Forest Methodist Circuit - Company Message
Message from the Superintendent Minister  
Rev Tony Malcolm

Dear Circuit Friends,

I write to you at the start of this new Methodist year, and still deep into the 6 month of this horrific Covid pandemic. Through extensive Risk Assessments, churches are trying to discern how and when it might be safe to resume gathered Sunday worship as well as other activities. We know that until there is a cure or a vaccine there will be little chance of any ‘return to normal’. We therefore need to adapt to this new normal.
Over the summer a number of changes have taken place in the circuit:
1. Revd Charles Ilunga has moved to continue ministry in South London;
2. Revd Ebute Obiabo has sat down (retired);
3. My family have moved into the Chester Road manse, and will now formally take on pastoral
    responsibility for Wanstead & Leytonstone;
4. Revd Oseias Da Silva and his family have moved into The Risings manse;
5. Revd Stephanie Njeru and her family have moved from Scotland to the Vicarage Road manse. She will
    take on pastoral responsibility for Cann Hall, Leyton Trinity and The Lighthouse.
All these have been made possible through the work co-ordinated by the team of Circuit Stewards (Dallion, Lincoln, David, and Flo), to whom we owe a great debt. Their work continues as we look to sell a manse and rent another, as the circuit, along with local churches & businesses, respond to the need to bridge the financial void caused by the lockdown.
David Hobbs has stepped down as a Circuit Steward from the end of August, though he will still be contributing to the life of the Circuit through his leading worship and his contributions to other circuit groups. I would like to share my personal thanks to David for his support from day one. He stepped up at a difficult time in the life of the circuit and has helped to steer us through with his wisdom and discernment. He will be missed in this role.
The renewed challenge before us as a circuit is to find people who have the skills to support the circuit in the role of Circuit Stewards. We were operating on a reduced number before this September, and this is now exaggerated. Please consider if this is something for you and speak to your minister.
On Wednesday 2 September we will have a welcome service for Revd Stephanie. Unfortunately, this has to be a service with limited numbers (Stephanie & her family, a steward from the 3 churches Stephanie will have pastoral charge of, a circuit Steward, myself and the District Chair). Although this will be the formal welcome, we hope to have a full circuit welcome as soon as the conditions are right; until then we hope to record the service and share it afterwards.
We will continue to meet with each other in person, safely where possible, or online virtually where necessary. Please make your safety and the safety of your church communities your priority.
Ahead of us there are many unknowns. We hear the word ‘unprecedented’ used more and more, to the extent that it is becoming the norm! How do we respond? What is our good news in these unprecedented times? Well, it must surely be this – we are Easter People, hopeful people, gracious people, loving and beloved people. No pandemic can stop us living out these aspects of our faith.
So, once again we answer the call to be strengthened through prayer and fellowship in order that we can share the greatest story with those who need to hear it, whilst at the same time reminding those who may have forgotten to power of the story.
I pray that we are blessed with a clarity of vision to take forward the mission of this circuit; and may God be glorified in all we do.
Yours in the love of Christ
Revd Tony Malcolm
September 2020
Forest Circuit Mission statement
The London Forest Methodist Circuit is committed to furthering God’s kingdom by enabling and supporting local churches in the growth of their discipleship and mission; resourcing local churches under the power of the Holy Spirit to function as effective centres for worship, witness, and community wellbeing


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