Credit Union partnership launched

The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church has launched a new credit union partnership based at the Church. 
We’re delighted to be forming this partnership with Capital Credit Union, an experienced Edinburgh-based credit union, to offer financial services to our community. These services will help church staff and members, students and other local people build up savings, and access mortgages and low-cost loans.
As a church we want to support the “not for profit, not for charity, but for service” ethos of the credit union movement and invite you to support us in this initiative.


The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church is taking a stand against payday lenders by joining forces with a local credit union to bring fair and affordable savings, mortgages and loans to church members and the wider community. The church will promote the financial services of Capital Credit Union, an experienced Edinburgh-based credit union. This partnership is the first of its type in the city.

As with all credit unions, members are required to save a specific amount each week, which is then pooled and can be loaned out again at low interest rates. Information sessions will be held at the church on a weekly basis and run by church staff and specially-trained church volunteers.

The credit union partnership is officially launched at 6pm on 19 July at an event at the church’s Well Café at Nicolson Square in Edinburgh.

Belinda Letby, minster of the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, says:

“As a church, we see every day how tough times have been over the last few years for our members – and not only for them, but for their families and the community around us. We want to help protect people from predatory payday lenders, who seem to offer a quick way out, when in reality they not only prolong but exacerbate the problem. The wonderful thing about credit unions is that all members save, so they will always have something to fall back on. This, more than anything else, is why we have set up the credit union, because we believe that by working together we can help prevent problems before they even arise.”

Capital Credit Union CEO, Marlene Shiels, says:

“We are incredibly proud to be in a position to work with the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church in this way. Credit unions are built on the ethos of people helping people, and this is a perfect illustration of our philosophy in action.”

Local Preaching Taster Day

Feeling that you might be called to preach?
Just curious about what it is that local preachers do and what their training involves?
Already a local preacher and feeling that you would like to encourage others on their way?

Then why not come along to our LOCAL PREACHING TASTER DAY at Paisley Methodist Church?
SATURDAY 24 MAY 10.30am- 3.30pm (Wesley Day)

Find out what becoming a Local Preacher involves, and take time to explore with others the possibility that God might be calling you in this direction. No need to enrol – just turn up. All welcome!

No pressure, no recruiting sergeants, just space to reflect


10.30am: Coffee and time to chat
11am: “Hearing the Call” prayers and reflection with Kathleen Pearson, Local Preacher in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire Circuit
11.45am: “Exploring the barriers”, with Rev Liz Adam, Superintendent of the Ayrshire and Renfrewshire Circuit
12.30pm: Lunch (bring your own packed lunch, hot drinks will be available). There will be an opportunity for those who wish to have private conversation with an experienced preacher
1.30pm: Testimony from Local Preachers
2.15 pm: “What happens if I say yes?” What the training involves – an introduction to the process and course materials, with Rev Chris Foxon, Local Preacher Tutor and Minister in the Glasgow Circuit
3pm: Closing worship

New Church Cafe in Nicolson Square

In August 2013, The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church (at 25 Nicolson Square, EDINBURGH, EH8 9BX) opened a new Cafe called “The Well”.  The last few months have been about “finding their feet” but things are going well so far.

Please go to their website at  or find them on Facebook

During December 2013, they have some special offers on – see the links above for more details.

Report of LP/WL District Weekend 2013

Annual District Weekend Conference – 2-3rd February 2013
Apologetics? – It’s Alpha Plus, Exploring what we believe and why!

This was the programme presented to the 30 interested Local Preachers & Worship Leaders earlier this year as for the second year running the Annual District LP/WL Weekend Conference was held at Tulliallan Police College, Kincardine.  Our facilitator and speaker was the Rev Gerald Bostock, a retired Methodist minister, who together with John Sawkins, a local preacher in Edinburgh & Forth Circuit, produced the weekend programme. Sadly, John was unable to join us at the weekend owing to a family bereavement.

During the four sessions, Gerald challenged us to think about what our faith means to us and how we vocalise that to others.  We looked at various issues which effectively block our ability to express our faith such as the failure to recognise there is a problem; the danger of inadequate, bad or poor theology; and the problem of social and organisational discord.  We encountered real life conversations in a drama which helped us to understand some of the difficulties people often experience when asked about their view on religion.  Further role play involving a Spiritualist, a Humanist and a Christian gave differing perspectives on basis of belief and views of life after death. Needless to say there followed a great deal of discussion.

We wish to express our sincere thanks to Gerald and John for providing us with a valuable tool in our ministry – the realisation of the importance of having the freedom to question, discuss and debate our various views and opinions. It is surely only in this way that we can formalise and clarify our own thoughts as we forge a way through the veritable minefield of information out there.

We were also grateful for the husband and wife team of Ian and Valerie Paget who provided such an enjoyable Saturday evening session of praise and prayer (with special thanks to Valerie for the creative dance routine).

Download a  more detailed report.

Local Preachers and Worship Leaders Weekend 2013

2-3rd Feb 2013

Last year was the first time at Tulliallan Police College which provides training and conference rooms together with residential facilities – single rooms with en suite.  Though there were some initial concerns most felt the facilities provided at Tulliallan Castle were first-rate.  The venue for next and suggestions for the weekend focus will be discussed during the business meeting this year.

Scottish Police College, Tulliallan Castle, Kincardine, Fife, FK10 4BE
Situated in 90 acres of parkland on the outskirts of the village of Kincardine-on-Forth, the College enjoys a central location within the Central Lowlands of Scotland and is well-served by a good motorway and trunk road network and the M876 terminates within 2 miles of the College.   The nearest railway stations are in Falkirk, seven miles away, and both Edinburgh & Glasgow airports are less than an hour’s travelling time from the College. Car parking is available within the College grounds.

Apologetics? – It’s Alpha Plus!

Exploring what we believe and why

Lead by Gerald Bostock and John Sawkins

Session 1:  What is being asked of us?

Session 2:  Why is it hard but worth it?

Session 3:  Real-life conversations

Session 4:  The way forward

Together we will be looking at how we, as local preachers and worship leaders, think about and talk about our faith and make the case for Christianity where we live and work.  Gerald and John will be asking us questions like: How do we make the case for Christianity today?  What questions do people ask?  Why do we find it hard to answer them and why should we try?  How do we put theory into practice and how can this equip us better for mission?

Gerald Bostock is now retired and stays in Perth.  He served as a Methodist minister for many years including 8 years as a minister and Methodist University Chaplain in Edinburgh and 8 years as the Superintendent minister in Aberdeen.  His particular interests are Origen of Alexandria and the early Church, including the Celtic Church, and has recently developed a concern for apologetics as an essential aspect of the mission of the Church in contemporary Britain.

John Sawkins works at Heriot-Watt University and is a local preacher in the Edinburgh and Forth Circuit.  He is a ‘Breakout’ (Sunday School) leader at the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church and through this work, has developed an interest in trying to come up with answers to the tricky questions posed by the young people!

Saturday Evening Fellowship

Last year many expressed their pleasure at the Saturday evening time of fellowship, song and story led by Casey & Ken Weatherford.  This year there will be an opportunity to once again bring your own food to share in the Saturday evening fellowship led by Valerie and Ian Paget.

Ian is a qualified PE Teacher and has a degree in Pastoral Ministry.  He has worked as a Pastor in both Canada and Scotland and is currently working with Scripture Union in an Associate Worker Scheme called Colt which involves him working in schools in the Clackmannanshire Area.  Ian is a gifted worship leader who has written many worship songs and has recorded two albums.

Valerie, Ian’s wife, is a qualified radiographer working in the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.  She leads worship with Ian and especially enjoys leading kids’ worship.  Valerie is also gifted in creative dance in worship.


This is the one time in the year when all those involved in leading worship and preaching the Gospel across the District can meet for fellowship. We usually have representation from all Circuits and it is a good opportunity to ‘compare notes’, pick up ideas and see how we may try different things.

The Weekend is open to all Ministers (Presbyteral and Diaconal), Local Preachers and Worship Leaders and you are welcome whether you are just starting out, or are an ‘old hand’!

Booking forms went out with the Winter newsletter; if you didn’t receive one and would like one please get in contact with Hilary.  Forms should be returned together with the relevant deposit as soon as possible.

Local Preachers & Worship Leaders Report 2012

District Joint LP/WL Secretary : It is now one year since Lyn Smalridge stepped down and Hilary Henderson took over this shared role with Margaret Brown.  Lyn gave eight faithful years to the role and continues to support our LP’s and WL’s in other ways.  Meanwhile Margaret & Hilary have been getting to know each other, their skills and expertise, to assess how best to share the duties and support the LP/WL Secretaries & Tutors throughout the District.

LP/WL Annual Weekend : The 2012 Weekend was greatly enjoyed by all who were able to attend either the whole weekend or only for a day as Rev Dr Philip Meadows, Lecturer in Missionology and Wesleyan Studies at Cliff College and Coordinator of the Inspire Project of the Methodist Church, presented and led the lively and interesting sessions on Wesleyan DNA. We are grateful for the financial support of the District Advance Fund for subsidising the costs.

District LP/WL Secretaries & Tutors Annual Meeting : 9 June 2012 This was the first time that Scotland District had been represented and both Margaret & Hilary were honoured to take the train to Methodist Church House in London to meet other District representatives.  Both felt it to be a very profitable meeting with discussions on the Fruitful Field Report and what was happening in various Districts as well as a very helpful conversation on the role and use of Worship Leaders.  A representative from LWPT was also there to give a history of the Trust and encourage congregations to take a retiring collection in aid of their funds.  Needless to say, Margaret & Hilary are looking forward to returning to London for the 2013 meeting.

Scotland District LP/WL Secy & Tutors Spring Meeting : The planned meeting on 12 May 2012 did not take place as it was felt important to concentrate on gathering more information on the Fruitful Field Project and the One Circuit consultation to bring to the autumn meeting.  Known Current Statistics for Scotland District’s 8 Circuits are: 99 accredited Local Preachers; 12 LPs in training and 47 Worship Leaders.  (Please note that these may no longer be correct at time of going to print.)

We continue to be grateful and offer prayers for the committed, faithful service of our LPs & WLs as they unconditionally commit themselves to the regular provision of strong Christian worship throughout Scotland District and beyond in service to our Lord Jesus Christ and to the glory of God

Resources: All LPs & WLs are regularly kept informed by twice yearly Newsletters (electronic and paper) produced by Margaret with the support of Fiona Inglis at the District Office who provides the printing and collating.  As well as a good resource for what’s on around the District, these newsletters include interesting articles, poems, reports and what may be termed ‘sermon fodder’.  Another good resource for LPs & WLs is the Scottish Methodist Website [].

Hilary Henderson & Margaret Brown

District Joint LP/WL & Tutors Secretary

Methodist Women in Britain Launch

‘Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) was launched on July 1st 2011 during the Methodist Conference in Southport. It takes the place of ‘Network’ (although it will probably be referred to as ‘Network’ for a while to come!).

Recognising that few people were able to share in the Launch Events, the Launch is being taken ‘on tour’ around the country.

The only meeting in Scotland will be held at The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, Nicolson Square, on Saturday 12th May 2012 from 2.30-4.30pm.

The programme will include elements of the Conference Launch, a flavour of the WFMUCW World Assembly in South Africa with its theme ” Bambelela” (Never give Up!) and news of how women here and around the world are ‘making Christ known’ in word and deed. There will be refreshments after the Launch.
Please put this date in your diaries and come and share in this exciting afternoon. It is open to all. Offers of food will be gratefully received.

Guidelines for use of E-mail

(based on Connexional guidelines and approved by Edinburgh and Forth Circuit Meeting – June 2010)

“Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say” (Ephesians 4:29)

The use of e-mail has transformed the way we communicate with each other. Used well, e-mail makes our lives easier and we feel better connected withone another. However e-mails can easily be misinterpreted and misused. These guidelines attempt to steer us away from some of the most common pitfalls.

Addressing your e-mail
Good practice for sending e-mail
Good practice on receipt of an e-mail
Being negative
Adding attachments
Response time in replying and forwarding
Legal responsibilities and obligations

Addressing your E-mail
TO = Action. Generally, you should only use the ‘To’ box for people who are expected to take some action on the e-mail.
CC = Information. This should be used for people who are included for their information. Do NOT over-use this and simply insert lots of names without good reason; only include those people who will find it relevant e.g. it is worth asking: ‘do all members of a committee need to be copied in to an email conversation when only 1 or 2 will have the necessary information to respond?’
Be aware that long address lists can generate lots of conflicting replies or lead recipients to assume that they do not need to do anything because someone else will deal with the issue.
When sending to multiple recipients you can you avoid revealing lists of e-mail addresses by addressing the e-mail to yourself and putting the recipients addresses in the BCC section.

Good Practice for Sending E-mail

Take time in composing the mail.
Save it in the drafts folder and re-read it after a few minutes
Re-read the message from the point of view of the recipient
Is your e-mail message really necessary? The more mail you send, the more mail you receive.
Consider the alternatives
Do not use e-mail as a way of avoiding talking to people (or a specific person).
Do not write EVERYTHING IN CAPITAL LETTERS. This always comes across as shouting and will seem rude to the recipient.

Good Practice on Receipt of an email

Be careful when you “Reply to all” – consider whether all the recipients need to see your response, or just the original sender. (If you as a sender wish to limit the recipients’ ability to reply to all, you should include them in the BCC field.)
Avoid generating long email histories by including all the previous emails and replies in a series of correspondence. But, also take care to include enough background to allow recipients to understand the discussion so far!
If you as a receiver feel the need to reply to all, consider carefully how much each recipient needs to see your response.
Do not forward emails to people not on the original address list without permission of the original sender.

Being Negative

Be extremely careful about providing negative feedback in an e-mail – however carefully a message is written, it will most likely be taken in a harmful and upsetting light by the recipient. It is far less ambiguous to provide negative feedback or criticism either face-to-face or on the phone.
If you do choose to use e-mail, consider again your relationship with the individual and never send the email on a “reply-to-all” basis or copied to others unnecessarily.

Adding Attachments

Limit the number of attachments you add to an e-mail. Receiving dozens of attachments can be frustrating:

They clog up the recipient’s mailbox
It becomes harder to know which attachment the sender is referring to
It duplicates a single document’s existence (making version control harder)

Keep the list of attachments short
Consider inserting the text of an attachment into the e-mail
When you forward a message to a third party the attachment will remain, so consider whether the third party needs the attachment too.

Response Time in Replying and Forwarding

You should respond to an e-mail as soon as you can. Depending on the volume of e-mails you get a day, this may not always be possible; however you should always consider the requirements of the sender.
Would it be easier to pick up the phone and deal with the situation there and then? After all, replying to an e-mail will almost guarantee that you receive another e-mail from the same person two hours later.
Can you send a quick response, saying “thank you, I’ll have some time later to look through this in more detail.”?
Is it an e-mail that requires you to do something? Or can it simply be filed?

Legal Responsibilities and Obligations

Whenever composing an e-mail, you should always consider the following points:

E-mail is considered company property and can be retrieved, examined and used in a court of law or church disciplinary panels.
Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that e-mail over the Internet is not secure.
Never put in an e-mail message anything that you would not put on a postcard (i.e. visible to the courier).
Remember that e-mail can be forwarded, so unintended audiences may see what you’ve written.
You might also inadvertently send something to the wrong party, so always keep the content professional to avoid embarrassment.
E-mails are a formal record, and can be contractually binding.
An abusive or harassing e-mail can be the subject of disciplinary procedures.
All e-mails sent in the name of a local church or Circuit to an outside body, should include the relevant Scottish Charity Number.

(Edinburgh and Forth Methodist Circuit – Scottish Charity SCO37950)