MissionJesus 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
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 raising 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.
Over the last five years, despite lockdowns and restrictions Great Ayton Methodist Church has raised around £53,000 for good causes. Over this period we have supported The Smiles Foundation, Teesside Hospice and, throughout 2021-22, 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. Over the last 12-15 months we have raised £10,000 to support the vital work of this project. You can read more about its work here.
We have decided, for the next year until December 2023, to support two charities, sharing the funds that we raise between them. Both have some link with our church or its members. We decided to support smaller projects which do not have access to the same funding sources as the large organisations. These charities are:
Source of Light School Uganda
A young woman who attended our Church many years ago helped set up this Christian school from nothing to now cater for over 300 children in a village called Kyebanda in a remote district of Uganda. Although, sadly, this lady took her own life in September 2021 the school project has been taken on by her parents and friends.
In 2013 the enrolment of 30 children commenced in temporary shelters and by 2020 is was serving over 300 children with 10 staff and had managed to access running water which benefits the whole village. We’ll be bringing more information about the school over time. You can find out much more about the Source of Light School here. (This link opens a PDF document; you will need to have a PDF viewing application on your device to view this).
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation
Based in Hanoi, Vietnam, Blue Dragon’s purpose is to provide exceptional care to Vietnamese children and families in crisis. Whether it’s education, vocational training, or help of another kind, Blue Dragon works with each child individually to provide the immediate and longer-term support they need to escape crisis.
Blue Dragon tackles the problem of poverty from every angle. Rather than simply providing handouts they provide a hand up with experiences and opportunities for children to pursue as individuals. Blue Dragon staff work alongside children and their families, so that beneficiaries are involved in all stages of their work.
To date Blue Dragon has:
- Rescued 1,126 people from trafficking
- Represented 204 people in court cases
- Sent 5,854 kids back to school & training
- Provided shelter to 1,383 girls & boys
- Placed 383 teens in jobs
- Served 634,783 meals
- Built 221 homes for families
- Reunited 676 runaways with their families
- Obtained legal papers for 13,524 people
- Played 3,203 games of soccer!
You can lean more about the foundations work from its website, here.
As usual we’ll be arranging a number of fundraising events and activities. Check our What’s on page for upcoming events.
A fully inclusive church
We believe that God’s love extends to all. We believe that he made us in His own image and, as he is perfect, He doesn’t make mistakes. Therefore everyone is made at He intended.We also believe that everyone is of equal value in God’s eyes; are are all special to Him.
This means that we welcome everyone to take part fully in the life of the church; to worship with us, to serve with us and to take up leadership positions within the church. So, regardless of your, age, disability. gender, sexuality, sexual orientation or race, we welcome you.
Within the Methodist Church nationally a task Group presented a report to the 2019 Conference with recommendations about various issues to do with relationships in general and marriage in particular, including same sex marriages and marriage of people who have been divorced. Those recommendations were submitted to the wider Church for consultation during 2019-2020. The circuit is gave some feedback to the District Synod in February 2021 and the matter was considered at the July 2020 Conference.
This Conference agreed, by a substantial margin to accept the principles of the report. Individual churches ministers were allowed to make their own decisions about how to proceed so that while pursuing a path to greater equality no individual or church council will be compelled to act against their beliefs.
In spring of 2023 Great Ayton Methodist Church council agreed by a large majority to accept the findings of the report and to become registered to be able to hold weddings of people of the same sex as well as those between a man and a woman. We’re delighted to have taken this decision so that the joy of a Christian marriage is open to all. You can find out more about getting married at Great Ayton Methodist Church here.