St Andrew's: a brief background

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The History Of The Methodist Church
The Methodist Church began in 1738 as a reform movement within the Church of England, led by the brothers John and Charles Wesley, who were both Anglican priests. It only gradually became a separate denomination.

From the beginning, Methodists have been deeply committed to serving the wider community and reaching out to the world in the name of Jesus. Many Methodists are involved in voluntary activities, in Christian or secular organisations committed to the wellbeing of others. Methodists were central to the establishing of Trade Unions in the UK and NCH (now called Action For Children), the largest children's charity in the UK, was founded in the 19th century by a Methodist Minister concerned about street children in London.

Methodist churches are formed into "Circuits". St Andrew's is in the Thames Valley Circuit, along with 12 other churches in Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead and surrounding villages. Circuits are grouped into Districts (33 across Great Britain). We are in the South-East District. Methodist Ministers are ordained to serve within Great Britain and move around the country as directed by the Methodist Conference.

The Conference is Methodism's governing body. It meets for a week each July, and is made up of roughly 50% ministers and 50% lay people, most of whom are elected by the Districts. The voice of the "grass roots" is crucial in Methodism. We believe that it is as we pray, study the Bible and share our insights together, that we discover what God is saying to us today.

In 2003 leaders of the Methodist Church of Great Britain and of the Church of England signed a Covenant on behalf of these two denominations. We are now committed to growing closer together in the hope that we might one day reunite our two churches. We pray and work with others for the day when the whole Christian Church will be truly united.




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