Many of you will now be familiar with our ‘Way Forward’ vision as presented to, and agreed by, our Church Council in January. The key elements of this vision are to continue and develop our work with young people and families, to create opportunities for worship within this work, and to make our traditional Sunday morning worship more vibrant and meaningful. The next stage of this vision is, through further discussion and planning, to implement the recommendations. However, things have moved on…
On Wednesday 7 February, our Superintendent Minister, Rev Tony Cavanagh, led us through a review of what is happening in the Poole Bay Methodist Circuit. Broadstone is part of this circuit which comprises twelve churches located between Southbourne and Swanage. At present the circuit is staffed by 6 ministers and 2 deacons, with a total church membership of just over 1000.
The picture that unfolded demonstrated that we now have other factors to consider as we move on with our ‘Way Forward’ vision. The number of circuit ministers we can expect to have in two or three years is likely to be significantly reduced - this will result in less ministerial appointments to lead worship in our churches, and reduced pastoral care for our members. This is in part due to a shortfall in numbers of people entering the Methodist ministry in the UK, and also to the financial situation in our circuit, which is of great concern.
Broadstone will continue to work to achieve a vision for our church which we pray will be guided by God. In our church rebuilding (opened in 2003) we found that working together with a common aim, and with God’s help, it was possible to achieve what we at first thought impossible.
We now look forward to working together on the ‘Way Forward’ recommendations in the light of the broader challenges facing our circuit.