We have a wonderful tradition of Circuits in Cumbria, where we operate as a family, with people knowing each other well, supporting each other and planning for the future. However, changing times call for different models of Circuit and as a District we're excited to be able to look at what model of circuit might be suitable for Cumbria in our changing times, both in our county and nationally. At a recent meeting of Superintendent Ministers and Circuit Stewards we discussed a number of models and suggested that the present 12 circuits should be reduced to three with their borders following the present archdeaconry lines, allowing for the growth of the mission communities within their new structures. The Carlisle Diocese and Cumbria United Reformed Church have also been looking at changes in their structures, with plans for three achdeaconries and three or four ministers respectively. Perhaps God is trying to say something to us!
I am very conscious that local voices need to be heard, so I have asked each Circuit Meeting and Church Council to spend time discussing this possible change. At the moment we are conferring together, we are not deciding anything, but as a District we have to face up to the huge concern about the lack of ministers for the future and be able to prioritise where they will be strategically placed for the good of the Kingdom. This is why we need to hear from you — your views — your ideas — your thoughts. Please don’t at this stage get bogged down in detail: together let us begin to develop a model of Circuit where the ministry we require is available, ministers aren’t stretched too thinly, new disciples are made and the kingdom is enabled to grow and flourish.
I have three questions for you to discuss and would be very grateful if responses are sent to me by the end of November. Thank you.
1:What would be lost by this possible change in Circuit boundaries in the mission of the Church?
2:What would be gained by this change in Circuit boundaries in the Mission of the Church?
3: How would you action a way forward which takes seriously the needs of ordained Ministry for the future of Methodism in Cumbria?