When this preaching plan begins, the new West Cornwall Circuit will come into being; 18 churches and over 30 preachers all together from merging the West Penwith Circuit and the St Ives Circuit. Some of your services will be led by preachers new to you, and some of you preachers will be discovering fresh chapels. So, there will be a degree of unfamiliarity and it will take time to adjust. But newness is stimulating and we need not hasten to settle down.
Already the Circuit Leadership Team have worked hard to merge the administration and to prepare for the arrival of our two new staff whom we welcome at this time. Edwin, Sue and Daniel Myers and are joining us from Cannock in Staffordshire, whilst Stephen and Gillian Richardson have come from Treharris in South Wales. They are very welcome and very much needed. As the Myers are settling into our newly acquired manse in Carbis Bay, we are trying as quickly as possible to make the Newlyn manse ready for Stephen and Gillian. In the meantime, they are living in a rented house.
Amidst all of this, I am taking over the superintendency from Steve Wild and Julyan Drew. We thank them both for all their work amongst us in these past years. We pray particularly for Julyan as he retires on health grounds, that God will restore him to a blessed retirement.
As we begin this new phase of Methodist mission in West Cornwall the prospects are exciting, but only potentially so. Circuit mergers too often result in ‘Together we are bigger’, rather than ‘Together we are stronger’. We must not settle for administrative success nor smooth integration, because if we do the merger will be nothing more than retrenchment and the decline that most of our churches have been experiencing will continue.
I am hopeful that we can turn things round and start making and maturing more disciples of Jesus Christ, and thus growing His Kingdom around here. My hope is not in the new circuit, nor in Methodism; my hope is in Jesus. ‘Together we are stronger in Him’. Let us not pray vaguely about the circuit but rather that we should be open to the Holy Spirt renewing all our worship services and devotional meetings. People in our area need to meet with Jesus Christ and to be confronted with the supernatural reality of God. Our business is to make our circuit and our churches useful to God as He reaches out to meet those who do not yet know His love. We are in that business or we are out of business.
With warm regards to you all,