Situated centrally in Great Ayton on the High Street the church is close to the centre of the village and has stunning views over the River Leven, the village’s sports fields and the Cleveland Hills.
The church building
As well as the worship area the church has a number of rooms of differing sizes that are used for church events and activities and that are also available to hire. There is a large hall, split over two levels and the church has smaller spaces for meetings. A fully equipped kitchen allows the preparation of meals for the community as well as for church events. The team serving the Community Lunches (see What’s on) have been awarded a ‘5 Star’ Environmental Health rating.
The church is accessible to all. It has an easily accessible wheelchair and pushchair friendly ramp to the front door, a lift giving access to the main floor and an accessible toilet and baby change area. You can find out more on our ‘Facilities and room hire‘ page.
Potted history of the building
Opened over one hundred years ago the church has seen many developments over the years. In the 1960s the ‘youth hall’ was built providing the church with facilities for events, activities, meetings and catering. At this time the original church benches were replaced by individual chairs. More recently the kitchen was improved to allow the preparation of full meals and later still a great deal of work was done to modernise and improve access to the building. This included the installation of lifts and the creation of a ramp to allow access for people with mobility difficulties. As ever, further work is planned and you will see some taking place over the next few months.
The minister is assisted in the leadership of the church by a team of people, appointed as stewards in line with the Methodist Church’s procedural rules, who represent the key aspects of the church’s work
- the church’s four key mission areas, worship, church in the community, children and young people and pastoral
- the senior steward, whose role is to ensure that all church services run smoothly and to support the minister or preacher taking the services
- the leaders of the property and administration and the finance functions of the church.
These people usually meet formally on a monthly basis and are appointed at the general church meeting. This is open to all church members and reviews the previous year and appoints church leaders and representatives to the church council. As the church is a registered charity this meeting services as the Annual General Meeting.
The church council meets three times per year and is the formal decision making body in the church. Its membership includes church leaders, elected members of the congregation and representatives of all aspects of Church life. The council makes major decisions affecting the church, the leadership team ensure that these decisions are carried out and undertakes the day-to-day leadership of the church.
You can find out more about who the church leaders and other key contact points are here.
Property, administration and finance
We do not view these functions as part of the key aims of the church. Rather, they are vital supports that enable the church to fulfil its mission. They ensure that the church runs effectively, efficiently and safely in line with all current legislation, safety requirements and financial requirements.
Property and administration
The purpose of the Property and Administration work is to care for the premises and provide administrative arrangements that support the life of the Church, glorify God and welcome and witness to all people in the community. The portfolio covers the maintenance and care of the property, grounds and equipment and the administrative arrangements of the church, including:
- management of the church secretary and cleaners
- managing all church, office and safety equipment
- ensuring that property repairs, maintenance and improvements take place, arranging insurance and planning for the building’s continued suitability
- property bookings
- the church’s office and administration arrangements including, communication, newsletters and notices, directory, website and liaison with the press.
The purpose of the finance work is to support the church in the faithful use of our finances. We view the good stewardship of money as a way to prosper God’s work in Great Ayton and beyond rather than as an end in itself. The church relies on the regular giving of the congregation to provide sufficient income to enable us to develop the church’s mission, maintain and heat the church buildings. The church also contributes to the cost of the circuit (which includes paying our ministers, the upkeep of the manses and the mission and administration Methodist Church nationally and in the Stokesley circuit). You can find out more about ways to give to the church here.
In addition to keeping track of the church’s money and producing suitable accounts, the finance portfolio supports the church leadership by helping to agree realistic budgets; ensuring that church money is used wisely in accordance with church council policy; that the church and all groups accounts are in order; and devising methods for funding major projects.
Did you know?
The illuminated window in the church is a celebration of the local area and comprises over 20 ‘icons’ or subjects that are particular or typical of the area; some from Great Ayton itself, others from further afield.
As the picture took shape the path became a dominant feature. The path can be interpreted in a number of different ways – perhaps as a ‘path of life’ involving many twists and turns with obstacles in the way but with the means to overcome them through God’s grace.
The picture was developed stylistically using several digital photographs enhancing the outlines and adding colour
It was installed in March 2010.