Langley's Piece


Greetings All,

The Plan

Please find the Plan attached. Once again, Thank you to the Local Preachers for offering the dates that they can, and Thank you to the churches for forwarding your requests to us. 

The Plan is straightforward. In line with Reimagine, and the ongoing question of how we make the best use of our resources, the Local Preachers’ and Worship Leaders’ Meeting have opted to trial a slightly different way of working. We sense that this may help us think about how our preaching relates to the needs of our churches, how churches might be able to encourage our local preachers. 
In one sense, this change is not significant. Some (but not all preachers) who have offered five or more appointments have been deliberately planned in the same church on two occasions. Occasionally this has happened previously, through necessity. However, this time the pairings are deliberate. You will be able to see where this paring has taken place - ideally we have tried to leave 3-4 weeks between visits. Some of these pairings are deliberate because they make the best use of the preachers’ gifts in a specific area (e.g. All-age). Others are less so, but our hope is that, by planning them in the same church, we can generate some useful questions. 

So, I therefore say to you as churches: How might you use the return visit of the preacher? Is there something that you might want the preacher to help you reflect on as a church? Is there a pastoral situation that needs a word of encouragement? Is there an area of outreach that you would like to focus on and pray about? Do you have people in your congregations who might want to take the first steps towards reading or leading prayers? This way of working might help this. 

If you are one of those preachers who has offered more than five appointments but has not been paired, please do not be disappointed. In order for this to happen, I need to have preachers who are willing to travel anywhere. Ultimately, the Superintendent is responsible for the plan, and who preaches where. This new approach - consider it a trial, an exploration - might be really helpful as I and the Local Preachers’ and Worship Leaders’ Meeting look at how we fulfil our purpose. It maintains the Methodist tradition of preachers travelling across the Circuit. It provides a way of helping deepen the relationships between the preacher and the congregations. It does not ask any more in terms of the numbers of appointments that Local Preachers offer - we just ask preachers to offer what they can. If this model works in a church, it can be expanded - a preacher could preach once a month in one place. If it is not received well, then nothing is lost - we can opt to make a different matching, or not use the model in that church. This way we are able to make progress, but also have the capacity to develop things in response to the needs on the ground. This has been the principle that I am living by at the moment. Never mind the abstract thinking of what, say, a team might look like. Look at what the needs of the churches are first, and start from there. 

So, please do ask yourselves how you will make best use of your pairings. We will review things at our next Local Preachers’ and Worship Leaders’ Meeting. I am, as ever, open to hear your thoughts. I note that we have not progressed the idea of Team Preaching, of having a team of people preach across set churches, but this model certainly looks like one way of focusing our preaching. I can see how a team might begin to develop between the minister with oversight, and the preachers that are planned regularly in their churches. It may improve communication between the ministers and the preachers. We may arrive at a Team Preaching model in the future but, for the moment, we can respond to the immediate needs of the local church, particularly in my own case where, as a minister across seven congregations, it is difficult for me to offer consistency. 

Morning Circuit Services

We have not included a morning Circuit Service on this Plan. Whilst they have been very well received indeed, we are aware that transport is an issue that may put some people off, or that others are on the fringes of the church and, whilst they may attend their own local church, they may not feel confident going somewhere new. I think we need to work on those two areas of course - it is for us to model what it is to be part of a circuit. The irony is that a morning circuit service frees up many people from responsibilities in local churches, alleviates the Plan, and makes singing 'O for a Thousand Tongues' much more credible. We still need to look at this as I am not convinced that, if we opt for a separate afternoon service, we will see the same uptake that has left us having to find extra chairs in both of the churches in which the services have recently been held. Many thanks, once again, to Brookside for their hospitality in January. Let us all hold this in prayer. Is there a middle-way forward somehow?  

Every blessing,


Rev. Dr. Langley Mackrell-Hey
Superintendent Minister to the Peterborough Circuit of Methodist Churches
Circuit website:  
Peterborough Pioneer Hub: Facebook @peterboroughpioneer 
Research findings:  

76 Gunthorpe Road, Peterborough, PE4 7TP
t: 01733 573147, m: 07525762538
E-mail responses: 9am-10am daily.
Rest day, Friday. 
Circuit Administrator: Sue Moore, contactable on 


Practical Help for Australia

From: Joy Tingey
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2020 at 14:23
Subject: Australia - prayers


Dear Sue Moore
I’m e-mailing you as one of our key Samaritan’s Purse church contacts to ask if you could raise the current situation in Australia in prayer in your church. You may already have Australia in your prayers, so I have attached some prayer point slides which you may wish to either send out or use in church. We also have opportunities to serve on our DART (Disaster Response Assistant Team) and we are looking for professionals with experience in a range of areas including HR, Engineering. Finance, Medicine and many more areas, if you would like me to send you a flyer with more information to display, please let me know.
As the bushfires continue to rage across Australia, Samaritan’s Purse are bringing relief.
Record-breaking high temperatures, strong winds, and years of drought have stirred intense bushfires, killing at least 25 people, destroying hundreds of homes, and scorching over 10 million hectares of land. 
Within a week of the initial outbreak, the Samaritan’s Purse Australia disaster relief team was offering help and support to affected communities.
We are assisting homeowners whose properties have been destroyed by clearing debris, removing fallen trees and sifting through ashes to locate important personal items. We are also distributing Fire Recovery Kits, which include items such as shovels, rakes, hammers, gloves, face masks and overalls. 
Please pray for all those affected by this disaster and for our teams as they respond to help families begin to rebuild their lives.
Support our team in Australia and around the world for disaster relief: Helping in Jesus’ name
We have opportunities to serve directly on the front line of disaster response. There are short-term opportunities for experienced professionals to serve as part of our Disaster Response Assistance Team (DART). If you are interested, please visit our website for more information and an application form: We invite you to apply to the Samaritan’s Purse UK Dart Programme by 28th February 2020 and if accepted there is a training week on 30th March – 3rd April in Oldbury, West Midlands. Should you have additional questions, please contact  
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