District Newsletter

District Newsletter – May 2024

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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.


Letter from Rev David Burrow, Superintendent of the Rossendale Circuit


Dear Friends,

            POWER. How much power do you wish you had? A couple of days ago a friend said to me, “If you listened to the news all the time you could get really depressed, couldn’t you?” I had to agree. In the light of the ongoing conflicts across the world we feel utterly powerless. Every Sunday evening at 6:00pm a small group of Christians meet at the cenotaph in Rawtenstall to pray for peace in Ukraine; the prayer meeting started as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine and has met every week since – whatever the weather. Over two years now we have persisted in prayer. Peace, as elsewhere, sometimes seems an impossible goal. And yet, as Christians, we have a very important role to play. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9).

In 1987 after 77 deaths within two months in fights between rival black groups, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, at a Peace Service, said,

We do not come here as those seeking to be peace negotiators . . . We come as those who are constrained by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be peacemakers to those who are at daggers drawn. . . . So . . . 'Let us be the Church of God.' We don't have anything that we can offer the world except spiritual resources. We ought not to be ashamed that we are going to pray, that we have been praying. We have nothing else to give and we ought to be proud that we can put the world in touch with the greatest resource of all, God. We are fellow workers with God to change evil, to change darkness, to change oppression, to change chaos - into their opposites, their glorious opposites. So we are in touch with an invincible power . . .        (page 131 The Rainbow People of God).

The Archbishop could make this claim because he knew the power of God the Holy Spirit.

Poured out at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit transformed the frightened disciples into a group of people who changed the world. Filled with the Holy Spirit's power Jesus’ disciples willingly put their lives at risk to proclaim the love of God. They refused to be overwhelmed by all the natural and supernatural powers ranged against them. They knew that the power within them was far greater than anything the world could throw at them. When they experienced persecution they did not run away and hide, instead they had a prayer meeting, and what a prayer meeting! Having praised God they continued, 'Now Lord . . . enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus'. God answered their prayer and they were again filled with the Holy Spirit and were empowered to speak out more boldly.

God's Holy Spirit is the same today, ready and able to transform our lives, so that the Church can meet the challenge to change the world. The people of . . . . .  (fill in the blank with the place of your choice) can know peace again - our part is to be peacemakers through our prayers and for that prayer to be turned into action as we practically support refugees, asylum seekers, all who are in need and those working on the ground.

In the light of the changes taking place in the Methodist Church across the North West of England we do well to remember that we have a God who calls us to pray without ceasing, to seek His kingdom and glorify Him in all we do. As we pray for others around the world, let us pray for ourselves, God’s people, that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit, renewed and used by God to fulfil our calling wherever God sends us.

Yours in Christ,           







Dear Friends


NEWS: The North West England District is now on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nwedmethodists/ and the first few posts have already been posted! 

Please do take a look, like it, follow it, and ask churches and circuits to include in their own church Facebook pages. Thank you. 


Vacancies - Please click here to go the vacancies page for current vacancies for the North West England District. 


Jeremiah 29:11, says: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

We give thanks for the plans that God has for us in this new District!


Equip Series on Zoom

Come along to these information evenings and be equipped as we move towards the launch of the North West England District. 

A flyer is attached for circulation.


The recording of the second session is now available to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMrPj_F8hZw


(The recording of the first session is also still available to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dANf2e2mX0I)


These events will run on a monthly basis, and anyone is invited to attend any/all of these sessions. 

To Join: https://zoom.us/j/94658927054?pwd=ZmNKUGl3SWdIeXJsckZyZW5tT3MrZz09  (Meeting ID: 946 5892 7054 Passcode: 125750) 

To access via phone dial 0203 481 5237 or 0203 481 5240 and follow prompts


The other upcoming dates are: 

  • Mon 10 June 2024 
  • Tue 16 July 2024
  • Wed 14 August 2024

Perhaps you might wish to invite a representative from each circuit to join us. 


If you have any questions that you might wish to raise in advance of the sessions, please do email [email protected]


Reminder of the following:


We have various dates and flyers to share with you all, and hope that you will please circulate these widely in your Circuits and Churches. Please feel free to print and share them with others:


1. Launch Event - Saturday 31st August 2024

This event is an opportunity to celebrate as five districts become one, to form the North West England District. Starting at 2.30pm, the event will include the welcome service for Rev. Dr. James Tebbutt, our District Chair (subject to Methodist Conference), and will also welcome the wider District Team. The President of Conference will be preaching, along with the Vice-President and Secretary of Conference in attendance.

To be held at Victoria Hall, Knowsley Street, Bolton, BL1 2AS. A save the date flyer is attached for circulation. 


2. Video from James Tebbutt 

In this video Tori Allen interviews Rev Dr James Tebbutt, the nominated District Chair of the North West England District. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLnRNxKjGq4


James tells us:

- About himself and his background

- Some facts that people may not know about him!

- What is important about our new district

- Why this matters to churches and circuits

- What he hopes to achieve as our new District Chair (subject to Methodist Conference)

- And a word of encouragement to us all.


3. Video from Phil Gough

In this video Tori Allen interviews Rev Phil Gough, the nominated District Secretary of Ministries and Vocations of the North West England District. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g43r4J22Xb0 


Phil tells us:

- About himself and his background

- A fact that people may not know about him!

- What drew him to the role

- What excites him about the North West England District

- What he hopes to achieve in his role (subject to Methodist Conference)

- And a word of encouragement to us all.


4. Autumn Synod for the NWE District - Saturday 14th September 2024

More details about this will come to DPC meetings and Spring Synods regarding the Constitution of the new Synod and the arrangements. 

The Learning Network are offering some sessions for anyone in church life to explore endings and beginnings, there are a number of opportunities for anyone to get involved;

Wednesday 5th June 1:30-3:30 OR Tuesday 18th June 7-9pm. Book your place here


If you have any queries or comments, please do email [email protected]



Jill Orrell

(On behalf of the Communications Subgroup)

[email protected]


For your diary - Save the Dates


Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the Bolton and Rochdale District

Don't miss the unique opportunity to attend the service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the Bolton and Rochdale District , to be held on 14th July at 2:30 pm at Harwood Methodist Church , Bolton, BL2 3HX. (Car park BL2 3JP)

Join with us in celebration to thank God for all his faithfulness in the past, to recall his goodness to us,  enjoy photos and memories;  then to thank God and celebrate all that we are doing in name of Jesus, currently in the District, marvelling at the great things God has brought into being and that he has called us to partner him;  and , to celebrate with thanksgiving that God will not forsake us, but through the Holy Spirit will lead us on to new ventures  in fellowship with one another, visions of hope, and deeper knowledge of his ways.

Preacher: Rev Andrew Lunn

If you have photos of past events throughout the District please  send them to  Rev Chris Pritchard for compilation.

Sharon Harbottle


Welcome services

Bolton - Robert Kasema - Tue 27th August 7:30pm at St.John's Horwich

F&W - Stuart Smith - Sun 25th August 7:00pm at Christ Church, Little Lever

Wigan - Peter Powers - Sun 25th August 2:30pm at Queen's Hall




Parklife Sanctuary

Hi All,

As we get ready to enter May, preparations for this year’s Parklife Sanctuary Project and we are once again looking for volunteers to support this important work. I was hoping you may be able to share the attached publicity and statement with contacts, in notices/newsletters, and on websites please. Also, if you want any more information (or are interested yourself) please do get in touch.

“Last year Heaton Park Methodist Church hosted the Parklife Sanctuary Project for the second year and welcomed almost 2,500 people of all ages and demographics over our threshold across the weekend. We are a circuit run project that works alongside the Parklife Music festival that meets in Heaton Park to provide a safe space for all those attending the festival, and the many staff and volunteers who are involved in making the event happen safely. We also have good relationships with the local community and police who engage with us across the weekend too.

This year Parklife is running Saturday 8th June and Sunday 9th June, and the Sanctuary will be open between 10am and 3am on both days to welcome and help anyone who needs us. We are looking for volunteers who may be able to give a few hours of their time across the weekend to support this important outreach event, if you think that’s you please do get in touch. There will be training provided, a DBS required and always an experienced team leader on each shift so you’ll never be on your own. For more information or to sign up please email [email protected]

Even if you are not able to volunteer and help in person, please do pray for us, and if you would be willing to commit to an hour of specific prayer across the weekend, please do let me know too.”

God Bless

Rev'd Jez Hackett

Minister for Heaton Park & Prestwich Methodist Churches

Bury Circuit (6/8)

Tel: 0161 759 1751

Torch Trust for the Blind - Publicity Events

Dear Friends

I work for Torch Trust, the Christian sight loss charity. 

Sight Loss Friendly Church (SLFC) is our exciting initiative to help churches to become accessible for people with sight loss. We are providing some free sessions on Zoom for churches to find out more about SLFC. 

The session we currently have to offer is: 


Monday 3rd June at 2pm (1 hour)

Registration Link - https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIlce2srzIsGtwxyB-sNnmx_qgmDGzAzVaL 

Meet our expert panel from Torch Trust and ask your questions around welcoming and including blind and partially sighted people in all aspects of your church.  No question is too embarrassing, we’re all at different stages in our sight loss friendly journey.  As well as asking our experts, churches with experience of inclusion are also welcome to chip in with hints and tips on how they have overcome any challenges.

If you would like any further information please let me know. You can also visit our website www.sightlossfriendlychurch.org.uk

Many thanks


Ruth Johansson
Development Team and Operations Team Administration Worker
Torch Trust
Torch House, Torch Way,
Market Harborough, Leics. LE16 9HL, UK


Lay employee gathering: Endings and Beginnings
Tuesday 21st May, 9.30am-12.00pm

An online session to equip ourselves to understand endings & beginnings, and enable others to navigate through endings & beginnings.

Navigating our way to the new normal. 

Join us and other lay employees in the North West as we explore moving from an ending to a new beginning, where one phase concludes, making room for another to commence. 

A space to consider:

- A time of endings and letting go

- moving to the uncertain

- stepping over the threshold to the new

Bookings: Lay employee gathering: Endings and Beginnings Registration, Tue 21 May 2024 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

Welcome packs will be sent to those who give an address when booking on. 

Any questions please email Kristie on [email protected]

Kristie Eve (she/her) 

Learning & Development Officer | The Connexional Team  
Phone: 07799902582 | Mobile: 07799902582

Methodist Church House, 25 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SF   
| +44 (0) 20 7486 5502 | Registered Charity no. 1132208


Cliff College

Cliff Festival – at Cliff College and online

We’d love to see you at Cliff Festival (24-27 May) – day and weekend tickets are still available, along with some camping plots, and the full programme of sessions, seminars and activities will be available in the first week of May. But if you’re unable to join us on the Festival site in Derbyshire, you can still get involved through Festival LIVE! We’ll be streaming our morning Bible studies and evening celebration services, as well as exclusive online interviews with some of our speakers, musicians and contributors. All the info you need is on the Cliff College website.


Old Testament in a Week – a course from Cliff College

Cliff College’s Old Testament in a Week course does exactly what it says on the tin – it covers the whole of the Old Testament in one week! Join us from 22-26 July 2024 to explore the narratives, poetry and prophets of the Old Testament, and to understand how these texts are relevant to our current contexts and the issues we face as churches and as wider society. This course is ideal for ministers, preachers and teachers, and for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Bible and its importance in 21st century life. More information is available on the Cliff College website.


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Methodist Women in Britain

(Bolton & Rochdale District)

Saturday June 8th 2024, 1:30 – 4:00pm

Aspull Methodist Church, Wigan WN2 1PP

Japanese Culture:  Cherry Blossom with solid fill

Tea, Blossom, Peace (a time for fellowship, faith and reflection)          


Includes English Cream Tea



Safeguarding Training - there are several sessions planned between now and July 2024 in various formats. Have a look at the Events section of our website for more details and to register your place. District Events | Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District (barmd.org.uk)


Face to Face Foundation sessions

Tuesday 4th June 2024 at Harwood Methodist Church BL2 3HX

Registration from 18.00 for 18.30 start – 21. 00hrs

Tuesday 25th June 2024 at Cornerstone Church Westhoughton BL5 3RQ

Registration from 18.00 for 18.30 start – 21. 00hrs

To book onto either session please contact Ann Smith - [email protected]


The Avenue, Sale on Thursday 20th June from 13:30-16:30

If you have anyone interested, please ask them to contact Sue Cowlishaw - [email protected] to book


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




60  years of preaching, over 2,400 sermons, in Nepal and UK...

These were some of the facts that were given recently at the celebration service for Mr Michael Hawksworth , Local Preacher in the Bolton Circuit.  Rev Chris Pritchard, Superintendent minister of the Bolton Circuit presented Michael with a certificate from the President and Vice-President of Conference,  and  Mrs Sharon Harbottle, Secretary to the LPWL meeting, read the accompanying letter. The congregation heard an account of Michael's call to preach and his comments on the changes in training and expectations in services over the years. Having served as a mission partner in Nepal some of the vast number of sermons were preached there. Michael showed the congregation the record book that he had received on becoming a preacher , listing date, place , time and text of each sermon. This included, as a young preacher, a Christmas Day evening service at a chapel in Derbyshire. Prayers were offered for the work and training of Local Preachers and Worship Leaders,  and after the service there was a time of fellowship.

by Sharon Harbottle


ArtServe - an organisation for Christian creativity

Dear fellow Christians,
My name is Rachel Gallehawk and I am a Methodist Local Preacher in the South Essex Circuit but also a member of an organisation called ArtServe. I hope you don't mind me sending this email but I wanted to share the existence of ArtServe with you which I joined in 2019.
ArtServe seeks to explore and share creativity, develop ideas about how the arts can be used in worship, and to worship together. Its roots go back to 1935 as a fellowship of Methodist organists and choirmasters but in 2010 developed into an organisation with a much wider creative remit for Christians. 
ArtServe has many things to offer including an annual festival in October, a magazine published 3-4 times a year, facebook groups, financial support through the Freeman Trust grants for young people (although adults are not excluded) needing tuition to help with music in worship, a monthly online members chat, a website and a bi-monthly email newsletter. 
I have attached a copy of the latest newsletter which I would be grateful if you could share with others in your circuit. The newsletter is free to subscribe to and is delivered via email. Please also explore the website if you wish to know more about how ArtServe can support your Christian creativity https://www.artserve.org.uk/
Many thanks and blessings to you.

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Methodist Women in Britain


Please find attached our spring newsletter and prayer diary for March to May.

Prayer Diary March to May 2024

Remember that our website www.mwib.org.uk has all the up to date information and news about all things Methodist Women in Britain as well as every Saturday a new Prayer for the Week, regular blogs from our co-chairs and details of our merchandise and upcoming events.

Bronwen Braisdell
Communications Officer

An extra mailing this spring.

* Our Swanwick conference is now full but booking is still open if you would like to join with us by zoom.

* A poster attached for our Garden Party at Epworth Old Rectory (the previous one had an error on it!); booking opens on 28th March for this event.

Bronwen Braisdell

Communications Officer
All We Can


We hope this email finds you well and for those of you who attended, we hope that you are filled with enthusiasm from the recent ‘Charity Begins at Home’ fundraising event- your presence and support made the evening truly special, and we're immensely grateful for your dedication to our cause.

For those of you who may have missed the event, we're excited to announce that the recording is now available for viewing on our YouTube channel. Please do catch up on the inspiring moments, heartfelt stories, and the collective spirit of generosity that filled the night. You can access the recording by clicking here.

If any of what was said resonated with you and if you are still yet to give to support our mission of seeing every person’s potential fulfilled, then we encourage you to give what you can to All We Can today. You can do this by clicking here.

But the impact of our event doesn't end with the closing remarks. We invite you to take what you've learned and experienced back to your homes, churches, and communities and be the voice that All We Can needs so critically right now. Share the vision of All We Can and the work that we are doing to support vulnerable individuals and communities worldwide. Your voice, advocacy and financial support can help us to reach even more people in need.

You can further champion our cause, by joining our new Champions Programme. As an All We Can Champion, you'll have the opportunity to advocate for us in your local area, spreading awareness, raising funds, and making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve. To learn more and sign up, visit our website here: https://www.allwecan.org.uk/get-involved/champions/

Once again, thank you for your unwavering support and commitment to making the world a better place for all. Together, we can continue to create positive change and transform lives.

With love and every blessing, 

Finlay Adams-Brown
Relationships and Impact Officer 


New Methodist Church website launched

A new Methodist Church website has been launched, designed for individuals exploring faith and seeking to deepen their spiritual journey. The site features a contemporary, user-friendly design, improved functionality, and easy access to essential resources to assist visitors in their exploration of faith. The website is available at the normal address, methodist.org.uk, and you can read a short news release about the launch

Visit the new website here


The Methodist News

If you don’t already receive this you can subscribe online at:-



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.




Please click here to go the vacancies page for current vacancies for the North West England District. 



Youth Development Worker - Bolton

Part time for 12 hours per week on a fixed term contract for 2 years.

Salary; £8,555/annum (£13.71/hr)

The Triangle Community Methodist Church is a welcoming, family orientated mission church in Bolton.  We are looking for someone who will work with us and has a passion and expertise to develop our mission and ministry to young people aged 11 – 18.   We have a growing children’s and youth programme to the young people within our existing church family with a desire to further extend our outreach into the local community.

There is a genuine occupational requirement that the post-holder is a practising Christian in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

This role will require a satisfactory Enhanced DBS disclosure & the completion of the Advanced Safeguarding training course of the Methodist Church.

A JNC recognised qualification would be advantageous.

The nature of this role necessitates flexible working hours, including evenings and weekends.

Closing date for applications: 31st May 2024

Interviews: June 2024

If you have any questions or require the job description & personal specification please contact: [email protected]

To apply please forward your CV to: [email protected]


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Methodist Women in Britain


Here is an advert and role description for the position of Co-Chair to take over from Ruth when her term of office finishes in September. Please consider prayerfully whether this is a role you could consider, or pass the information to someone you know who might be interested in joining us.


Bronwen Braisdell
Communications Officer

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. District Events | Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District (barmd.org.uk)

Policies and guidance – the most recent are now available on the Methodist Church website: https://www.methodist.org.uk/for-ministers-and-office-holders/safeguarding/policies-procedure-and-information/policies-and-guidance/

District Safeguarding Officer: Email address Helen Bolton - [email protected]

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


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




North West England District