OUR PLACE IN THE CIRCUIT
Hetton Methodist Church is one of nine Churches in the East Durham Circuit.
How did we get here?
For many years, the Hetton Primitive Methodist society remained part of the great Sunderland circuit. However, at the Quarterly meeting in December 1865, the Hetton circuit, which included Houghton-le-Spring and Chester-le-Street was formed. There were 19 places of worship and 877 members. Quarterly meetings often lasted all day. The conscientious thoroughness of the old leaders being reflected in the number of resolutions passed, usually between 70 and 80.
In 1871, Chester-le-Street separated and formed a new circuit and in 1891 Houghton le Spring also became a separate circuit. Before this date, the Superintendent of the circuit had resided at Houghton-le-Spring and it therefore became necessary to provide a circuit house at Hetton-le-Hole. A site was bought between Hetton railway and the Church Rectory. The foundation stone was laid on 15th July 1893 and the completed house was named 'Clowes Villa' in honour of William Clowes, one of the founders of Primitive Methodism.
The union of Primitive, Wesleyan and United Methodists took place in 1932. However, it was not until 1944 that amalgamation took place in the Hetton circuit. In Hetton itself, there were 3 Primitive Methodist chapels and 2 Wesleyan chapels. The links between the Hetton and Houghton circuits remained.
In 1974, the Methodist Church was re-structured nationally. The trustees who had been responsible for the upkeep of the building were formed into the present Property committee. The leaders, who looked after the spiritual life, became part of the Pastoral committee and a new Church Council was formed to oversee and ratify all decisions made.
As the years passed, the Methodist Church began to have fewer candidates going forward for the ministry leaving circuits sometimes without a minister. In view of this, talks in respect of amalgamation began between the Hetton and Houghton circuits and it was in 1990 that the new East Durham circuit was formed.
The Churches within the East Durham circuit are:
East Rainton, Hetton-le-Hole, Houghton-le-Spring, Middle Herrington, Seaham, St John’s Fence Houses, St Paul’s Murton, Sunniside and Trinity Shiney Row.
The vision of East Durham Circuit …
Our vision is to equip the members of the Circuit to engage in Mission and Growth, both to Faith and in Discipleship. East Durham Circuit affirms our commitment to:
Build a more spiritually aware Circuit
Work with children Be a caring Church
Develop outreach into the wider community
Support one another in our unique ministries, in Methodism and Ecumenically By being grounded in prayer and relying on God's strength and support.