Local preachers are those church members who have been accredited to preach God’s word and lead people in worship. Originally, the term local preacher showed the difference between those who stayed in a local area and were non-stipendiary and those who moved around the country as ministers, now known as presbyters.

In the Sankey Valley Circuit, Local Preachers may be called upon to take appointments in Warrington, St Helens, Widnes, Ashton-in- Makerfield and Antrobus.

Those wanting to train as Local Preachers must be accepted by the Local Preachers Meeting and then given a ‘note to preach’ under the guidance of an experienced preacher. If they show promise during that initial period they then go on to a further period ‘on trial’, where they will study Theology and Worship Leading for at least two years. Having completed all the academic modules and practical assessments, and addressed the Local Preachers Meeting on a number of topics, a vote is taken and, with the backing of the ‘company of preachers’, they can be given full accreditation.

There is no lower or upper age limit!

Stockton Heath Methodist is the home church for three active Local Preachers.


We go out in all weathers, to congregations large and small. We engage in traditional hymns accompanied by an organ or we are happy to tap our feet to a more contemporary beat. We can interact with children, we can preach a thirty-minute sermon (if that’s what’s requested!), we can work with PowerPoint and video or we can reflect in silence. In whatever ways people want to worship God, we will endeavour to enable it!


One of the early Methodist women Local Preachers