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District Newsletter – August 2022
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.
Message from Rev Paul Martin, Chair of District.
The word, “Swansong” comes from an old belief that swans sing a beautiful song before they die. As I write my swansong, I am mindful that I am not intending to die (yet) or even sing a song – far less a beautiful one.
But talking of singing, there was much good and hearty singing at my farewell service on 10 July. I was flattered by the attendance, moved by the kind comments, and staggered by the generous gift. Given that I don’t feel old enough to retire (although many would disagree!) and given the fact that I will be continuing to live in Bolton, it all feels a little surreal.
I had an experience whilst leading a service a few months ago which I like to believe was from God. Prior to the service I had been reflecting on my ministry, during which membership has declined and many churches have closed. Whilst I can’t take all the blame I feel sad for what has been lost and a sense of personal disappointment that on my watch the church has declined. In that service the line of a hymn jumped out at me – 658 in StF, A charge to keep I have – the line being, To serve the present age. That is what I’ve tried to do in ministry but critics might justifiably say the concern ought to have been more about the future.
I am further grateful for the cards, emails, texts etc from people saying nice things. However, the reality is that for everyone I’ve helped or supported, there will be someone else I have let down or simply not got round to. So, I want to take this opportunity to apologise to all those who have waited for the phonecall that didn’t happen; those who anticipated a visit which never materialised; those who are still expecting a reply to an email sent ages ago. It has never been because I don’t care, but simply because I haven’t found the time. Whilst I don’t regret the time I’ve devoted to Bolton Mission, it has meant that I have had less time to commit to the District and as a result, both will have felt neglected from time to time.
In spite of all that, I am immensely grateful to have served as a Methodist Minister and it has given me many opportunities to work in a variety of situations and with great people. I will be taking nine months off from preaching but after that I will be willing to receive invitations. If the invitations don’t come, I will be very happy to sit in the congregation and experience worship rather than lead it; it will give me the chance to grumble about the choice of hymns and to mutter about the long rambling prayers!
I conclude with a prayer from the Lutheran Church:
Lord God, You have called your servants
to ventures of which we cannot see the ending.
by paths as yet untrodden
through perils unknown.
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
not knowing where we go
but only that your hand is leading us
and your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God bless you all.
A book club for leaders – lay and ordained, exercising formal and informal leadership in the Methodist church. A place to discuss, wrestle with, challenge and share our experiences, using two books on leadership in changing times to provide a focus for our conversations.
All take place on zoom, 7.30-9.00 pm
Book 2: How to lead when you don’t know where you’re going Leading in a Liminal Season by Revd Susan Beaumont
14th July 2022 Chapters 1-3: Leading with Presence and Tending the Soul of the Institution
11th October 2022 Chapters 4-5: Deepening Group Discernment and Shaping Institutional Memory
6 th December 2022 Chapters 6-7: Clarifying purpose and Engaging Emergence
Book a space on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leadershipbook-club-for-leaders-in-the-methodist-church-tickets-203851404037 Further information from Alison Ball, email@example.com
Making sure no-one misses out!
There's been so much interest in tickets and many may still want to make a booking. That's why we've extended the deadline for booking tickets to Friday 2 September. That gives you time to book in your group and join in the fun!
New programme at Cliff College – Foundations for Mission and Ministry
Cliff College is pleased to announce the launch of a new programme for September 2022. Foundations for Mission and Ministry is a part-time programme which will prepare and equip people to serve God inside and outside the church. Offered either entirely online or in a hybrid model, students will take six units over two years. For more information, please visit the Cliff College website.
The attached publicity gives the link to the Eventbrite, and it is also here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/adult-mental-health-first-aid-tickets-338946898297
Sight Loss Sunday 2022
Sight Loss Sunday 16th October 2022
Following the success of our first ever Sight Loss Sunday last year, we’re excited to repeat it this year with the theme Made in God’s image.
Sight Loss Sunday is an opportunity for churches to put sight loss into focus whether they have someone in their congregation experiencing sight loss or not.
Churches with visually impaired congregation members may want to encourage them to be involved in the service. This can be anything from a Bible reading or testimony to spending some time with the Sunday school, leading the worship, or doing a sermon.
Churches with no known members with sight loss may want to use our prayer points, prayers of intercession or interactive prayers.
On our website you will be able find resources covering anything from hymns and sermons to prayers and children’s work. Visittorchtrust.org/slsunday for more information. We will also have a video where people with different forms of sight loss reflect on their faith in relation to being visually impaired. All these resources will be available for churches to use.
Sight Loss Sunday is taking place on 16 October, three days after World Sight Day.
We would appreciate your support in waking up the church to sight loss in the UK. A short promotional video can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmnrz_ITJc4. Please also make use of the graphics attached. We will be using the hashtag #SightLossSunday
SLFC & Torch Together Coordinator
Dates for your diary: visit the District Website: www.barmd.org.uk
Methodist Conference 2022
Please click here for the Conference Business Digest.
Every year 80,000 people from all across the UK (and the world) descend on Heaton Park in Manchester for Parklife music festival. Heaton Park Methodist Church is just a few hundred metres up the road from one of the main entrances to the park, and every years sees many thousand people walk past on their way to and from the festival. In 2020, we were in conversation with the festival organisers to use the church as a sanctuary space for anyone who needs it during the festival. Then covid locked everyone down and Parklife 2020 didn’t go ahead.
Following it’s relaunch in September 2021 we reached out to the organisers once again to pick up the conversations and see if we could be involved in Parklife 2022. After a few months of conversations between the church and the organisers we were given the go ahead to be an official part of the festival’s welfare team and the only offsite 24 hour provision. Thanks to the willing volunteers of the church, the circuit, the district, and a number of other local churches we managed to put together a team that meant we could be open from 9am on the Saturday Morning, right the way through to Monday Morning. We also had a great prayer team that organised a rota to be praying for ourselves, the people we met and the festival itself. At the beginning of the weekend we had no idea what we were about to see, with the training we had sharing some “horror stories” of some of the extremes that they had seen in the past and telling us this was their largest and busiest festival of the year!
In the end, across the weekend around 350 people, mostly aged 18-25 crossed our threshold looking for a safe space to find friends, wait for parents or a taxi, recover from having consumed too much of something, or just looking for a listening ear. We had an abundance of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and water, as well as sweets, biscuits and cakes that were all very well received. Some of the people we helped on the Saturday night stopped by on the Sunday to say thank you, some even tried to pay us! And throughout the two nights we lost count of those who told us how valuable and needed the work we were doing was. We’ve already had so many positive comments from people we helped, the local community, the organisers, and the volunteers that we can’t wait to do it all again next year! We were called a “lifeline”, a “God send”, have had numerous extra offers of help (from non-church people too!) One particular Good News story from a couple of girls who stopped by on the Sunday night to tell the story of how they found their friend the day before. “We spent 3 hours walking around the park looking for her and couldn’t find her anywhere and her phone had died, so we came here for a rest and waited. After half an hour we went back to try and find her and, as we walked out the front doors, she was right there. It was a miracle! We wanted to go to church to say thank you, but we slept in!”
Our hope is that these people, those we helped and those who saw us, will remember the church being there when they were in need and feel able to reach out next time they need to. We’d love to be part of someone’s story, “my first encounter with church was when I needed someone to help me at Parklife festival……”
Rev Jez Hackett
All We Can (the Methodist relief and development agency) host a live broadcast on Facebook and YouTube every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:17 pm (inspired by Col 1:17 – ‘In Christ all things hold together’). You can watch these by following All We Can on Facebook or YouTube – just search for allwecanuk or visit www.allwecan.org.uk
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:-
FREEPHONE numbers for prayers, reflections and news from the Methodist Church
Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514
Listen to a pastoral message from the President and Vice President: 0808 281 2695
Listen to our Podcast: 0808 281 2478
Prayer updated every Thursday, Presidential message updated every Monday, Methodist Podcast updated fortnightly on Thursday.
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.
MWiB Job Vacancy
Please find attached a job vacancy for Communications Coordinator with Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB).
Lay Worker Vacancies (Liverpool(North) Circuit)
Vacancies have arisen within the circuit for the following positions.......
The closing date for applications is 14th August, and interviews are to be held between 29th August and 10th September 2022.
Please note - The normal working pattern is 35 hours per week excluding meal breaks, with at least two days free from all responsibilities each week. The exact pattern of working hours will require some flexibility, with regular evening and weekend work.
Administrator / Finance Assistant
Methodist Church - Liverpool(North) Circuit
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Liverpool(North) Circuit – Property Resources Manager Vacancy
I attach an advertisement for a Property Resources Manager.
This is a full time permanent appointment, and the closing date for applications is the 14th of August, with interviews to be held between the 29th of August and the 10th of September. The normal working pattern is 35 hours per week – Monday to Friday, with some evening /weekend meetings as required.
Administrator / Finance Assistant
Methodist Church - Liverpool(North) Circuit
Email : email@example.com
Reg’d Charity Number : 1195942
The Methodist Church Wigan Circuit
School and Family Worker
We are looking for an energetic and experienced individual to work with two church schools and the Methodist Church in the Aspull and Blackrod communities:-
- nurturing faith
- developing relationships with families
- strengthening the links between the schools and churches.
Job type: Part-time 10 hours per week
Rate of pay: £10 to £12 per hour, depending on qualifications, plus expenses
More details and application forms are available from:
Mrs Elaine Meehan
Closing date 19th August 2022.
The Methodist Church Bolton and Rochdale District - Farnworth & Worsley Circuit (6/3) - Circuit Administrator
The Farnworth and Worsley Circuit are seeking to appoint an experienced administrator for our friendly and forward-thinking circuit.
The post involves administration of circuit business and general office skills. Good IT skills are essential.
The post is for 16 hours per week to be worked flexibly, but including attendance at some daytime, evening and weekend meetings.
The starting salary is from £8237 to £8961 depending on qualifications and experience.
Closing date: 29th August 2022
Shortlisting: 2nd September 2022
Interviews: 30th September 2022
Application forms and further information can be obtained from:
c/o Circuit Office
Worsley Road North Methodist Church
Walkden M28 3GD
For employment and voluntary opportunities in the Methodist Church Connexionally: http://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/connect/jobs-volunteering/
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 Helen Bolton - firstname.lastname@example.org
Update from Connexional Safeguarding Team:
Managing Trustees are advised that there are now 4 new data protection resources available to them on TMCP’s website:
1. Updated Document Retention Schedule for Managing Trustees - Updated Retention Schedule and other new Data Protection Resources – June 2021 –Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes (tmcp.org.uk)
2. The Annual Checklist in a shortened Word version.
3. Guest Wi-Fi Acceptable Use Policy - TMCP has been working with the Connexional team on producing an Acceptable Use Policy (Policy) for guests using Church Wi-Fi. This is available to download from the Safeguarding Forms section of the Methodist Church Website:
The Policy sets out the terms and conditions of the contract between the Managing Trustees and the guest using the Wi-Fi network.
The Policy should be displayed or be accessible to guest users by means of a prominent hyperlink before the user gains access to the Wi-Fi network.
The Policy must be available in a way that allows the user to store and reproduce it. You could do this by encouraging users to print the Policy/ the terms and conditions.
4. Zoom Guidance - New guidance has been produced by the Connexional Team as part of the Digital Communication Guidance for Churches. From a data protection perspective, please bear in mind the implications particularly with regard to recording Zoom sessions, deleting those recordings and locking the meeting to guard against “Zoom Bombing”: How to use Zoom safely and with integrity
Learning Network: North West & Mann Region
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
GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation came into effect on 25th May 2018. Training and resources from TMCP are fine tuned for The Methodist Church context: https://www.tmcp.org.uk/about/data-protection
HOW TO BECOME A FAIR TRADE 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
- Action for Children: www.actionforchildren.org.uk
- All We Can: www.allwecan.org.uk
- Bible Society: www.biblesociety.org.uk
- Children’s Bible stories: www.childrenschapel.org
- Christian Aid: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/
- Connexion website: www.methodist.org.uk
- Learning Network: North West & Mann Region:http://www.methodist.org.uk/learning/network-regions/north-west-mann-region
- Methodist Women in Britain: www.mwib.org.uk
- Methodist Publishing: www.methodistpublishing.org.uk
- 3Generate365: https://www.methodist.org.uk/our-work/children-youth-family-ministry/365