The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Julian is new Methodist chief in East Anglia 

JulianPursehouseNew450A minister with a Norfolk connection has been welcomed as the new Chair of the East Anglia District of the Methodist Church – the equivalent of a bishop. Keith Morris reports.

Rev Julian Pursehouse was welcomed to the District at a special service on August 30 at Chapel Field Road Methodist Church, Norwich, from his previous position as superintendent minister in Otley near Leeds and Acting Chair of the Leeds District.
Julian’s father, who was himself a Methodist minister, grew up in Diss where Julian’s grandfather was headmaster of the Grammar School.
On his appointment, Julian said: “It is a privilege to be appointed by the Methodist Conference to serve as Chair in this district. East Anglia is a particularly idyllic part of the British Isles and an area where you can be constantly reminded of the beauty of God's creation.
“The East Anglia district is geographically vast and culturally diverse, stretching from the North Norfolk coast to the leafy suburbs of Cambridge and from the flat expanse of the Fens to the bustle of Felixstowe docks. I trust that within this rainbow community you will find a warmth of welcome, an optimism in God's grace and a passion for the Gospel.
“The Methodist Church cherishes its place within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church whilst expressing a particular blend of Christian faith characterized by the desire to sing our faith, a catholic spirit that welcomes all, a systematic and accountable approach to discipleship and a thoughtful engagement with the wider world through justice and social action,” said Julian. “I have no doubt that you will find these marks of discipleship amongst the good folk of the East Anglia District.
On his recommendation to be appointed by the Methodist Conference, held in Birmingham in early July, Synod said of Julian: “The son of a Methodist Minister, Julian was candidated from the East Anglia District and after initial training at Lincoln Theological College has served in three Districts: Nottingham and Derby, Northampton and Leeds. In each of these appointments he has inspired and encouraged people to think strategically and theologically, and to focus on appropriate patterns of ministry and mission. He has experience of a number of contexts of ministry, including rural experience, apt for the varied contexts found in the East Anglia District.
JulianPursehouse450“Julian is known as a person of deep spirituality, a careful listener and a thoughtful, reflective and caring pastor. He is committed to teamwork and encouraging and enabling others to participate with confidence to the benefit of all is natural to him. He is a gifted communicator and leader of worship, known for his clarity and insightfulness.”
The welcome service in Norwich was led by Rev Dr Brian Beck, past President of the Methodist Conference and attended by The Lord Mayor of Norwich and The Sheriff of Norwich. Other guests included the Bishops of Norwich, Huntingdon, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and Thetford, the Archdeacon of Huntingdon and Wisbech, the Regional Minister for the Eastern Baptist Association and the Chair of Essex, Beds and Herts Methodist District. Representing the Methodist Connexion was Rev Gareth Powell, Assistant Secretary to the Methodist Conference.
Julian has been appointed for six years from September 1.
Julian is married to Jean and has two children, Chloe and Tyler. On his Twitter page he describes himself as a reader of theology, partial to real ale, a mountain-biker, catholic in spirit and seeking to discern God's presence in the world.
Pictured above at the welcoming ceremony are Mrs Jennie Harris, Rev Terry Tankard, Rev Julian Pursehouse, Rev Dr Brian Beck and Rev John Fenn.

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk