New ministerial team at Central

Deacon Judith Stoddart and Revd Rory Dalgliesh

On September 3rd 2017, Deacon Judith Stoddart (along with other new circuit staff) was welcomed to the York circuit at Acomb Methodist church. The annual welcome service marks the start of the Methodist year.

Judith will be serving  a Probationer Deacon at Central and working across the city centre. She was born in Neston, Cheshire but grew up in the North East of England. She worked in the insurance industry for twenty years before
sensing God was calling her to something else. This was
initially as a youth and family worker in a Methodist church, followed by a
surprising, compelling call into Diaconal Ministry.

We also welcome Rory as our new Presbyter Minster. Originally hailing from South Africa, Rory has worked for the last 11 years as Chaplain to the University of York. He’ll also have pastoral charge of Haxby and Wiggington Methodist Church.

In the picture above, Rory and Judith are holding a huge paper bag containing pieces of rock, with ‘Growing in Christ’ running through. We look forward to growing in Christ alongside them.

‘Growing in Christ’ Rock.


All change

After ten years of faithful service in the York circuit, this summer Revd Chris Humble will be leaving Central for County Durham.

Chris’s final service as minister at Central will be held on Sunday 9th July at 6:30pm, at which we’ll be joined by many of Chris’s ecumenical colleagues. Refreshments will be served after the service, and we’d be very pleased if as many people as possible were able to share in this event as we give thanks for Chris’s ministry.

From September (the start of the Methodist year), our minister will be Revd Rory Dalgleish (previously chaplain to the University of York). We’ll also be welcoming Judith Stoddart, who takes up a new role as city centre deacon based at Central.

The changes are exciting for Central, our city, and circuit. We will continue to keep Chris, Rory, Judith and their families in our prayers as they make their transitions.






Roof works at Central

Work starts at Central Methodist Church in St Saviourgate York to address urgent roof repairs.

Last year, Central Methodist Church successfully applied for the grant through the Government-funded Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund. Further funding was obtained from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme and the wider Methodist Church. Work begins by local firms JMark Construction and Mass architects to put the plans into action on Monday 13th March, to be complete by early June.

It is hoped that the repairs grade 2* listed chapel will make the roof water tight and prevent further water damage. At the same time the ornate ceiling will be strengthened to preserve it for future generations.  In the meantime the church and halls remain open for bookings six days a week, as well as continuing our traditional Sunday morning and evening services to which all are welcome.

Over the last three years Central Methodist Church has invested over £200,000 of its own funds seeking to find new ways of conserving and adapting the city centre church and its ancillary buildings for the continuing benefit and welfare of the community of the city and its visitors.

Angie Creswick, York Methodist circuit resources manager said “’The outcome of the project is to secure this important 1840 Grade II* listed building from further water ingress and stabilise the highly ornamented plaster ceiling pending the development of future conservation projects. The chapel includes a balcony and seats over 1000 people with original box pews and a large historic pipe organ.”

The congregation meets weekly for worship and the building provides spaces for several local charities and community events. Carecent, a charity providing breakfast for homeless people, has been based at the church for over 30 years.

What’s in a name?

As our programme of becoming a community venue goes from strength to strength, we’d like to find a name under which to operate.

Our congregation will continue to be ‘Central Methodist Church York’, but we’re considering using a different name for our premises. It needs to reflect what our premises can offer more accurately, we’re not just a chapel building, we have halls, offices, a promising garden space and more.

We’d like the new name to reflect our Central location, to be easy to remember and short enough to ‘trip off the tongue’. Ideally it will be distinct from other venues and projects, and easy to find on the internet.

We’ve been trying to think of something suitable for a few weeks, and now we thought we’d ask our community for ideas! Please leave comments below or on our Facebook page.

Transforming Central in the news

We’ve been in the York Press a couple of times over the last few weeks. Firstly when we announced our intentions to expand our building’s community use:

“£3m plan announced to turn York city centre church into community centre”

And more recently the reporter, Victoria Prest came to talk to our minister, Rev Chris Humble, to get more detail:

“Ambitious plans to open up huge central York church”

Over the next new weeks and months we’ll be firming up our plans, exploring the relationships we might have with other churches and organisations as well as starting the hard work of finding funding. Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved!


Central to be transformed into a new community venue

The managing trustees of Central Methodist Church York have voted to pursue a future where the Grade 2* listed building is transformed into a community centre. The alternative scenario for the church to choose from was to close the church building and cease to meet for worship; this was rejected. This key milestone took place on Thursday 10th December. Continue reading

Transforming Central Mission Statement

WELCOMING                      CARING
LIVING                  FAITH IN ACTION 

Central is part of the Methodist Communion within the world-wide Christian Church. We understand ourselves to be called to gather together as the body of Christ in this place which welcomes and celebrates human diversity as well as serve our wider community and congregation in ways which show the love and compassion of God. The inspiration for our worship and everything we do at Central Methodist Church is the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the origin of Christian faith and embodies a quality of humanity we seek to embrace. Jesus lived and died furthering what he described as God’s kingdom on earth: a reign of justice, compassion, healing and peace, rooted in truth and realised through the practice of love and the pursuit of wisdom.

In partnership with others we seek to find new ways of conserving and adapting our city centre church and its ancillary buildings so that we make the best use for the continuing benefit and welfare of the community of the city and its visitors. We see our building as a precious asset to be shared with the community at large and hope that those who use it may discover something of the Christian way of life.

We aspire to be a community of welcome, seeking to serve the city seven days a week, and to be a focus for helping some of the most vulnerable people in the city. Together with other like-minded organisations we are seeking to improve the quality of life, both physical and spiritual, of those who live, work and visit our city.  We are in conversation with other local community bodies that, like us, are passionate about community development.

The Church exists to be a living, breathing demonstration of the beloved community; to be a place of acceptance, a place of equal opportunity, a place where diversity is celebrated and where anyone and everyone can be at home in the love of God.

Community Survey Coffee Morning

10th October 2015, 10 – 11:30am

Our church and halls are open next Saturday morning for coffee and biscuits. Come and explore our building, enjoy some refreshments and find out who has won the draw from our Community Survey (Draw prize is tea at Betty’s!)

It would be helpful if you can let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event:

All welcome, feel free to bring a friend! No charge will be made.

It’s not too late to complete the survey if you haven’t already done so.




Our community survey starts now!

The Transforming Central Community Survey is now live. You can contribute to our future by giving us a few moments of your time. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for events and happenings over the next month.

The Transforming Central Community Survey has five objectives:

  1. Deepen the Churches understanding of the local community
  2. Ensure any potential projects will meet real needs
  3. Create a sense of local ownership and participation
  4. Avoid unnecessary duplication of provision
  5. Give local people a say in the future of their community

Also the research will also help the Church to deliver mission whilst engaging the community through the project. It will also enable the Church to set clear goals for their mission and ministry and gain a credible understanding of the area in terms of needs and opportunities.

Continue reading

Community Survey

We’re very pleased to be commissioning Deacon Ian Cartwright of Imagine Projects to undertake a survey of community needs in the Guildhall Ward.

This research will:

  • Give local people a say in the future of their community
  • Avoid unnecessary duplication of provision
  • Deepen the Churches understanding of the local community
  • Ensure any potential projects will meet real needs
  • Create a sense of local ownership and participation

The research will also help the Church to deliver mission whilst engaging the community through the project. The project will also enable the Church to set clear goals for their mission and ministry and gain a credible understanding of the area in terms of needs and opportunities.

So far there’s been a Project inception meeting, some Desktop research and last week say the first Stakeholder focus group. To follow will be some Community engagement, Market testing focus groups, a Final debrief and then the Implementation.

The most visible part of this process will be a survey to all homes and businesses in our locality.

We’re very much looking forward to the results of this work to inform the rest of our Transforming Central project.