Latest Special Project News from ‘Under the Mango Tree’ – see link here
The Churches in the Thirsk and Northallerton Methodist Circuit work and worship together to sustain and strengthen our ability to provide Christian witness and service to our Local Communities. We will do this by offering the opportunity to come and share in a variety of services and exploring new ways of being the Church in local communities thereby encouraging people to share, fully, in the life of our Christian Community.
In all we do it is paramount that we work with our Ecumenical Partners through Churches Together and other groups to ensure that we do not duplicate work presently being done, rather what we propose should be in addition to or to participate in or enhance current work.
A History of the Thirsk and Northallerton Methodist Circuit
The Thirsk and Northallerton Methodist Circuit was formed on 1st September 1998. This part of North Yorkshire once had two Circuits – Thirsk and Boroughbridge and adjoining it the Northallerton Circuit covered the market towns and villages. As time went on the interests and allegiances of the two areas began to diverge. This was particularly so in the southern area where folk looked towards Ripon rather than Thirsk. Eventually, after much consideration, it was decided that the Boroughbridge part should separate from Thirsk and form a larger Ripon and Masham Circuit taking with them one of the ministers. Agreement was reached and Thirsk alone became the centre of the remaining Circuit. Northallerton formed no part of this.
It had seemed a good plan but unfortunately the cracks began to appear. Staffing a small circuit such as Thirsk proved to be difficult, most of all for the minister left on his own. Thirsk was blessed with a highly capable superintendent but the responsibility was large especially in a very active District such as York and Hull. It could not really continue like that and so other ways were sought including the idea of linking more closely with Northallerton and again forming a larger joint circuit. Many separate and joint discussions took place between the two and eventual agreement was reached that they should merge. This had the approval of District and Conference and so was formed the Thirsk and Northallerton Circuit under the guidance of the superintendent minister of the Northallerton Circuit. September 1st 1998 was chosen for the merger.
A neutral outdoor setting within the new circuit was desired and what better than the ruined Carthusian priory of Mount Grace just off the A19 near Osmotherley? Osmotherley is in an ecumenical partnership including the Catholics. The Benedictines of Our Lady of Mount Grace enthusiastically embraced the idea and thus it was arranged with a service to be led by the Chair of the York & Hull District and President Designate of Conference, Rev Stuart Burgess. Alas 1st September proved to be an extremely wet day and we feared the worst, but towards evening the rain eased and by the time everyone arrived the sun appeared and the dedication was held on a glorious golden evening with the sun setting westwards behind the ruins.
A memorable occasion!
(Taken from a Circuit Magazine article by Mary Priest in 2008)