District Newsletter

District Newsletter – December 2020

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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.


Advent Service of Reflection

Bolton & Rochdale Methodist Women in Britain would like to invite you to join us on Zoom on Wednesday 2nd December at 2:00pm for a short advent meeting including reflections, stories, music and messages. During this time of restrictions and lockdown this is an opportunity to meet and share fellowship with friends across the District to hear again the stories of Advent and the preparation of our Saviours birth – both traditionally and a more modern retelling.


The Zoom link is available from your local MWiB rep or from Philippa Hill (District Secretary) phhill28@gmail.com


Advent & Christmas Sharing of Resources

Thank you to everyone who joined us and contributed to the Advent & Christmas sharing of resources Zoom. For those of you who couldn't attend but are interested, here is the link to the various resources that we have downloaded and a word document giving the list of suggestions made at our meeting and the various links also mentioned. 


Please feel free to pass this on in your churches and circuits. If you have anything further to share, please email it across and we can upload it to this folder. 




Have you heard of A Methodist Way of Life and not quite sure what it is? 

Using a Methodist Way of Life – a Webinar

Thursday 10 December



You might have heard of A Methodist Way of Life? If so, and you aren’t quite sure what it is how it could be part of your churches’ mission and ministry, then this event is for you!


This introductory webinar provides some background to Methodist Way of Life and explores some of the ways in which it might be used in your context.

We will listen together to an introduction from Roger Walton, with some suggestions for the use in Methodist Way of Life in local contexts.

We’ll also have time for some discussion about how Methodist Way of Life might be useful for you and those you work with.


To book and to receive a Zoom link for the meeting email Rob at : NWMannNetwork@gmail.com



The Chapel in the Fields is hosting and online Advent Quiet Day on Saturday 12th December and Tuesday 15th December 10am - 3.15pm. There will be interactive Zoom, pre-recorded videos and emailed resources.

Spaces will be limited. Please book via tcitf15@gmail.com

They also have various video clips on their YouTube page which can be accessed via: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmA3ni5djtGlzxXf9FTGRwA?view_as=subscriber which you can subscribe to, feel free to use any of the videos included. However, there might be occasions when we schedule some of them for future Quiet Days, if that happens, they will show as 'private'.


MWiB Winter Mailing

Dear All,

Please find attached herewith:

~ MWiB Newsletter - Winter 2020 * www.mwib.org.uk

~ Prayer Diary - December, January, February

~ Call to Pray - November

* 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


“Methodist Women in Britain is pleased to announce a ‘2020 Emergency Discretionary Support Fund’ set up to help churches that have incurred unexpected expenses over the past few months. Single discretionary grants of up to £200 may be awarded to those churches facing additional unforeseen costs to assist their work and witness during lockdown and going forward. If you would like to apply, please write to MWiB giving full details of how this grant would be used and whether you have already raised your own funds towards it. Letters can be sent to: MWiB C/o Touchstone, 4 Easby Road, Bradford BD7 1QX or by email to: finance@mwib.org.uk . Please ensure that full bank details are included.”


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


Syke Connexion Beats Coronavirus

Whilst much of the nation has been in some kind of lockdown, Syke Connexion has been making the most of the enforced closure of its premises. The onset of the pandemic threatened to halt building plans as funding streams for building improvements almost dried up. A new plan was devised to split the work into two phases and use existing money, before reaching funding deadlines and a loss of already promised pledges.

Building work started in October and the impressive but almost unusable and inaccessible first floor Wesleyan tiered pews are gone. By early in the new year, the building will open with twice the useable space and a building fit to welcome the community back to resume a more normal life. Sheila Acton, Chair of the Syke Community Base Board said ‘Work with the more vulnerable during the pandemic has demonstrated that the issues facing many local people have only got worse’.

Syke Connexion is a unique partnership between a Methodist church and independent charity and for the last 5 years has been providing activities every day to 9pm for 350 people per week as the only community provision in Syke and Healey in Rochdale. There is not, as yet, enough funding to complete everything in the building plan and some elements, including a new disabled entrance ramp will have to be left out.

The Rev. Helen Johnson from Syke Methodist Church said ‘One way or another, we will complete our plans to make the building in Syke fit for our community’. Further funding opportunities are being explored, including any links with local business. A Go Fund Me site named ‘Syke Community Base’ has already raised over £800.

Further information about the work of Syke Connexion can be found on https://sykecommunitybase.com or www.smcr.org.uk


Quiet days for lay employees in January

Please see the attached flyer about Quiet days for lay employees in January. There is a limit per session so please do book in as soon as possible if you would like to attend. 


Church Magazine Competition 2021

I am asking for your help once again to advertise the Association For Church Editors’ 2021 magazine competition. This is an annual event, although we have different categories of magazine which cycle from year to year. This time we are asking for magazines printed in colour (even just on the cover) of any size, but not A5 (as they will come round next time).

I am attaching more information about the competition, a Press release, and an entry form. I am also sending a paragraph about ACE.

With grateful thanks

Angela Price (Secretary, Association For Church Editors)


Action for Children 

Thank you - Christmas is just days away! Even though it’s been a really challenging year, the unwavering support of the Methodist Church starkly stands out in our memory.

We weren't able to meet up with our Methodist friends during the Conference, MWIB Residential and Action for Children Sunday, but we still felt the impact of your prayers, friendship and gifts. We can’t thank you enough but at every opportunity, we will. Our Chief Executive, Trustee and the children we support recorded this video message for you: https://youtu.be/6Dxl9OLhdLo


Secret Santa is back! This festive season, Action for Children is looking for a sleighful of Secret Santas to support our Christmas campaign. For most of us, the festive season is a happy time. But there are children all over the UK who face a Christmas without food, warmth or love; Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on their lives. We are working hard to change this – and we need your help more than ever. To become a Secret Santa visit iamsanta.org.uk/methodist


Starry Night – virtual Christmas carol

On Tuesday 8th December, join us and families across the UK for an evening of Christmas carols, fun and festive cheer hosted by Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow. Tickets are £10 per household and will give you access to exclusive entertainment, readings, and performances from celebrities including Angellica Bell and Call the Midwife’s Jenny Agutter. All this from the comfort of your own home. Buy tickets here: www.starry-night.co.uk


All We Can  (Newsletter)

Let’s make this Christmas extraordinary! Your church might like to use All We Can’s Nativity – An Extraordinary Christmas – available as a video or as a script to use in your online church services over the coming weeks. Or you might like to join us for the Big Church Sing – Christmas Special – live on YouTube on Sunday 29th November at 4pm. Find out more and download additional devotional resources for the season at allwecan.org.uk/nativity

You can buy an Extraordinary Gift for your loved ones this Christmas season and help transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest communities. Let’s celebrate. Let’s give and let’s change lives together – start your shopping at allwecan.org.uk/Christmas


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.


Bullying & Harassment - Monday 25th January 2021 09:30 to 15:45 on zoom. Join a group to explore some basic techniques to create good practices in ministry that address negative behaviour. To book your place email Rob Glassonbury and include:  Your postal address  Your Circuit or denomination if not Methodist: NWMannNetwork@gmail.com. For more information contact Brec Seaton: seatonb@methodistchurch.org.uk. Bookings close on Wednesday 13th January. 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.


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


There is an online coffee morning every Tuesday 11am for 45 minutes – could this be for you or someone in your church?

What is it like?

It’s like a coffee morning (although you have to bring your own drink and biscuit)!

  • Spend time with other people informally chatting
  • Each week there is a reflection and prayer, and then we go in to small groups to chat. We either about the things the reflection made us think about or we chat about anything we want to chat about.
  • Here’s some reasons why people who currently go like it

“I like hearing what’s happening in other people’s churches”

“it’s nice to see people’s faces”

“It’s relaxed and is great fellowship”

  • If you are a steward, or a preacher or some other sort of church leader, this is a great place to hear stories and take inspiration from others.
  • If you know you are in lockdown for some more time to come, and would like company, and a routine, and have internet, access this might be for you.
  • If you are missing contact with groups, then this could be a place for you. You can listen and/or you can talk. No pressure to talk!

Different members of the Learning Network are there most weeks, they host the reflections, as do others from the group from time to time.

How do I give it a try?

If you would like the link to the zoom coffee morning, please email Rob and he will send you the link.


Updates and more info on this and other events at


Statistics  - The 2020 data collection (via https://online.methodist.org.uk) is now underway. Thank you to the many of you who have already submitted their churches’ membership statistics and updated office holders’ data. The data entry site will be open until 31 January 2021.


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.


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




Liverpool District Mission & Evangelism Facilitator 

This appointment will play a leading role in supporting circuits and churches to emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic recognising how the church and the world have been changed. It will encourage and equip churches to build on their discoveries and embrace new opportunities for mission in a transformed world.

The appointment is focussed on enabling leaders (ordained and lay) to develop cohesive mission plans that will increase the capacity for mission and evangelism with due regard to the priorities identified by the District, and in line with connexional policies and initiatives, notably “Priorities for the Methodist Church” and the emerging “God for All – Evangelism and Growth Strategy.”


This is a permanent part time (0.5 FTE) appointment open to lay or ordained people, with a requirement for flexible working. 

The salary will be £32,553 (FTE) pro rata (or for an ordained person ½ stipend) dependent on experience, plus expenses. Ordained applicants should note that no manse provision is available with this post. Leave entitlement will be 14 days paid holiday a year inclusive of public holidays (pro – rata).


The Job and Person Specification and Application Forms are available on the district website, (https://liverpoolmethodistdistrict.org.uk/vacancies/)or from the District Administrator: admin@liverpoolmethodist.org.uk.

Please submit completed application forms, describing how you demonstrate the skills and experience required, together with CV details and the names and addresses of two referees by email to  synodsec@liverpoolmethodist.org.uk. Applicants who previously applied are welcome to re-apply if they can demonstrate the full range of requirements of the person specification.


All applications must be received by noon on Tuesday 5th January 2021.  Shortlisting will take place by Friday 8th January and interviews for the short-listed candidates will be held on either Thursday 14th or Friday 15th January (by Zoom if face-to-face remains unavailable).  The appointment will commence, by negotiation, as soon as possible thereafter (subject to DBS Disclosure and satisfactory references).


For employment and voluntary oportunities in the Methodist Church Connexionally: http://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/connect/jobs-volunteering/



National Safeguarding Adults Week 2020

The National Safeguarding Adults Week this year runs from November 16th-22nd. The key daily theme on the Thursday is concerned with developing safe spaces, which links nicely with our own Methodist Church agenda that all our churches are safe places for young and old alike.

Please see the website below for more information


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


Training Opportunities:

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


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

Please book via email: NWMannNetwork@gmail.com


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

Please book via email: NWMannNetwork@gmail.com


Theological Reflection in Practice

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


Death, grieving and the ministry of funerals

12th November          Service

9th December            Evangelism


Leadership: collaboration and participation

12th January              Worship

10th February            Learning & Caring

11th March                 Service

6th May                       Evangelism

Please book via 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:



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