The Bishop Auckland & Shildon Methodist Circuit embraces 14 churches, representing a variety of situations both urban and rural. It seeks to consolidate and develop the work of the churches by encouraging partnership among and between them. It exists to make the love of God known and to share the Good News of the Gospel through the worship and activities of the individual churches and to hold those churches together in unity. We aim to facilitate this process of partnership by utilising the particular gifts of our Ministers as well as identifying and releasing the skills and resources available among our lay people.
Methodism in the Bishop Auckland & Shildon Methodist Circuit is a movement of people who worship, witness and work together to share the love of God with all. Our heritage stretches back to the early days of Methodism in the mid-1700s, for example, with the early preaching of Timothy Hackworth in Shildon. God has called us to serve the present age and look forward with hope.
The three largest churches are based in towns: Bishop Auckland is one of the largest towns in County Durham, Shildon is the 'home of the railways' and is steeped in Methodist tradition. Newton Aycliffe is the oldest new town in the North, founded in 1947. Other smaller chapels are deeply embedded in their local communities, many in rural situations.
The circuit is approximately 16 miles by 6 miles with a membership of over 450. There are good ecumenical links in all our communities, with active Churches Together groups and Local Ecumenical Partnerships.
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