25 August 2006

New Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District brings challenge and creativity

From the beginning of September, the Methodist Church in the South East is taking on a new shape, helping it to work more effectively to enrich and serve communities. A new Methodist London district will come into existence serving the whole of the region of Greater London, and as a result two other new districts are being formed in the South East of England covering the areas around London.

Currently, there are four London Districts, each with separate patterns of working, but the Church hopes to be better able to contribute to the wellbeing of the city as a whole by focusing responsibility for London within a single district. It will also mean that the other new districts - the South-East District and the Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District Ð will be able to focus more clearly on the unique demands of the areas they serve.

The Revd Anne Brown will be Chair of the Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District. She is currently Chair of the London North-West District, which will cease to exist when the new London District comes into being. Speaking of the new challenges to be faced, Anne said; 'It's not just London that will benefit - this change simply makes more sense for everyone. It presents us with the opportunity to engage with our communities in more suitable, creative and flexible ways. In particular we want to relate to areas where there are planned new housing developments; continue to build on the existing good ecumenical work and focus more on rural communities.

'We are looking forward to working more closely with the East Anglia District as together we cover almost the whole of the East of England government region. With the help of our new Training and Development Officer, Richard Armiger and the Church and Community Development Officer, the Revd Dr Tony Barker the district policy committee is looking forward to leading the district in new and creative ways. We've got a great team who are enthusiastic and committed to the mission opportunities of this new district.'

It is estimated that the District will have over 11, 000 members, with 210 churches across the region. Each new District will celebrate its creation with a special service, starting with the launch of the Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District in Chelmsford Cathedral on 31 August.

Download a pdf showing the new districts

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