Welcome to the Chesterfield Methodist Circuit, made up of around 500 Christians worshipping in 7 Churches situated in or around Chesterfield.
We are a group of quite ordinary people who are committed to following Jesus Christ. We believe that our relationships with other people, and above all with God, are transformed through knowing Jesus. We share three priorities: loving God, loving one another and loving our neighbour.
In this note, we try to outline our faith in ordinary words, which we are hoping will encourage people to ask questions beyond what they see written here, or to develop their own form of words which in their view would be meaningful to others.
We believe that the universe, and everything that was, is, or will be within it, exists not by chance, but through the action of one God.
* that this one God exists outside the realm of time and space in a way which is entirely outside our ability to understand, and that the workings and purpose of God is, and always will be, mysterious to those alive on this earth. We believe, but cannot explain, that part of the mystery of creation is that people are not like puppets, moved at the will of God, but have been given the freedom to make moral choices.
* that Jesus is made real now in a Spiritual way, showing us that His death and ongoing life symbolise the evil in the world and the ultimate triumph of love over evil, and remind us that when we accept for ourselves our human weaknesses, we are able to become members of the Kingdom which Jesus proclaimed.
We recognise, of course, that others may express their Christian beliefs in different words, which is not at all surprising when we remember that we are seeking in words to express an eternal truth which is outside the scope of human words.
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission.
It does this through:
Worship: the church exists to increase awareness of God’s presence and to celebrate God’s love
Learning and Caring: the Church exists to help people grow and learn as Christians, through mutual support and care
Service: the Church exists to be a good neighbour to people in need and to challenge injustice
Evangelism: the Church exists to make more followers of Jesus Christ
Across the Circuit, we have identified a number of priorites, consistent with the above, and each church in the Circuit has been, and is, developing approaches relevant to their own situation.
Worship and Preaching
Worship and Proclamation of the Gospel message are at the heart of what we are, and we encourage a variety of forms of worship to meet different needs.
Services are led by Ordained and Lay Preachers, assisted in some case by locally based worship leaders.
Worship in the various churches can be in traditional or less formal styles, with ‘the Electric Church’ rock services monthly, and ‘Worship on Weekdays’
Preachers are allocated to Churches on a quarterly preaching plan
Working with Others: Mission is bigger than us
The Methodist tradition of evangelism and service has played, and continues to play, an important role in the ongoing work of the Kingdom of God. We celebrate that we are part of the Connexion of all Methodist churches, and rejoice with others in their good news stories (see ‘Methodist Church’, below).
At the same time, and of similar importance, we recognise that there is and must be an increasing emphasis on collaboration with those of other denominations.
Central Methodist Church was one of the founding members of Christians Together in Chesterfield, which leads the Chesterfield Street Pastors scheme and which is also developing links with local schools and has worked with the local council in running a play scheme during the summer holiday.
There are also neighbourhood ecumenical links: at Loundsley Green we are joined with the Anglican Church to form a ‘Local Ecumenical Partnership’, and informal links exist between other churches in the Circuit and their neighbours.
The Methodist Church
The Methodist Church is one of the mainstream Christian Churches in Britain and Internationally
We celebrate the historic Christian Faith and look to God’s love as revealed in the Bible for authority and inspiration in our lives. We believe that each person needs to make a personal decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ, to be ‘methodical’ about fulfilling their commitment to Jesus and to be a faithful member of God’s family, the church. We are a grass roots people, who place great emphasis on community.
Methodist churches do not belong to any kind of hierarchy, but are ‘in connexion’ with one another, and grouped into Circuits and Districts, under the guidance of the Methodist Conference. Chesterfield Circuit is part of the Sheffield District.
The Methodist Conference is where the Methodist people in Great Britain meet annually, in June, to worship, discuss, discern, share and plan.
For more information on the Methodist Church generally, and on the Methodist Conference, please go to www.methodist.org.uk