District Newsletter

District Newsletter – January 2022

Click here to receive by email

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! We have had yet another trying festive season which has affected not only gatherings of families and friends but also acts of worship. We hope and pray that next year will be better. I too have recently become a member of the Covid club but so far, the effects have not been too bad.


Faith brings comfort and consolation in trying times. One of the obvious features of worship over the Christmas period is its familiarity: the carols, the readings, the nativity, etc. There is something about the familiar which can be calming and reassuring and it becomes even more important in times of need.


I recently read an article about a woman who was trampled by cows and ended up badly injured. She was walking her dog in a field with cows and they turned upon her and the dog. Cows are normally docile but can understandably become aggressive when protecting calves. The woman, called Pip, was knocked to the ground and felt herself being kicked and trampled by the cattle. She believed she was going to die and sadly, her dog did. But what struck me was the fact that when she was on the ground she started to go through the words of the 23rd Psalm. At a terrifying time, when she believed herself close to death, she resorted to the familiar for peace and consolation. Although I couldn’t help but wonder if the line “lie down in green pastures” had a somewhat hollow ring.


I hope that the familiar rhythms and patterns of the church will nourish you spiritually in the coming year. I pray God’s blessing on you in 2022.


God bless






Leadership Book Club

A book club for leaders – lay and ordained, exercising formal and informal leadership in the Methodist church. A place to discuss, wrestle with, challenge and share our experiences, using two books on leadership in changing times to provide a focus for our conversations.

All take place on zoom, 7.30-9.00 pm

Book 1: Leadership on the Line Staying alive through the dangers of change by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky

13th January 2022 Part 1: The Challenge

15th March 2022 Part 2: The response

19th May 2022 Part 3: Body and Soul

Hosted by Rev Dr Andrew Lunn (Chair of Manchester and Stockport District) and Alison Ball (Coordinator of the Learning Network) on behalf of the North West and Mann Region it is open to all.

You can come to all the sessions or drop in and out, as you are able. We hope it will grow into a group journeying together wanting to be effective in leadership in a changing world.

Book 2: How to lead when you don’t know where you’re going Leading in a Liminal Season by Revd Susan Beaumont

14th July 2022 Chapters 1-3: Leading with Presence and Tending the Soul of the Institution

11th October 2022 Chapters 4-5: Deepening Group Discernment and Shaping Institutional Memory

6 th December 2022 Chapters 6-7: Clarifying purpose and Engaging Emergence

Book a space on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leadershipbook-club-for-leaders-in-the-methodist-church-tickets-203851404037 Further information from Alison Ball, balla@methodistchurch.org.uk


Growing Through Change & Conflict

Monday 24th January or Tuesday 1st February 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 for 24th January https://gtccjan2022.eventbrite.co.uk

To book your place for 1st February: https://gtccfeb2022.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information contact Graham Jones: jonesg@methodistchurch.org.uk

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.


Mental Health First Aid - Adult 2 Day Course

Online Course 1, delivered over 4 mornings: 26th Jan, 27th Jan, 1st Feb, 2nd Feb

Online Course 2, delivered over 4 mornings: 2nd March, 3rd March, 8th March, 10th March 9.30am to 12 noon

In person training at Swan Bank Methodist Church: 4th and 5th May, 9am to 5pm

Ruth Jefferies and Brec Seaton seatonb@methodistchurch.org.uk

What is Mental Health First Aid? Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course which teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. For more information visit www.mhfaengland.org.

What does it cost? Usually the course costs £300, however if you are connected to the Methodist Church it’s been subsidised to £50 (non refundable) Please don’t let the cost deter you. If you need help paying for the course please contact us for more information.

How to book your place;

Online Couse 1: Follow the link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mental-health-first-aid-tickets-216248794967

Online Course 2: Follow the link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mental-health-first-aid-tickets-216327139297

In Person at Swan Bank Methodist Church: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mental-health-first-aid-tickets-216356908337

Bookings close 3 weeks before the start of each course. Please note that by booking you are committing to paying for a place, attending all sessions and completing pre-course learning.


Spirituality, Scripture & Conflict

Thursday 17th February 2022 09:30 to 16:00 on zoom

To deepen our understanding of the wisdom and impact of scripture in managing change and transforming conflict.

Book your place at: https://sscfeb2022.eventbrite.co.uk For more information contact Delyth Davies daviesd@methodistchurch.org.uk

Bookings close on 2nd February 2022

The Methodist Church has a training partnership with Place for Hope and there will be a small charge for nonMethodists sharing with us on this day.

Please do not let costs deter you from joining with us.


Bullying & Harrassment

Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th February 09:30 to 13:00 on zoom

Join a group to explore some basic techniques to create good practices in ministry that address negative behaviour.

This course takes place over two mornings, please be available for both Wednesday and Thursday.

To book your place go to: https://bhfeb2022.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information contact Gill Thomas thomasg@methodistchurch.org.uk

Bookings close on 9th February 2021

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.


Line Management Training - Join the Learning Network team and identify the key skills and qualities needed to manage lay employees. Gain clarity on the different functions of line management. Understand the line manager’s role in the employment cycle. Understand conflict styles and conflict escalation.

When? All training is free and held online over zoom.

We are repeating each standalone day on the following dates: 23/02/2022, 18/03/2022, 26/04/2022, 09/05/2022, 16/07/2022, Each day will be run from 10.00 - 15.30.

To book on click here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/methodist-learning-network-33599752323


Sight Loss Friendly Church Tasters

Dear Friends

We are pleased to announce that we have released more dates for our popular Sight Loss Friendly Church Tasters. Please find further information below. We really appreciate your support of our SLFC initiative to help churches to welcome blind and partially sighted people.

Every 6 minutes someone in the UK starts to lose their sight. Sight Loss Friendly Church (SLFC), from Torch Trust, the UK Christian sight loss charity, are pleased to announce further dates of our popular Tasters. These 30 minute  Zoom sessions offer the opportunity to hear all the benefits of SLFC, meet the SLFC team and ask your questions. Sessions available are:-

Monday 24 January at 2:00 PM

To register please visit https://www.sightlossfriendlychurch.org.uk/taster. For more information please email SLFC@torchtrust.org.uk

Find out more at sightlossfriendlychurch.org.uk/slsunday


Which magazine is best? (click title)

The search is on for Britain's best church magazine. Entries are now invited for the annual competition run by the Association for Church Editors (ACE), which is an independent rather than a commercial organisation. The competition has been running since ACE started over 20 years ago.

"Church magazines are often a forgotten but effective means of communication," says Sally Churchus, Chair of the national organisation, "so we are keen to encourage editors everywhere."

For the coming 2022 competition, which closes on 7th February, awards will be made for A5 magazines which include all or some colour printing. The Gold Award winner will receive the John King Trophy, to be held for one year, while Silver and Bronze Awards will receive an inscribed trophy to keep, together with a Certificate of Excellence for display.

A panel of judges assesses each magazine, giving points for various aspects including cover design, headlines and clarity of the Christian message. The prize-giving in the summer is open to everyone, and will include a lecture by a Keynote Speaker and talks on various ways to improve your magazine. The date and venue will be announced in due course.



A picture containing logo</p>
<p>Description automatically generated

Local Preachers’ Retreat

Launde Abbey, Friday 13th – Sunday 15th May 2022


A Moment of Celebration inspired by Tom Wright’s book of the same title


Leader David Middleton

David is a semi-retired Quantity Surveyor living in Ely, Cambridgeshire. He is married to Susan and has two married children, Paul and Catherine, and four grandchildren. A member of the Reflect Executive, David is the organiser of the annual Reflect Retreat at Launde Abbey, an experienced leader of retreats, quiet days, and prayer workshops, and a Local Preacher in the Ely and Newmarket Circuit. For a number of years David wrote the weekly Meditations for the Local Preachers’ website, the Meditations are now available on The Worship Cloud website. 

We will be taking our inspiration from Tom Wright’s book, as we come together and are drawn into the quietness of God for a time of peace and stillness in the midst of our busy lives. The retreat will provide an opportunity for us to look at themes which incorporate Worship, Prayer, Liturgy and Eucharist.

The retreat will be in silence from Friday night to Sunday lunch time and will follow the familiar format of short inputs of approximately 20 minutes, each followed by ample time for private reflection, in the peaceful stillness of the presence of God.

A wonderfully peaceful and comfortable retreat house set in the rolling Leicestershire countryside, Launde Abbey offers space and peace for this time with God. More information available from Gill Dascombe chair@reflectretreats.co.uk

The cost for the weekend (accommodation and full board) is £225.


Retreats at Cliff College

If you’re looking for an opportunity to pray, reflect and spend time with God this Lent, why not book a retreat at Cliff College? We have two retreats in March 2022 – Holy Habits, led by Andrew Roberts, and Creative Arts, led by Samantha Tredwell. Both retreats include time for personal reflection and prayer alongside opportunities to learn and grow together as a group, all in the beautiful Peak District surroundings of Cliff College. Find out more and book at https://cliffcollege.ac.uk/courses/short-courses-cliff-retreats


Cliff Festival 2022

The theme for Cliff Festival 2022 (1-5 June) is Jubilee: Rule and Reign. We want to focus on what it means to live under the rule and reign of the King of kings, and to explore the call of God to evangelism and justice. Worship leaders for the weekend include Philippa Hanna, Noel Robinson and Tom Smith with Soul Survivor. Tickets, camping and accommodation are on sale now – and did we mention that Festival is completely free for under-18s? Book now at www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/festival-2022


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




Invitation: reconciliation and mediation pilot team - We are looking for more people to join the reconciliation and mediation team being piloted by the Methodist Church in partnership with Place for Hope. It would be great to hear from you!

If you are within reach of the Eastern, London or North West and Mann Learning Network Regions and would like to find out more please get in touch with Katie Bradley: katie.bradley@placeforhope.org.uk

Find out more about the project here.

Katie Bradley

Reconciliation and Mediation Team Manager 

Place for Hope

t: 07 881 498 813

e: katie.bradley@placeforhope.org.uk

w: http://www.placeforhope.org.uk​


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 www.allwecan.org.uk


A note from Rev Neville Markham ...  visiting restrictions remain in place in many hospitals but Chaplaincy Services are still working as normal so please don’t hesitate to refer a person for a visit.

e-mail is neville.markham@boltonft.nhs.uk or chaplaincy@boltonft.nhs.uk   Tel: 01204 390770. (for Bolton hospital)


Malham Chapel 

Malham Methodist Chapel has been recently converted to provide a splendid worship area and meeting space. It has a small kitchen and toilet and is fully accessible. There is digital projector for presentations.

It would make an excellent base for a day visit with great walks for all abilities and could be combined with an auto of worship or church training session.

If you would like further details please do not hesitate to get in touch.


MWiB Winter mailing.

Hello everyone

I am pleased to share with you my first mailing as the Communications Coordinator for Methodist Women in Britain. 

1. Prayer Diary December 2021 - February 2022
2. Winter Newsletter. This is also available to download from our website:  https://mwib.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/MWiB-Newsletter-Winter-2021.pdf 

It is the time where we are seeking to appoint our next President, more details are included in the newsletter. Please consider if God is calling you, or someone you know, to apply for this important role.  

I have been encouraged and challenged while pulling this mailing together. My thanks to everyone who provided me with information and helpful suggestions. You will see in the newsletter that we are reviewing all our communications channels and so please let us know what you value about how we communicate and any suggestions you have to make things even better.  


Irene Hayes
Communications Coordinator
Methodist Women in Britain


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:-




FREEPHONE numbers for prayers, reflections and news from the Methodist Church

Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514

Listen to a pastoral message from the President and Vice President: 0808 281 2695

Listen to our Podcast: 0808 281 2478 

Prayer updated every Thursday, Presidential message updated every Monday, Methodist Podcast updated fortnightly on Thursday.


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.





An exciting opportunity to work managing volunteers and supporting the existing projects, including the cafe and gardening project in our brand new church and community centre in Little Hulton.

Hours 16 per week: 5 on Tuesdays, 5 on Thursdays and the rest flexible.

Salary £8470-£9650 pa

Closing date 3rd February 2022

Further details and application form from Christine Thaio, Circuit Administrator, Farnworth and Worsley Circuit on fawcirc@gmail.com 



The position of “ Circuit Administrator “ has become vacant. The administrator will work closely with the Superintendent Minister and the Circuit Leadership Team to enrich and enable the work of the mission of  the church within the community and the Church fellowship.

12 hours a week (flexible)

£8.91 an hour (National living wage)

Closing date; 4th February, 2022

For further details please contact Margaret Sowerby on margaretsowerby@yahoo.co.uk

Please remember this vacancy in your prayers for God to guide us to right person to fill this important role.


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 - boltonandrochdaledso@dso.methodist.org.uk

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

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


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


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