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Methodism started in the 18th century when a group of friends in Oxford met regularly for Bible Study, Prayer and Holy Communion and they visited prisons and workhouses. One of the group was John Wesley, an Anglican Clergyman. He started the movement, organised into local religious gatherings or societies, that eventually became the Methodist Church.

John Wesley said "The Gospel of Christ knows no religion but social; no holiness but social holiness."

Holiness is not achieved except in community. Methodism has a strong sense of community, which is expressed in the way it is organised. It calls itself a Connexion.

No local church operates alone. It is usually part of a group of churches known as a Circuit. A number of Circuits make up a District — there are 33 in the British Methodist Church. Districts are responsible to the Methodist Conference. Representatives of all Districts attend this governing body which meets annually in different locations each year. This is where doctrine is agreed and adopted. Conference is led by a President and a Vice President.

Lay leadership is a great strength of Methodism. Most of the leading of worship and preaching is done by Local Preachers who have been specially trained. Many important responsibilities are held by lay people, including various Stewards, who share in guiding the life of the local church or circuit.

Halmer End Methodist Church is part of a world-wide movement of Methodism with about 70 million people.

The Circuit
We are part of the North Staffordshire Circuit which includes Methodist Churches in Audley, Halmer End, Bradwell, Wolstanton, Newcastle, Higherland, Cross Heath, Silverdale, Madeley, Westlands (St. Peter's), Clayton (St. Luke's) and Baldwins Gate.

The District
We are part of the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District.

"Extracts taken from Called by Name © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes — used with permission."

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