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Circuit Commissioning Service for the

Kendal Methodist Team


The Service was held on Friday 1st September 2017

 at Stricklandgate Methodist Church

and was led by

Revd Richard J Teal

Chair, Cumbria Methodist District


The Team is :-

Rev David Stretton - Superintendant

Rev Wendy Thornton - Minister

Marc Jackson - Local Pastor

Rev Les Hann - Minister

Chris Palmer - Circuit Administrator


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Kendal Volunteer Chaplains


Front row: Margaret Tomlinson, Georgina Walker, David Baker and Hazel Booth.
Rear: Rod Readhead, Karen Balmer, Revd. Rob Saner-Haig, Revd. John Simms, Revd. Sarah Moore and Revd. Richard Teal.


For the first time in Kendal's history, ordinary members of local churches have been trained to be Kendal town's Volunteer Chaplains and have now been released into this ministry following a service that commissioned them on Sunday 15th November at Stricklandgate Methodist Church, Kendal.

Their role will be to take the love and presence of God into the community where people are, focusing on the the town centre retail, business staff and visiting public.

Those officiating at the commissioning service were:
Revd. Sarah Moore, Area President Cumbria United Reformed Church. Revd. Richard Teal, Chair of the Cumbria Methodist District. Revd. John Simms, Kendal Methodist Circuit Superintendent Minister. Karen Balmer, Chaplaincy Development Officer for Cumbria.

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Cumbria Becomes
First 'Ecumenical County' in England!

The Ecumenical County of Cumbria: A Declaration of Intent by the Methodist, United Reformed and Anglican Churches.

On Sunday, 27thNovember 2011, at 3pm, Church Leaders from the Methodist, United Reformed and Anglican Churches in Cumbria signed an historic ecumenical Declaration of  intent at St Mary's Church, Ambleside, also home of Bowness Methodist Church.

Supported by the other five main Christian denominations in Cumbria (Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Baptist, Quaker and Church of Scotland) this declaration meant that Cumbria becomes the first ecumenical county in England with churches agreeing on a county-level to work more closely together for the sake of unity.

Building on a shared faith, the Declaration affirms the common goals of the three churches: "We believe that we are being called by God to realise more deeply our common life and mission, to share and respect the distinctive contributions of our traditions, and to bring about closer collaboration in all areas of witness and service."

The Declaration goes on to commit these three churches:

"to seek out every possible opportunity for joint initiatives at Local and County Level in mission to all the people of Cumbria.
"to work together to equip both lay and ordained ministry whenever possible, and to share that ministry wherever appropriate.
"to continue the work of developing strategies whereby we optimise the use of our church buildings for the benefit of communities throughout the county."

The service in Ambleside was attended by Church Leaders from all eight denominations in Cumbria, and by representatives from the national churches involved. A message of support from the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr. Fykse Tveit, was relayed during the service.

This will be a time for celebration, dedication and commitment for all believers in Cumbria and beyond. The Declaration was signed by the Church Leaders of the three denominations involved:

Revd Richard Church, Moderator of the North West Synod of the United Reformed Church said: "The United Reformed Church has always been passionate about the visible unity of the Church. We are so encouraged that in Cumbria this dream is being brought closer to accomplished reality." 

Revd Richard Teal, Chair of Cumbria Methodist District said: ''I am delighted that we are signing the Declaration of Intent. It is a result of vision, hard work, prayer, trust and openness. It is now important that we do not just sign it but ensure its far reaching implications become a reality."

Rt Revd James Newcome, Anglican Bishop of Carlisle said: "I am personally thrilled that we are taking a significant step towards an Ecumenical County and highly delighted that our 'Declaration of Intent' was unanimously welcomed by Carlisle Diocesan Synod!"

Further information from: Ruth Harvey, Ecumenical Development Officer, Churches Together in Cumbria; e-mail: rctic@phonecoop.coop / mobile: 0740 363 8339