|We are a group of eleven Methodist churches situated in and around the market town of Newark-on-Trent and the minster town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire.
Four of our churches are in Newark, one is in Southwell and the others are located in villages. A group of Methodist churches is called a 'circuit' so we are the Newark and Southwell circuit. Details of each church can be found on their own pages on the website.
What is the Methodist Church?
In the 18th century the first people to be called 'Methodists' were a group of friends in Oxford. They were serious about their Christian faith and met regularly for Bible study, prayer and Holy Communion. Their 'methodical' and disciplined approach to life earned them the name 'Methodists' - which to begin with was used with derision!
One of them was John Wesley who started the movement that eventually became the Methodist Church. On 24th May 1738 he had a spiritual experience which he described in terms of his heart being "strangely warmed." As a result he became passionate about proclaiming God's love for all people and he travelled the length and breadth of Britain on horseback testifying to the love and grace of God to any who would listen.
The Methodist Church has undergone many changes over the past 200 years but today there are over 6,000 Methodist churches in Britain with a total membership of about 330,000 people. There are around one million people in Britain who have an active connection with the Methodist Church and around 70 million such people across the world!
What do Methodists believe?
Methodists, like Christians of other traditions, believe that God's love is for all people and that God has made himself known most clearly in the person of Jesus Christ.
Through the Holy Spirit, God is present and active in human life and in the world today.
However, we don't expect people to be clear about what they believe before they can come to church. In our churches we welcome everyone as they are and we try to create the kind of environment where people can be honest about their doubts and questions whilst encountering the presence and person of God for themselves.
What happens in a Methodist church?
Methodist worship is quite varied but it will usually include
- enthusiastic singing of hymns and songs - both old and new
- readings from the Bible
- a sermon or talk to help people understand the Bible, its message and meaning for us today
- heartfelt prayers which relate to what is going on in the world
Some Methodist churches have groups which meet during the week for studying the Bible, discussion and prayer. Some have other activities such as coffee mornings, womens groups, clubs for children and young people, social groups.
You can find out more about what happens in the churches of our circuit by visiting their pages on our website.