District Newsletter

District Newsletter – October 2020

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Welcome to the Bolton and Rochdale District Newsletter.

This edition includes details about events, dates for your diaries, training opportunities, vacancies, links and contacts.

If you have any information to share please contact us so we can include in future editions.

Please share this newsletter around your churches, circuits and contacts.


Banishing Isolation!

At last month's Learning Network coffee morning we shared tips that lay employees have found helpful for reducing their own and others' isolation. What would you add?

We're going to hold another virtual gathering on Friday Oct 30th, 11am to 12. Bring your own brew and meet other lay employees from across the region.


Meeting ID: 964 2637 4177
Passcode: 455667


  • Have/initiate a regular staff meeting  
  • Call people / Be a listening ear to people who feel lonely 
  • Accept where we are (this current situation may continue for a while) rather than live in the future. How do we look now? What will be helpful for now? 
  • Unpack how we feel now – be real 
  • Step outside away from screen and look around at nature.   
  • Prayer walk at same time as friends/colleagues (even without their physical presence) - take a picture and share the experience with each other after. 
  • Write prayers for others in your team and share
  • Create communities of connection (via zoom, WhatsApp etc or other medium, eg for parents at a school ) 
  • Join in events that keep us connected eg Year of Prayer on Tuesday lunchtimes 


The Chapel in the Fields is hosting and online Advent Quiet Day on Saturday 12th December and Tuesday 15th December 10am - 3.15pm. There will be interactive Zoom, pre-recorded videos and emailed resources.

Spaces will be limited. Please book via tcitf15@gmail.com


Action for Children - End Childhood Crisis

Please take time to read Action for Children's newly released report Childhood during coronavirus: protecting children from the effects of poverty:   


Coronavirus has been catastrophic for many vulnerable families in the UK. Action For Children's frontline staff have been a vital lifeline and have already supported over 10,000 children and young people effected by the pandemic. But with a deep recession on the horizon, we know more has to be done, right now, to support children and families in crisis.

This report presents alarming findings from an analysis of applications submitted to the Emergency Fund and a survey of the frontline staff which shows that many families have struggled to feed their children, educate them, and keep them in good physical and mental health, during the pandemic.

Action For Children are calling for the Government to increase financial support for families, through the social security system. In particular, they want the Chancellor to announce in the Autumn Budget that Universal Credit will not be cut by £20 a week from April 2021. They are also asking the Government to develop and implement a UK child poverty strategy, to set ambitious targets for its reduction and eradication. You can support the End Childhood Crisis campaign by signing this petition: 



All We Can Newsletter

In this month’s edition, you can begin the countdown to Christmas by ordering All We Can's Extraordinary Gifts - a chance to give a special gift to your loved ones while making an incredible difference to some of the world's poorest communities. You can also find out more about Moses' story from Uganda, order free worship resources for your church and relive the amazing Big Church Sing Harvest Special. 


Lancashire Methodist District.

Dear Friends,

I've been asked to share the attached publicity for the Biography of Revd James (Jimmy) Butterworth, who was born in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, trained in Manchester and became known for his fifty-year ministry at Clubland in Walworth, South London. We would normally be distributing flyers such as the attached at Synods, for circulation to churches but as everything is virtual this year I'm forwarding the details so hopefully you and your contacts can access. It is hoped the book will be of particular interest to Ministers and Youth Workers, but please circulate as you are able.

Many thanks,


Mrs Carole Jones

PA to Revd Paul Davis

Chair of The Lancashire District of the Methodist Church

Email: lancsmethodist@btinternet.com


COP26 Project

Dear District Chair,

I am emailing you as I am a recently appointed employee of the Connexional Team, working as a COP26 Campaigns Worker. My role is to work with a global team to build a youth-led campaign which aims to mobilise the Methodist Church to engage in climate action. This is in light of the UK hosting the all-important 26th annual UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021. Due to the nature of this work, we are utilising the expertise of JPIT, Global Relations, the Children, Youth, and Families Team and All We Can.

 As this is a global project, the COP workers are spread across nations, with two in Britain, one in Italy, one in Zambia and one in Fiji. We also have volunteers who will help shape and deliver the project from Russia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Switzerland. I have attached the project summary.

I am in the process of emailing all of the chairs of districts because I am hoping to gain a better picture of how each district is engaging (if at all) in conversations surrounding the climate. If churches in your district are already engaged in climate action in any way, I would love to hear about it! Whether an Eco-Church, a recycling hub or a community using their worship to consider creation care, it would be really useful to be pointed in the direction of these communities so we can talk to them and build on the great work already being undertaken by local communities.

I would also really appreciate it if you could point me in the direction of any youth leaders who may have youth groups who would be interested in speaking to us. To ensure that the project is truly shaped by the voices of young people, we are also hoping to be in conversation with as many young people throughout each district as possible to listen to their thoughts, ideas, hopes and concerns about the future of the planet.

We had envisioned spending time this year visiting youth groups and running sessions where we could have conversations about the planet but instead we hope that as youth groups meet online, we can join them and listen despite not being together in person. As well as this, we would love to hear about any young people within your district who are already tackling the climate crisis as want to celebrate the work that young people are already undertaking. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Warmest Wishes


Mollie Pugmire

COP26 Campaigns Worker | The Methodist Church
020 7467 5234


Lockdown Book A book of around 100 lockdown observations, experiences and reflections is being brought out by Church in the Market Place Publications next month. The book has been compiled by Methodist minister the Rev Robert Davies and consists of items with a Coronavirus Lockdown flavour written during the lockdown. The items are in A-Z order and the title is Lockdown: Lexicon and Legacy. 

Please see the attached flyer for an order form and pre-publication special offer at £10 including P&P – a £2 reduction on the full price.

All proceeds from sales will be divided between British Red Cross, the Salford homelessness charity Emmaus, and Oldham Gravelhole Methodist Church’s community shop.


Future Programme of Evangelism and Growth Team Webinars

Digital Church Planting - We are excited to bring you this course in partnership with The United Methodist Church. Join us on Wednesdays from 1-3pm for six weeks from 7th October to 11th November as we explore together how we might plant churches in the digital realm. The course is suitable both for pioneers and for those wishing to develop the digital output of a more traditional church. Register at the link above or Email the Evangelism and Growth Team for further details.

Have yourself a Pioneering Christmas - Thursday 5th November 2 - 3.30pm. Methodist pioneers from across the country will gather in this webinar to share physical and digital ideas for sharing faith and creating community this Christmas. They will share stories, ask questions, and welcome participants' own pioneering ideas for Christmas 2020.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact Emma Nash at nashe@methodistchurch.org.uk.


Church and me: conversations about lifting lockdown.

Is the church building going to open up again soon – am I ready for this? Many feel they cannot return yet, others are straining at the leash. What emotions and practical considerations are running through your head? Let’s take time to reflect and listen to our fears as well as our dreams. In a small group or with a friend or by yourself, ponder on these bite size conversation starters.


Theological Depth  I am really pleased to share with you information about three new ways for people to engage with theological development. There are three ways to get involved…

  • TBC – Theology Book Club is series of sessions for anyone interested in thinking about theology and reading theological books. We will look at one book a term (3 in total) and there will be two zoom sessions per term for people to come and discuss the book in a facilitated conversation.
  • Thinking Theology  is a series of sessions aimed at those (lay and ordained) leading others in theological enquiry. This is particularly useful for those who lead study groups, fellowship and bible study groups and for those who want to help the wider church to ‘think theologically’. We will offer a blended learning approach with material sent out before hand and a facilitated zoom conversation to embed learning. The material will offer tips and techniques for working with people who want to deepen their theological knowledge.
  • TRIP – Theological Reflection in Ministry is a series of sessions aimed at church leaders (lay and ordained) offering them the opportunity to reflect on the mission and ministry of the church in their context. The sessions will look at a particular theme through the four lenses of ‘Our Calling’. We will use a blended learning approach with material sent out before hand and a facilitated zoom conversation on each of the four elements of ‘Our Calling’.

We will be asking people to book in for the sessions with Rob on NWMannNetwork@gmail.com  

In the meantime, if you have any questions please do contact Simon on sutcliffes@methodistchurch.org.uk


Alison Ransome | Connexional Vocations Advisor & Regional Learning & Development Coordinator - North West & Mann 
The Connexional Team


There is an online coffee morning every Tuesday 11am for 45 minutes – could this be for you or someone in your church?

What is it like?

It’s like a coffee morning (although you have to bring your own drink and biscuit)!

  • Spend time with other people informally chatting
  • Each week there is a reflection and prayer, and then we go in to small groups to chat. We either about the things the reflection made us think about or we chat about anything we want to chat about.
  • Here’s some reasons why people who currently go like it

“I like hearing what’s happening in other people’s churches”

“it’s nice to see people’s faces”

“It’s relaxed and is great fellowship”

  • If you are a steward, or a preacher or some other sort of church leader, this is a great place to hear stories and take inspiration from others.
  • If you know you are in lockdown for some more time to come, and would like company, and a routine, and have internet, access this might be for you.
  • If you are missing contact with groups, then this could be a place for you. You can listen and/or you can talk. No pressure to talk!

Different members of the Learning Network are there most weeks, they host the reflections, as do others from the group from time to time.

How do I give it a try?

If you would like the link to the zoom coffee morning, please email Rob and he will send you the link.


Updates and more info on this and other events at


Coronavirus/ COVID 19

Government advice can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Advice from Connexion (Methodist Church House is closed), being updated regularly  online at: https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus/official-guidance/

Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus/official-guidance/#faqs


The Methodist News

The Media Office of The Methodist Church has changed “The Week Ahead” weekly e-bulletin, which has been replaced by “The Methodist News”.

If you don’t already receive this you can subscribe online at:-




A FREE phone service to hear prayers and news from the Methodist Church has been launched.

Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514

Listen to news: 0808 281 2478

Content is updated weekly on Thursday evening


A Methodist Way of Life

A Methodist Way of Life commitment card is available online at www.methodistchurch.org.uk/MWoL. Many people are downloading and finding it useful in this current situation.


Dates for your diary: visit the District Website: www.barmd.org.uk




For employment and voluntary oportunities in the Methodist Church Connexionally: http://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/connect/jobs-volunteering/



National Safeguarding Adults Week 2020

Just to give you a heads up, National Safeguarding Adults Week this year runs from November 16th-22nd. The key daily theme on the Thursday is concerned with developing safe spaces, which links nicely with our own Methodist Church agenda that all our churches are safe places for young and old alike.

Please see the website below for more information


Advanced Module Training Dates – please visit the Events section of the District Website to book places on these training days.

Policies and guidance – the most recent are now available on the Methodist Church website: https://www.methodist.org.uk/for-ministers-and-office-holders/safeguarding/policies-procedure-and-information/policies-and-guidance/

District Safeguarding Officer: Email address Kev Brabrook - boltonandrochdaledso@dso.methodist.org.uk


Training Opportunities:

Learning Network: North West & Mann Region

See:  www.methodist.org.uk/nwm

The Learning Network write a regular e-newsletter which is very informative. If you are new to the Region and / or don’t already receive this, please could you sign up by filling out your details here:https://www.methodist.org.uk/our-work/learning/network-regions/north-west-mann-region/subscribe-to-the-dmln-north-west-and-mann-newsletter/

Our Learning Network Team have various events and training coming up so please visit the website for further information of what is coming up - http://www.methodist.org.uk/learning/network-regions/north-west-mann-region

To book onto North West & Mann Region events contact Rob by email: - NWMannNetwork@gmail.com


Theology Book Club

All facilitated by Learning Network via Zoom 19:00-20:30.

10th November:

Book 1:The Psalms & Life of Faith by Walter Brueggemann

20th January & 30th March

Book 2: Life Together by Dietrich Bonheoffer

5th May & 5th July

Book 3: Dwelling in the Household of God by Mary L.Coloe

Please book via email: NWMannNetwork@gmail.com


Thinking Theology

All facilitated by Learning Network via Zoom 19:00-20:30.

Term 1: Models of thinking theologically

30th November          Theology as attention

Terms 2 & 3: Sources for theological reflection

19th January              Scripture

8th February              Tradition

18th March                 Experience

28th April                    Reason

20th May                     Worship

30th June                   Truth

Please book via email: NWMannNetwork@gmail.com


Theological Reflection in Practice

All facilitated by Learning Network via Zoom 14:00-15:30.


Death, grieving and the ministry of funerals

12th November          Service

9th December            Evangelism


Leadership: collaboration and participation

12th January              Worship

10th February            Learning & Caring

11th March                 Service

6th May                       Evangelism

Please book via email: NWMannNetwork@gmail.com



General Data Protection Regulation came into effect on 25th May 2018.

Training and resources from TMCP are fine tuned for The Methodist Church context:



How to become a Fairtrade Church: The three goals: To be part of the campaign by becoming a Fairtrade Church, please register with us www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/in-your-community/faith-groups/fairtrade-churches