- District Life
- District Diary
- The Methodist Church
District Newsletter – July 2021
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.
From Rev Ruth Jackson, Deputy District Chair
As I write this The Methodist Conference is meeting and information relating to the conference can be found on the Methodist website.
The Revd Sonia Hicks and Barbara Easton were inducted as President and Vice-President at the Methodist Conference on Saturday 26th June. We pray that God will continue bless and sustain them during their term of office and as a District we will pray for them.
We also rejoice with The Revd Sarah Knebel who, with other ordinands, was received into Full Connexion and later Ordained on Sunday 27th June. May God continue to bless Sarah in her ministry in the Farnworth and Worsley Circuit, in our District and Connexion.
We as the Methodist people are all connected together, first of all through the redemptive power of Jesus and because The Methodist Church is a connexional church and we are a Methodist family. Our District is part of the Connexion, as is each Circuit and local church. We rejoice in our place within the Connexion and commit ourselves to pray for each other and walk alongside each other in love.
Deputy Chair of District
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.
Taster session for Worship: Leading & Preaching - Monday 20th September 2021 7.30pm to 9pm on Zoom
Wondering if Worship Leading and/or Preaching is for you? Have you had a nudge from God (maybe via the people you know)?
Come along to this taster session for conversation with accredited Worship Leaders and Local Preachers.
Growing Through Change and Conflict - Thursday 16th September or Thursday 30th September 9.30am to 4pm 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, conflict and change.
Please only book one day. To book your place on one of these two days, please email Rob Glassonbury at least 2 weeks in advance: Your postal address (to receive a booklet) Your Circuit or denomination if not Methodist NWMannNetwork@gmail.com
For more information contact Brec Seaton: email@example.com
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
Inernational 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
3Generate - Save the Date & Volunteer
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 are on sale now 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.
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 .
Dates for your diary: visit the District Website: www.barmd.org.uk
Action For Children - Many thanks to all the churches and individuals who helped to celebrate Action For Children Sunday recently. Boycott Your Bed, the lead-up event that took place on the preceding Friday was also a great success - it was supported by more than 3000 people, so far raising over £152,000. The generous donations will enable Action For Children continue to protect vulnerable UK children and families from the devastating effects of poverty and the pandemic.
MWiB Summer mailing.
Judith R Simms
Methodist Women in Britain
MHA Sunday webinar The MHA Sunday webinar is now available on YouTube https://youtu.be/pVE9U_Aegqw
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 allwecan.org.uk
How to Handle Later Life by Marion Shoard
I have been a member of several Methodist churches over the years and am also the author of a handbook for older people entitled How to Handle Later Life (Amaranth Books, 2017). My book’s 1,000 pages explore the main choices people face as they grow older and the ways in which they can avoid potential problems.
Reviewing How to Handle Later Life, Eric Midwinter, a founder of the U3A movement, wrote:
It would be difficult to visualise a more complete and wide-ranging compendium than this on how to cope with the pressures and perils of later age. ... Health, with more than 200 pages, housing, legal matters, finance and all other facets of later life are comprehensively and sympathetically treated, with a user-friendly structure and presentation. There should be a copy in every library, council office, doctor's practice, MP's surgery, Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK office, if not in every household.
Although aimed mainly at older people themselves, professionals from nurses to ministers tell me they have also found my book invaluable. Thus, in his review in the Methodist Recorder, The Rev Albert Jewell, Methodist minister for 58 years and former head of pastoral care at Methodist Homes, wrote:
Shoard addresses in a thorough-going and balanced manner the biggest concerns and decisions people face as they grow older… Reliable and comprehensive… It should be found in every public library… As someone who has been involved in dementia care and research over the years, I find the author's chapter on this subject particularly impressive. Its 25 pages are essential reading.
Over the last twelve months, the pandemic has taken away opportunities to sell my book, whether at speaking events, conferences and exhibitions or in bookshops. My publisher has retained copies for sale, but I have taken others which it would otherwise have pulped to reduce storage costs and am offering them free to individuals in churches, lay or ordained, seeking to engage with older people. If you are involved in work with older people with your church and/or your wider community and would like a copy, do drop me a line at PO Box 664, Rochester, Kent ME1 9JB with your name, address and a cheque made out to me for £3.70 (to cover postage and packing). For any questions about my offer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Handle Later Life puts forward a framework to aid understanding of the realities of growing older, both physical changes to the body and the particular nutritional, exercise and psychological needs of older people. It goes on to examine the challenges growing older in Britain today can bring in fields from transport, housing and healthcare to finance, help in the home and combatting loneliness.
You can see several sample chapters, the table of contents, introduction and reviews on Amaranth Books’ website (at amaranthbooks.co.uk/titles/how-to-handle-later-life). My website (at marionshoard.co.uk) provides information about my background and activities, including within the ecumenical group Christians on Ageing, of which I am a trustee.
With best wishes,
Confident Christianity - Interfaith Engagement and understanding for Christians and their church communities
Sessions for Methodist Churches - The St Philip’s Centre is delighted that the Methodist Connexion has given us a grant to fund work enabling Methodists to join in with this exciting journey of faith. We expect this project to enable participants to increase their awareness of God’s presence; help people to learn and grow as Christians; and become good neighbours with people of different cultures and faiths. In reference to “Our Calling” and the priorities of the Methodist Church, the project will enable participants to develop and grow their confidence in sharing their faith in a way that makes sense to those of other faiths and also enhance their own understanding of ministry and mission in a complex multi-faith, multi-cultural society.
The project will encourage participants to break out of inward- looking church life to make friendships and to speak of God and of faith with people they meet in multi-faith settings, as well as providing scope for theological reflection on those meetings. One aspect of Jesus’ ministry that really challenges me is the fact that he was really comfortable as both guest and host in all kinds of complex situations. As I read the Gospels, I regularly see Jesus cross boundaries, defy social convention and build relationships with the most unlikely of people. One of the ways I learn how to get better at that is through interfaith engagement. I have recently written on this theme in a book entitled Hospitality, Service, Proclamation: Interfaith Engagement as Christian Discipleship. As I look back on my decade or so of interfaith encounters, I realise that as a result of them I have become a better guest and a better host. I have learnt to be more nuanced and Christ-like in what I welcome and what I challenge. I have had many opportunities to serve people of other faiths, but also to be served by them. I have grown in my ability to sensitively share my faith in Jesus in a way that means it is actually heard as someone speaking good news, even by those who do not share my faith. Interfaith engagement is a great way to grow as a follower of Jesus. As John Wesley says in “On a Catholic Spirit” we must be confident and clear in our own identity, which enables us to be comfortable in engaging with others whom we disagree with. In particular we will work to grow participants’ confidence in appropriate sharing of their faith with those of other faith backgrounds. Interfaith encounter does not put up barriers to evangelism; rather it equips people to act appropriately, aware of the full implications of their actions and the care needed by those who convert to Christianity from other faith backgrounds.
Our booklet gives further information about the types of sessions we can offer. We are happy to run many of them online via Zoom or other video conferencing platform if that is easier for you. If you would like to know more, please get in touch with either James Blackhall – Churches Training Officer (email@example.com) or myself (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All the best
Revd Dr Tom Wilson,
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.
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.
The Brick - Queen's Hall Action on Poverty
We are recruiting Trustees.
Who are we? The Brick is Wigan and Leigh’s leading homelessness and food poverty Charity. We help hundreds of people access temporary accommodation and food. However, we are much more than just a provision for homelessness services. Our vision, “to work with people in need within our community and to provide RELIEF, RESTORATION and REFORMATION by offering tailored support, hope, and opportunity to those looking to improve their quality of life”, reflects our commitment to making a real and sustained contribution to our community. The Brick is not about hand-outs, but a hand-up to get people back on their feet and back on track. We have grown significantly in the last few years and are looking to increase the number of trustees on our board to reflect this, as well as to benefit from a wider range of skills and expertise in the governance of our charity.
Who are we looking for? We are seeking trustees who are passionate about our cause and want to use their skills and experience to help us make a difference to people’s lives. Trustees are unpaid directors of the charity, who work together to oversee the strategy, direction and aims of the organisation. Previous trustee experience is not required. The charity is founded on Christian principles and suitable candidates will have values which align with these. We encourage applications from people of any faith or none and welcome the opportunity for a varied board. We are interested in hearing from people from diverse backgrounds, ages and ethnicity. We particularly welcome applications from people with lived experience of homelessness, addiction or who have suffered poor mental health. We would like to hear from people with a range of skills. Particularly desirable is experience in: financial control, legal framework, risk management, e-commerce and marketing and PR.
What's involved? Trustee meetings are every other month (2/3 hours) and one full day a year, which includes some training. Some additional time is required to read the papers prior to meetings and a willingness to give time to sub commitees (ad hoc) would be appreciated. Trustees will get a full induction, ongoing training and can claim out of pocket expenses.
Methodist Women in Britain are seeking a 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 as this exciting and growing movement enters its second decade.
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 as required.
There is no application deadline. If you’re interested in this role, please complete the application form and return to MWiB by email as above, or by post to: MWiB, c/o Touchstone, 4 Easby Road, Bradford BD7 1QX Methodist Women in Britain – For women, for justice, for Christ.
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 - email@example.com
Update from Connexional Safeguarding Team:
Managing Trustees are advised that there are now 4 new data protection resources available to them on TMCP’s website:
1. Updated Document Retention Schedule for Managing Trustees - Updated Retention Schedule and other new Data Protection Resources – June 2021 –Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes (tmcp.org.uk)
2. The Annual Checklist in a shortened Word version.
3. Guest Wi-Fi Acceptable Use Policy - TMCP has been working with the Connexional team on producing an Acceptable Use Policy (Policy) for guests using Church Wi-Fi. This is available to download from the Safeguarding Forms section of the Methodist Church Website:
The Policy sets out the terms and conditions of the contract between the Managing Trustees and the guest using the Wi-Fi network.
The Policy should be displayed or be accessible to guest users by means of a prominent hyperlink before the user gains access to the Wi-Fi network.
The Policy must be available in a way that allows the user to store and reproduce it. You could do this by encouraging users to print the Policy/ the terms and conditions.
4. Zoom Guidance - New guidance has been produced by the Connexional Team as part of the Digital Communication Guidance for Churches. From a data protection perspective, please bear in mind the implications particularly with regard to recording Zoom sessions, deleting those recordings and locking the meeting to guard against “Zoom Bombing”: How to use Zoom safely and with integrity
Learning Network: North West & Mann Region
The Learning Network write a regular e-newsletter which is very informative. If you are new to the Region and / or don’t already receive this, please could you sign up by filling out your details here:https://www.methodist.org.uk/our-work/learning/network-regions/north-west-mann-region/subscribe-to-the-dmln-north-west-and-mann-newsletter/
Our Learning Network Team have various events and training coming up so please visit the website for further information of what is coming up - http://www.methodist.org.uk/learning/network-regions/north-west-mann-region
To book onto North West & Mann Region events contact Rob by email: - NWMannNetwork@gmail.com
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 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. 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 August 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.
If anyone in your District would like to discuss further what the role of being a Data Champion entails, then please contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data Privacy Manager
Direct Dial: 0161 235 6777
Work mobile: 07880 191810
HOW TO BECOME A FAIR TRADE CHURCH: The three goals: To be part of the campaign by becoming a Fairtrade Church, please register with us www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/in-your-community/faith-groups/fairtrade-churches
- Action for Children: www.actionforchildren.org.uk
- All We Can: www.allwecan.org.uk
- Bible Society: www.biblesociety.org.uk
- Children’s Bible stories: www.childrenschapel.org
- Christian Aid: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/
- Connexion website: www.methodist.org.uk
- Learning Network: North West & Mann Region:http://www.methodist.org.uk/learning/network-regions/north-west-mann-region
- Methodist Women in Britain: www.mwib.org.uk
- Methodist Publishing: www.methodistpublishing.org.uk
- 3Generate365: https://www.methodist.org.uk/our-work/children-youth-family-ministry/365