Dear Sisters and Brothers.
A new broom has swept into the circuit... or not! Having been here for four years, I can hardly claim to be a new broom, merely a part of the old broom, which has been well directed by Bryan Coates for the last few years creating an expectant and vibrant circuit. We are thankful to Bryan for all he has done to enable us to grow and develop as a circuit and the time and effort he has spent in working with us. It is a privilege to have been asked to be your superintendent minister and I look forward, with the other circuit staff, to supporting your work for God where you are locally and across the circuit.
It is with great pleasure that my first task as superintendent is to welcome the Rev'd Paul Rees to the circuit. Paul brings unique gifts to the circuit team and we look forward to working with him. I am sure he will receive a warm welcome from around the circuit.
A group of our young people from around the Circuit is going to attend 3Generate again this autumn. For those of you who remember the MAYC rallies of your youth, 3Generate is an updated version of these. Last year, in each of their age groups, the young people raised certain issues, some which are a challenge for us all. These were discussed at Conference and will influence the Methodist Church over the coming years. You can find out more on the website of the Methodist Church in Great Britain and Ireland, by clicking here. No doubt more will come from their autumn meeting this year.
As we approach a new Methodist year we have many challenges and changes to face as a circuit. We are dropping from four to three ministers, which will have consequences, in particular on the plan. Fortunately, Anna Bishop and Chris Jones have agreed to take pastoral responsibility for some churches and Cecil King will continue to care for Downton. We are grateful for their willingness to work with us. Inevitably, there will be a need for lay people to take responsibility for aspects of our work which has been taken by our ministers in the past. We are well served by our team of local preachers and I would encourage them to be generous with their preaching dates as we will be relying on them to fill the plan.
Challenge and change are not new to the church nor to be avoided or resisted. Continually God challenges us to change our approach to how we worship and mission in response to God's call and to the society in which we seek to serve. Let us be courageous in our decisions and confident in our faith.
Your brother in Christ,