District Newsletter

District Newsletter – January 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


Greetings everyone and a Happy New Year. I hope that Christmas was as good as it could have been for you; we are all aware that for many, what would have been a time of celebration was displaced by a time of missing others. We continue to pray for God’s comforting presence.


Back in the office for the first Monday morning of 2021. I turned to a book of prayers and read the one set for the day. It is a prayer commonly known as St Patrick’s Breastplate. You may like to look it up as it is too long to quote here. It begins with the words, “I arise today through a mighty strength…”. Each of the remaining stanzas start in a similar way, “I arise today through the strength of…”


These are good words for the start of a new year. For me, “I arise today” conjures up a sense of facing the day, of getting on with things. There is much to be faced and much to be got on with! The ongoing challenge to our churches brought on by Covid 19, the economic damage being wrought, the effect on mental health, the harm to education, and of course the danger to health all serve to underline our current plight.


The prayer reminds us that in times of crisis, we do not simply fall back on our own resources but that as Christians we draw strength from God. Our lives are enriched by a great tradition of prayer and the ongoing prayers of those who know us and know our needs.


I wonder why the prayer has been given the name, “Breastplate”? I am assured that whatever I face I do not face it alone. As I battle with the challenges I do not do so unprotected but with the shield of my heavenly Father. I hope and pray that you feel similarly defended.


God bless




Statistics For Mission - The 2020 data collection (via https://online.methodist.org.uk) is now underway. Thank you to the many of you who have already submitted their churches’ membership statistics and updated office holders’ data. The data entry site will be open until 31 January 2021.


Beginning Chaplaincy  

A course for people interested in becoming chaplaincy volunteers  or supporters

Session One - Caught up in the Mission of God

Session Two - As Christ in the world

Session Three - The Spirit of Chaplaincy

Session Four - The Cloak of Chaplaincy

Session Five - What do Chaplains do?

Session Six - Chaplaincy in today’s world


Each session includes prayer, Bible readings, reflection and discussion.

For more details, contact Rev Caroline Ainger, Chaplain at The Brick, by email: Caroline@thebrick.org.uk


Growing Through Conflict - Wednesday 24th February 2021 and Thursday 25th March 2021 09:30 to 15:45 on zoom

A one day workshop to consider how conflict works in ourselves and in our church community, and develop some simple tools to transform situations of tension and conflict.

To book your place on either day email Rob Glassonbury and include:  Your postal address  Your Circuit,  NWMannNetwork@gmail.com For more information contact Brec Seaton: seatonb@methodistchurch.org.uk


MWiB Winter Mailing

Dear All,

Please find attached herewith:

~ MWiB Newsletter - Winter 2020 * www.mwib.org.uk

~ Prayer Diary - December, January, February

* We are working on a more 'printer-friendly' version of the newsletter, which we hope will be available very shortly. If you would like a copy of that, please simply reply to this email and I'll send it to you as soon as it's available. (In future this will be sent to everyone with the mailing.)

The Call to Pray is already available to download from the MWiB website (www.mwib.org.uk), and the Newsletter and Prayer Diary will be on the website shortly.

Also newly published is the Annual Review for 2020-2019; this will be on the website shortly, and is available in hard copy. If you would like some hard copies, please email communications@mwib.org.uk with your name, postal address, and the number of copies required. P&P is free, but if you wish to make a donation to MWiB you can do so via the Donation button on the website.

Finally, as you are no doubt aware, we normally send out with this mailing information and booking forms for our Residential Weekend at Swanwick; these will now be sent out, and available on the website, in early January. Please see page 2 of the attached newsletter for information about the weekend, and the reasons for the delayed booking process.

Best wishes

Judith R Simms
Communications Officer
Methodist Women in Britain


“Methodist Women in Britain is pleased to announce a ‘2020 Emergency Discretionary Support Fund’ set up to help churches that have incurred unexpected expenses over the past few months. Single discretionary grants of up to £200 may be awarded to those churches facing additional unforeseen costs to assist their work and witness during lockdown and going forward. If you would like to apply, please write to MWiB giving full details of how this grant would be used and whether you have already raised your own funds towards it. Letters can be sent to: MWiB C/o Touchstone, 4 Easby Road, Bradford BD7 1QX or by email to: finance@mwib.org.uk . Please ensure that full bank details are included.”


Dear All,

Happy new year to you from MWiB.


Following the huge disappointment of having to cancel the weekend at Swanwick in 2020, we have been determined to offer something in 2021, but sadly, we have made the decision not to meet face to face at Swanwick because of the ongoing uncertainties of life with Covid 19, and the need to keep everyone as safe as possible. However, we are delighted to be able to invite you to ‘Together, with Hope on the Way’, an online conference taking place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th April 2021. It will be different to our previous conferences, but nevertheless is an exciting new venture, which will be accessible to a wider audience.

Our keynote speaker Sister Imelda Poole will be joining us ‘virtually’ from Albania, to talk about her work educating and training young people to help prevent them becoming trafficked. There will also be worship, prayer and Bible study, plus news and information on the work of the World Federation, and a chance for us to celebrate 'together' the tenth anniversary of MWiB.

You can find more information and register your interest now on the MWiB website: https://mwib.org.uk/index.php/2021/01/15/swanwick-2021-together-with-hope-on-the-way/

I hope you'll consider joining us - and please pray for the conference as we continue to prepare and as we meet online.


"Lockdown Letters" were originally written as weekly pieces, sent to friends and acquaintances during the first five months of the national lockdown, following the spread of the global COVID19 virus in March 2020. Personal reflections on the positive and negative effects of the lockdown, the letters are a kind of commentary on this strange time which has the potential to change our lives, society and the world, for years to come. Price £6.50. Profits from sales of 'Lockdown Letters' will be equally divided between Medical Aid for Palestinians and The Fund for Human Need, a small, effective Methodist charity. Copies can be obtained from Warren at w.bardsley39@btinternet.com or 01543 255292.

This is a limited print run. There will be a small discount on orders of five copies or more.


PASTOR JOHN – A Practical Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel 

May I, I hope appropriately, commend to you a new book by my father, the Revd Brian Tebbutt, which is being reviewed in the Methodist Recorder this week, and for which a book flyer is attached.  Dad spent has spent his working life as a Methodist minister, and this book represents the distillation of his theological and pastoral experience and insights in a study of the first four chapters of St John’s Gospel.  You will see from the flyer that it carries a number of recommendations, so I wonder whether you might be willing to include it with any regular mailing in your District to draw it to the attention of lay and ordained colleagues for individual and group study and reflection, if that is possible?


The Revd Dr James N. Tebbutt

Chair of the Cumbria District of the Methodist Church


Syke Connexion Beats Coronavirus

Whilst much of the nation has been in some kind of lockdown, Syke Connexion has been making the most of the enforced closure of its premises. The onset of the pandemic threatened to halt building plans as funding streams for building improvements almost dried up. A new plan was devised to split the work into two phases and use existing money, before reaching funding deadlines and a loss of already promised pledges.

Building work started in October and the impressive but almost unusable and inaccessible first floor Wesleyan tiered pews are gone. By early in the new year, the building will open with twice the useable space and a building fit to welcome the community back to resume a more normal life. Sheila Acton, Chair of the Syke Community Base Board said ‘Work with the more vulnerable during the pandemic has demonstrated that the issues facing many local people have only got worse’.

Syke Connexion is a unique partnership between a Methodist church and independent charity and for the last 5 years has been providing activities every day to 9pm for 350 people per week as the only community provision in Syke and Healey in Rochdale. There is not, as yet, enough funding to complete everything in the building plan and some elements, including a new disabled entrance ramp will have to be left out.

The Rev. Helen Johnson from Syke Methodist Church said ‘One way or another, we will complete our plans to make the building in Syke fit for our community’. Further funding opportunities are being explored, including any links with local business. A Go Fund Me site named ‘Syke Community Base’ has already raised over £800.

Further information about the work of Syke Connexion can be found on https://sykecommunitybase.com or www.smcr.org.uk


Church Magazine Competition 2021

I am asking for your help once again to advertise the Association For Church Editors’ 2021 magazine competition. This is an annual event, although we have different categories of magazine which cycle from year to year. This time we are asking for magazines printed in colour (even just on the cover) of any size, but not A5 (as they will come round next time).

I am attaching more information about the competition, a Press release, and an entry form. I am also sending a paragraph about ACE.

With grateful thanks

Angela Price (Secretary, Association For Church Editors)


Words, Images and Imagination – Andrew Pratt

This unique collection of original poems, watercolour prints and photos, all by the author, explores life in all its fullness – relationships, conflict, hope, time, age, memory and mortality. Reflecting the author’s upbringing by the sea in Devon, his training as a Marine biologist and his ministry in the Methodist Church, images of the sea and faith are lightly woven through its fabric.

A first collection of poetry and art by an internationally published writer of over 1500 hymns.

·       ISBN-13 : 978-1784567408

·       ISBN-10 : 178456740X

·       Publisher : Upfront Publishing 

·       Price (UK) £8 Available from the Author at https://hymnsandbooks.blog/words-images-and-imagination-now-published/  and also on Amazon


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.


RSVP - Listening for God's Invitation 

We would like to let you know about a series of events offered by the Learning Network in NW&Mann aimed at helping people listen for God’s invitation in their lives. Could you share this with anyone you think might find it helpful?


For many people, the changing world caused by Covid-19 has provoked questions about who we want to be and how we want to live our lives in the months and years ahead.

Whether in big decisions or small, we are all called to listen for God’s invitation to how we can best join in with what God is doing in the world.


RSVP is a series of Saturday morning sessions where we will consider how we pay attention to God’s invitation and how we understand what God’s calling might be in our lives.

Each session stands alone, and they fit together, so please do come to some or all.

The sessions are intended to offer you a focus for your discernment.


These sessions will be useful for:

•            those who want to reflect on how they can best respond to God’s invitation within their existing work, home or family lives.

•            those considering a ‘formal’ vocation in the church.

•            those wondering about a call to Christian mission or ministry outside of the church.

•            those exploring a call to serve God within the church in new or emerging ways


There will be teaching, group discussion, prayer and time to reflect on your own. We’ll also provide some optional materials to prepare before each session, and to aid your reflection afterwards. We encourage you to see the sessions and the optional explorations as one part of your discernment.


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


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




Bolton Circuit Children and Young Persons' Pastor


The Bolton Circuit of Methodist Churches covers the North and East of Bolton, stretching from Horwich to Edgworth.

The circuit is looking to appoint an experienced youth worker to develop existing and new youth work in the churches of the circuit and the schools and communities they serve.

The successful candidate will hold a professional youth work qualification or equivalent and be a committed Christian who is an effective communicator and able to build strong relationships with children and young people. They will work with existing volunteers in a variety of settings across the circuit including Sunday School, Youth Alpha and Youth Clubs as well as organising visits to youth conferences and holidays. The role is likely to include leading school assemblies.

The role will include motivating and training existing and new volunteers and church members.


£23,580 (JNC level 12 during probationary period)

£24,636 (JNC level 13 on completion of probationary period)


The role is subject to DBS checks and references.

There is a genuine occupational requirement for the applicant to be a committed Christian.  

For further information and an application pack please email petergreen451809@gmail.com

Application deadline 31 January 2021.


The Methodist Districts of Cumbria and Lancashire are looking to appoint a joint DISTRICT PROPERTY SECRETARY


Are you passionate about using the Church’s property resources for mission? Do you have a heart for supporting lay and ordained with property matters?


The role replaces two volunteer posts for a two year fixed term pilot project (with the possibility of continuing thereafter if successful and subject to funding).

Working flexibly and collaboratively with lay and ordained colleagues locally, regionally, nationally and ecumenically, the postholder will offer support and oversight for property matters within the two Districts (without directly managing property themselves), with a mandate to help churches better utilise, develop or dispose of their properties in accordance with national and local policies.


Salary: £33-38,000 pa
Start date: As soon as possible
Work base: Home-based, with travel required
A genuine occupational requirement exists for the post holder to be sympathetic to the aims and principles of the Methodist Church in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.


Closing date for applications: - 5th February 2021

Interviews (probably via Zoom) : - 24/25th February 2021


The successful applicant will require a successful Enhanced DBS disclosure.

For further details and application form: Mrs Carolyn Dickinson, Cumbria Methodist District Administrator – 07727 415400, cumbriamethodistdistrict@outlook.com



Methodist Women in Britain are seeking two volunteers to work with us as we lead this exciting and growing movement into its second decade


Communications Coordinator
To coordinate and develop the movement’s communication between connexion, districts, circuits and local churches, as well as with partner organisations and the wider church, and to raise the profile of MWiB through networking within the Methodist Church and at related conferences and events.
This is a five year volunteer appointment, beginning 1st September 2021, primarily home-based, and includes working collaboratively both online and in face-to-face meetings. The Communications Coordinator is a member of the Executive and Forum of Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB), and also acts as Area Correspondent for the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW).


Website and Social Media Coordinator
To work with the Communications Coordinator, Executive and Forum to keep the MWiB website and Facebook page regularly updated, and to develop an appropriate and ongoing social media strategy for the movement.
Beginning 1st September 2021, this is an open-ended volunteer appointment, primarily home-based, with the occasional online or face-to-face meeting with the Executive and Forum.

N.B. The Website and Social Media Coordinator is a new role, previously undertaken as part of the Communications Officer role. It may be possible for a candidate with the right skills, and able to offer sufficient time, to undertake both roles.


Please complete both application forms if you wish to apply for both roles together.


To find out more about MWiB and the WFMUCW, visit the MWiB website: www.mwib.org.uk
Application packs for both roles are available to download from the MWiB website, or by email from admin@mwib.org.uk, or request by telephone: 0300 030 9873.

Closing date for applications is Monday 8th February 2021, with interviews taking place week commencing Monday 1st March 2021.

Methodist Women in Britain – For women, for justice, for Christ


Fund for Human Need Vacancy for a Treasurer (voluntary post) Registered Charity No. 208866


The Methodist Church Fund for Human Need is a charity that gives one-off emergency payments to tide people over when they are destitute and desperate, irrespective of their faith, ethnic origin or circumstances. There has been a significant increase in the number of applications for help in recent years and some months as many as 100 people in need receive support.

The trustees are looking to appoint a successor to the Treasurer from 1 September 2021.

The Treasurer has responsibility for the financial management of the Fund and has regular day-to-day contact with the parttime Administrator and liaises with the Chair and the Grants Officer responsible for the allocation of emergency payments.

The trustees intend to introduce a new accounting system which will better facilitate the administration of the Fund and are seeking a person who possesses the necessary expertise and experience to advise on and implement this project.


For further information please contact the Chair, the Revd Roger Cresswell - 01543 473433 / FHNchair@gmail.com by 28 February 2021.


For employment and voluntary oportunities 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


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:



Dear Data Champions, 

The last 8 months have been unprecedented and have thrown up new challenges.  As we learn to adapt to a 'new normal’ way of life, we need to remind ourselves that some things do not change.

We have seen the two year anniversary of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 and although our main focus has been to ensure our premises remain a safe place for our members and users and navigating new recording systems of who is using our premises, we mustn’t forget our data protection responsibilities. As Christmas approaches and we move into the New Year, we are writing to let you know that we  have developed a Data Protection Annual Checklist to help Managing Trustees across the Connexion check that they are on top of their data protection responsibilities.

It is important that every Local Church, Circuit and District works through the Checklist on an annual basis.  

We are asking Managing Trustees to contact their District Data Champions in the first instance but TMCP, is of course on hand to guide you through any areas where further clarification is needed.   We also require that all Checklists are signed and dated by the Managing Trustees and forwarded to you so that you can keep a tally on who has undertaken the exercise and those which have not. The District will need to keep a register of who has completed the checklist and provide a copy to TMCP each year in May, to coincide with the anniversary of GDPR. The first checklists will need to be completed by May 2021 and the list sent to TMCP by each District. This is a requirement to demonstrate assurance by the Districts to the Controller, being TMCP.

We intend to release the Checklist for access by Managing Trustees via our website on Monday 21st December 2020.

If anyone in your District would like to discuss further what the role of being a Data Champion entails then please contact us on: dataprotection@tmcp.org.uk.

Best wishes,

Laura Carnall
Data Privacy Manager

Direct Dial: 0161 235 6777

Work mobile: 07880 191810


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