South Molton Methodist Church
One of John Wesley’s great contributions to the life and witness of the Church was the introduction of the order of Local Preachers. These are local men and women who have felt called to a ministry of preaching, and who have been authorised by the Methodist Church after a period of training to lead services and preach in the churches and chapels of the Methodist Connexion.
They are a separate order from the ordained ministry of the church, although many ministers have previously served as local preachers. In Wesley’s time, the ordained ministry were noted for their great travels, often on horseback, and this was a major distinction between them and the local preachers who were resident in one locality. The travelling nature of the ordained ministry is reflected in the Church’s arrangements for relocating ministers from one circuit to another at regular intervals.
There is a group of Local Preachers in this circuit, who are individually members of one or other of the chapels, but who are available to take services wherever required.