1509Re: [Synoptic-L] On The Earliest Markan Narrative
- Jan 17, 2009Hi, Bruce
British Methodism is organised differently from US Methodism. Our churches are organised into Circuits, which are in turn organised into Districts, which in turn report to Conference (which meets annually). Each Circuit is run by the team of ministers and local preachers; the team is led by the Superintendent minister, who is also in pastoral charge of some of the churches (unlike our District Chairs, who are usually not in pastoral charge). This Circuit is relatively small (10 churches, 2 ministers, and about a dozen local preachers), occupying a valley running up into the Pennines from Halfax, West Yorkshire. We are currently considering joining up a few small circuits to form a larger one of some 30 churches. I am in pastoral charge of 5 churches, and in addition have a handful of District responsibilities and a chaplaincy to the local squadron of the Air Training Corps (think of a cross between Scouts and Royal Air Force). My responsibilities in the churches are the same as any minister: preaching, teaching, pastoral oversight, management, etc. In addition, as superintendent, I oversee the work at circuit level: I chair the Circuit Meeting, Local Preachers Meeting, and some of the Circuit Teams; I am also legally the Chair of the Managing Trustees of every church in the circuit, including those looked after by my colleague.
That's the structure. Personally (to link it to biblical studies and stuff) I see it as a close parallel to the episcopal structure behind 1 Tim.3 - the superintendent is the episkopos over the team of presbyteroi and laos. I prefer that as a model of episcopacy to the post-Constantinian diocesan model, or the UM model, which makes the bishop a much more distant figure. Or so it appears to me!
Hope that helps,
Rev Tony Buglass
Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
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