Welcome to Salisbury Methodist Circuit
Dear Sisters and Brothers.
As we enter the Autumn plan the Methodist Church in Great Britain is facing a difficult time.
Our membership numbers have declined every year for the last 106 years and
Conference this year received news that it has dropped below 200,000.
In our circuit we know that churches have fewer people than they had
and these people are generally older.
However, this is not a reason for despair.
Across the circuit many churches are developing new forms of ministry
and so challenging the rest of us to think about how
we can best serve the present age in our locality.
Kathy O'Loughlin from the regional Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network (DMLN)
team came to speak to the circuit meeting and began an ongoing conversation about how we can best
serve our rural communities. As a circuit we will support any church which wants
to develop its ministry in its community.
The plan does not get easier to make.
We are hugely grateful to all the local preachers who offer their time so generously
and who lead worship faithfully in our various churches and chapels.
We have some preachers in training but we could always do with more.
There are few preachers who became preachers without someone challenging them with God's call.
Who are the people in your church who you would like to hear preaching God's word?
Now is the time to ask them if they have felt God's call to preach.
On the other hand, is the traditional Sunday morning act of worship
still relevant in your context? Are there other ways in which your
worship needs to change and develop? These discussions should be ongoing
in our churches, discussions which ask where we are and where we
should be going. Not because we want change for changes sake but because,
as Cardinal Newman said,
'To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.'
As God's people we are called to change because change
is what happens when we grow.
Your brother in Christ,
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Sunday 26th November from 4:00pm Salisbury Methodist Church
Commemorating the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration
4:00pm - Conversation between Revd. Brian Brown and Jan Sutch Pickard
"Social Responsibility; What's Balfour to do with us?"
Brian Brown was Director of the Christian Institute of Southern Africa until he was banned in 1977
by the apartheid rregime. He then became Africa Secretary for the Methodist Missionary Society; now he continues his search for social justice within Israel/Palestine.
Jan Sutch Pickard is a former Vice President of the Methodist Conference and has worked as an Ecumenical Accompanier in Israel/Palestine
5:00pm Tea and Fairtrade stall featuring Palestinian Products.
6:00pm - Circuit Service - Preacher Revd. Brian Brown
Lord Balfour was a member of the British War Cabinet in the First World War.
At the fall of the Ottoman Empire, French and British Governments carved up the
countries of the Middle East, Palestine falling to the British.
In November 1917 Lord Balfour wrote a letter to Lord Rothschild,
one of the leading figures of the Jewish community in Britain in which he promised
to " view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people"
.... Simultaneously adding " it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may
prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" .
The Jewish Homeland was achieved in 1948 on Israel becoming an independent state but this was at
enormous cost to the Palestinians with 750,000 fleeing from their homes and becoming refugees.
The pledge to the Palestinians has yet to be honoured.
Indeed their situation is worse through the Occupation, the separation wall and the blockade of Gaza.
British history is intrinsically linked with the fight of Palestinians for human rights
and that is why our partners in Christians Aware and the Amos Trust etc. ask that churches should use
this centenary year to urge the UK government
to honour its one-hundred-year-old pledge to safeguard Palestinian rights and work with others
to create the framework for peace and security for all who call the Holy Land home.
So on November 26 at Salisbury Methodist Church there will be a special Balfour centenary
evening service conducted by the Revd Brian Brown.
Sixteen children and young people from our circuit, together with 4 or 5 adult
leaders will be travelling to Southport on November 24th for 3 Generate -
the annual connexional youth event. Please pray for them as they seek to
explore and develop their faith with many others of similar age from across
Cafe on the Green - Bishopdown Farm
Community coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons 2.30 - 4.00 and Friday mornings (except during August)09:00 - 11:00
in the Pavillion at Bishopdown Farm. All are very welcome to come and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and have a drink and cake.
Tuesday - Mother and Toddler group from 1.30pm - 2.30pm before the Cafe opens.
You are welcome to join in adult crafting sessions on the first and third Tuesday of the month from 2.30pm
This project has been set up by the Circuit as a Christian outreach presence in this growing community.
The local Anglican churches are also holding a prayer meeting at the same site on Friday evenings
and we hope to be able to develop these activities to provide a positive Christian witness in that area.
More volunteers to join the rota of supporters will be appreciated.
Maybe you can help with serving drinks and cakes, making drinks in the kitchen,
providing home-made cakes, talking to people as they sit at tables
or visit the reflection room - or join the prayer chain.
If you can help in anyway please speak with Bekkie Wright or Christine Fordham or
contact us by clicking here.
Or, of course, come along on a Tuesday afternoon or Friday morning to see for yourself and enjoy what is on offer.
You can download a flyer here.