Whether you have passed through for your Covid vaccine, or whether you have been part of Methodist Churches throughout your life, there are certain things which make a Methodist experience of Christianity special and different.
Methodists are known for our welcome and for our hospitality. At the very beginning, Methodism began as a grassroots, home-based movement, inviting ordinary working folk into a personal relationship with Jesus, and a community of people wanting the best for their local communities. Methodists quickly became renowned for their upbeat, raucous singing, and their passionate campaigning for social justice issues. Methodist people were the first to form a trade union, were amongst the first to educate the poor, and were foundational amongst those opposing the slave trade.
Today, our singing may not be quite so raucous – but our passion to change the world for the better is still at the heart of what we do and how we understand our faith. Methodist people find it hard to separate this desire to see the world changed for the better, with how we read the Bible and engage with the deeper questions in life. We are a people shaped by this called to ‘social holiness’ – seeing the world changed for the better, for the benefit of all.
From this free-church tradition comes a number of values which are still important to Methodists today:
Methodists are inclusive people - we believe that anyone can meet with God, and that there is nothing that we can do which stops Jesus loving us beyond measure. John Wesley wrote: "All need to be saved. All may be saved. All may know themselves saved. All may be saved to the uttermost." This means that everyone is welcome to worship with us, whatever sort of day you've had, or however you are feeling. You are welcome whatever the weather and whoever you are. We believe that God loves you, and wants you to be blessed in our worship. We also believe that everyone has something to offer, and some way to serve others as part of living our best possible life.
Methodists trust that God loves everyone, even when life is tough. If we have mixed feelings about faith, or are unsure whether we are feeling the right things, or unable to get away from feelings of guilt, fear, or shame, it helps to know that we are not alone. John Wesley, in the midst of his spiritual searching, famously described his spiritual experience as his 'heart being strangely warmed.' Methodists recognise that God speaks to us in different ways, but in each of these ways, God demonstrates his love for the whole of creation.
Methodists see God at work in many different ways, and look to join in with the ways in which God is present to the world. This means that we take care of our environment, and are concerned about creation issues. We look out for the rights of the poor, and seek ways to offer dignity and humanity to those whose circumstances leave them marginalised. We understand vocation to be far more than what happens in our church building – and is about how we live faith-full lives in our day to day setting.
We would love to welcome you to any of our worship services. We offer different spaces and opportunities, so that everyone can find the space to meet with God, and other people, in helpful ways. We strive to be accessible to everyone, so find a space to suit you.
Our worship is offered in person on a Sunday morning at 10.30, and is also broadcast live (currently through Zoom – please contact us for the passcode). We also record the main reflection or teaching element in the service, and this is available on our social media channels at a time to suit you.
Part of our understanding and experience of God’s love, is that we are all invited to meet with God in the places that we find ourselves. Over the year of Covid, we have taken seriously the invitation to discover God in our midst. To this end, we continue to find ways to engage with our faith and spiritual lives at home and within our community. This is often resourced through prayer booklets and suggests response tools, to help us deepen our faith, and become attuned to God’s ever-presence with us. It also invites us to be creative people, who are invited to create and craft parts of our response to God’s love in community together.