Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

A Church Year

Below is a typical year in the community life of Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, but keep an eye on weekly notices and updates on the message board for what is happening this year!


Covenant Service

Covenant Service marks the start of the year for Methodists and this is no exception at Bishop Auckland Methodist church. The congregation gathers on the first Sunday of the year to renew their Covenant with God as Methodist People in this place and to celebrate this with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

From the Feast Day of St Peter, 18th January to the Feast Day of St Paul, 25th January. These eight days of prayer are celebrated each year by the churches of the town with a 9.30am half hour reflection in one of the various town churches most mornings and a special service on the Sunday during the week at 3pm in a nominated church with a special speaker, in 2023 this will be at Dene Valley Methodist Church. More details of the next theme can be found on the website of the Churches together in Britain and Ireland.


Often the start of LENT

The congregation has marked Lent in recent years with a large cross in the worship area to which is added over the weeks of Lent: hammer and nails, coins, flowers (on Mothering Sunday), purple cloth, and crown of thorns.

There is traditionally a soup lunch each Wednesday in Lent at one of the churches in the town organised by Bishop Auckland Fellowship of Christian Churches.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Bishop Auckland Methodist Church is a Fairtrade Church, committed to serving only Fairtrade tea and coffee at all church-hosted events in the building and to raising the profile of Fairtrade in the life of the church. We host the Circuit Traidcraft stall in the corner of the lounge, including an honesty box, for anyone who wants to purchase goods during a normal week. Fairtrade Fortnight is generally the last week of February and first week of March, and there will often be a Traidcraft ‘Big Brew’ coffee morning during that time.


Church Championship Challenge

This annual quiz evening catered for ably by the ladies of the church, is usually held the first Saturday evening of March. Have your team of four ready!

Mothering Sunday (4th Sunday of Lent)

Mothering Sunday Cross with flowers
Mothering Sunday Cross with flowers

Mothering Sunday sees flowering plants given out more traditionally to all the ladies in the congregation, but in recent years, these have been shared with each household present and pots sent home to those who have been unable to be in church that Sunday due to illness etc.


Often Easter (although can be the end of March)

The last few years, Palm Sunday has been a service joint with the Baptist Church.
Good Friday has been marked the past couple of years by The Passion Play, organised under the auspices of Bishop Auckland Fellowship of Christian Churches with participation of all the churches in the town.
Easter is marked with a service of Holy Communion with our own minister.

Church General Meeting

This is held traditionally on the Sunday after Easter and pre Covid often with a Church lunch after the service before the meeting.


Christian Aid Week

This is usually the middle of May and the morning service will mark it at one end of the week or the other. Sometimes the church has hosted a Big Brekkie or a Christian Aid Coffee morning during the week to highlight the year’s theme and raise funds

Wesley Day

24th May is Wesley Day or Aldersgate Day celebrating the day in 1738 that John Wesley, founder of Methodism, reports in his diary that his heart was ‘strangely warmed’. As his brother Charles had a similar experience a couple of days earlier, this day marks the conversion of both Wesley brothers. On occasion this has been marked with an ecumenical service (remember Rev John’s wig and hobby horse) or a coffee morning.

Summer months: June, July August

Bishop Auckland Music Society

This is the middle of the cycle of five concerts of BAMS who host Friday concerts in April, May, June, July and September. The church contains the grand piano belonging to the Music Society which is sometimes used in Sunday morning worship.

Project Day

Each year the church chooses a project to fundraise for and Project Day is a Coffee morning followed by Light Lunch and includes stalls and tombola for the year’s cause. Recent projects have included Blood bikes, St Therese’s Hospice, the Defibrillator amongst others.

Holiday Club

There is often a Children’s Holiday Club during the summer holidays hosted by Bishop Auckland Fellowship of Christian Churches.


Church Anniversary

The Church celebrates its anniversary on the first Sunday in September, marking the coming together of the two congregations of Wesley (now the Four Clocks) and Central in 1993 to form Bishop Auckland Methodist Church in the newly renovated church opposite the hospital on Cockton Hill Road. The morning service this day is often followed by a church lunch.


The period in the annual church calendar, from 1st September to 4th October, dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. As an Eco Church bronze award winner, the church holds its Harvest celebrations in the middle of this period, on the third Sunday in September.




The Saturday of Remembrance weekend is often marked by a concert by Ferryhill town band in the church. The service on Sunday is often joint with Bishop Auckland Baptist Church joining us for worship including the Act of Remembrance and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.


Advent and Christmas Celebrations

The Christmas tree and decorations often go up early in Advent to welcome the various schools and community groups who use the premises for Nativity plays and Christmas celebrations.

The church often plays host to Memorial services in December, including the local NHS Baby Memorial service.

The congregation enjoys its Carol Service on the Sunday before Christmas, the fourth Sunday in Advent. Everyone looks forward to the Annual All-Age Crib Service at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Day (when not a Sunday) the service is usually at 11am and in recent years has been followed by a Christmas Day lunch for the community hosted by Bishop Auckland Fellowship of Christian Churches on the premises.

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