Circuit Farewell Service - 15th July 2019

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On Monday 15th July in the evening we said goodbye to a total of six excellent people, three Ministers and three Lay Workers. Read more below.

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Summer 2019 Leaving Service

The nature of being a denomination within which Ministers regularly move means that saying farewell to people can be a regular part of church and circuit life. Rarely is it that we say goodbye to such a high number of people as we did this summer in the Birmingham Circuit. The service was full of good humour and fun as we said goodbye to these six wonderful folk who have been part of our lives and our journey either as Ministers or as Lay Employees. They are, starting top left and finishing bottom right in the images below....

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  • Shelley Roberts - Circuit Finance Administrator who has been not only great at her job but also whose joy and encouragement has meant so much to so many people, will be going to train as a teacher in adult education.
  • Tina Brooker - A Children and Youth Worker in the circuit who has done so much not only in the lives of people at Solihull where she has been based, but also in supporting and developing cross circuit work, will be going on to train for Ordained Ministry in the Methodist Church.
  • Reverend David Meachem - A Minister in the circuit who has been based at Shirley Methodist Church and whose passion for music and worship has been an inspiration to so many, will be ‘sitting down’* this summer and will become a Supernumerary Minister in the South Worcestershire Circuit.
  • Reverend Rachel Frank - A Minister in the circuit who has been based at Great Barr and Perry Barr Methodist Churches coming from the USA and is now a Minister in the UK Methodist Church and is moving on to a new appointment in Chepstow, Wales.**
  • Julia Sheard - A Family Networker in the circuit who has made a wonderful contribution at Selly Oak Methodist Church whilst also supporting the Circuit Children and Youth Team, will be moving with her husband to his first appointment as a Methodist Minister in the Newcastle District.
  • Reverend Ken Howcroft - A Minister in the circuit who has been based at Solihull Methodist Church and Coleshill United Church whose teaching, knowledge and experience has been so valuable, will be ‘sitting down’* this summer to become a Supernumerary Minister in the Lichfield Circuit

We are so grateful for all their contributions to the Birmingham Methodist Circuit as we have journeyed together and wish them every blessing as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

The Songs of Praise style service was very enjoyable, focussing around an opportunity to hear stories from each of the leavers along with a hymn/song of their choice, making it a wonderful occasion. The Zimbabwean Fellowship opened and closed the service with wonderful praise music and the service was led by Rev Alison Richards, along with Rev Dr Neil Johnson and Rev Nick Jones (Superintendent Team Ministers). 

*’Sitting down’ is the term used in the Methodist Church when a Minister retires. They then become Supernumerary Ministers within the circuit they choose to live in and continue to contribute to the life of the church.
**The Methodist Church appoints Ministers (Presbyters and Deacons) to circuits/churches around the country for a period initially of five years, although extensions are possible to this five year period.


There are some photographs from the service below.

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Circuit Farewell Service - 15th July 2019