The Circuit Leadership Team and members of the fellowships that compose this Methodist Circuit invite you to browse through the pages of this Internet site and discover more about the people, churches, witness and ministries of the Leicester West Methodist Circuit. Our mission, first and foremost, is to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour of all, most especially of those who would receive Him by faith, and who receive by His grace full forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life. Services held in all of our churches are controlled via the Circuit Plan which holds the full details of the times of worship for each individual church, plus which Minister or Local Preacher is appointed to lead worship. The Circuit Plan covers a period of three months in the life of our Methodist circuit of churches and is a vital instrument in supporting our congregations, who in turn form the living body of Christ here in the Leicester area (along with all our brothers and sisters in the other Christian churches of the area).
"The Leicester West Circuit exists to increase awareness of God's transforming presence
by encouraging and enabling local churches to share their faith through mission-minded
witness and service within their communities. We do this by placing prayer at the
centre of all we seek to be and do, and by supporting and equipping people in growing
their faith to become committed followers of Christ."
The concept of a "Circuit" was introduced by John Wesley in the early days of Methodism
as a means of grouping Churches so that their spiritual and administrative needs
could be attended to on a rational basis and that they could derive mutual Support.
This is still the purpose of the Circuit.
This month is a particularly significant month for one member of our Circuit staff.
On Sunday June 28, Rev David Lawton will be officially ordained as a Methodist Minister
“in full connexion” (as the rather quaint Methodist terminology has it). It will
be a very special occasion for David, his wife Sue, and their family and friends.
My wife Sue and I are very much looking forward to being there for David’s ordination
service, which will take place in Southport as part of the annual Methodist Conference.
I am sure that being at the service will bring back memories of my own ordination
service which took place at the Champness Hall in Rochdale in 1992 (it seems a long
David and Sue officially arrived in our Circuit in September 2013, and we have been
blessed by their presence amongst us. David’s ministry has been very much appreciated,
and it has been good to have him as part of the staff team. The path to ordination
can seem a long and, at times, tortuous one. Once a person senses that God may be
calling them to the ordained ministry within the Methodist Church, they have to undergo
a period called “candidating”, which is when the Church decides whether or not to
accept the person for training.
Then comes the period of training itself. Following initial training comes a period
when the person goes into Circuit for a probationary period of both hand-on experience
and further learning. If the various hurdles are successfully negotiated, the next
step is Ordination. When a person is ordained, it is as if the Church is putting
a “seal of approval” on the person as being suitable for ordained ministry, with
the prayer that God by his Spirit will continue to equip them for all that lies ahead.
It is a long time since my ordination, but I seem to remember that during the service
a question is asked of the congregation, something like “Are they [the ordinands]
worthy?” and the expected reply is “They are worthy.” Of course, in one sense most
of the ordinands feel very far from being worthy of the calling to ordained ministry.
The wonderful thing is that God calls all of us to different forms of ministry at
different times. My own experience is that God often choses us to roles and ministries
for which we feel ill-equipped and unworthy; yet he promises that when he calls us
he gives us the strength and gifts to fulfil that calling. With God there is no
such thing as “I can’t!!”