North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

We are a discipleship movement shaped for mission

Welcome to the
North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

Privacy Notice Updated 2020

As we only moved to the North Wiltshire Circuit in August and this is my first contribution to the website, I will begin with some background to who I am.  I am married to Angela and it will be our Pearl Wedding Anniversary next year.  We met in March, Cambridgeshire where Angela’s family is from and where I was a teacher of German and French.  Our two children, Chris and Emily, were born while we were there, Chris now works with the L’Arche Community in Preston, and Emily works with a church in Sheffield.

After leaving teaching, I was a Lay Worker in Suffolk for four years, and during that time candidated for ordained ministry.  I trained two years part-time, and one year full-time at Wesley House in Cambridge, travelling from and to Suffolk each week.  My first appointment was on Anglesey, off the north-west coast of Wales, I think the Church felt that with my background in languages I would have a chance of being successful in learning Welsh.  I loved doing that, and if you ever have a couple of hours to spare you are welcome to quiz me on the oddities of Welsh, which exist in all languages of course, we just don’t notice them in our native tongue.  After six years on the north coast of Anglesey, we moved to Menai Bridge, just on the Anglesey side of Thomas Telford’s famous suspension bridge.  We had six more years there, where I worked with the Welsh-language churches on Anglesey and also as the Methodist Chaplain at Bangor University, before we moved to Dolgellau in 2016.  Dolgellau is a small town about thirty miles north of Aberystwyth, ten miles inland from Barmouth, and on the southern edge of the Snowdonia National Park.  We are now enjoying getting to know Swindon, and are looking forward to exploring more of the area.

As I write this, we are about to enter the season of Advent. Some of the people in the houses around us have begun putting up lights and decorations, I don’t know if that’s earlier than usual, but it would be understandable if it is, as many will be looking forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends in a way that was not possible last year due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  Many people will also be looking forward to parties and celebrations with friends and colleagues during December.  Many diaries will be full and hectic in the next few weeks.  But that isn’t true for everyone.  Some will be on their own this Christmas, maybe because that’s how it always is, maybe because this is the first Christmas since the death of someone they love deeply.  So if you are one of those for whom these coming weeks will be frantic, filled with activity and fun, perhaps you could take some time during this season of Advent to stop, listen and look.  When Jesus was born the angels sang of peace on earth, goodwill to all, but only the shepherds heard; the star pointed the way to Jesus, but only the wise men saw.  Will we be alert enough to hear and see the needs of those around us, and respond by helping them, in large or small ways, to feel less alone and forgotten this Christmas?  I offer you this short prayer, and however you are spending Advent and Christmas this year, I pray that in the midst of it all you will find moments of love, joy, peace and hope. 

Deacon Stephen Roe 

Advent God, we journey with you, to Bethlehem’s stable and a new-born King, 

ears attuned to the song of angels, eyes alert for Bethlehem’s star.

Forgive us if on our journey we are distracted by the tempting offers of this world.

Keep our hearts aflame with the hope of Christmas, and the promise of a Saviour. Amen