District Newsletter

District Newsletter – May 2018


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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 then please contact us so we can include

in future editions. Please share this newsletter around your churches, circuits and contacts.


Events & Dates for your diary:


For District Diary Dates visit the District Website: www.barmd.org.uk


Firefest 2018:

8th May Bolton Road Methodist Church, Bury, BL8 2NZ 7.30pm

10th May Leyland Methodist Church, Leyland, PR25 3HA 7.30pm

A festival of events celebrating Christian Holiness.

With Shane Rootes (Worship and Creative Arts pastor at a Church of 3000 people in Washington DC. Shane will be returning to the UK especially for Firefest)

and Rev Rob Cotton (Minister of Knutsford Methodist Church and a leader of Firefest, Rob was with Bible Society as its campaign manager for eight years)


Saturday 12th May: United Christian Singers present ‘A Journey to Hope’

7:00pm at St John’s Methodist Church, 3 Victoria Road, Horwich, Bolton BL6 5PJ

Retiring collection in aid of church funds.

Enquiries: 01204 669912   www.stjohns.horwichmethodist.org.uk


11th & 12th May: Flourish 2018 ‘Limitless’

We are delighted to welcome Newcastle Methodist District's Evangelism Enabler Elaine Lindridge to lead this year's Flourish. At: St Paul’s Church, Moor Lane, Kersal, M7 3WX. 

We are all constrained by an incomplete understanding of God's love. We may know God's love is immeasurable and without boundaries, but do we accept that His limitless love is for us and for all people? Are we prepared to share it with others?

You are warmly invited to attend all or part of the weekend. There's no charge; the final session includes an offering with any surplus being donated to Christians Against Poverty.


Big Church Day Out (BCDO): 26-27 May in West Sussex & 1-2 June in Cheshire

If you’re not familiar with us, the Big Church Day Out (BCDO) is the UK’s largest annual gathering of the wider church that creates a space for all denominations and ages to gather each year for 2 exciting days of worship and celebration. BCDO is held on two sites- Wiston House in West Sussex and Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire. In 2018 BCDO South celebrates its 10th event, plus we will be returning to Cheshire for BCDO North’s second year. The Big Church Day Out has grown year after year, and in 2018 we will be expecting around 40,000 to gather between the North and South events.

The Big Church Day Out draws together tens of thousands of Christians from all over the UK and Europe to worship and celebrate all that is good. It’s a one-of-a- kind expression of church unity that’s as vibrant and varied as its wonderful guests. Whatever your age, denomination or musical taste, you are welcome to join us for two days of discovery and enjoyment you’ll never forget. www.bigchurchdayout.com


Growing Through Conflict

Consider your ‘conflict style’, and how you respond in difficult or tense situations. Explore how conflict escalates in a church context and begin to consider some tools to de-escalate conflict.

Saturday 19th May 2018 Trinity Methodist Church, Goosnargh, PR3 2AX

Thursday 7th June 2018 Upholland Methodist Church, Skelmersdale, WN8 0NR


Sunday 27th May: Ordinands Testimony Service for Rev Jez Hackett

6pm at Heaton Park Methodist Church, (Bury Circuit) Bury Old Road, Prestwich, M25 1JA


1st -3rd June: Connecting Disciples 2018

Lay employees Conference at Cliff College, Derbyshire. See: http://www.methodist.org.uk


9th June: Spirituality day

A one off spirituality day conference in Liverpool for the spiritually curious

Check out the save the Date e-flyer and like the Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/194098601340312/ and watch out for more info as the day comes nearer. Bookings will as usual be via Rob at NWMannNetwork@gmail.com


Bullying and Harassment

Consider the dynamics that lead to Bullying and Harassing behaviour, and consider some basic skills to become more confident when meeting people who display such behaviour.

Thursday 20th September 2018 Upholland Methodist Church, Skelmersdale, WN8 0NR


Tuesday 16th – Thursday 18th October: REFLECT Methodist Spirituality, Northern Retreat

‘Water from our own Wells’ At: The Briery Retreat Centre, Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Leader: Henry Morgan Cost £200

At the foot of Ilkley Moor in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, The Briery is a place of spiritual renewal, where those who come can find God in an atmosphere of love, prayer, healing and peace.

This will be mostly a silent retreat.

Interested? Contact Rev Sandie Exley-Watts sandie@exleywatts.me.uk 01924 840219


13th October: LP&WL Study Day

Revd Dr Pete Phillips, from St John’s College, Durham, is coming to lead a LP&WL study day based on his new book Engaging the Word. Venue info will follow nearer to the time.


News from Circuits:


From Spotland Methodist Church, Rochdale and Littleborough Circuit

On Good Friday, Paul and I were lucky enough to attend our first ever service of light and darkness. We began the service with fourteen candles lit at the side of the room. We then followed through Mark’s gospel outlining the events of Good Friday extinguishing a candle at each major event. There were around twenty-three of us altogether and the feeling of love and community was alive in the room. It was a sombre service; but, we were in it together. Paul and I (new to church as we are) were not sure what to expect - but I cannot express to you how glad we were that we went. I could not recommend enough that you attend if there is one again next year! For me personally, there were two things that made the service particularly special. We would read a section of the story, reflect together, extinguish a light and then pause and reflect silently on our own. This pausing to reflect is something I often forget to do, yet it is so important. I make time to pray daily, but there are only seconds between the end of my prayer and my jumping on to doing the next thing! More often than not, I forget to listen. I forget to reflect on what the Lord has done for us and what I should do for Him. This encouragement to pause, to listen, to remember and to pray was vastly important. It encouraged me to listen, to understand and to feel about what actually happened to Jesus and why it happened.

 The second thing that made it special was the silence and the way this juxtaposed the Easter Sunday Service. The room was silent. We were lost in our thoughts of the terrible events of Good Friday. It was a sad occasion and as the last candle was xtinguished a separation from the Lord was felt as we heard of his cries, “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?” I think we all felt the grief of our loss in this moment.

 Our feelings began to heal however, on Easter Sunday with biscuit decorating, a Lego movie, cross words, colouring, a group of playing children, an egg hunt and free chocolate eggs!!! I think the way these two services worked together – the silence and the noise – really demonstrated the absolute sorrow and the absolute joy of Easter time. The loss of Jesus in the cruellest of circumstances and the promise of new life, a resurrection, salvation, love and forgiveness. To attend one service without the other; only paints half the picture.

 Of course, this is only my own self-indulgent interpretation. To find out what it’s about for yourself; you’d have to get yourself to the next one.  Love and well wishes, Sarah


Training Opportunities:


DMLN (Discipleship Ministries & Learning Network): North West & Mann Region

See:  www.methodist.org.uk/nwm


Our DMLN Team have various events and training coming up so please visit the website for further information of what is coming up this year - http://www.methodist.org.uk/learning/network-regions/north-west-mann-region/key-areas-of-work-for-201718


Growing Through Conflict

Consider your ‘conflict style’, and how you respond in difficult or tense situations. Explore how conflict escalates in a church context and begin to consider some tools to de-escalate conflict.

Saturday 19th May 2018 Trinity Methodist Church, Goosnargh, PR3 2AX

Thursday 7th June 2018 Upholland Methodist Church, Skelmersdale, WN8 0NR


Bullying and Harassment

Consider the dynamics that lead to Bullying and Harassing behaviour, and consider some basic skills to become more confident when meeting people who display such behaviour.

Thursday 20th September 2018 Upholland Methodist Church, Skelmersdale, WN8 0NR


Worship: Leading and Preaching course tutors' training

The Tutor Training day for new Tutors is on 9th June from 10:00am till 4pm at Altrincham MC.


The Continuing Development Days for Current Tutors of the W:LP course are:

2nd June 2018, 24th November 2018, 8th June 2019, 28th November 2019

The purpose of the days are:

• For those tutors who have students’ who have had portfolios submitted in that period to hear feedback

• For all tutors to be given additional training and support to help them develop as tutors.

• The focus of the training is chosen in response to areas of weaknesses found Connexionally in portfolios.

• To hear Connexional updates relating to the course and to give feedback to the Learning Network to feedback to Connexional colleagues.

• To meet other tutors, build connections and support.

For further details contact Jasmine Devadason at devadasonj@methodistchurch.org.uk  

Please book through Rob at NWMannNetwork@gmail.com



Children and Family Worker

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a part time enthusiastic, motivated, Christian staff member with the Wigan Methodist Circuit to develop work with children and families in two churches on the west of Wigan. The Circuit is looking to employ a Children and Families for 20 hours per week, to be based at Bispham, Billinge and The Vale Church, Appley Bridge. The remuneration will be £10 per hour, on a fixed term contract for three years

Main Job Purpose

•         To build and develop outreach work with children and their families.

•         To walk alongside and build pastoral relationships.

•         To plan and deliver special events for children and families.

•         To support, develop, and motivate existing leaders and helpers.

Closing date for applications - Friday, 11th May, 2018.

Interviews will be held week beginning Monday, 11th June, 2018.

For an application pack is available from the Wigan Circuit Administrator – email wiganmethodist@outlook.com Or contact Senior Circuit Steward Mrs. Margaret Sowerby.


Pioneer Ministry Enabler

The Chorley and Leyland Methodist Circuit seeks applications for the appointment of a

Pioneer Ministry Enabler based on Buckshaw Village, Lancashire.

Funding is available for a five-year appointment.

Salary between £21,000 - £24,000 according to experience. Further details and application pack available from Kathryn Townson office.chorleyandleyland@gmail.com 07806 783263

Closing date for applications is 31st May 2018 Interviews to be held w/c 11th June 2018

There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the post-holder is a practising Christian.


Lay Pastoral Minister

As part of a new and exciting mission strategy, the Preston Ribble Methodist Circuit is seeking to appoint an energetic, imaginative, experienced and suitably qualified person to the position of Lay Pastoral Minister in the Preston Ribble Methodist Circuit. This is an exciting opportunity to:

• Develop sustainable patterns of pastoral ministry across the circuit in both churches and communities.

• Take on a pastoral ministry workload in partnership with the Circuit Ministry Team.

• Equip, encourage and support those involved in offering lay pastoral ministry across the circuit.

Hours: Full-time (40 hours a week) Salary: £24,630

Closing date: 4th June 2018 (Interviews will be on June 21st 2018)

For employment pack and application form please email:  Mrs Margaret Squire on margaretsquire@gmail.com Information pack available on the Preston Ribble website: www.prestonribblemethodistcircuit.org.uk. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the post-holder is a practising Christian.


10 Volunteers needed for the Connexional Grants Committee and Streams

We are seeking volunteers (lay or ordained) to contribute to this important piece of mission resource work for 3-6 years. New Members are needed as follows:

  • Connexional Grants Committee – 1
  • Mission and Ministry Stream – up to 3
  • MELD (British grants) – 1
  • World Church Approvals Group - 3

We particularly welcome Black and Ethnic minority applicants, young people and women who are under-represented within the constituent groups of the Connexional Grants Committee.

Closing date: 12 noon on Monday, 9 July 2018. Interview & Information day: Monday 23 July 2018 (all day) in London. Expenses will be paid. Another day may be arranged if necessary. Further details and Expression of Interest form from: Development & Personnel Office, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR http://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/connect/jobs-volunteering/   E-mail: recruitment@methodistchurch.org.uk




Quiet Days at Chapel in the Fields 

We are offering Quiet Days at The Chapel; May 9th, June 9th, July 11th, August 8th, September 12th, October 10th, November 17th, December 12th - 9:30am for 10:00 start and finish by 3:15pm. Spaces will be limited so please contact tcitf15@gmail.com if you would like attend. We are asking for £10 donation for the day to include a simple lunch.



Christian Aid News:


Stories of Hope: Friday 27 April 10.00am – 4.00pm

Join us for Christian Aid's first North West conference! Connect with other supporters to share ideas and engage more with Christian Aid's movement for justice.

There will be the opportunity to hear from the Bishop of Manchester and from our Haiti Country Manager, Prospery. Find out more about our brand new campaign, and so much more!

We are looking forward to seeing you there! Manchester Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1JQ. Suggested donation: £8 to cover catering costs.

For more information, contact Bex Turner (01925 582 817).


Is your business truly sustainable? inclusive? ethical?

  1. Aid and the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce invite you to join them for breakfast, on Monday 30th April, 8.30-10.00am, and explore how you can be supported and inspired to develop a more values based business which has human flourishing and care for creation at its heart. Want to find out more about how your business can not just strive to be the best in the world but the best for the world? This event will mark the launch of a new Aid business network, Salt, in the NW and also a series of training events (to be hosted by the Chambers) which aim to support business leaders to develop more ethical, sustainable and inclusive practices. If you would like to explore how business leaders are uniting to eradicate poverty and how you could be part of this growing movement please register for your free place now at https://saltnw.eventbrite.co.uk or email us at salt@christian-aid.org. Find out more at: The Salt Business Network | Aid


Christian Aid Week: 13-19 May 2018: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/christian-aid-week


How to become a Fairtrade Church:

The three goals: To be part of the campaign by becoming a Fairtrade Church, please register with us. www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/in-your-community/faith-groups/fairtrade-churches