Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mathew 28:18-19)
The purpose of the mission work we do at Great Ayton Methodist Church is to try and follow this ‘Great Commission’ that is given to every follower of Jesus Christ.
It is the responsibility of the whole Church to ensure that we remain committed to this focus on mission. All we do is out of concern for God’s glory and the extension of His kingdom.
At Great Ayton Methodist Church we structure how we undertake this work into four main areas:
- Worship: the expression of our love of and reverence for God. Read more here
- Children and young people: our work to support, care for and show God’s love for children and their families. Read more here
- Church in the community: our work to minister to and care for people in the village and wider world to show God’s love for all people. Read more here
- Pastoral: to be a family in Christ who care for, pray for and support one another at all times, especially in times of need. Read more here
Thy Kingdom Come. 13 – 23 May 2021
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus.
Since its start in May 2016 God has grown Thy Kingdom Come from a dream of possibility into a movement. Christians from 172 countries have taken part in praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’, so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ.
This praying together has been across our diversity and differences as every person, household and church are encouraged to pray in their own way. According to our annual survey findings an astonishing percentage of people said they were praying for family and friends to come to faith in Jesus, and a significant number of people join in for the first time, we recognise there is much more we can do together to help Thy Kingdom Come be fully in the lifeblood of the Church.
During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will:
- Deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ
- Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus
- Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness
After the very first Ascension Day the disciples gathered with Mary, constantly devoting themselves to prayer while they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Like them, our reliance on the gift of the Holy Spirit is total – on our own we can do nothing.
Through the centuries Christians have gathered at that time to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ picks up this tradition. Over the years more and more worshipping communities have dedicated the days between Ascension and Pentecost to pray ‘Come Holy Spirit’.
We are praying that the Spirit will inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our friends and families, our communities and networks. It has been amazing how many varied ways there have been in which people from every tradition have taken up this challenge. The effects have been remarkable.
It is our prayer that those who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and his love for the world will hear it for themselves, and respond and follow Him. Specifically, we again invite each and every Christian across the globe to pray that God’s Spirit might work in the lives of 5 friends who have not responded with their ‘Yes’ to God’s call.
Whether you have joined in ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ before or not, we invite you to take part – along with churches from over 80 different denominations & traditions in nearly 90% of countries (172) around the world.
“In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities.” Archbishop Justin Welby
Holy Habits is an adventure in Christian discipleship. Inspired by Luke’s model of church found in Acts 2:42–47, it identifies ten habits and encourages the development of a way of life formed by them.
The habits are: Biblical Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking Bread, Prayer, Sharing Resources, Serving, Eating Together, Gladness and Generosity, Worship, and Making More Disciples.
Great Ayton Methodist Church, along with the other churches in the Stokesley Methodist Circuit are following this programme for the next couple of years. Starting with eating together in Spring of 2019 the church along with others in the circuit took many opportunities to eat together within the church and members of the community. In September, we added another ‘habit’ to our focus; that of ‘fellowship’. This ‘habit’ was launched with a ceilidh at Stokesley Methodist Church on Friday 6 September 2019. 1 December 2019 saw us launch our next ‘habit’ that of ‘gladness and generosity’ at a circuit service in Stokesley and on 1 March 2020 we launched ‘breaking bread’ at a circuit service with holy communion. A recommended reading list is available to assist us in our preparation for our focus on fellowship.Recommended reading – Holy Habits
NB: we have placed this initiative on hold at this time and will pick it up again as soon as we are able.
You can learn more about the activities and events we run on our ‘What’s On‘ page.
We ask for your prayers as we try and live our lives in the way that Luke instructs the early church to do.
The church and its members give formally and informally to a number of charitable causes throughout the year. However, each year the church selects a particular charity or charities that it will support by tasing funds from activities and events, Various church groups and individuals take part, either running or supporting events.
Traditionally the church selects more local charities for one year then a more internationally focused causes the next although this varies from time to time.
The charities are selected based on needs at the time, connections of church members or other local, national or international events and needs.
Throughout 2019 the church raised money for The Smiles Foundation, a Christian charity supporting the Roma and other communities in Romania and in a very successful year we raised just over £7000 for this very worthy cause. In 2020 we selected Teesside Hospice as our charity. Teesside Hospice offers palliative care for people over the age of 18 who are living with a life-limiting illness when a cure is no longer possible. In a difficult year, defined by the pandemic and the challenges that brought we raised £12,366 for this excellent cause.
We are delighted that our church charity for 2021 is the Russ Devereux Headlight Project. Founded in memory of Russ Devereux, the Headlight Project works with children in schools to deliver emotional resilience programmes, as well as one-to-one counselling and also offers equivalent services for adults. They also work in partnership with organisations to raise awareness on mental health in the workplace and suicide prevention.
The Headlight Project has a particular focus in supporting individuals and families who have been affected by suicide. The project was founded after Russ Devereux sadly took his own life in 2018 after a period of acute stress. Trustees include Catherine and Ken Devereux, Russ’s wife and father.
As we begin to be able to meet in person more we’ll be arranging a number of fundraising events and activities. Check our What’s on page for upcoming events.
Marriage and Relationships 2019
The Marriage and Relationships Task Group presented a report to the 2019 Conference with recommendations about various issues to do with relationships in general and marriage in particular. Those recommendations were submitted to the wider Church for consultation during 2019-2020. The circuit is giving some feedback to the District Synod in February 2021 with a final plans being made at the July 2020 Conference. After this, individual churches and circuits will be able to make their own decisions about how to proceed. During this time of difficult discussion for some people it is important that we notJohn Wesley’s words; that we be “of one heart, though we are not of one opinion”
You can read the report, watch a film about the report and find other reading and prayer materials on the Methodist Church website,