Usually, existing stewards are involved in the recruitment of new circuit stewards, in consultation with the superintendent presbyter and other circuit staff. This leadership team pray about the appointment, considering those within the circuit who have the skills to make the most of the role and are willing to commit their time and energy.

Potential candidates are approached by the leadership team and, if interested, should be given as much information about the role as possible. These pages are a good place to start. Better still, a long and honest chat with someone who is already in the role!

A special circuit worship service is an important way to recognise the significance of the role and to celebrate the contribution of both outgoing and incoming stewards, and this should be organised by existing circuit stewards and presbyters.

Appointment Process

Circuit stewards are appointed annually by the Circuit Meeting. The Circuit Meeting is made up of presbyters, deacons and probationers in the circuit and church workers, church stewards, treasurers and representatives from each of the local churches in the circuit.

To allow time for reflection and discussion negotiations begin in December, the nominations are then made in February and the appointment is made at the Circuit Meeting in March. As the appointment does not begin until the following 1 September new circuit stewards can make the most of the intervening five months by shadowing existing stewards and perhaps attending an induction course.

As the role of circuit steward requires a significant commitment it is important that the individuals who are considering taking on the post discuss the implications with those they are close to, which may include family and friends, and the impact it may have on relationships.

It might seem as though circuit stewards take on a great deal of responsibility, so it is important to remember that the office does not last forever! CPD, which lays out the standing orders of the Methodist Church, states that the role of circuit steward should not be held for longer than six successive years. One of the upsides of this policy is that it widens opportunities for fresh, talented people to take up the responsibilities.

If, however, the current circuit steward and those close to them felt it was right to extend their term of service, then 75 per cent of those present and voting at the Circuit Meeting would need to vote in agreement with the proposed extension.