THE launch of the York Circuit was a memorable occasion for Methodists in the York area.

The service in the Central Methodist Church, in St Saviourgate, York, also included the commissioning of the new superintendent and new members of staff and was attended by a congregation of 350.

There were numerous references to the Olympics and the Paralympics at the service on Saturday, which also marked the start of the Methodist year.

For his sermon, the chair of the York and Hull District, the Rev Stephen Burgess, took as his text some words used by Professor Stephen Hawking at the opening ceremony for the Paralympics: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet; try to make sense of what you see and wonder at what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

The Rev Philip Turner, inducted by the chair as superintendent of the new circuit, comprising 37 churches, thanked everyone for “trusting me, welcoming me and opening your ministries to me”.

Three ministers were formally welcomed to the circuit – the Rev Elizabeth Cushion who has moved from the Newcastle West Circuit to the Easingwold section of the York Circuit, Deacon Ian Cartwright who has moved from Suffolk to serve in three churches – Acomb , Copmanthorpe and Lidgett Grove, and the Rev Andy Lindley, who has come from Hull to the Acomb section.