The Methodist Church (Part of Churches Together in Britain & Ireland)
About the Methodist Church.
This page is designed to tell you briefly about the Methodist Church. You are assured of a warm welcome in any our churches.
The Methodist Church was founded by John and Charles Wesley in 1739.
We believe in a Trinitarian God (God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit), and that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to share the word of God and to live among us. After he was put to death on a cross by the Roman authorities of that time, he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. God’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit) was sent to live among us and in us for all time to come.
The Methodist Church has about 250,000 members in the UK, although many more attend Methodist churches without being members.
Worldwide there are about eighty million Methodists. Membership takes place when someone decides to join the church, and indicates faith in Jesus. It is marked in a membership service, when a membership card is given.
Most Methodist churches have their main act of worship on a Sunday. During the week there are also other activities that people are welcome to be involved in. These include fellowship groups, Bible study, discussions, as well as weekly tea and coffee mornings, and other social gatherings. Some churches have annual pantomimes and other fund raising events that raise money for various charities.
Methodist Church Services
These mostly take place on Sundays, and may be Eucharistic (Holy Communion, during which people are invited to take bread and non-alcoholic wine/fruit juice representing the body and blood of Christ). These are presided over by a Minister. There are also non-Eucharistic services which are often led by Local Preachers or Deacons. Services are typically an hour in length, during which hymns are sung, prayers are said and a sermon is preached, (together with the Holy Communion, as appropriate). Sermons are down-to-earth and centered on bringing the Gospel into the context of life in today’s world. Baptisms, Marriages and Funeral services take place in Methodist churches. Further details of these are obtained by speaking to the minister of the church.
Young people are seen as fully a part of the Methodist Church. Many Methodist churches have a Messy Church, Boys’ Brigade, Girl Guides, Brownies, Scouts, Junior Church, and many other such groups. Children are encouraged to take part in Church activities, and regularly take responsibility in church services and at community services such as Remembrance Day services at war memorials.
The Structure of the Methodist Church
Each Methodist church belongs to a Circuit, which is a group of Methodist churches located within a given geographical area. Several Circuits form a District. There are Circuit Meetings, District Meetings and an annual, national meeting representing all Methodist churches, called Conference. Across the UK there are about 600 circuits and 30 Districts.
There are two orders of ordained ministry in the Methodist Church: presbyteral and diaconal. Local Preachers, who lead many of our services, are lay people with a calling to preach. Methodist churches also have pastoral visitors who keep in touch with people in the community. Local churches are led by Church Stewards, lay people usually living locally. Each church has a Church Council which meets regularly to discuss church matters and make decisions. A distinctive feature of the Methodist Church is that there is strong and extensive involvement of lay people in the Church. Everyone working with children and vulnerable adults is DBS checked.
You are welcome to come to church.
We hope that you will come to join us for worship or just for a chat. Perhaps you would like to join us a member. We look forward to meeting you.
May God bless and guide you always.