The Circuit

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We are a geographically compact circuit (15 by 8 miles) which is blessed to be situated at the edge of the Thames Valley, extending into an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The circuit membership reflects the strong local scientific & academic community in Harwell, Milton Park, Oxford and the surrounding areas — a tradition of technology and innovation which goes back a long way. This tradition is still evident as the area is home to Formula 1 teams, fusion research, the world's brightest light source and much more. However the Circuit also includes small rural communities centred on agriculture, parts of which are echoed in Tolkien's Shire.

The Circuit comprises nine churches with a total membership of around 420, staffed by three Methodist Presbyters, one Deacon, and two lay chaplains. The four main centres are Abingdon which has three churches (including two LEPs), Wantage/Grove with two churches and Didcot and Wallingford with one each; we have two village churches, at Milton & Childrey.

All our churches have active ecumenical links. Together, we seek to foster circuit identity and a sense of shared mission.

Whilst valuing traditional patterns of ministry, we are also constantly seeking new possibilities and innovative forms of ministry, outreach and service. There is a focus on large new housing communities in several parts of the circuit, particularly Didcot, and potentially Wantage and Grove, expressed most clearly in our new Community Chaplains scheme, funded jointly by the circuit, District and Connexion. We believe that this scheme, once established, can be extended to other new housing areas in the circuit and elsewhere.

The circuit is a part of the Northampton District of the Methodist Church.