Creation of new district brings 'explosion of creative vision and energy'

From the beginning of September, the Methodist Church in theSouth East is taking on a new shape, helping it to work moreeffectively to enrich and serve communities. A new Methodist Londondistrict will come into existence serving the whole of the regionof Greater London, and as a result two other new districts arebeing formed in the South East of England covering the areas aroundLondon.

Currently, there are four London Districts, each with separatepatterns of working, but the Church hopes to be better able tocontribute to the wellbeing of the city as a whole by focusingresponsibility for London within a single district. It will alsomean that the other new districts - the South-East District and theBedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District Ð will be able tofocus more clearly on the unique demands of the areas theyserve.

The Revd Ken Howcroft, Methodist Secretary for Conference andCommunication, commented that; 'We've redrawn district lines sothat they simply make more sense. This presents us with excitingnew opportunities to serve our church communities and thecommunities of wider society in more suitable, flexible ways. Itwill not only be London that benefits from this move, but the wholeof the South East of England. This change helps us to take betteradvantage of the resources we have and use them more effectively.Planning for the new districts has already led to an explosion ofcreative vision and energy amongst the people in the churchesinvolved. It's important for all our districts to be able to reviewtheir patterns of work in this way.'

The Revd John Hellyer, together with three assistant chairs, willlead the new South-East District, which covers the southern areassurrounding London. The Revd Anne Brown will be Chair of theBedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District; she is currentlyChair of the London North-West District, which will cease to existwhen the new London District comes into being. Because of its sizeand diversity, the London District will be led by three chairsworking cooperatively; the Revd Ermal Kirby as the lead Chair, andthe Revds Jenny Impey and Dr Stuart Jordan as co-Chairs.

The Revd Ermal Kirby commented, 'There is a unique opportunity forthe Church, working in partnership with a wide range of otheragencies, to further an understanding of what it means to be aninclusive community. Both as Methodists and as members of the widerChristian family, we have a contribution to make to that urgentdialogue.'

Each new District will celebrate its creation with a specialservice, starting with the launch of the Bedfordshire, Essex andHertfordshire District in Chelmsford Cathedral on 31 August. TheLondon District will be launched in Westminster Central Hall on 2September, and the South-East District on 3 September at theAssembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells.

Download apdf showing the new districts