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Trinity Methodist Church Gregson Lane, Hoghton, Preston, PR5 0ED

Minister: Revd. A. Webb Telephone 01772 323818

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Dear all,

During my lifetime, I have lived in 14 different homes which has meant that I have had my share of moving. I have to say that while moving can be a challenging experience it has always been an opportunity to have a clear out, getting rid of things no longer needed and holding onto the things that are of value.

I have also been glad of the changes that have come with moving and the new opportunities that have arisen.In our Methodist Circuit, we are undergoing a time of change. If we are to be able to continue to serve God and his mission, then we need to be willing to move forward.

The last 10 years have brought many changes in the circuit churches. 6 have closed and one opened, of the current 14 churches most have seen decline in membership and Sunday attendance.

Alongside this, however, midweek services and messy church congregations show significant growth in numbers. The circuit is also engaged in some exciting mission work like the School worker project and the One to One Listening space.

The Strategy and Resources review which was set up to look at these issues has been working hard over the last months to gather information and listen to the churches. They will be coming up with some recommendations which will come to the Circuit meeting in June.

A key issue that needs to be addressed is the shortage of ordained ministers nationally and a need to offer both lay and ordained ministry in different and creative ways.

There is no doubt that we are going to have to make changes. We are going to need to move into a different way of being church and Circuit. We will need to let go of some of the things we no longer need and we will take with us the things that are of value. This will be a challenging process as change is not always easy.

Hopefully however as we are open to God's spirit moving us forward we will find new and exciting ways of serving him.

As we journey through lent this year I would encourage us all to spend time praying for our church and circuit. Praying for grace and wisdom to be able to move forward in God's ways. Praying that we can all seek not what suits us, but what best serves God.

Grace and peace, Rev. Andrew Webb