Administrator / Secretary
Emma Bowyer

Latest News and Events


We are a friendly family of 18 churches formed in 1815 serving communities around the County town of Ipswich with a membership that spans all ages. We are part of the wider Methodist Church in Britain.

At the centre of our church life together is a focus on Our Calling: Worship, Learning and Caring, Service and Evangelism. This is what strengthens and sustains us week by week, as we try to live out God’s love in our daily lives.

A variety of Circuit activities during the year allow us to grow in our faith together, get to know one another better and enjoy common interests. We would be delighted if you join us for Circuit events or at your local Methodist Church, whether you are just visiting Suffolk or are looking for a more permanent spiritual home.

You are sure to be given a warm welcome!

Derek Grimshaw

Ipswich Circuit Superintendant

Rev.Derek Grimshaw

About the Superintendant

The Ipswich Circuit Churches

Circuit Ministers

Derek Grimshaw
Rev. Martin Dawes

I was born in Royston, Herts, in 1958, the son of a railwayman. I was brought up within the Church of England, but rebelled and became a Methodist!

Pam and I were married in 1979 and we have two sons: Peter who is aged 24 and lives in Huddersfield is a Sound Engineer at Leeds University Students Union, and Tim, aged 24 was left behind in Biggleswade and is currently running Meridian Line Travel, his uncle's coach firm.

Diane Smith
Rev. Diane Smith

I am currently Minister of 5 of the Churches in the Ipswich Circuit. My background is in Psychiatric Nursing and Special Needs Education. I trained at Wesley House Cambridge for my BA in Theology.

My particular interests are Pastoral Reflective Practice, Godly Play and seeking to develop further Ecumenical work. I am Shore-side Chapin to the Port of Felixstowe.

It is the incarnational nature of Christ that inspirers me most.

Andrew Sankey
Rev. Andrew Sankey

I've been in the Ipswich Methodist Circuit since September 2010, where I have charge of 5 church fellowships.

I came to Ipswich from the West Norforlk area, having previously served in the Wirral, in Bristol and a very formative 10 years in Zimbabwe as a Mission Partner. My family is also a very important part of my life. Together with my wife Margaret we have raised 4 children and we now foster Melissa, who is at high-school.

Joan Pell
Rev. Joan Pell

Rev. Joan Pell, joined the Circuit in September 2019.

Pastor Joan grew up in England in a Christian family attending the United Reformed Church. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Reading and then worked for eight years as a software engineer before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Joan moved with her husband Adrian and their three sons to California in 1997 where they joined their local United Methodist Church (UMC). Over the years Joan played many different lay roles in the local church including teaching children and adult Sunday School classes, leading drama ministry, and team-planning contemporary and traditional worship services. Then, as she heard God’s call to pastoral ministry becoming stronger and stronger, Joan started seminary, and she graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley in 2010 and was ordained in 2014.

Joan served for two years at Cornerstone Community UMC in Rocklin, California, followed by three years at Byron UMC, California, and then four years in Grass Valley, California at Sierra Pines UMC. In summer 2019, she returned to the UK to come to us in the Ipswich Methodist Circuit to serve as a recognized and regarded minister in Full Connexion with the Methodist Church in Britain.

Outside of work, Joan enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, walking, and combining her artistic and computer skills by taking lots of photographs and making cards and other items.