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Pastor's Letter

Pastor's Letter - October 2023

I have recently read in the book ‘History of Methodism in East Lancashire’ and ‘A History of Methodism in the Clitheroe Circuit’ that there was a consistent decline in the members attending church in the mid-1860s. And I don’t think any of us would deny the fact that we have seen an inexorable decline in people attending or wanting to attend church in the past 20–30 years. Does this mean God finished with ‘The people called Methodists?’

There are still many committed, passionate, and faithful people in Methodism. I can happily point to Methodist churches that are healthy and thriving; committed, inspired, and fruitful work that is truly making a kingdom difference. Do you know ‘The people called Methodists' comprise 80 denominations in 138 countries. There are 80 million people throughout the world. All these people trace their roots back to John Wesley, who spent much of the 18th century preaching about personal and world transformation through Jesus Christ.

However, there can be no disputing that, by every reasonable indicator, our church generally is on a sustained and consistent path to becoming smaller and older, with a less dynamic presence within the communities of our land. I just want to echo the affirmation of the past President of the Methodist Conference, Kenneth Howcroft in his Presidential address to the Conference in 2014: ‘But hasn’t finished with us yet!’

God is calling us to rediscover confidence and play our distinctive part in the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Each one of us has a part to play in God’s great mission. So, take some risks in your walk with God. Venture out into the scary unknown in your service or giving or witnessing.

In His Service

Christvin Edbarg

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