Pastoral letter August 2019

Dear Friends

We begin the Connexional Year welcoming our new Chair of District, Revd Mark Slaney.  The District welcome service is Saturday 31stAugust, 14:30 at Perth Methodist Church and refreshments will be served afterwards. Please pray for Mark and the District as he and we prepare for this new leadership in the District.

Itinerancy in Methodism can bring challenges as people loosen existing ties and seek to discover new friendships and relationships. One of the joys in this is that we can share new stories and old stories anew!  Across the District we have been engaging in conversations about our mission and our resources – sharing something of our story.  At the Methodist Conference this year the theme chosen for the year by the President and Vice President is “So what’s the story..?”.  This combines neatly with the Year of Testimony for 2019/20 – something that the Youth conference strongly encouraged us to commit to this year.

How can our stories build each other up, help us grow in faith and deepen our discipleship?  How can they challenge and enrich us?  How do our stories connect with the stories of Jesus?  How do the stories in our communities help us connect with others?

Over the summer I was fortunate to visit the town of Wittenburg in Germany – the place where Martin Luther lived and taught. The protestant reformation born out of a desire to share the gospel, the same Spirit in John Wesley, seeking to share the gospel story, in a way that was accessible for all.

These two followers of Jesus strived and struggled. As they cleared the debris of their lives and built trust in God they discovered the gift of God’s grace already dwelling within – and then just could not stop sharing this good news of amazing love.  The story of God’s great love in our lives and the difference it makes is something that can flow out of us.  So listen out for the stories in church, in communities (local, national & international) and ask what is my story?

With love


JPIT writes to Boris Johnson

An open letter has been sent to the new UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, from 7 Church leaders, to express concern that ‘failing to agree a deal on Brexit will “hit those held back by poverty very hard indeed”’.

As well as the argument about a general ability to cope with a no-deal Brexit and its particular effects on those hit by poverty, specific concerns are raised about food supply, pricing, the availability of medical supplies and the supply of energy.

The letter is signed by leaders from the Methodist Church in Great Britain; the United Reformed Church; the Baptist Unions of Great Britain, Scotland, and Wales; The Church of Scotland; Quakers in Britain; the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Together these Churches have approximately 700,000 members.

So what’s the story … ?

The Summer edition of the connexion is now available – 2 copies are on the vestibule table to borrow, read, and return. Read items by the new President and vice-President, as well as pieces about Racial Justice, the Chinese Methodist Church in Birmingham, and lots more.





Worship on Sunday 11th August – Local Arrangement

Worship in Marketgait on this date will be a Local Arrangement, ie prepared and presented by ourselves.

The Stewards have had 1 suggestion for a theme – “Creation and our care for the planet”and would be grateful for suggestions of other themes, during this week.

Susanna Wesley (1669-1742) – 350th anniversary

This year marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of the mother of John & Charles Wesley (& their 17 siblings).  Various commemorations have been arranged including a “Bright Succession” Conference at Lincoln University from 12-14 July.  The Conference includes an excursion to Epworth Rectory, her home with the Rev Samuel Wesley, for nearly 40 years.

Susanna’s influence is of course best seen through the lives of her sons John and Charles; however, from her own Puritan-family background, she offered a clear example of devotional Christian living – her writings include letters, meditations & extended commentaries, and prayers, some of which have been included in Methodist Prayer Handbooks.

Methodist Conference Points

  • The Rev Dr Barbara Glasson was inducted as President of Conference for this Connexional year and Professor Clive Marsh as Vice-President.
  • The President-designate (ie to serve in 2020-21) is the Rev Richard Beale (Chair of the Cumbria District) and Carolyn Lawrence (a former Mission Partner in Guyana) is Vice-President-designate.
  • The Marriage and Relationships Report and a series of provisional resolutions on proposals set out in the Report are commended to us for conversation and discussion prior to final vote at Conference in 2020.
  • Recognition was given to the climate emergency and Conference called on the UK to achieve zero emission well before 2050.
  • In this context, particular reference was made to single-use plastics; members and churches are encouraged to reduce plastic pollution, with church cafés asked to consider joining refill schemes.

Methodist Prayer Handbook 2019-20

Pam Bostock (Perth) has offered to place an order for the new edition of the Prayer Handbook, “Responding to the Gospel”, for all the Circuit congregations.

The cost (for bulk orders) is standard print copy – £3.50; large print – £3.95.

Please sign the sheet on the vestibule table or let Jenny know if you wish to place an order.


Until early August, we are asked to see to the setting out & clearing of chairs for worship: please let a Steward know if you able to assist with setting out on Saturday or early Sunday, and, where possible, help with clearing after worship.