District Newsletter

District Newsletter – May 2022

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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.


Message from Rev'd Paul Martin, Chair of District

Our Spring Synod took place at the new Harwood Methodist Church. A splendid building with excellent facilities and a tangible symbol of Christian presence in the community. Before the meeting began, many of us availed ourselves of the high-quality coffee which was provided by the coffee van outside.

I mention these by way of introduction of two important factors regarding our Mission. It is fashionable in some quarters to denigrate “bricks and mortar” and characterise those who cherish their places of worship as guilty of some form of idolatry. We all know that ultimately the buildings are a vehicle but a very important vehicle. Our buildings are not only important as a place of worship and gathering for Christians, but means by which we can bless our communities. I began by talking about Harwood but on the following day I was at another new building, Wharton and Cleggs Lane United Reformed and Methodist Church. It was heartening to see a full (and responsive!) congregation but even more heartening to see all the activities with which the church was engaged.

The Great Commission tells us to “Go and make disciples of all nations….” There is no contradiction between that statement and the love we have of our buildings as long as we see them as a means by which we grow and serve others.

Yet there is a need to get out of our buildings. The coffee van was part of the New Places for New People initiative. A small group within the District have been looking at ways in which we can respond to the Methodist God for All Strategy. Part of our vision is to send the van, along with some volunteers, where people gather. We are also keen to know of other initiatives across the District which involve people engaging with others outside the walls of the church.

Some of you may be old enough to remember singing 657 from the Methodist Hymn Book. The hymn did not even make the cut for 1983’s Hymns and Psalms, let alone Singing the Faith, and I can see why. But I like to think there is no contradiction between wanting good and welcoming premises and recognising the need to leave the four walls.


Bless you in your church and out of it.





Lunch Time Concerts at Bolton Methodist Mission, Victoria Hall - click here for details.


Leadership Book Club

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 1: Leadership on the Line Staying alive through the dangers of change by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky

13th January 2022 Part 1: The Challenge

15th March 2022 Part 2: The response

19th May 2022 Part 3: Body and Soul

Hosted by Rev Dr Andrew Lunn (Chair of Manchester and Stockport District) and Alison Ball (Coordinator of the Learning Network) on behalf of the North West and Mann Region it is open to all.

You can come to all the sessions or drop in and out, as you are able. We hope it will grow into a group journeying together wanting to be effective in leadership in a changing world.

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, balla@methodistchurch.org.uk


Line Management Training - Join the Learning Network team and identify the key skills and qualities needed to manage lay employees. Gain clarity on the different functions of line management. Understand the line manager’s role in the employment cycle. Understand conflict styles and conflict escalation.

When? All training is free and held online over zoom.

We are repeating each standalone day on the following dates: 23/02/2022, 18/03/2022, 26/04/2022, 09/05/2022, 16/07/2022, Each day will be run from 10.00 - 15.30.

To book on click here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/methodist-learning-network-33599752323


Attached is a notice for a project running at Heaton Park Methodist this June alongside the Parklife Music Festival that meets directly opposite the church each year. 

Please could you pass on to anyone in your churches who may feel able to help with this. 


Many Thanks and God Bless

Rev’d Jez Hackett

Heaton Park and Prestwich Methodist Churches & Digital Evangelist


Cliff Festival 2022

Join us on the Cliff College site for teaching, worship, conversation and activities for people of all ages. In our morning Bible studies we’ll be exploring the book of Colossians, and each evening we’ll consider different aspects of the rule and reign of God in our world. Come and encounter the living God in community with other Christians; come and be encouraged in your faith; come and be filled with the Spirit.

Tickets are available now: https://cliffcollege.ac.uk/cliff-festival


Courses in Pastoral Care at Cliff College

Many of us are only just starting to see the impact the pandemic has had on people of all ages, both inside our churches and in our wider communities. It’s vital that we offer good pastoral care and support to those who need it. Cliff College offers an in-depth five-day Certificate in Pastoral Care (20-24 June) that is suitable for church ministers, employees and volunteers who want to grow their skills in this important area. Find out more and book now at https://cliffcollege.ac.uk/study/courses/short-course-calendar


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Reflect Zoom Quiet morning

'Who is God?'

July 8th or 9th 2022

Further details at Reflect | Retreats (reflectretreats.co.uk)


Divine Holiness, Ordinary Intimacy - Durham July 2022

A Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation Sunday 10 th –Friday 15 th July 2022 – St. John’s College, Durham

Worship ~ Teaching ~ Silence ~ Reflection


Gemma Simmonds &amp; Andrew Walker

click here for more details and registration


Wesley House - NEW SHORT COURSE Leadership in the Wesleyan Spirit - July 2022


I wanted to bring to your attention a new short-course that is being led by The Revd Dr Adam Ployd, Vice Principal of Wesley House, throughout July 2022.


This four-week course invites participants to reflect on the nature of leadership within their own ministerial contexts. As the church faces a host of challenges, from declining membership to climate change, new intentionality is necessary for the work of leading God's people, whether those leaders be ordained or lay

This course provides the resources and space to consider how Methodists might bring a particular charism to such leadership in different contexts.

Further details and registration can be found here: CLICK HERE


Cliff College WLP Summer School: 1-5 August

The theme for Cliff’s 2022 Summer School is ‘Missional Engagement’. There will be two streams available – choose from The Spirit and Church Growth, taught by Rev Ashley Cooper, or Navigating the Culture, taught by Dr Ben Pugh. Come and join other Christians from around the country in learning, prayer and worship, fellowship and excellent food, all on the beautiful Cliff College site in the Peak District.

Book now via our website: https://cliffcollege.ac.uk/courses/summer-school


3Generate 2022 Update

We’re delighted to let you know that 3Generate, the Methodist children and youth assembly, will be taking place at the NEC in Birmingham again: the dates are Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October 2022. Do share this news widely across the District so the weekend can be pencilled into diaries.


3Generate the event is part of Generate All Year Round (previously 3Generate 365), which seeks to create spaces where children, young people, their families and households can experience God as part of both the global and connexional church.  In ways that recognise their innate spirituality and how God speaks and calls to them in the here and now.  3Generate and Generate All year Round seek to equip and enable children and young people to fully participate in an inclusive, diverse, justice seeking church that shares the good news through all it says and does.


Groups can stay on site for the entire weekend or visit for a day without an overnight stay. We know this flexibility is appreciated and means children and young people can participate in ways that suit them best. 3Generate 2022 tickets go on sale from 1st April to 31st July so groups can register and book tickets during this period but payment isn’t required until the first week of September 2022. This arrangement worked extremely well for groups in 2021 so we are pleased to be offering the same in 2022. We want to encourage everyone to start having conversations and making plans as soon as possible.  More information can be found here.


Have you seen the fantastic after movie from last year’s event? It’s a collection of all the highlights we enjoyed when we gathered together last October.  It’s well worth a look, especially for those thinking about joining in for the first time. It’s available to view here.


Finally, we want to say a special thank you for all your support and involvement in 3Generate so far.  We believe God continues to inspire and empower our children and young people to walk in faith alongside us.  We’re excited for where that might lead us into the future.


I look forward to hearing back from you if you have any queries, please feel free to reach out.


Every Blessing,

Daud Irfan | Youth President, The Methodist Church of Great Britain

The Connexional Team

+44 (0)20 7467 3777 [Direct Line]

The Methodist Church


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





Given that the world’s attention is focussed on the war in Ukraine it is important to note that Ukraine and Russia are two of the world’s biggest producers of wheat. And although the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently told the BBC that the war would not have an impact on our food supplies farmers across the United Kingdom, to quote the Farmers Guardian, ‘Farmers slam DEFRA’S blasé food security statement’. The war will impact on food supplies. The farmers of Ukraine need all the help they can get in order to produce some kind of harvest for their own people and to hopefully be able to export some stocks in order to boost their own economy.

Meanwhile the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustace MP, left farming chiefs flabbergasted when he told the BBC that farmers had managed to recoup subsidy losses through increased farm gate prices. This is far from the truth. And after his Spring statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer was accused of abandoning farmers. The rural community, thanks to Brexit and the lack of support from our politicians, is struggling. More and more farms are leaving milk production which has led to one of the big milk companies stating that they are worried about a milk shortage in the near future. The shortage of seasonal staff for a large number of our horticultural businesses has, again proved very difficult. The result of all this is serious concern about the nation’s ability to produce anything like the food we need.

Tragically, the high number of suicides among farmers continues to show no sign of abating and the services of charities such as FCN and RABI are in high demand. As chaplain for the Lancashire branch of FCN my thanks for your prayers for the rural community and a massive ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who sponsored me in the Wilmslow half marathon on behalf of FCN. Thanks to everyone’s generosity over £1000 has been raised and there is still time to give. My JustGiving page is still open at www.justgiving.com/David-Burrow1 Many of our rural churches have not reopened after the pandemic leaving communities unable to celebrate locally the festivals which everyone enjoys: the village Carol service, the Harvest worship and supper and to a lesser extent Rogation Sunday. Please continue to hold them in prayer. With poor internet access in some rural areas worship online is a challenge and social isolation continues to be a major issue.

If you know of anyone who needs help, please let me know or go direct to FCN, www.fcn.org.uk or www.rabi.org.uk, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and The Addington Fund, www.addingtonfund.org.uk If you’d like to find out more about life on the farm, then the date for you is 12th June which is Open Farm Sunday. There is lots of interesting and useful information at: www.farmsunday.org

Rural Mission Sunday 2022 takes place on 17 July - or whenever it is helpful for you to mark it. Visit the Singing the Faith and Arthur Rank Centre websites to explore their resources for worship. The Arthur Rank Centre has produced a series of weekly reflections in response to the Covid-19 pandemic: www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk The website also offers training schemes, discipleship courses, Messy Church materials for rural churches and lots of ideas for Harvest, Rogation Sunday and Plough Sunday. Rogation Sunday, May 22 nd , is an opportunity for churches to take a service out into the local area, with a prayer walk and blessing the earth around them. There is a liturgy on the Arthur Rank website.

Rev'd David Burrow, District Rural Officer


Methodist Tapestries Project

The Weardale Museum, in Ireshopeburn, County Durham, is promoting the Methodist Tapestries Project, which will show the history and heritage of Methodism via the medium of embroidery. Relating stories not only local to the Museum but those of regional, national and international interest, the Project currently has forty-nine panels at various stages of construction and is looking for volunteers to take on further designs. Images of some of the current panels can be seen on the Museum's website, including in the Gallery section which showcases different panels every few weeks.

As we especially value input and involvement from Methodist communities, I am writing to ask if you would be so kind as to forward this email to ministers in your district’s circuits so that they could enquire whether any of their members might be interested in participating in the Methodist Tapestries Project. Contributions of local stories that illustrate Methodist history and heritage are always appreciated, and of course if any potential stitchers were to come forward this would be excellent.

I have attached a pdf with more detailed coverage; please let me know if you would like any further information.

Kind regards,

Liz Walsh


Methodist Tapestries Project


Invitation: reconciliation and mediation pilot team - We are looking for more people to join the reconciliation and mediation team being piloted by the Methodist Church in partnership with Place for Hope. It would be great to hear from you!

If you are within reach of the Eastern, London or North West and Mann Learning Network Regions and would like to find out more please get in touch with Katie Bradley: katie.bradley@placeforhope.org.uk

Find out more about the project here.

Katie Bradley

Reconciliation and Mediation Team Manager 

Place for Hope

t: 07881 498 813

e: katie.bradley@placeforhope.org.uk

w: http://www.placeforhope.org.uk​


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


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:-




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.




Personal Assistant to the Chair of District - Manchester & Stockport

Are you confident with office IT (Word, Outlook etc.) and well organised? Are you personable, and looking to work as part of a friendly team? You might be the person that we are looking for. The Manchester & Stockport District is seeking to appoint a part-time Personal Assistant to the Chair of District to join the District team on a permanent contract, 12 hours per week, from 1st July 2022.

Salary £7,857.18 p/a (6% employer pension contribution)

Working directly with and for the Chair of District, who has responsibility for the oversight of a network of 130 churches and projects, you will assist and support in managing communications, diary appointments, and preparation for meetings. You will work confidently with standard IT software as part of a small District Office team based at Sale Moor Methodist Church, M33 2PP.

Application pack is available on the website https://www.mandsmethodists.org.uk/news-stories/vacancy-pa-to-district-c... or from the District Office: comms@mandsmethodists.org.uk

Closing date for application: Sunday 29th May 2022
Interviews to take place: morning of Tuesday 14th June 2022


Circuit Administrator - Leigh and Hindley

An opportunity has arisen for a Circuit Administrator within the Leigh and Hindley Methodist Circuit. The role will be based at Kingsleigh Methodist Church, Leigh and is to provide administrative and secretarial support for the Leigh and Hindley Methodist Circuit and its Superintendent Minister. Further information and information on how to apply can be found on the Leigh and Hindley Methodist Circuit website (https://www.leighandhindley.org.uk/vacancies.html). Deadline for applications is 31st May 2022.


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 - boltonandrochdaledso@dso.methodist.org.uk

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

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


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