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 


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.


From Spotland Methodist Church - Rochdale.

Good things still happen in lockdown. As a Church we have been able to help a local young man. This gentleman due to circumstances found himself living in a hostel earlier this year with very little. When a flat became available things started to look up. The only problem being it was unfurnished we were in lockdown and he had very little money.  I had been asked if there was any way we could help. Well of course we could. So off I went to church (for the usual flushing of toilets, running taps, collecting post and checking the building) and sourced all sorts. It's amazing what we have been donated over the years…plates, cups, cutlery, bedding, pots and pans, dish cloths, washing up liquid, I even emptied the Meet and Eat cupboard of food as it would most likely be out of date when we get back.  Some of the items had been donated for the summer fair and I hope you will forgive me for using some of that, but this felt like the right thing to do. I even managed to source a table!  One of our church members donated some money to help which was greatly appreciated. 

Well the feedback I got from this gentleman was wonderful. I received a message from the volunteer who passed the items over saying she had not seen a grown man cry like that before. He was overwhelmed and so very very thankful.  I later received a photograph showing a microwave and second hand sofa that changes into a bed which he had bought with the money.  I have since been told that this gentleman’s outlook on life is so much better, he is getting so much better, getting help and hoping to have his children move in with him very soon.  

I can only go into so much detail due to confidentiality but I thank you all as a Church and thank God that we were able to help and could.  

Leonie O'Donoghue

Church and Community Lay worker
Rochdale and Littleborough Circuit.


Future Programme of Evangelism and Growth Team Webinars

A new programme of Evangelism and Growth Team webinars will be starting on 1st September. The first webinar, ‘Planning to reopen for mission’, introduces the new-look mission planning toolkit and will be focused on helping churches with mission planning as they contemplate reopening their buildings. This webinar will take place on three dates, at different times, with identical content, so as to enable as many people as possible to attend live. Registration is already open at this link:


Also, a Mission Planning Workbook is now available as a free download as part of the new-look mission planning toolkit. This has been designed to walk churches and circuits through a simple, thorough and adaptable eight-step mission planning process. 


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.


All We Can (Newsletter)

All We Can’s Harvest materials for 2020 are now ready to be downloaded or ordered. All you have to do is visit allwecan.org.uk/cycle and follow the links. We have produced these so that they will work whether churches are meeting physically for Harvest Festivals, or are meeting online, or a mixture of both. We have also produced a series of videos to help facilitate the service, including prayers, sermons, an all age talk and some pre-recorded hymns for you to join in with. I hope you will enjoy them, and join us on this journey as travel to Uganda and discover how change begins with a bicycle…

If you want to find out more about the resources and how you could use them in your church, please do sign up for one of our volunteer training sessions, entitled ‘Change Bringers’, which we are running via Zoom. We will explore some of the stories behind this year’s harvest materials, as well as some ‘best practice’ for how you and your church could function online (including input from Cliff College’s Digital Evangelist Ali Johnson and Holly Adams from the Methodist Church’s Evangelism and Growth Team). We will also hear from the President and Vice President of Conference – Richard Teal and Carolyn Lawrence. If you are interested, please just fill in the form here (allwecan.org.uk/changebringers) with your preferred time-slot (morning / afternoon / evening are available) and we’ll send you the details about how to join.


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


The attached event is being run by the North West & Mann Regional Learning Network - Bullying & Harrassment 


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




Chaplaincy Kingswood School

Dear colleagues,

As we prepare to have conversations with our presbyters, I just want to draw you attention to the fact that the post of Chaplain of Kingswood School (an appointment which is on the Stations but is advertised rather than filled via a profile) is currently being advertised in the Methodist Recorder and on the Methodist Church website (closing date October 12th). If you have presbyters in your District who might have the skills and gifts to undertake this role, and might like to apply, would you please draw this to their attention. Whilst we would like to fill this appointment as soon as possible, it is more important that we appoint the right person, but engaging with the process at this stage would allow Circuits to submit a profile either if their presbyter were in Stationing or if their presbyter were not currently about to enter Stationing but got SAC permission to apply for this post. I hope this helps.

With best wishes as ever,

Rev Dr Jonathan H. Pye MA
Chair, Bristol District of the Methodist Church


Centre for Chaplaincy in Education. We are delighted to share a new Chaplaincy Vacancy in the Midlands.

Resident Pastoral (Chaplaincy) Assistant, Oswestry School, Shropshire. Oswestry School and St Oswald’s Parish Church offer an exciting opportunity to serve two close-knit communities. We are looking for a suitably experienced person to be a Pastoral (Chaplaincy) Assistant.
Oswestry School is an independent, co-educational day & boarding school, with an 11-18 senior school of c.350 pupils and a 4-11 junior school (Bellan House) of c.120 pupils. The strong ethos of the school is reflected in its fabulous pastoral care and sense of community. The School recently underwent inspection, with an excellent report. As well as providing a fantastic learning and living environment for young people, Oswestry School offers an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding working environment. The School has a Christian foundation and has its own small chapel.

St Oswald’s Parish Church is at the heart of the town of Oswestry, a Church of England Church led by the Reverend Harvey Gibbons. It is an environment which enables all to come closer to God through prayer and worship, reflection and action.

St Oswald’s and Oswestry School have a relationship of more than six centuries, with the original school building still standing beside the churchyard. The School supports the Church’s musical life with generous scholarships. Oswestry School holds weekly chapel services as well as its larger celebrations, including Founder’s Day, in St Oswald’s Church.

Click here for further details and application pack



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: New email address Kev Brabrook - boltonandrochdaledso@dso.methodist.org.uk


Training Opportunities:

Learning Network: North West & Mann Region

See:  www.methodist.org.uk/nwm

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

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/



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