The Thames Valley Circuit is a mixed, diverse, multi-ethnic circuit with 12 churches (13 congregations) set along the Thames Valley corridor comprising three towns:
Slough with its industrial/commercial community and transient, very diverse population
Windsor with its tourism and commuters
Maidenhead with its commerce and commuters
and smaller village commuter communities not greatly separated from nearby towns.
There are two congregations at St Andrew's, Slough: the larger worships in English and is very multi-cultural; the smaller worships in Urdu.
The Circuit is one of 22 Circuits (with around 225 Methodist Churches) in the South East District of the Methodist Church. The District covers Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey, North East Hampshire, East Berkshire, Malta and Gibraltar!
Size and Staff
The Circuit has a membership of around 760. It also has pastoral responsibility for over 1300 others.
Rev Andrew Baker is the Circuit's Superintendent Minister, and he with four additional ministers three presbyters and a deacon comprise the Circuit Staff. The four presbyters look after the churches and members of the circuit, with the deacon concentrating his efforts on outreach in the community, particularly in the Chalvey and Manor Park areas of Slough.
Several other ministers supernumeraries or ministers not in circuit appointment also reside in the circuit.
In addition we have around 30 local preachers on full plan, plus several preachers in training.
The circuit enjoys strong ecumenical links. Indeed, one of the churches, Colnbrook & Poyle, is a Methodist/URC (United Reformed Church) Local Ecumenical Partnership. Hampshire Avenue is a Local Ecumenical Project with the Anglican Church in North Slough. Further examples of ecumenical relationships are included under the individual churches.
There are many examples of churches working together, such as in work among immigrants and refugees, Street Angels and supporting and providing finance for ecumenical projects.
A fellowship of faith communities living out the reality of the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Appreciate the context of the Thames Valley.
Value our place within the Methodist Connexion and the World Church.
Explore the word of God.
Offer pastoral care in the community.
Be a prophetic voice and initiate action for social justice.
Respond to needs locally and globally.
Provide a safe space for the community.
Express love in the name of Jesus Christ.
Share and proclaim our faith.
This mission will be carried out, ecumenically wherever possible, underpinned by these
Respect for diversity
Valuing each other
The circuit is committed to supporting the presence and witness of the smaller churches.
A Celtic Cross south of the border! This picture shows a Celtic Cross created by members attending a Circuit Service. Made out of pieces of sea-smoothed, coloured broken glass from the shores of Iona, it illustrates how something beautiful can be made out of rubbish!
The circuit's policies in areas such as Safeguarding, and Health and Safety are those of the Methodist Church. Safeguarding is about preventing the abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults and promoting their welfare. The aim of the Methodist Safeguarding policy is to create Christian communities of love and care, where good practice in this area becomes a way of life.
To read the circuit's detailed safeguarding policy statement, click here.
The history of OUR CIRCUIT is obviously tied into the history of Methodism. Indeed, the Circuit is almost as old as Methodism itself. To find out more, click here for a short history of Methodism, and here for a short history of the Thames Valley Circuit. The website also includes a brief history of each of its current churches together with their forerunners.