AS Easter approaches, people may look afresh at their local church.

As Methodists, we are often questioned why we concern ourselves with issues such as refugees and benefit sanctions as well as worship.

Methodists have a number of callings guiding us, including service to those in need. We seek to demonstrate our faith in action by caring for the fearful and vulnerable – financially and practically.

Within York there are over 1,500 Methodists, involved in varied acts of service.

There are many needs, but we seek to do what we can.

We operate Carecent, a breakfast centre for the homeless, and support Big Issue vendors.

Churches run activities for older people and we are involved in a range of chaplaincies.

In all this we often partner with other churches, faiths and wider community.

We are also part of the preparations to welcome refugees to York. Churches are displaying banners expressing support for those fleeing terror, making plain our wish to be part of a society which welcomes people displaced by conflict.

We do these things trying to live out the Good News of Easter, with God’s desire for fullness of life for everyone.

We seek to ensure that all who come to York to live, work, study or find sanctuary can thrive.

It’s our belief that in helping others flourish, we all find richer life for ourselves.

Rev Leslie Newton, Superintendent Minister, York Methodist Circuit