New Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District brings challenge and creativity

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 Anne Brown will be Chair of the Bedfordshire, Essex andHertfordshire District. She is currently Chair of the LondonNorth-West District, which will cease to exist when the new LondonDistrict comes into being. Speaking of the new challenges to befaced, Anne said; 'It's not just London that will benefit - thischange simply makes more sense for everyone. It presents us withthe opportunity to engage with our communities in more suitable,creative and flexible ways. In particular we want to relate toareas where there are planned new housing developments; continue tobuild on the existing good ecumenical work and focus more on ruralcommunities.

'We are looking forward to working more closely with the EastAnglia District as together we cover almost the whole of the Eastof England government region. With the help of our new Training andDevelopment Officer, Richard Armiger and the Church and CommunityDevelopment Officer, the Revd Dr Tony Barker the district policycommittee is looking forward to leading the district in new andcreative ways. We've got a great team who are enthusiastic andcommitted 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 willcelebrate its creation with a special service, starting with thelaunch of the Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District inChelmsford Cathedral on 31 August.

Download apdf showing the new districts