District Newsletter

District Newsletter – October 2021

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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 Paul Martin, Chair of District


Dear Friends,

I live in Bolton and I have noticed a worrying development over the ten years I have been here. Even factoring in for the “things aren’t what they used to be” tendency which comes with age, I have seen a developing trend to ignore road traffic rules; double yellow lines are parked on and traffic lights are deemed advisory. Three weeks ago I wrote to my MP but I’m still awaiting a response.

Significantly, in reacting to Covid 19 the Government introduced a number of “guidelines”, drawing back from imposing rules presumably because they knew that many would ignore them. The conscientious comply, and the arrogant and those who claim to know better do their own thing.

Thankfully, being a Christian is not about obeying a set of rules. It is about a relationship with Jesus Christ who continues to be revealed to us through scripture and experience. But that does not mean “anything goes” and I would hope that all of us frequently wrestle with the question of whether what we do (and don’t do) is in keeping with our calling in Christ.

The “Golden Rule” can be found in Matthew 7:12:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. The “rule” is found in other traditions and religions – Greek, Hebrew and Indian to name a few. It is a code that many non-religious people try to live by.

As Methodist Societies increased in number, John Wesley issued the Rules of the Society:

  • Do no harm
  • Do all possible good
  • Attend on the ordinances of God

I wonder if our church and Circuit deliberations would be different if we thought about these rules before each meeting?


God bless you in all you do.




Paul Martin's Sabbatical Report - please click here.


The Conference Digest has details of decisions taken at the 2021 Conference, including minimum numbers for churches and online worship. You can download a copy here.

A video of the 2021 Conference highlights has been uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo






International Coffee Shop Sunday Convention Sat 16th October 2021 9.30am - 3.30pm Methodist Central Hall, Coventry.

Welcome to the first International Coffee Shop Sunday Convention. “Meeting God in an Ordinary Place”.

Our internationally renowned speakers Rev Ashley Cooper and Rev Dr Pete Phillips will be speaking and leading workshops about the different models of being missional people in a coronavirus world.

“The Coffee Shop Sunday” family openly invite you to a day of worship, fellowship and learning on encountering God in an ordinary place.

Join us at Central Hall or Online via Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube. For further details please go to our Facebook Page or visit https://cssconvention21.wixsite.com/website



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: 14/10/2021, 09/11/2021, 12/01/2022, 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


Sight Loss Sunday, October 17th 2021, from Torch Trust

20% of your local community experience sight loss. Many find it impossible to attend or contribute to church life. Break those barriers down by taking part in Sight Loss Sunday and encourage blind and partially sighted people to participate in your church.
Be part of the solution on Sight Loss Sunday, October 17th 2021.


Dear Friends

We are pleased to announce that we have released more dates for our popular Sight Loss Friendly Church Tasters. Please find further information below. We really appreciate your support of our SLFC initiative to help churches to welcome blind and partially sighted people.

Every 6 minutes someone in the UK starts to lose their sight. Sight Loss Friendly Church (SLFC), from Torch Trust, the UK Christian sight loss charity, are pleased to announce further dates of our popular Tasters. These 30 minute  Zoom sessions offer the opportunity to hear all the benefits of SLFC, meet the SLFC team and ask your questions. Sessions available are-

Tuesday 26 October at 2:00 PM
Wednesday 10 November at 2:00 PM
Tuesday 16 November at 11:00 AM
Wednesday 12 January at 2:00 PM
Monday 24 January at 2:00 PM

To register please visit https://www.sightlossfriendlychurch.org.uk/taster. For more information please email SLFC@torchtrust.org.uk

Find out more at sightlossfriendlychurch.org.uk/slsunday


MWiB – District Day – 20th October

Bolton & Rochdale Methodist Women in Britain  would like to invite you to join us on  Wednesday 20th  October 10:00am – 1:00pm  at Harwood Methodist Church, Bolton, BL2 3HX for a morning of fellowship, conversation and worship.

Guest speaker is Chair of District Revd Paul Martin who has always been a strong supporter of the work of MWiB and will share some of his own  journey. During the morning commissioning of our new District President will take place and will include  a service of communion and celebration of the work of MWiB both locally and nationally.

Drinks will be served both before and after,  and all are invited to bring their own packed lunch to enjoy at the end of the morning.  ALL are welcome (including men)

Normal Covid restrictions and guidelines will be in place including the option to wear a  mask if preferred, regular hand washing and maintaining safe distance. If suffering from Covid symptoms we respectfully ask people  not to attend. A register will be kept of all present.

Further information from Philippa Hill (District Secretary) phhill28@gmail.com  


Bolton Circuit Light Party - 27th October. 

Are you aged between 7 and 11 years old? If so, then you are invited to our Light Party on Wednesday 27th October 6.30pm - 8pm at Trinity Methodist Church, Bury Road, Tonge Fold, Bolton. BL2 6AS.

What's on? Time of Fun, Food & Friendship.

To book a place please contact Children & Youth Pastor Jo Dolman on childrenandyouthpastorjo@gmail.com no later than Sunday 17th October. Please also include any dietary needs.


Methodists For World Mission.

Join us for the MWM Northern Districts’ Conference at Rydal Hall, Ambleside from 29th to 31 st October 2021.

Education is a right, not a privilege. However 61 million children are not in school. Join us on Friday evening to hear from Michael and Maureen Hawksworth about the work of their charity, LEARN Lifechanging Education for All in Rural Nepal works to realise the vision of Devi Prasad to provide a high level of education which could be accessed by all children without prejudice.

“He went to him and bandaged his wounds […] and took care of him” Luke 10:34 On 14th August 2021 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Tiburon Peninsula in Haiti, larger than the previous devastating earthquake in 2010. The city of Les Cayes, Haiti’s 3rd largest, experienced extensive damage UNICEF estimates that at least 650,000 people were affected and need humanitarian aid. Hear from Sharon and John Harbottle, who returned from Haiti 2019, about their work and also the responses to the recent disaster.

For enquiries and bookings contact Mr Alan Cunningham admin@mwm.neast.org.uk 0191 2414051


3Generate - Save the Date & Volunteer

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I hope this email finds you all well. I am emailing first and foremost to introduce myself. As many of you would be aware, my name is Daud Irfan and I am the Youth President for 2021-22. The theme for my year in office is ‘God’s Church; A Home for All’, which was a result of my firm belief in the fact that our churches throughout the country need to be a warm and welcoming hub in our communities for all people as we steer our way out of the devastating impacts of COVID-19, that have left many people feeling lost, vulnerable or deprived. Furthermore, as the story of creation teaches us, we are all made in the image of God. Therefore, no one should be treated any differently to their neighbors. God’s love is the same for all humanity, no matter our backgrounds.

Following on from Phoebe’s email on 25th August (below), preparations for 3Generate 2021 are readily underway and there are many inclusive and exciting activities planned for the event.

I look forward to working alongside you all over the course of this year and hopefully I will get to meet you personally through my visits – please do get in touch with me directly if you would like to discuss or arrange any visits in your district.

Every Blessing,

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



The children and youth assembly, will be going ahead at the NEC Birmingham from Friday 29 – Sunday 31 October 2021. 

There will be a number of ways children and young people can participate as follows:

  • Attending the event on a residential basis, staying in camping villages with others in their group, for the weekend.
  • Joining the whole event on a daily basis, travelling to and from the venue but not staying overnight.
  • Participating in person just for the day on Saturday 30 October.

Phoebe Parkin, Youth President, said “It’s such great news that 3Generate can go ahead in October and children and young people will be able to meet each other, worship together and explore faith in God. They’ve had to wait a long time to do this in person, it’s going to be a really special weekend!”

Tickets for 3Generate 2021 went sale on Wednesday 14 July and we’d be encouraging all churches and groups to begin having conversations about how they may be able to take part. Please encourage groups to register for tickets in plenty of time as we are expecting demand for tickets to be high.

In an exciting new development for this year we are planning to welcome 4 to 7 year olds and their parents/carers or significant adults. There’ll be a chance for them to explore faith and spirituality - alongside the main event - as part of an intentionally intergenerational space on Saturday 30 October.

We continue working closely with District Ambassadors and, through the advocating work they do, building an even better sense of connection with children and young people at a local level. We’d welcome your prayers for the ongoing planning of the event being done through satellite groups, as well as for all our children and young people. Our hope is that 3Generate will offer them a wonderful opportunity to encounter God, gather together and be reminded of their vital place within the wider Methodist Church. 

Please be assured we will continue to monitor the situation regarding Covid-19 and will respond to any change in guidance over the coming weeks and months.


Bolton Circuit are looking forward to taking a small group of children aged 8 - 11 to 3generate at the NEC in Birmingham and look forward to sharing all about it after the event.


Bullying and Harassment  Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th November 09:30 to 13:00 on zoom

Join a group to explore some basic techniques to create good practices in ministry that address negative behaviour. This course takes place over two mornings, please be available for both Wednesday and Thursday.

Email Rob Glassonbury to book you place and include:
 Your postal address
 Your Circuit or denomination if not Methodist

For more information contact Brec Seaton seatonb@methodistchurch.org.uk

Bookings close on Wednesday 20th October

The Methodist Church has a training partnership with Place for Hope and there will be a small charge for non-Methodists sharing with us on this day. Please do not let costs deter you from joining with us.


The Knitted Bible at Ainsworth Methodist Church BL2 5SD

34 knitted scenes Touring exhibition - Not to be missed - Entrance via donation

Sat. 11th December - Opening Day - 10am - 4pm; Sun. 12th December - 12 - 4pm; Wed. 15th December - 6.30 - 8.30 pm; Sat. 18th December - 10am - 4pm; Sun. 19th December - 12 - 4pm; Mon to Friday 20th to 24th December - 1-3pm; Tues. 28th December - 11am — 3pm - Final chance to see! 

Tea and Coffee available throughout • Light lunches and stalls at the weekends • Children’s quiz


Journey of the Magi – a festive, light-hearted, joyful event with a moving and profound message. 

Following a sell-out year in 2019, Journey of the Magi is back, for churches to host for Advent 2021. Share the joy and wonder of Christmas with your church and local community through this exhilarating, critically acclaimed performance. The show offers a bridge between contemporary life and Jesus’s birth, comparing our own personal journey to Christmas day with the journey that the wise men took. With sparkle and songs to keep the children entertained and bags of good humour for the grown-ups, Journey of the Magi delights audiences of all ages and offers a chance to reflect and refocus.

“Absolutely fabulous show. Wonderful mix of fun, wit, and meaning. It made me laugh and it made me cry all in a couple of minutes. (Hope you'll come back.)”  Richard, Poynton Methodist Church

Springs is inviting churches to host a performance of Journey of the Magi, which we are planning to tour nationally in December 2021. If the tour cannot go ahead due to Covid-19, bookings will be postponed until Advent 2022 or will be fully refunded .

Further information can be found on the Springs Dance Company website page https://springsdancecompany.org.uk/productions/journey-of-the-magi/, by emailing touring@springsdancecompany.org.uk or by calling 07876 752 910


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




A note from Rev Neville Markham ...  visiting restrictions remain in place in many hospitals but Chaplaincy Services are still working as normal so please don’t hesitate to refer a person for a visit.

e-mail is neville.markham@boltonft.nhs.uk or chaplaincy@boltonft.nhs.uk   Tel: 01204 390770. (for Bolton hospital)


Climate Justice for All's Open Letter to Alok Sharma is READY!

You might remember earlier in the year I called upon you to help tell people in your community that Climate Justice for All (CJ4A) were holding consultation sessions to hear the voices of Methodists in Britian on the issue of climate change. Well, I am excited to tell you that after these consultation sessions , CJ4A have released our Open Letter to Alok Sharma (COP26 President) ahead of COP26 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference)! 

Here is the link to the letter: https://bit.ly/CJ4Aletter 

We thank you for sharing the Have Your Say consultation sessions with people in your community and we are delighted that we were able to use these contributions to write a passionate plea to Mr Sharma ahead of November.  

Now that the Open Letter is public, we are asking that you help us to get this letter into the hands of as many Methodists in Britain as possible. We are encouraging British Methodists of all ages to sign this letter because we want Alok Sharma to see that this is an issue that Methodists of all ages care about – so please encourage everyone in your church community to sign! Please feel free to forward this email onto whoever you think might wish to sign. Tell people at church about signing, put it in your newsletter, put in on your Facebook/Whattsapp groups, tell your youth worker to talk to your young people about it – we hope we can count on you to share this in all the ways that you can! To make this easier, I have attached the following link, this is the link to the Google Drive where we are holding all of our communications for the open letter. In this folder, you will find a social media graphic, the QR code and other things that will help you share the Open Letter in your community: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1e5-n4jTVA2yI2wagXU3pwJi8h5DQPwza?usp=sharing 

The last chance to sign the letter will be the end of the 24th October, so please make sure you have signed and shared it before then. 

After this date, we will be delivering it to Alok Sharma, both physically and digitally, in time for him to read it before the beginning of COP26 in November.  

Thank you for all of your support so far and I hope you will continue to help us as we call upon our leaders to seek climate justice for all! 

Please let me know if you have any questions! 

Warmest Wishes,

Mollie Pugmire



Malham Chapel 

Malham Methodist Chapel has been recently converted to provide a splendid worship area and meeting space. It has a small kitchen and toilet and is fully accessible. There is digital projector for presentations.

It would make an excellent base for a day visit with great walks for all abilities and could be combined with an auto of worship or church training session.

If you would like further details please do not hesitate to get in touch.


MWiB Autumn mailing.

Dear All,

Welcome to this Autumn mailing from MWiB. Available to download from the website you will find:

~ The MWiB Autumn Newsletter https://mwib.org.uk/index.php/2018/03/15/spring-2018-newsletter/

~ Prayer Diary September-November 2021 https://mwib.org.uk/index.php/2017/07/29/prayer-diary-august-2017/

You may remember that last year, when our World Federation Officer Carolyn Lawrence took on the role of Vice President of the Methodist Conference, we encouraged Districts to commit to praying for her for one month during the year. This year, our incoming WF Officer Barbara Easton is also Vice President of the Conference, and we would like to encourage you to pray for her as we did for Carolyn. See attached document 'Prayer for Barbara Easton' - and do please encourage others to pray during your District's allocated month.

Some important announcements:

~ World Federation Day 2021 - Unfortunately, this event has had to be postponed once again due to ongoing uncertainties caused by Covid regulations and restrictions.

~ World Assembly, Gothenburg 2022 - This will now be an online event - see newsletter for further details.

~ A Methodist Way of Life - Irene Hayes (the new Communications Coordinator) is inviting women around the Connexion to join her via Zoom to explore 'A Methodist Way of Life' - see page one of the newsletter for further details.

Please feel free to forward any or all of this information to others in your District.

And finally, this will be my last communication with you as I'll be handing over the Communications role this week to Irene Hayes, and the website and social media role to Amy Walters. You can contact Irene on this email address, and Amy can be emailed at: website@mwib.org.uk   

Thanks for the support you've shown me over the last five years, and for your continuing support for MWiB.

Best wishes

Judith R Simms
Communications Officer
Methodist Women in Britain


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


News from Action for Children

Hello from Action for Children!

Thank you for your support and prayers. They mean a lot to us. Here are a few updates on our work.

Karis Kolawole

Faith Partnerships Lead, Action for Children





Report into the importance of the £20 a week Universal Credit increase published

Action for Children and Child Poverty Action Group released a report in September that reveals the importance of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit for families.

The report examines the impact on 19 occupations. It showed that without the £20 increase, hairdressers will be the worst affected, losing an average of £1,982 a year after the cut.

To read the report visit: : https://bit.ly/UnivCReport

Read the report

Join the Star Jump challenge

You can raise funds for children while keeping fit by taking part in Action for Children's Star Jump challenge. 

As part of our 'Star in Every Child' campaign, we're inviting supporters to raise funds so that we can ensure children have the basics – the things every child needs: warm clothes and proper meals, and things that help them to reach for the stars, like tutoring or learning a musical instrument.

The challenge is really simple, and anyone can do it with friends and family. To sign up, visit: https://bit.ly/AFCStarJump

Join the Star Jump challenge 

Create a star to send to your MP

There's still time to take part in Action for Children's craftivism campaign.

Last month, we invited you to create a star and send it to your MPs urging them to commit to making children a personal priority so that the star in every child can shine.

Thank you to everyone who has created and sent a star; we were thrilled to see your stars.

To send a star, sign up to receive information about what to do: https://bit.ly/Craftivism-signup

Sign up for craftivism

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you

Jude 1:2


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.




Manchester & Stockport District - Digital and Communications Officer

Are you creative and enthusiastic about good digital communication? Can you help others to get their message across? You might be the person that we are looking for.

The Manchester & Stockport District is seeking to appoint a full-time Digital and Communications Officer to join the District team on a permanent contract, 35 hours per week, from 1st January 2022. Salary £28, 000 p/a (6% employer pension contribution)

Working with a network of 130 churches and projects, using website, email, and social media, but also with an awareness of communities which are digitally deprived, you will manage the digital and general communications of our District. You will support, and where appropriate provide, pro-active communication, both internal to the District and between our churches and the public sphere. You will pay attention to target, design, and method, and successfully increase both the public profile of the Methodist Church in our area, and the strength of relationships within the District.

Application pack is available on the website https://www.mandsmethodists.org.uk/news-stories/vacancy-digital-andcommunications-officer.html or from the District Office: admin@mandsmethodists.org.uk

Closing date for application: Sunday 14th November 2021

Interviews to take place: 3rd December 2021


Lay Member of Methodist Diaconal Order Support and Advisory Committee Closing Date: 26 Nov 2021

Are you a lay person interested in supporting the ministry of the Methodist Diaconal Order and Methodist Deacons? 

Methodist Deacons are involved in ministry in churches and communities around the country, and are part of the Methodist Diaconal Order.  The Support and Advisory Group for the Methodist Diaconal Order is seeking a Methodist lay person to join the group.  This group of lay and ordained people meets five times a year to support and advise the Warden and Deputy Warden of the Order.

Please see the attachments linked below for further details:

Job Description

Expression of Interest form

The MDO has a diverse membership and the Group would particularly welcome expressions of interest from Methodists from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, as they are currently under-represented amongst members of the group.

Closing Date (extended): Friday 26 Nov 2021


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 Kev Brabrook - 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