What is available for young people to learn about the Christian faith? Do we emphasise some areas and neglect others? What has happened to our membership and to our finances over the last 10 years? What does this tell you about the next 10 years? If you don’t like the answer, what can we do to change it? With whom do we engage as a church – the users of our premises, local community groups? If this interests you, could you help?

The aim with all this is that with as many people involved as is possible, we gain a wide understanding of our place in our community and our place in God’s will. The more people we have involved in this, the more representative it will be of our congregation.

We are on a tight timescale, seeking to complete this review by mid-January. On 21st January there will be a meeting of the whole circuit, open to everyone, where each church presents what they find. We may find that there are similarities between churches, so that we can work together. It may be that the needs of one church can be met from within another church in the circuit. The review will also highlight the skills, talents and resources that we as a circuit need as we look to the future.

In doing this, we are building on the work that we have already carried out looking at the five practices of fruitful congregations. I am hopeful and excited about the future prospects of our church.

Please get involved and let the church benefit from your talents and skills – and please pray.



Page last updated: 2nd December 2016 7:51 PM