Helsby Methodist Church (HMC) stands in the centre of the small village of Helsby, situated in the North West English County of Cheshire, not far from the beautiful Delamere Forest Park. We are part of the Chester and Delamere Forest Methodist circuit (traditionally sharing our Minister with neighbouring Methodist churches in Kingsley village) and the Chester and Stoke District of the wider UK Methodist Church.
With effect from 1 September 2017 we are delighted to welcome Rev David Bintliff as our Minister. David will have responsibility for the Helsby and Kingsley sections of the Circuit and be moving to live in Helsby with his wife Gemma and daughter.
There is a wide mixture of ages and backgrounds at HMC. Some members have lived in the village all their lives, others have moved more recently from other regions of the UK and yet more have been brought into the Church family through outreach, such as the Alpha course, or through the various activities we run. This, of course, means that there are differences of emphasis which HMC seeks to embrace within the one church.
We have over a number of years sought to create a sense of family and community. Traditionally all members and adherents were allocated a pastoral visitor whose role it was to offer practical, emotional, and spiritual care. This system remains in place for the majority of people with over 20 pastoral visitors serving the church. However to try and ensure everyone is still supported we have a ‘Core’ pastoral Group including the minister who meet on a regular basis.
This group seeks to take an overview of how we support one another, and so tries to develop further a real sense of belonging in this church. We also encourage each member to take seriously a responsibility of care. In short providing the love revealed in Jesus is not only the domain of the “professional” carers but the responsibility of all Christians.
We are also developing our existing network of regular small house group meetings which take place both in the daytime and in the evenings, thus following the example of John Wesley and his ‘class meetings’
We do not seek to stand still. The overall vision is to see men and women become contemporary active followers of Jesus Christ, and for each and every person at the Church to discover their individual and prayer life and Church-life going deeper with God. Over the last 18 months we have focused on prayer as our starting point.
‘Showing God’s love in Christ to our community through prayer ,witness and service’. (2017)
This means that during 2017 we will explore:
Alternative ways of being church and learn about Fresh Expressions
How to use our space more effectively for the work of Gods Kingdom
How House groups could be developed/to provide a series for Lent so we nurture faith and build one another up to be confident Christians
Look at opportunities for a mission event at church with support from an organisation like Cliff College
This emphasis does not lead to an inward looking church. Many members are involved (as part of their discipleship) in aspects of care and help in the community e.g. school governors, parents and toddlers, clubs for senior citizens, youth work reaching the marginalised in Helsby, and many other unsung ways. We have been active supporters of various local national and overseas Charities for many years.
We recognise that, in the light of an ever-changing world, we need to constantly re-assess our worship, work and ministry in our community. New ways of ‘doing church’ need to be explored and whilst change can always be a source for tension, we seek to do it under the guidance of God’s Spirit for His glory. On the first Sunday of each month we have our Multiplex service giving options to follow different streams
As part of these aims and to attract new young families we have a monthly Sunday morning service ‘ Hungry Church’ incorporating family based activity,supporting our local Foodbank.
In addition our ever popular ‘Muddles’carer and toddler groups meet twice weekly, meeting a vital need in Helsby. We also have our ‘Church mice’ activities each Thursday lunchtime. We also have a programme of social events to which anyone is most welcome to attend, including our ever popular annual village quiz.