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Leaders of Worship and Local Preachers

On this page we will post reviews of books, music and other resources which may be of help to Local Preachers,  Worship Leaders and others involved in planning worship.

Leaders of Worship and Local Preachers' e-News
click here to read

In February 2019 the Methodist Church issued the following two papers under Guidelines for Local Preachers' Meetings. 
To read or download a copy click on the relevant title. 

1. Reviewing Our Ministry

2. Peer Review For Local Preachers

Worship: Leading and Preaching course

There is now a dedicated Methodist online learning website which has details of the new Worship: Leading and Preaching course for prospective Worship Leaders and Local Preachers. If you would like access to the site please contact Julie Coates for login details for the site

The course is mainly for the initial training of Worship Leaders and Local Preachers but others are welcome to use it to deepen their faith (although only registered students have access to the Module Reader). Many different people have contributed to the course. Whilst we have tried to do overall justice to the breadth of Methodism, each module-section reflects, more or less, the point of view of its writer(s).

The video below is an introduction to the course.



Worship: Leading and Preaching Course tutors for Circuit are:

Rev Julie Coates and Rachel Collins

for more information please email

The Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust 

  is an ecumenical charity which seeks to provide resources, support and information to worship leaders and local preachers
click here for more details


 Book Review by Rev'd Julie Coates

Whole Life Worship:

Empowering Disciples for the Frontline
                                                                                  Sam and Sara Hargreaves

I bought a copy of this book when attending a Whole Life Worship Conference in Harrogate in October. I was interested as I had found Sam and Sara’s resources on to be very meaningful and as I knew how practical the support given by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity was with regards to living out our faith in everyday lives

This book begins with by explaining both the importance of gathering together for worship and the need for that worship to be connected to our everyday lives. In the words of the hymn writer, Martin Leckebusch, praise is offered to ‘the God of all my Sundays’  who is also ‘the God I serve and worship day by day throughout the week’. (pages 149-150)

Two practical frameworks to bear in mind whilst preparing worship are then introduced. 

1.  to be aware of the 3D nature of church – reaching vertically in
     worship to God,
horizontally to the fellowship of the church
     community and in a third dimension that is informed by, and sent
     out to, situations beyond the church’s doors.

2.  the concept of planning worship in the same way that you could
     plan a journey, being aware of the overall direction/purpose as well
     as key junctions and signposts. 

Both of these concepts are explored further in the second half of the book with lots of suggestions and practical ideas for use in services, including some ‘low hanging fruit’ – easy first steps or small changes that you could make to your practice.

A further chapter on the language of songs could form an interesting starting point for a discussion at our Leaders of Worship and Local Preachers’ Meeting. I commend the book to all those who lead worship or preach.


 Book Review  by Rev'd Julie Coates

So a Comedian Walks Into a Church.... 
Paul Kerensa


If you enjoy reading the ‘Mystery Worshipper’ reviews on 
then this book is for you.

I recently read it after seeing it recommended in the autumn edition of Preach magazine. 

Paul Kerensa describes the way in which he spends lots of weekends away from home, performing in comedy clubs on Saturday nights and then finding a church to worship in on Sunday mornings. The book is set in a British context and grounded in real life.

I was very moved by his description of the first time that he received communion ‘in the pew’

rather than ‘at the rail’ – and shared his embarrassment when he realised that he had consumed the elements too soon, that is, before the signal to do so was given from the front.

Happily his experience of worship in a Methodist Church was positive. He writes that ‘this small chapel at the heart of the village has [an] unpretentious broad appeal; for those who want a place to sing, pray and hear preaching.’

I was reminded of a similar book from America entitled ‘Jim and Casper go to church’ by Jim Henderson and Matt Casper, where a Christian and an atheist visit different places of worship together.

Both of these books provide candid descriptions which give preachers and church members an insight into the experiences of visitors and helps us to question afresh what it is we are doing and why.



ă The Methodist Church, Ashton- under- Lyne Circuit 2015
Registered UK Charity No. 1136791
site updated March 07, 2019