The Aire and Calder Circuit is a grouping of 31 churches, including ecumenical links with the URC, at the South East end of the Yorkshire West District. The Circuit is named after the two major rivers that flow through and converge in this area.
This relatively large circuit includes the city of Wakefield and the towns of Castleford, Featherstone, Horbury, Knottingley, Normanton, Ossett, Pontefract and Rothwell. It also extends into many of the villages and suburbs. Methodism has a very strong presence in this area and historically, has a deep commitment to our communities. We are also a part of the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom and the world-wide Methodist church, which is one of the largest Christian denominations.
We worship learn, pray and serve together in a wide variety of ways and it is our belief that this is an important part of the life of our church. It is also a vital part of our church life that we are accessible and open to all who would serve and praise God and that everyone is important. We believe that people enliven and vitalise our church, by bringing their gifts and experience, in service to others, no matter what culture, background, or gender they relate to. So, whether you prefer a more traditional style of worship, or something more modern, there is a church that should meet your needs in our Circuit. In those churches you can find ‘Messy Church’, youth services and activities, Bible Study and spirituality groups, fun things to do and life-changing things to experience.
Our churches facilitate a large number of community groups throughout the week, often on a regular basis. Trinity Mission, in Castleford, organises a breakfast club and a drop-in service providing food, clothing and advice, as well as a listening ear. We have two full-time professional children and families workers, who have been working hard to extend God’s Good News to many we would not normally reach. Some of our churches are involved in, or help distribute food from food banks. Many are Fairtrade friendly and most are connected to charities based here and also have links to national and international charities. We are blessed to have a Methodist School; Wakefield Methodist (VC) Junior, Infant and Nursery School. We facilitate the school with a chaplain, as well as having Circuit appointed Governors. We also have a MHA care home in Warde Aldam, South Elmsall and provide a chaplain for them.
Chaplaincy, “the church without walls”, also takes place in so many areas of community life. We have lay and ordained contacts and chaplains in prisons, hospitals, in our local hospice, schools, care and nursing homes, in civic, charity and sports sectors.
God is at work all over the place!
Many blessings and thank you for taking the time to find out more about our Circuit.
Reverend Andrew Longshaw