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East Barnet Methodist/Anglican Partnership

In November 2003 the Revd Richard Watson, the then Rector of East Barnet, and the Revd Colin Smith, the then Methodist minister in East Barnet, attended the signing of the national covenant between the Methodist Church and the Church of England at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster in the presence of HM The Queen, who happens to be patron of the living of St Mary’s.  Afterwards they resolved to work together locally and to work towards implementing the covenant locally

For more information about the national covenant between the two churches – www.anglican-methodist.org.uk.

 

In January 2005 the then Bishop of Hertford (the Rt Revd Christopher Foster) and the then Methodist district chair (the Revd Anne Brown) came to a joint covenant service at St Mary’s to mark Richard’s authorisation by the President of the Methodist Conference to serve as a Methodist minister and Colin being given permission by the Bishop of St Albans to lead worship at St Mary’s under Canon B43.  The two ministers are styled as ‘Honorary Associate Minister’ in the other church.

 

 

L-R Revd Colin Smith, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, Revd Anne Brown and Revd Richard Watson

 

 

On 3rd February 2008 a legal partnership was formed between the two churches for mission and ministry.  It was launched at the morning service at Brookside Methodist church at 10.45am when the then Bishop of St Albans (the Rt. Revd Christopher Herbert) preached and the then Methodist district chair (the Revd Dr Stuart Jordan) took part.  The Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet was present and a choir from St Mary’s School sang.

In the evening, a candlelit procession left the Methodist church and made its way to St Mary’s church to celebrate the feast of Candlemas.  The Revd The Lord Griffiths of Burry Port (Dr Leslie Griffiths) preached at the Eucharist at 6.30pm.

Also in  2008 legal sharing agreements were signed for Brookside and St Mary’s.  At first these were largely symbolic, a sign that we belonged in each place, but with the closure of the Parish Hall in 2010 they became more practical as the Parish Office moved to Brookside along with the Monday Club, Guides and Brownies and MOT, organisations which had previously met in the Parish Hall.

Regular joint teaching course have taken place each autumn and Lent, using both premises normally led by the clergy.

Colin was for much of his time in the circuit been a governor at St. Mary's Church of England School, and has regularly led worship there along with Richard and now with James.

One of the keys of the Partnership has been our working with the other churches in the area, we have regular discussions and work with Revd Rupert Lazar and the congregation at East Barnet Baptist Church.  We have also recently held events with the local Jewish Community.

Shared Services

One of the key cornerstones of our partnership has been our Shared services we annual join together for The Covenant Service in January, the Covenant Service is uniquely a Methodist Service, but our Anglican friends have found this to be a deeply meaningful and spiritually uplifting services for them as well.  Remembrance has been growing steadily over the last 10 years, originally just the Methodist Minister took the service at the War Memorial with the attendance of the British Legion, this was extended to include St. Mary's and in more recent years the service is also led by Revd Rupert Lazar from the Baptist Church, and Rabbi Barry Lerer from the New Barnet Synagogue.  The service at the War Memorial now regularly has over 350 people at it, and the service inside Brookside afterwards is the biggest service of the year.  We also share Mothering Sunday, Harvest and Palm Sunday alternating the service between Brookside and St. Mary's.  

Covenant Service Mothering Sunday
Palm Sunday Remembrance Sunday
Remembrance Sunday 2013

 

 

Revd Richard Watson left St. Mary's in August 2011, to become Sub-Dean at St. Albans Cathedral.

 

We welcomed Revd James Mustard as the new Rector of St. Mary's in April 2012, and we celebrated his authorisation to serve as a Methodist Minister at the Rededication Service in September 2012.

 

We have also welcomed Revd Dr. Jenny King an Anglican Priest and has authorisation to serve as a Methodist Minister, and takes services at Brookside, St. Mary's and at Celebration at Wesley Hall.

 

It was with sadness that at Eastertime in 2014 we heard of the passing of Martin Horton, one of the Readers at St. Mary's who with his Primitive Methodism roots was an active participant in the partnership, a regular attendee at the midweek services at Brookside who had also led worship at Brookside on serveral occasions.