Welcome to the Newcastle Central & East Circuit which came into being/existence in 2009 following the merger of the former Brunswick Central Circuit and Heaton and Wallsend circuit.
It is a compact circuit covering an area of approximately 20 square miles. It moves out from the city centre northwards covering a triangle to the north and east of the city taking in parts of North Tyneside.There are currently 13 churches (including one Chinese language Church) and five have ecumenical partners. They are Brunswick Methodist, Church of the Good Shepherd LEP, Coxlodge Methodist, Heaton Methodist, Jesmond Methodist, Longbenton Methodist, St Andrew’s LEP, St Cuthbert’s LEP, St John the Evangelist LEP, Trinity Church Gosforth LEP, Trinity Church Wallsend and West Moor Methodist Church.
The Circuit is involved with a significant range of projects including Street Pastors, SCARPA (work with runaway and trafficked children), the GAP project (working with sex workers), Healing in the Streets, attached and detached youth work and engagement with the Christian Arts Community. In 2004 Newcastle was designated as one of the UK’s six Science Cities and has two major universities and HE colleges with approximately 90,000 students giving it a youth dynamic feel. The Circuit has opened its own community art gallery/church known as Shieldfield Art Works, the largest commercial art gallery in the country, and operates an expanding Youth and Community Centre (Balliol) with a full-time Youth Worker and staff.
Currently there are nine ordained staff (of whom one is URC, one Anglican and one part- time). The team is strengthened by thirteen lay workers, some of whom are part-time. The circuit has eight supernumerary ministers, three of whom are active in preaching and a good number of local preachers.
The circuit offers a wide range of worship on Sundays and some mid-week services – please follow the links to the individual church websites to find out more.
Circuit Ministerial Staff
Rev. Peter Holwell
Peter is the Superintendent Minister of the Newcastle Central and East Circuit of the Methodist Church, as well as Ministry Team Leader at Trinity Church Gosforth. This is an LEP with the United Reformed Church. Peter moved to Newcastle in 2015 from Cardiff.
He was superintendent of the Cardiff Circuit and had been there 12 years. Peter is married to Liz and has three children all married and living in the Bristol and Sheffield areas. They now have four grandchildren who are a joy and a delight.
Peter is passionate about finding ways of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and believes the biggest challenge for the Church is to keep that as the absolute main thing. In other words, how we like doing things becomes secondary to our prime purpose.
Peter is the son of a Methodist minister and from 11 years old was raised in North Yorkshire. Before becoming a minister in 1992, Peter worked in farming, ending up as a Farm manager near Thirsk in North Yorkshire where the real James Herriot was one of the vets who used to call.
Peter loves walking (which the dog is pleased about), sailing and, when the opportunity arises, enjoys DIY.
Rev Adele Moorhouse
Adele joined the circuit in 2018 and is minister at St John the Evangelist LEP in Kingston Park. Working with four denominations in a single congregation is certainly interesting but very rewarding and also exciting, particularly in the light of Jesus’ prayer that we might all be one. The church’s location in a busy and growing community offers many opportunities for making contact and building relationships with those who are yet to know Jesus - something Adele has always been very keen to do.
Adele grew up in Scarborough, moving North to study at Newcastle University in 1979 and then settling in Cramlington which has been home since 1982. Following almost 18 years as a full time mum to four children, Adele trained at the Wesley Study centre in Durham before serving as a Methodist minister for 14 years in the South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area. She is married to Steve and the two enjoy walking, reading, and catching up with family including their much loved grandchildren.
Rev. Dr. Grant Wilson
Grant is minister of St Cuthbert’s LEP in Heaton and of St George's URC in High Heaton a mile and a half away. He came here from the border village of Wooler, at the foot of the Cheviot hills, with his wife, Kim, and two teenage daughters, Olivia and Lexie. He met his wife in their final year at university in Aberdeen, moved to Newcastle, and they have lived in the North East ever since.
This is his first pastorate, and he is thoroughly enjoying getting to know people and encouraging them to reflect on their faith and the mission of their church. On his day off he walks, reads, plays guitar and spends time with his family.
Rev. Gavin Hume
Gavin is the minister of St Andrew’s Church in Benton, West Moor Methodist Church and Coxlodge Methodist Church, and also the chair of the circuit ‘Hand in Hand Project’ Management Committee.
He grew up in Guisborough, a town on the edge of the North York Moors, so, while not quite in his native Yorkshire, he is delighted to be in the North East.
Before going 'into the ministry' he worked for a computer software company in Liverpool. After training at the Wesley Study Centre in Durham, he served in Acomb, near York, and then in the North West Durham Circuit, where he was based in the village of Lanchester.
He is married to Tracey (who is a Deacon in the South West Tyneside Circuit) and they have two children.
He loves music, and is a keen musician, singer and songwriter.
He's a keen supporter of Middlesbrough FC supporter, and enjoys camping and walking, especially in the Yorkshire Dales.
Rev. Julie Mooney
Julie joined the Circuit in 2016 and is Team Vicar and Minister of the Church of the Good Shepherd, LEP, Battle Hill. She is thrilled to be part of such a modern church and received the warmest welcome at her Installation Service – this is the warm welcome that everyone receives at Good Shepherd because the congregation are so friendly and welcoming.
She is a born and bred Geordie lass – originally from Burradon then living mainly in Killingworth after marrying Mick. They have two grown up sons, Michael and David, who still live at the family home. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, which is a good way to burn off the calories of her other interests – meals out and nights out with family & friends and going on holiday.
Prior to training for Ordination she worked in the Civil Service for many years (and this is where she met Mick). After 10 years of trying to resist the call to Ordination she studied Theology and Ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham. Then in 2013, she was Ordained and appointed as Assistant Curate at Holy Cross Church, Fenham.
She considers ministry to be fantastic. It has its challenges but is also extremely rewarding, being a real privilege to be serving God and others in many varied ways. She feels truly blessed to be in Battle Hill and to be part of such a strong and supportive church family. She is hoping for many years of ministry there.
Rev Alison Wilkinson
Alison Wilkinson is Minister at Jesmond and Shieldfield Art Works.
She is married to David, principal of St John’s College, University of Durham, where he teaches, writes and broadcasts on science and faith, and other small topics. They have two amazing children Adam and Hannah, who have just graduated and are seeking their way in the world of work, Adam in youth ministry and Hannah in social justice.
Before becoming a Methodist minister, Alison was an RE teacher, trained teachers and worked for the Methodist Church as a Training and Development officer. She has served in Durham and Hartlepool, before joining the Circuit in 2016.
Alison has been involved in teaching and training Christian leaders, and her yet to be completed PhD, is in Discipleship and Leadership. She is passionate about nurturing discipleship, encouraging everyone to use their gifts and for the Church to demonstrate the love of God to all, in a relevant way.
She enjoys watching movies, box sets, baking, good food, and is a convert to NUFC.
Rev Janet Jackson
Janet is minister at Longbenton Methodist Church with Balliol Youth and Community Centre. She is also the presbyter linked to Heaton and Trinity Wallsend Methodist Churches. Janet provides support to the Presence project at Walker. She began her ministry in the beautiful Lake District in Cumbria, which she likes to call her second home. She has ministered in many beautiful places, including south Wales, Oxfordshire and Derbyshire and enjoys the views while travelling to her various churches.
In her 'spare' time she enjoys reading, knitting, sewing, crocheting, cooking and shopping.
She is married to Colin, who is also a presbyter, and they have 4 children, all grown up and independent. She has no grandchildren as yet, but is ‘grandma’ to her daughter’s dog, Sky.
She has been a chaplain in a prison, a hospital, industry and Police. She enjoys leading all kinds of worship and believes ‘church’, in some form, can be accessible to all.
Paul joined the Circuit in 2017 and is minister at Brunswick Methodist Church, right in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. City centre ministry brings huge opportunities to share the gospel, not least with those who come seeking friendship, a cuppa and a listening ear. City centre chaplaincy provides similar opportunities.
Paul has been a Methodist Minister in the Newcastle District since 1996, previously having served as team leader of a mission project in Wigan and as a Lay Worker in Liverpool, before training at Wesley College in Bristol. He has a passion for the World Church, spending five months with the United Methodist Church of South Africa in the mid-90s and studying twice at the Tantur Institute in Palestine/Israel exploring Christian Zionism and its effects upon indigenous Christians in the Holy Land.
He has played badminton at club level and watches the Newcastle Falcons rugby team (who are currently top of the Premiership!). He also enjoys swimming and playing golf. His family have a cheeky cockerpoo dog called 'Buster', so they often take off at weekends towards the coast.
Deacon Gail Morgan
Gail is minister of Trinity Wallsend Methodist Church and Heaton Methodist Church and works in the community of Walker at 'Presence.'
She feels being a deacon is amazing and each day is a blessing. She loves building relationships with people and is passionate about seeing Jesus change and transform people's lives.
Gail believes the church is being challenged to be more relevant, accessible and a place where everyone feels welcome. With this in mind Gail seeks to find ways of enabling this to happen through working alongside others to develop mission.
As a deacon Gail is part of the Methodist Diaconal Order a dispersed community who commit to live by a rule of life. This rhythm of prayer, reading the Bible, work and relaxation is life giving for Gail. Before candidating for the diaconate Gail was a lay worker in Blackburn for six years where she worked with an Asylum Refugee Community (ARC) and as chaplain in Blackburn College and University.
Gail loves walking, cooking and sharing what she cooks with friends, wild swimming, holidays in the Scottish Islands and spending time with her beloved family.