The Circuit is to be found in West Berkshire and North Hampshire, roughly between the M4 in the north and the A303 in the south. It is bisected by the A34. It is the most northerly Circuit of the Southampton District of the Methodist Church.
The Kennet and Test Valley Circuit Meeting are the Circuit's managing trustees. A variety of groups and committees works under the authority of the Circuit Meeting, including the Circuit Leadership Team and the Circuit Local Preachers' and Worship Leaders Meeting. A small team of preachers take Sunday services across the Circuit, with a 'Circuit Plan' of such services published each quarter.
Rev Rachel Borgars
Senior Circuit Steward
Miss Helen Cook
Local Preachers' Secretary
Mrs Christine Thomas
The Wider Church
The Kennet and Test Valley Circuit is part of the Southampton District of the British Methodist Church, the largest 'free church' in the country.
The District covers all of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, extends to Dorset and Somerset in the West and up to West Berkshire. It has over 80 ministers serving over 200 churches, ranging from small rural communities to large urban conurbations, from coastal towns to major cities to the delights of the New Forest.
A bit of History
The Methodism Church in Britain was founded over 250 years ago by an eighteenth century Church of England clergyman called the Rev'd John Wesley (1703-1791).
When John Wesley returned form a disastrous two years in the British colony of Georgia, he was finding it hard to find a purpose to his life and went to stay with his brother in London. On the 24th May 1738 he went to a meeting in Aldersgate Street where he had a religious experience that assured him of his own salvation and set the course of his life on a new journey. He began preaching to anyone who would listen, even in the open air, which resulted in him to traveling to every corner of the British Isles. He rode thousands of miles on horseback stopping to preach at every opportunity. In November 1760 he preached in Andover and in 1770 in Newbury. His last visit to the area was in 1780 when he preached in Whitchurch and then in Andover. His message was one of salvation and assurance to anyone who would listen and respond. Many did listen and those who responded he organised into societies and classes, appointing helpers and assistants (later travelling preachers and superintendents) as overseers. Although it was Wesley's intention that these societies should remain part of the Church of England, after his death no one was able to prevent a separation. The societies Wesley had formed became societies within a separate Methodist Church. During the nineteenth century this Methodist Church fragmented into many different groupings. There were Wesleyans, Primitives, United Methodists and others, each group emphasizing one aspect of John Wesley's teaching and preaching and it wasn't until 1933 that most of the strands of Methodism came back together to form the Methodist Church we know today.