District Newsletter

District Newsletter – February 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


I’ve often been told that church meetings are not “business-like”. It’s a fair criticism, but after taking the criticism on the chin I go on to say that church meetings are a hybrid between a business and fellowship; even if we are arguing about what colour to paint the vestry toilets we do it in Christian love.


The Conference report, Living with Contrary Convictions, highlighted the fact that there are a number of issues over which we will not come to a common mind, but that the manner of our disagreeing says something about us. The God in Love Unites Us (GILUU) proposals have brought some of our disagreements into sharp focus. Incidentally, I really do wish someone had thought of a better name than “God in Love Unites Us”; that has not been my experience!


The Methodist Conference last year did not discuss GILUU. That was because Synods had not discussed and expressed a view. However, it is something we need to do at Synod this year. We have come to a mind to have an additional Synod so that we can do justice to the proposals and have time to go through the debate and voting. The chosen date for this special Synod is Saturday 27 March, 9.30am -12.30pm via Zoom.


Some people – on either side of the argument to put it bluntly – have expressed some frustration at not getting a vote. Rightly or wrongly, Conference has taken the view that Synods vote on the proposals. I would encourage those of you who would like to express a view to contact your Circuit Representatives who are appointed to Synod. They are not delegates and will vote as they are moved, but I hope they will listen to the variety of opinion.


Finally, I am aware of the stresses and strains that so many people are under at the moment. I continue to pray for the District and ask that God will protect and guide you in these challenging times.


God bless,






A day of teaching and mutual support for those in ministry for less than 5 years, student ministers and spouses (where applicable).

SATURDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2021 10.00AM - 3.00PM, Cost: £5 (per person or couple)

Led by: The Revd Chris Briggs, District Mission Enabler in the Nottingham and Derby District

Hosts: The Revd Len Pereira The Revd Derek Balsdon


Methodist Schools webinar: so, you’re interested in school chaplaincy?


Every couple of years, Methodist Schools organises an informal session for people to find out more about school chaplaincy and explore whether it might be a calling for them. This year we are running the session by webinar on 3rd March at 2.00pm – 3.45pm. There will be an overview of the nature of chaplaincy from the leader of the Centre for Chaplaincy in Education and reflections on the nature of the work from serving chaplains in the state and independent sectors – and from a headteacher, talking about why it is important to the school.


This session is aimed at people who might be interested in working in school chaplaincy, whether lay or ordained. It’s being run by Methodist Schools, so it will be coloured by experience within that sector but will have a more general appeal if chaplaincy is your area of possible interest. It would also be valuable for people about to embark on a school chaplaincy role – maybe someone anticipating a station which includes a school, for example.


All interested people are welcome! If you would like to join us, please send your details to the Methodist Schools office (oolayinka@methodistschools.org.uk) and we will send you joining instructions.


With thanks



Barbara Easton

Head of Service | Methodist Academies and Schools Trust

Registered charity: 1160838

25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR

T: 020 3903 9078 (direct) | 020 7935 3723 (office)




Methodist Women in Britain (Bolton & Rochdale District)


Invite you to ‘Coffee and Contemplation’ on  Saturday 13th March 2021 at 11:00 am – 11:45 am

  • a quiet time of words, music and fellowship based on the reflections of Jan Richardson - “Wise Women also came” www.sanctuaryofwomen.com

Get comfortable, get a coffee and join us……. All are Welcome

Via Zoom: details available via your local MWiB representative or phhill28@gmail.com


A Local Preachers’ Way of Life, Tuesday 23rd March 2-4pm and repeated on Thursday 25th March 7:30-9:30pm

A Methodist Way of Life is a way of living. It is how we try to live our lives in response to God’s love, made known to us in Jesus.”

The SIR are delighted to welcome back former President of Conference Revd Dr Roger Walton, author of A Methodist Way of Life, and Bob Bartindale, Officer for Worship and Local Preachers with the Connexional Team. We will also hear from a range of folk who are using a MWOL in their context.

Together we will look at how a MWOL can enrich your life and ministry as a Worship Leader and/or Local Preacher. This will be through the lens of personal spirituality and shared development. You will also have the opportunity to discover how MWOL resources can be applied in preaching and worship leading

This will be on Zoom. For more information and to register please use this link.



Growing Through Conflict -  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


Online courses at Cliff College

[Through Women in the Bible] I have been inspired to look at the difficult issues with fresh eyes and a better understanding. I have been encouraged to look again at those passages in the Bible which seem to criticise women and look down on them, and find they do nothing of the kind.

I’ve just finished Studies in Ephesians, and I must say WOW! I listened to each section at least three times, there was just so much in it.

If you haven't checked out Cliff College’s online courses yet, what are you waiting for? We have a variety of courses available, all self-paced so you can work through the teaching in your own time. See a full list of available and upcoming courses on our website:

For more information, email enquiries@cliffcollege.ac.uk


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



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.


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


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


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


Theological Reflection in Practice

All facilitated by Learning Network via Zoom 14:00-15:30.

Leadership: collaboration and participation

12th January              Worship

10th February            Learning & Caring

11th March                 Service

6th May                       Evangelism


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




News from Action for Children 

Count Your Blessings

What will you be doing this Lent? We’d like you to join us for 40 days of making life better for children across the UK.

We’ve created an inspiring calendar of activities. Each day, you’ll be asked to do something meaningful. It might be giving money to those in need, saying a prayer for a child, or spreading the word about our work. So, download your copy from our website: http://bit.ly/AfC-Lent.


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


"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


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.


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.




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



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



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.

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 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