District Newsletter

District Newsletter – June 2022

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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'd Paul Martin, Chair of District

I recently received information about this year’s Methodist Conference in Telford. It will be my last before retirement.


The phrase, “sitting down” is often used in relation to Ministers’ retirement. I don’t know where the phrase comes from but I do recall that the late Rev John Munsey-Turner used to object to it. I’m not sure why but I think it was something to do with it not being a proper historical Methodist phrase. However, I have my own reasons for objecting to it…


This line of thought has been triggered by having bought a watch last Christmas (having a November birthday it was a ubiquitous “Birthday and Christmas present”). The watch records my exercise, movement, location, heart rate, inside leg measurement and yes, the amount of time I am standing during a day. I have noted that when I am not doing ministerial duties such as jobs around the house, shopping etc, I sit down less than when I am working. I could conclude that being a minister is bad for one’s health but a glance at the obituaries in the Conference Agenda will reveal that ministers’ life expectancy is longer than that of the rest of the population.


In conclusion then, when I “sit down” I will do more standing up!


Much of my ministry has been spent in meetings. I do not subscribe to the dog-whistle criticism that meetings are a waste of time (although most could be shorter!); they are a necessary part of getting things done and at best a source of fellowship. But the question remains: how much time do we spend sitting down and how much time do we spend on our feet, actively promoting the gospel and being disciples?


There is much to be learnt from the story of Mary and Martha. I don’t think the story was meant as an “either or” but illustrated the complementarity in listening and speaking, and doing practical stuff.


Perhaps then I should tell people I am looking forward to standing up.


God bless






Living with Sight Loss in Church

Dear friends,

It’s already June and the sight loss friendly church team has been busy holding Tasters, Training sessions and creating new content. We thank you so much for your continued support as we’re striving for churches across the UK to become sight loss friendly. So far this year 40 churches have signed up to become sight loss friendly, but our vision is to reach all 50,000 churches in the UK. Your help is vital so that blind and partially sighted people can be fully included in their church community. Watch our brand new insightful video where blind and partially sighted people talk about the joys and challenges of church life to get an understanding of how much your support can make a difference.


We are pleased to announce that we have released more dates for our popular Sight Loss Friendly Church Tasters. Over 300 people have now attended a Taster session. We would be very grateful if you could promote them in your newsletters and on social media. 

Please see more information below.

Tasters are held on the following dates:

Monday 4 July 2PM

Thursday 14 July 2PM

To book your place, go to


Many thanks for your continued support.

Becky Davies

On behalf of the SLFC team

Becky Davies
SLFC & Torch Together Coordinator

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Reflect Zoom Quiet morning

'Who is God?'

July 8th or 9th 2022

Further details at Reflect | Retreats (reflectretreats.co.uk)

Divine Holiness, Ordinary Intimacy - Durham July 2022

A Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation Sunday 10 th –Friday 15 th July 2022 – St. John’s College, Durham

Worship ~ Teaching ~ Silence ~ Reflection


Gemma Simmonds &amp; Andrew Walker

click here for more details and registration


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 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


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 on 16/07/2022 from 10.00 - 15.30.

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


Wesley House - NEW SHORT COURSE Leadership in the Wesleyan Spirit - July 2022


I wanted to bring to your attention a new short-course that is being led by The Revd Dr Adam Ployd, Vice Principal of Wesley House, throughout July 2022.


This four-week course invites participants to reflect on the nature of leadership within their own ministerial contexts. As the church faces a host of challenges, from declining membership to climate change, new intentionality is necessary for the work of leading God's people, whether those leaders be ordained or lay

This course provides the resources and space to consider how Methodists might bring a particular charism to such leadership in different contexts.

Further details and registration can be found here: CLICK HERE


Cliff College WLP Summer School: 1-5 August

The theme for Cliff’s 2022 Summer School is ‘Missional Engagement’. There will be two streams available – choose from The Spirit and Church Growth, taught by Rev Ashley Cooper, or Navigating the Culture, taught by Dr Ben Pugh. Come and join other Christians from around the country in learning, prayer and worship, fellowship and excellent food, all on the beautiful Cliff College site in the Peak District.

Book now via our website: https://cliffcollege.ac.uk/courses/summer-school


New programme at Cliff College – Foundations for Mission and Ministry

Cliff College is pleased to announce the launch of a new programme for September 2022. Foundations for Mission and Ministry is a part-time programme which will prepare and equip people to serve God inside and outside the church. Offered either entirely online or in a hybrid model, students will take six units over two years. For more information, please visit the Cliff College website.


Please find attached publicity for an in-person Adult Mental Health First Aid Course, which Ruth Jefferies and Brec Seaton will be leading at Fulwood Methodist Church on 14th and 15th September 2022.

The attached publicity gives the link to the Eventbrite, and it is also here:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/adult-mental-health-first-aid-tickets-338946898297


3Generate 2022 Update

We’re delighted to let you know that 3Generate, the Methodist children and youth assembly, will be taking place at the NEC in Birmingham again: the dates are Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October 2022. Do share this news widely across the District so the weekend can be pencilled into diaries.


3Generate the event is part of Generate All Year Round (previously 3Generate 365), which seeks to create spaces where children, young people, their families and households can experience God as part of both the global and connexional church.  In ways that recognise their innate spirituality and how God speaks and calls to them in the here and now.  3Generate and Generate All year Round seek to equip and enable children and young people to fully participate in an inclusive, diverse, justice seeking church that shares the good news through all it says and does.


Groups can stay on site for the entire weekend or visit for a day without an overnight stay. We know this flexibility is appreciated and means children and young people can participate in ways that suit them best. 3Generate 2022 tickets go on sale from 1st April to 31st July so groups can register and book tickets during this period but payment isn’t required until the first week of September 2022. This arrangement worked extremely well for groups in 2021 so we are pleased to be offering the same in 2022. We want to encourage everyone to start having conversations and making plans as soon as possible.  More information can be found here.


Have you seen the fantastic after movie from last year’s event? It’s a collection of all the highlights we enjoyed when we gathered together last October.  It’s well worth a look, especially for those thinking about joining in for the first time. It’s available to view here.


Finally, we want to say a special thank you for all your support and involvement in 3Generate so far.  We believe God continues to inspire and empower our children and young people to walk in faith alongside us.  We’re excited for where that might lead us into the future.


I look forward to hearing back from you if you have any queries, please feel free to reach out.


Every Blessing,

Daud Irfan | Youth President, The Methodist Church of Great Britain

The Connexional Team

+44 (0)20 7467 3777 [Direct Line]

The Methodist Church


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




Parklife Sanctuary

Every year 80,000 people from all across the UK (and the world) descend on Heaton Park in Manchester for Parklife music festival. Heaton Park Methodist Church is just a few hundred metres up the road from one of the main entrances to the park, and every years sees many thousand people walk past on their way to and from the festival. In 2020, we were in conversation with the festival organisers to use the church as a sanctuary space for anyone who needs it during the festival. Then covid locked everyone down and Parklife 2020 didn’t go ahead.

Following it’s relaunch in September 2021 we reached out to the organisers once again to pick up the conversations and see if we could be involved in Parklife 2022. After a few months of conversations between the church and the organisers we were given the go ahead to be an official part of the festival’s welfare team and the only offsite 24 hour provision. Thanks to the willing volunteers of the church, the circuit, the district, and a number of other local churches we managed to put together a team that meant we could be open from 9am on the Saturday Morning, right the way through to Monday Morning. We also had a great prayer team that organised a rota to be praying for ourselves, the people we met and the festival itself. At the beginning of the weekend we had no idea what we were about to see, with the training we had sharing some “horror stories” of some of the extremes that they had seen in the past and telling us this was their largest and busiest festival of the year!

In the end, across the weekend around 350 people, mostly aged 18-25 crossed our threshold looking for a safe space to find friends, wait for parents or a taxi, recover from having consumed too much of something, or just looking for a listening ear. We had an abundance of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and water, as well as sweets, biscuits and cakes that were all very well received. Some of the people we helped on the Saturday night stopped by on the Sunday to say thank you, some even tried to pay us! And throughout the two nights we lost count of those who told us how valuable and needed the work we were doing was. We’ve already had so many positive comments from people we helped, the local community, the organisers, and the volunteers that we can’t wait to do it all again next year! We were called a “lifeline”, a “God send”, have had numerous extra offers of help (from non-church people too!) One particular Good News story from a couple of girls who stopped by on the Sunday night to tell the story of how they found their friend the day before. “We spent 3 hours walking around the park looking for her and couldn’t find her anywhere and her phone had died, so we came here for a rest and waited. After half an hour we went back to try and find her and, as we walked out the front doors, she was right there. It was a miracle! We wanted to go to church to say thank you, but we slept in!”

Our hope is that these people, those we helped and those who saw us, will remember the church being there when they were in need and feel able to reach out next time they need to. We’d love to be part of someone’s story, “my first encounter with church was when I needed someone to help me at Parklife festival……”



Given that the world’s attention is focussed on the war in Ukraine it is important to note that Ukraine and Russia are two of the world’s biggest producers of wheat. And although the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently told the BBC that the war would not have an impact on our food supplies farmers across the United Kingdom, to quote the Farmers Guardian, ‘Farmers slam DEFRA’S blasé food security statement’. The war will impact on food supplies. The farmers of Ukraine need all the help they can get in order to produce some kind of harvest for their own people and to hopefully be able to export some stocks in order to boost their own economy.

Meanwhile the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustace MP, left farming chiefs flabbergasted when he told the BBC that farmers had managed to recoup subsidy losses through increased farm gate prices. This is far from the truth. And after his Spring statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer was accused of abandoning farmers. The rural community, thanks to Brexit and the lack of support from our politicians, is struggling. More and more farms are leaving milk production which has led to one of the big milk companies stating that they are worried about a milk shortage in the near future. The shortage of seasonal staff for a large number of our horticultural businesses has, again proved very difficult. The result of all this is serious concern about the nation’s ability to produce anything like the food we need.

Tragically, the high number of suicides among farmers continues to show no sign of abating and the services of charities such as FCN and RABI are in high demand. As chaplain for the Lancashire branch of FCN my thanks for your prayers for the rural community and a massive ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who sponsored me in the Wilmslow half marathon on behalf of FCN. Thanks to everyone’s generosity over £1000 has been raised and there is still time to give. My JustGiving page is still open at www.justgiving.com/David-Burrow1 Many of our rural churches have not reopened after the pandemic leaving communities unable to celebrate locally the festivals which everyone enjoys: the village Carol service, the Harvest worship and supper and to a lesser extent Rogation Sunday. Please continue to hold them in prayer. With poor internet access in some rural areas worship online is a challenge and social isolation continues to be a major issue.

If you know of anyone who needs help, please let me know or go direct to FCN, www.fcn.org.uk or www.rabi.org.uk, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and The Addington Fund, www.addingtonfund.org.uk 

Rural Mission Sunday 2022 takes place on 17 July - or whenever it is helpful for you to mark it. Visit the Singing the Faith and Arthur Rank Centre websites to explore their resources for worship. The Arthur Rank Centre has produced a series of weekly reflections in response to the Covid-19 pandemic: www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk The website also offers training schemes, discipleship courses, Messy Church materials for rural churches and lots of ideas for Harvest, Rogation Sunday and Plough Sunday. 

Rev'd David Burrow, District Rural Officer


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


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.




EVENTS MANAGER at Victoria Hall Bolton

Looking for something different? A new job using your skills.

We are looking for an outgoing and effective communicator to co-ordinate and run events within the Grade II Listed Building. This will also include the promotion of The Victoria Hall as a Northwest venue for musical and heritage events through all lines of social media.

Essential requirements include the promotion, marketing, and publicity of Victoria Hall as a premier centre for Events Conferencing utilizing social and other methods of communication.

35 Hours Per Week. Salary £25k+

The successful applicant will be in sympathy with the aims and objectives of the Methodist Church.

A DBS certificate will be required

For an application pack, please email Robert Marshall at jobs@victoriahallbolton.org.uk

Closing date for application: Tuesday 28th June 2022

Interviews to take place: Wednesday 4th July 2022


Circuit Administrator

The Farnworth and Worsley Circuit are seeking to appoint an experienced administrator for our friendly and forward-thinking circuit.

The post involves administration of circuit business and general office skills.

Good IT skills are essential.

The post is for 16 hours per week to be worked flexibly with occasional evening and weekend working.

The starting salary is from £8237 to £8961 depending on qualifications and experience.

Closing date: 4th July 2022

Interviews: 21st July 2022

Application forms and further information can be obtained from:

Gill Dascombe

Circuit Steward


c/o Circuit Office

Worsley Road North Methodist Church

Argyle Avenue

Walkden M28 3GD


Dear District Administrators,

I am contacting you today on behalf of Strathmore Road Methodist Church in Gateshead. 

We have two very exciting new positions open a Children and Families' Pastor and a Youth and Community Outreach Worker. The closing date for both posts is 6th July. I was hoping you might share it with your District contacts. 


WE'RE HIRING! Strathmore Road Methodist Church, Rowlands Gill, Gateshead


30 hours, £27,100 - £30,819 pro rota

37.5 hours, £27,100 - £30,819 pro rota

CONTACT william.gray@rowlandsgill.org.uk


Thank you very much for you time. 

Best wishes,


William Gray

Children & Youth Matters Secretary 

Strathmore Road Methodist Church



The Manchester and Stockport District Personal Assistant to the Chair of District


Are you confident with office IT (Word, Outlook etc.) and well organised? Are you personable, and looking to work as part of a friendly team? You might be the person that we are looking for.


The Manchester & Stockport District is seeking to appoint a part-time Personal Assistant to the Chair of District to join the District team on a permanent contract, 12 hours per week, from 1st September 2022. Salary £7,857.18 p/a (6% employer pension contribution)


Working directly with and for the Chair of District, who has responsibility for the oversight of a network of 130 churches and projects, you will assist and support in managing communications, diary appointments, and preparation for meetings. You will work confidently with standard IT software as part of a small District Office team based at Sale Moor Methodist Church, M33 2PP.


Application pack is available on the website https://www.mandsmethodists.org.uk/news-stories/vacancy-pa-to-district-c... or from the District Office: comms@mandsmethodists.org.uk


Closing date for application: Sunday 10th July 2022


Interview date to be arranged in final week of July.


Community Warden

Cliff College, located in the Peak District, has been training people in evangelism and mission since 1903. Today it continues in its mission to equip the church in evangelism and mission through a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, a wide selection of short courses, an annual Festival, partnerships with other institutions globally and churches locally and a busy conference centre and leisure business.

Cliff is now seeking to appoint to the new role of Community Warden. This will be a key role, overseeing the student life of the College, developing community cohesion, supporting the provision of student welfare and shaping the student spiritual formation programme.

We are looking for someone who:

  • has relevant training to support the post
  • has good knowledge of special educational needs
  • is a good listener
  • is passionate about developing a creative, bespoke spiritual formation programme for our students
  • is willing to play a key role in the life of Cliff College

If this is you then please contact the Michelle Foulkes for more information or download the details from our website: https://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/news-events/hiring-community-warden

Salary:                £25,000 with accommodation provided. All occupants of Cliff College premises will be expected to abide by the Conditions of Residential Occupancy.

Closing date:      12 noon on Tuesday 19th July

Interviews:         Wednesday 27th at Cliff College

Applications are welcomed on a College application form or through a CV with covering letter, outlining suitability for the criteria required.

For more information or to arrange an informal conversation about this post please contact Michelle at m.foulkes@cliffcollege.ac.uk or 01246 584200.


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 Helen Bolton - 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