Welcome to the website of the Christchurch and Wimborne Methodist Circuit.
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-A letter from our Superintendent 25 June 2020
July is fast approaching and we have spent most of spring, now moving into summer, in lockdown. I would like to assure you all that as Minister at Wimborne, working with the Church Stewards and Property committee we are doing all we can at the moment as we explore the way forward. Before we can reopen for either private prayer or worship, let alone other activities, checks and risk assessments need to be carried out on the church building. This is for your safety and for the safety of the public. All of this is in hand. However, at the moment, until these activities are completed, I cannot give a date for reopening. In the meantime I felt that I wanted to share this verse from one of Paul's letters, this one being to the Colossians. Epaphras visited Paul in prison and told Paul about the young church that was in Colossae. Over time people had started to turn away from the true teaching of Christ, so Paul writes this letter to help them back to the right path.
'Epaphras, from among your number and a servant of Jesus Christ, sends greetings. He is always wrestling on your behalf in prayer, asking that you may stand firm, mature and fully assured of the will of God.'
'I will pray for you.' Countless individuals must have made that promise many times across the years, but what does it really mean? Sometimes it is little more than a platitude; a suitably pious sounding way of avoiding the need to offer any more concrete help. Usually, though, we offer it in all sincerity but, despite our best intentions, fail to act upon it. We mean to pray, but there are so many needs to pray for and so little time in which to do it. Meaningful prayer tends to go out of the window, reduced to a few brief words. Compare that with the acknowledgement paid by Paul to the man at the centre of this verse: Epaphras, a person who was 'always wrestling in prayer' for the Church. Of all his gifts, this, in Paul's opinion, was what made Epaphras stand out — his dedication to prayer.
So what can we learn here? First, for Epaphras prayer wasn't a casual take-it-or-leave-it activity; it was part of his life, a privilege and responsibility he grappled with day by day. It wasn't a vague activity, either. He knew whom he was praying for, what he was praying about and why he was praying. Equally, prayer wasn't simply concerned with his own affairs or his immediate circle. It reached out to others, concerned with their wellbeing. Finally, and most importantly, he acted upon his prayers. 'I can personally testify,' Paul went on to say in verse 13,'that he works tirelessly, both for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.' What exactly he did, we are not told, but it is clear that Epaphras didn't leave it all to God; he played his part in ensuring his prayers were answered. 'I will pray for you.' It's a wonderful promise if we really mean it. How many of us actually do?
As a Christian spiritual presence in our neighbourhoods and beyond. The one thing we should be able to offer to those around us, even in this time of lockdown, is prayer. Prayer is something that we can all participate in, whether we are young or old, able bodied or not, as individuals or together, in church, when we are able, but most importantly wherever we are, especially at home. These prayers will then be the foundation for all other discipleship. Remembering that we need to sow, before we can reap. Be assured I continue to hold you and our fellowship in my prayers. May God bless us all in this task.
Our Circuit: Who are we? We are made up of:
- 15 churches running from Blandford in the west to Brockenhurst in the east
- large, medium and small churches, all of whom are passionate about our purpose and vision
- congregations who want to be disciples of Jesus Christ whoever we are and wherever we are
- people who want to be together for worship, conversation and learning
- people who want to welcome others
What else matters to us?
Life outside the church! You'll find us, for example.....
- in schools,
- in residential homes,
- in youth centres,
- in Wimborne square in the early hours of Saturday morning
- wherever Methodists work and live, shop and swim.
The circuit's heartbeat is people across our churches whose lives have taken on board God's love, compassion, forgiveness and welcome of all and who want to try and live the ways of Jesus Christ. Supporting this vast army of people are 6 lay workers and 5 ministers.
Enjoy reading more about us on this website, and please get in touch if you want to know more.
The current CIRCUIT PLAN can now be found under Our Life on the menu bar above.
To view our Mission Statement please follow this link: MISSION
To read about our Retreat Centre please follow this link: RETREAT CENTRE