St Andrew's

Psalter Lane


Sheffield Methodist Circuit Report 2023

Circuit Meeting Report



As a local ecumenical project, SAPLC is part of the structures of both the Methodist Church and the Church of England. They do not fit together in any simple fashion! From an Anglican perspective, the powers of a Circuit Meeting lie somewhere between those of a Deanery Synod and a Diocesan Synod but much closer to the latter, particularly for a large circuit like Sheffield. In some ways its powers

are greater than either: Methodist ministers are appointed to circuits, not to individual churches, and the members of the Circuit meeting are the custodial trustees of the assets of the individual churches not the  local church councils. All this helps to explain why the agenda of the recent circuit meeting ran to 42 pages (including the attachments) and why the meetings can go on so long.


It is a business meeting but not only that. Circuit meetings can be an occasion where the problems of witnessing to the presence of Christ in the communities of Sheffield can be shared. So we heard how the churches in Handsworth and Woodhouse are learning to work together. There are also difficult issues to be faced - such as how the work of the circuit is to be funded. It cost just over one and a half million

pounds to run the circuit last year and that money has to come from somewhere. But the meeting does not discuss just internal matters. A report from the Justice and Peace Group set out the housing needs of refugees (particularly those from Afghanistan) who are now in Sheffield. What should the response of the Methodist churches in Sheffield be to the many problems that they face?


Of course, being a Methodist meeting there is tea and biscuits - and perhaps even cake. There is argument and fellowship and (most important of all) there is the singing of hymns: All are welcome in this place.



John Harding

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