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Discipleship was to be the focus of the Bolton and Rochdale District Spring Synod as they gathered at Bedford Methodist Church in the Leigh and Hindley Circuit. Revd Doreen Hare, Superintendent, welcomed everyone and Revd Sylvester Deigh led opening worship.
Synod proceeded with business matters which included the Deed of Union vote, Finance, Property and a report from the Probationers’ Secretary. Synod recommended Revd Sally Thornton for Reception into Full Connexion and ordination at Conference. The Chair, Revd Paul Martin, stressed the importance of encouraging churches to support young people to attend this year’s 3 Generate.
Wendy Beard, District Development Enabler, updated members on the North West Review and distributed an informative booklet ‘Living Out the Covenant’. The Covenant is to be signed by District Chairs at their individual September Synods.
Revd Rachel Deigh, Representative on Methodist Council, reported on the Fruitful Field Report to be submitted to Conference, following the consultation exercise from districts.
Written reports on the life of the District were presented and accepted. Thanks and best wishes were extended to retiring officers, those moving and those becoming supernumeraries. The Chair thanked the retiring synod secretary, Val Pownall, who had held the post for 8 years. Robert Graham has been appointed new synod secretary.
Synod divided into groups to spend some time for discussion on Discipleship and what it meant to them in their roles within circuits and district. Following discussions, Alison Parker, Regional Training Officer, Wendy Beard and Revd Mark Street , District Evangelism Enabler, highlighted resources available to strengthen discipleship and members were invited to share their experiences and value of courses available.
Synod concluded with a Commissioning Service for Dr John and Sharon Harbottle preparing to serve as Mission Partners in Haiti and we heard from them the work they are commissioned to do and the conditions they will be faced with and Synod assured them of our prayers and support.
|Paul Martin (Chair) and Val Pownall (Retiring Synod Secretary)||Paul Martin with Sharon & John Harbottle|
The Bolton and Rochdale District Synod met at Central Methodist Church , Bacup in the Rossendale Circuit. The Superintendent, Revd David Burrows welcomed members and in particular, the new Chair of District, the Revd Paul Martin. Opening worship, appropriately on the theme of new beginnings, was led by the Rev Jan Nendick .
The Chair gave a presentation on the General Secretary’s Report to Conference and reflected on the challenges before us at this crucial point in the life of the Methodist Church and the need to reharness our enthusiasm and passion for discipleship. The main items under discussion and adopted at Conference were presented by the Revd Stephen Radford and Meg Davenport reported on Singing the Faith and its launch in October.
Permission was granted for cessation of worship at Longsight and Tottington Road , Harwood, and Astley Bridge and Halliwell, North Bolton Mission, both in the Bolton Circuit, in readiness for rebuild.
Alison Parker, Regional Training Officer gave details of the forthcoming training day “Gifts Differing” at Aspull Methodist Church in the Wigan Circuit which was to be led by the Vice-President of Conference, specifically aimed at discerning our own gifts and personality traits working in teams from within our churches.
Revd Ron Hicks reported on the acceptance of the Conference report on the NW Review and reaffirmed the values of districts working together. A steering group was appointed to continue to process this work.
Other items of business included a report from the District Treasurer, an overview of the position regarding the Ministerial Development Review from Neil Whitehead and a presentation by Helen Boardman on the new process of Statistics for Mission and the results of the pilot scheme implemented in 2010. Officers were appointed which included the appointment of Robert Graham as Lay Synod Secretary from 1st September 2012 .
Elected to Conference 2012 were Revd Stephen Radford, Revd Sylvester Deigh, Robert Graham, Val Pownall and Adrienne Simpson.
The Bolton and Rochdale District Spring Synod gathered at St John’s Methodist Church , Horwich, in the Bolton Circuit. Synod opened with a Service of Holy Communion. Worship was led by Revd Paul Martin, Ministerial Synod Secretary, and others from within the District. The Chair, the Revd David King preached the sermon based on holiness, using the text “ ..…what kind of people ought you to be?” (2 Peter 3 : 11)
The Revd Ronald Hicks, District representative on the Review Group for North West Methodist Districts, referred to the report that had been circulated to Synod. He outlined the different models considered for the region and highlighted the preferred model that is to develop a covenant relationship between the existing seven Districts with ongoing developments. This will be presented to Conference 2011. He explained the timeline for the developments. It is anticipated that North West District Chairs will sign the Covenant in the autumn.
From an ecumenical perspective, Synod gave its approval to the new constitution for the Baptist/Methodist LEP based at Christchurch , Ramsbottom, in the Bury and Heywood Circuit.
Synod agreed the recommendation to Conference that from September 2011 the Prestwich and Radcliffe Circuit and the Bury and Heywood Circuit become a new Circuit to be known as the Bury Circuit. A recommendation was approved that the Irwell Vale Methodist Church in the Accrington and Haslingden Circuit in the Lancashire District becomes part of the Rossendale Circuit in the Bolton and Rochdale District. This is subject to approval of the Lancashire Synod.
Written reports on the life of the District were presented and accepted. In response to demand, members within the District have been trained to work alongside Churches in “Healthy Church Reviews”. Other business included approvals of the new District Safeguarding Policy, and finance. Thanks and best wishes were extended to retiring officers, those moving Districts and those becoming supernumeraries. Particular concern was expressed for those who are expecting to ‘retire’ on medical grounds.
As this was the last district Synod for Revd David King as Chair, the Revd Gerald Broadbent, former Ministerial Synod Secretary, and Superintendent of the Bolton Circuit, paid tribute to him for the way in which he had worked within and cared for the District and extended Synod’s best wishes in his forthcoming appointment.