The Methodist Church is an international organisation and inevitably our structure is complex, and is described by some technical terms which can be confusing.
- The Church as a national body is described as The Connexion
- The UK part of the Connexion consists of 31 Districts (eg Cumbria, Lancashire etc)
- Each District is made up of a number of Circuits. Clitheroe Circuit is one of 12 in the Lancashire District
- Each Circuit is made up of a number of local churches.
Every Circuit has a Superintendent Minister who carries overall responsibility for the life and mission of all the churches in the Circuit. Rev Ian Humphreys is the Superintendent for the Clitheroe Circuit and has pastoral charge of Trinity Clitheroe and Chatburn churches. Rev Sally Ratcliffe is the Minister at Whalley, Paythorne and Waddington churches.
The work of our ordained Ministers is underpinned by a team of gifted and dedicated volunteers without whom much of what we do would be impossible. Their various gifts enrich the church and serve as a powerful reminder that all of us are a vital part of the body of Christ that we know as "church".
Historically the Clitheroe Circuit has been in existence since 1814. This was the old Wesleyan Circuit which was made up of Gisburn, Barley, Barrow, Bolton by Bowland, Chipping, Newton, Whitewell, Worston, Bashall Eaves, Downham, Low Moor, Sawley, Stopper Lane, Waterloo, Bradford, Wesley, Chatburn, Harrop, Paythorne, Slaidburn, and Whalley.
The Clitheroe Wesleyan Methodist Association Circuit was in existence from 1836 & was comprised of Moor Lane, Bradford, Worston, Newhurst, Broom Hill, Rodhill, Wood End, Pendleton, Mearly, Newton and Enfield, Grindleton, West Bradford, and Waddington.
The Clitheroe Primitive Methodist Circuit was in existence from 1820.
Methodism has been in the locality in an organised form since 1797.
Amalgamations and closures of various chapels has meant that the Circuit in its present form came into being in 1962. In recent times one Chapel at Harrop Fold decided to become an Independent Chapel in 1996, Slaidburn closed in 1999, Grindleton in 2008 and West Bradford in 2011.