Signpost for Ministry
This is the landing page for those in active ministry in the Methodist Church. We recommend all presbyters and deacons either make this their home page or check back regularly to see how the Connexional Team might help you, as we work together to fulfil Our Calling.
Update on Charity Registration requirements for Methodist charities in England - 28.10.2020
The Office of Civil Society has informed us that an announcement will be made in the first half of November 2020 regarding the Government’s intentions to extend the Charities (Exception from Registration) Regulations 1996 beyond the current expiry date of 31 March 2021. The Conference Office is monitoring the situation and will update the Connexion when the announcement is made. At present, we anticipate that another extension will be granted, meaning that Methodist charities with an annual gross income below £100,000 will continue to be excepted from registration. We are also in discussions with the Charity Commission about the possibility of enabling voluntary registration, but currently there is no indication that this will be implemented.
Supervision Zoom Support Volunteers Needed
Are you passionate about Supervision and enabling Ministers to flourish within their work? Are you interested in enabling and equipping others to do new things and explore opportunities through the use of Zoom meeting tools? Do you have an attention to detail? Then we may have a role for you.
Ministries: Vocations & Worship is looking for volunteers to assist and provide Zoom support for the delivery of Responsible Grace (the development programme for Supervisors across the church).
You can find the volunteer specification here.
For a more detailed role outline, please contact the Supervision Implementation Group through email@example.com. To express an interest, please use the same contact and enclose just a 150 word summary of why you think you could be involved by 13 November 2020.
This year’s 3Generate elections take place from 21 November 2020 and we’re keen that as many children and young people as possible, from across the Methodist Church, are able to participate as possible. They have the opportunity to elect the Youth President for 2021/22 as well as their 3Generate representatives for the coming year.
In order to vote children and young people need to be registered. There are some simple steps to make this happen:
- Children and young people aged 8-17 years old can be registered only once by a group leader or parent/carer.
- They need to be registered by 15 November via this link.
- Elections open on 21 November for a limited period.
- All those aged 18-23 can register to vote here.
Please could you help us get the word out and communicate this as widely as possible? There will be more information appearing in the coming weeks about the candidates standing for election so do check 3Gen TV and the 3Generate webpage for further details. We hope that lots of children and young people will use their vote and know that by doing so they are making a difference to the life and ministry of the Church.
With grateful thanks for all your support in this,
Phoebe Parkin and the Children, Youth and Family Team
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF)
The Methodist Church at Bishop Auckland is working with other community organisations in the North East to apply to the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF). This is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community. They are working with secular organisations and churches of other denominations on a combined bid to the fund, and have asked whether any other Methodist Churches have made a similar application. If you know of a church that has benefitted from the fund and are happy to share their experiences we would like to ask them to make contact with Bishop Auckland Methodist Church to assist them with their initiative, contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indeed, if you would like to find out more about the grant yourselves then please find the details here.
A Methodist Way of Life
The commitment cards for a Methodist Way of Life have been distributed with membership tickets by Methodist Publishing. Enough copies of an A6 booklet, A Brief Guide to a Methodist Way of Life, will be available for all members and others associated with the Methodist Church to be distributed by early November. In the meanwhile the pdf of the booklet can be downloaded from here.
Also available in November will be an A5 booklet Finding the Way: Getting Started with a Methodist Way of Life which outlines how ‘Our Calling’ can be lived out through the practices of a Methodist Way of Life, and which includes prayers, activities and faith stories. This is can be ordered at no cost through Methodist Publishing by circuits and local preachers’ meeting secretaries. There will be sufficient for every circuit to receive between six and thirty copies depending on the size of the circuit (circuits are asked to assess themselves what a reasonable order will be) and for every local preacher and worship leader to receive a copy. Local preachers’ secretaries will be contacted about this is due courses.
Keep a watch on social media and the website for information on further resources that will become available over the next six weeks:
- Preparing the Way, a study guide on a Methodist Way of Life for small groups, available as a downloadable pdf, which can be used in one, two, three or four sessions.
- A set of sermon notes on each of the twelve commitments of a Methodist Way of Life with accompanying prayers and liturgical materials, and guidance for small group follow-up to sermons (also a downloadable pdf)
- A conversational resource for all ages and for intergenerational use, consisting of a set of cards which will be available for ordering from Methodist Publishing at a small cost.
Christian Unity 18-25 January 2021
For those of you who like to plan well ahead here is the link to the materials for the week of prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2021.
Tiered lockdown and its impact on churches
Read a statement and prayers from Jonathan Hustler
Posted on 21/10/20
New workshops from the College of Preachers
Preaching Mark's Gospel
25 November 2020, 11.00-15.00 | via Zoom
Workshop leader: Revd Dr Neil Richardson, Methodist minister and former President of the British Methodist Conference.
Mark is the shortest of the gospels and, arguably, conveys its message with a palpable sense of urgency. This workshop will examine how Mark presents the Good News of Jesus and how we as preachers can interpret that message, and its challenges, for our congregations today.
Ticket prices: General, £10; Ministry Student, £7
Preaching in a Scientific Age
13 January 2021, 10.30-13.00 | via Zoom
Workshop leader: Revd Jennifer Brown, Director of Training for the College of Preachers and former Science Missioner in the Diocese of Oxford.
Science & technology are central to our lives and there are many who believe that science and religious faith are incompatible - that we can believe one or the other but not both. This workshop will explore how we can use our preaching to dispel this myth, help people to discover the truth of scripture in an age of science, and equip our congregations to bring Christian values to discussions about how science & technology are used in society.
Ticket prices: General, £7; Ministry Student, £5
For details on booking a place on either of the above workshops, please visit this webpage.
Update 21 October 2020
Following various changes to Covid-19 policy by the English, Welsh and Scottish Governments recently, please click on the link here for the Connexional guidance updates.
Update 20 October 2020
The Welsh government has announced a Firebreak. During this time, places of worship are closed to the public, except for those invited to a wedding or funeral and for those broadcasting a worship service. Click here to read more.
The government guidance on the Safe Use of Places of Worship has been updated to include a useful summary of restrictions for specific activities in each tier level.
The Guide for Using Your Worship Space has been amend to reflect the Covid-19 Alert Level tier system.
Updates have been made to the Guide to Managing Your Church Building. This guide is designed to assist in preparing for conducting a Covid-19 Risk Assessment (Word) or (pdf version). The HSE has also produced a sample risk assessment that may be of assistance.
For information regarding local lockdown in Scotland, click here.
Updates on the Conservation and Listed Buildings web pages
We have added a few updates to the News, Funding and Training page of the Conservation and Listed Buildings web page here.
This includes a link to the House of Good Report, launched by the National Churches Trust yesterday which, ‘demonstrates that the total economic and social value that church buildings generate in the UK is at least £12.4 billion per year which averages around £300,000 per church. That is roughly equal to the total NHS spending on mental health in England in 2018. We believe that these findings are remarkable. They show that our churches are not just Houses of God. They are also Houses of Good – good that we risk losing if church buildings are not kept in good repair, and may never be able to replace’.
As well as a useful document for policy makers this may also be useful to local churches compiling grant applications to local and national funders. We hope you find this interesting.
Navigating Change Conference 2020: The Wellbeing Imperative
See here for details.
We have been alerted that a number of ministers are receiving emails similar to this.
Hi, How are you doing?
I urgently need a favor from you. Please email me here as soon as you get this email.
They are often sent under the name of another minister and others who serve the church.
If you email back the scammers they often ask you to purchase gift cards etc.
We recommend you delete such emails and do not respond.
Covid-19 Alert Levels
Following the PM’s announcement on Monday, the Government has introduced a new system of local Covid-19 Alert Levels in England. Places of Worship remain open in all three Category Tiers, but with different requirements and restrictions. The Connexional Property Team have provided a summary on their webpage. This includes links to the following:
- Details on the list of areas within each tier
- Details on the restrictions in each of the three tier levels
- Details of local alert level posters for public information
Please click here for more information.
Information for Superintendents
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In the light of the ongoing pandemic we are needing to review our provision for New Superintendents Inductions and The Superintendents’ Conference. The former will be moved online as a series of zoom meetings. Details to follow shortly. With regards to the Conference we invite to you complete this short poll to help us focus our planning.
A brief reminder that the Conference received the report 25 Reaffirming Our Calling: Oversight and Trusteeship and has invited comment from around the Connexion. Comments should be sent to SOC@methodistchurch.org.uk.
In the same report resolution 25/1a states: The Conference directs Circuit Meetings and Church Councils to undertake Unconscious Bias related training in order to ensure equality and diversity within the appointments process of the new trustee bodies. The Learning Network are currently working on a 30minunite package that should be available from early 2021. Details will be posted on the Minister’s Signpost.
Be assured of the team’s ongoing prayers as we all strive to serve God and the Church in these difficult times.
Updates on Covid-19 Guidance
As government guidelines continues to change, please refer to the Coronavirus Guidance for Property for the latest updates, which include:
- Guide for Harvest Celebrations, Decorations & Donations
- Guide for Food and Drink
- Guide for Church Councils and other Church Meetings
- Guide to using your Worship Space
- Guide for Other Property Users
- Guide for Children's Activities & Worship
World Mental Health Day
As we mark world mental health day on 10 October, attached are few pieces of information some previously shared, that we hope continue to raise awareness about mental health for all and provides some helpful tips how to improve this:
- Information flyer on mental health awareness training session for ministers on 29th October 2020
- Guide to better sleep
- Stay well support plan for ministers
Struggling with the lockdown?
Here is a link to a group that might be helpful.
Updates on the Conservation and Listed Building web pages
We have added a few updates to the following pages of the Conservation and Listed Buildings web pages:
News, Funding and Training
Annual Report 2018/2019
Listed Building Guidance Notes
Maintenance and Repair of Historic Places of Worship
How to Make Changes to a listed building?
Listed Building FAQs
If you have any specific questions or would like to discuss your forthcoming project to your listed church building then do contact us at email@example.com.
Also, for any Superintendents that would like an up to date list of the listed buildings and unlisted buildings in conservation areas in their care then please contact us on the email address above.
Updates on the Guides
We have added a few minor updates to the following guides:
- Guide for Weddings
- Guide for Open Air Worship
- Guide for Church Meetings, Small Gatherings & House Groups
- Guide for Pastoral Visits
- Guide for Face Coverings
Health and Social Care Chaplaincy Journal (COVID-19 Special)
This special issue of Health and Social Care Chaplaincy (HSCC) is free until the end of December and considers international responses from chaplains ministering during the first six months of COVID-19. Whilst the articles are written from the perspective of health and social care chaplains, they will no doubt have a wider appeal as those who minister reflect on their experiences during COVID-19.
Please click here to access the issue.
Update 24 September 2020
TMCP have produced a helpful article regarding the legal requirements for Test & Trace and QR codes in response to the government's recent announcements - read more here. We will also be working on publishing more practical advice on this topic as soon as we can.
You can also read the government guidance on Maintaining Records to Support Test and Trace.
Update 22 September 2020
Click here to view the response regarding today's announcement from the Government.
In the meantime, the following documents have been updated to reflect other previous announcements from the Government:
- Guide to Using Your Worship Space
- Guide to Other Property Users
- Guide to Children's Activities & Worship
- Guide to Food & Drink
We have received several queries about the new rule of 6 and how it impacts churches. The government has yet to publish more specific guidelines but based on the brief information received, it is our understanding that the number relates to the maximum group size before they come into church and therefore can sit together in church. It is not a directive to sit people together in groups of 6 as part of worship. You can continue to space chairs and people as before with 2m distancing between household groups, which could be individuals, couples, larger families, etc.
In the meantime, it is recommended to read through the links below for more information regarding permitted activities:
- FAQ’s of What You Can and Can’t Do (specifically sections 2.8 – 2.12)
- Safe Use of Multi-Purpose Facilities (specifically sections 2a, 3a, 3c, 3d)
- Guidance for the Phased Return of Sport & Recreation (regarding exercise and fitness groups)
- Working Safely in the Performing Arts (regarding choirs and drama groups)
- Safe Use of the Places of Worship (recommended checking regularly for updates)
As well, new guidance has been produced for the following:
- Guide to Harvest Celebrations, Decorations and Donations
- Guide to Church Council & Other Church Meetings
We are working on new guidance on Toddler Groups, Food & Drink and Choir & Drama Groups with an aim to publish next week.
Resources from the Free Churches Group
This is a very different start to the academic year for students in Higher Education. You may have young people in your churches who are going to university for the first time, and others who are returning. Churches in towns and cities where there are large student populations may want to explore how to offer support to young people who have moved away from home.
The Free Churches Group have produced a series of leaflets with ideas to help you think about your support for students, and with links to other organisations that offer specialist advice. These are available on the Free Churches Group website for you to download. Clicking on the title will take you to each leaflet.
- Branching Out - supporting young people who are going to university
- Keeping in Touch - supporting young people who are at university
- Making a Difference - supporting university students in your community
- Home from Home - supporting university students in your church
Four Community Cohesion Roundtables now announced - begins 15th September!
Click here for more information.
'THE BEST OF ALL'
Global Relationships Worship Resources for 2020/2021
For their presidential year 2020/2021, the President the Revd Richard Teal and Vice-President Carolyn Lawrence are inspired by the last words of John Wesley, “the best of all is, God is with us”.
Worship resources include:
- Service outlines
- All-Age Worship
- Sermon ideas
- A stand-alone Own Arrangement service
- PowerPoint slides
There is no set date for Global Relationships Sunday so use this worship material any time during the Connexional Year 2020/2021. We suggest church councils work with local preachers’ meetings to agree a date for using it.
Join with the global Church in rejoicing that God is with us!
The Annual Returns site is now open for submissions for the Connexional year ending 30 August 2020. Submissions are accepted until 31 August 2021. A brief summary of the main new & improved features is listed below:
- Property Information reports from previous years (starting in 2018) are now accessible via a drop down menu, similar to annual returns from previous years.
- Conditional questions are now recognisable as such on the downloadable reports.
- Quinquennial inspections for non-model trust properties can be recorded if available (optional).
- The map display will now only appear for properties recorded as being churches or worship sites.
- Various questions regarding Conservation, Insurance and Documents have been made clearer and/or updated.
Re-opening Churches Posters
A range of posters to assist with the re-opening of churches can be download to print from here.
Welsh language versions will be available shortly.
Latest government guidance
You will have seen that the Government has confirmed that, from Monday 14 September, the number of people legally allowed to meet socially, both indoors and outdoors, will reduce from 30 to six. This will apply to gatherings in private homes and gardens, public outdoor spaces and venues such as pubs and restaurants.
As the Prime Minister confirmed in his statement , places of worship will be able to stay open for communal worship - as is currently the case - and will be able to host numbers larger than six for communal worship. The capacity limit for each place of worship should be set by what is possible within COVID-secure social distancing guidelines for that building – as explained in our places of worship guidance.
Attending communal prayer in a place of worship
The main change for places of worship is as follows: if you are attending with others, then the group you are attending with should not exceed more than six people. This group of six can be made up of people from outside your household, but strict social distancing must be maintained between members of different households at all times.
The Prime Minister was clear today that everyone should limit social contact as much as possible and minimise all interactions with those they do not live with. Therefore, when travelling to, entering and inside places of worship, people should observe strict social distancing from anyone not in their household - even if they are attending as a group of six.
To be clear, from Monday 14th September, the new limit for any group attending communal prayer together in a place of worship will be six people. Social distancing must be maintained between members of different households at all times.
The only exception to this new rule is where a single household (or support bubble) contains more than six people, but the same rules on social interaction should apply. No person who lives separately to this household or is not included in the support bubble is permitted to accompany this larger group. This replaces previous rules where groups could be larger than six people if they were made up of two households.
Attending life cycle events in a place of worship
Life cycle events such as weddings, wedding receptions, funerals and religious life-cycle events will continue to be allowed but are subject the current limit of 30 people. As above, whilst up to 30 people can attend the event, people attending these events must remain within their groups of six and observe strict social distancing between each separate group.
Our guidelines will be updated in due course
Update from GOV.UK
Landlords must give 6 months notice when terminating a tenancy agreement up until March 2021. More information can be found here.
Worship: Leading & Preaching
A new version, tagged WLP 3.0 is now live and available for new enrolments. The main change is that the complexity around portfolios has been reduced again, and most of the troublesome Word and PDF forms have gone. Portfolio projects now relate directly to each module section and are completed and assessed online. We will also be offering new students and their tutors and mentors an online induction session (using Zoom) to help to orientate them to the course and hopefully address some of their anxieties.
Once new starters are settled in with modules 1 to 4, we intend to go live with modules 5-8 in November. From that point, any existing students will be able to transfer to WLP 3.0, although the existing WLP 2.0 will be maintained for the time being to allow students a reasonable time to complete their current portfolio. A webpage dedicated to WLP 3.0 is here and will be updated from time to time.
Bob Bartindale, Officer for Worship & Local Preachers
Conferring and Decision-Making
As we move into the Autumn, and prepare for the usual round of local church meetings and councils, we are offering a short, accessible resource to guide and inform local churches and those who lead them about how we are approaching this work in the current situation. In it, you’ll find some theological reflection on how who we are as Methodists might underpin our way of doing this, alongside a summary of some of the practical guidance already issued about what we can do and how we might do it. Finally, we’ve offered a few thoughts and spurs for reflection on inclusion, pastoral care, and collaboration involving the whole community. We hope it’s useful, and perhaps even provides some resource for deeper conversations about how we do the sacred ‘business’ of the Church in more ‘normal’ times.
You’ll find the resource here in two PDF formats:
- An A4 version, for reading online (there are some hyperlinks in it to connect you to some key texts for reflection), or for those with visual impairment, or just needing a simpler format;
- A paginated booklet version, which creates an A5 leaflet. To print this version off, we recommend that you ensure that your print settings are:
- Fit to printable area
- Print on both sides.
Then you can fold the pages into a paginated A5 leaflet.
Retirement Course - Pensions and Housing Webinar
We are hosting a webinar for those ministers in their last appointment. If this applies to you please click on the link in this letter to book your place.
Resources and help for lockdown and return
Click here for resources created by the Children, Youth & Family team.
Moving Manse - latest guidance from the Government
Finance newsletter - August 2020
The August 2020 edition of the Finance newsletter can be found by clicking here.
Pray together across the Church | Tuesdays at 12:45pm starting 1 September
Be part of the Year of Prayer. Join others across the Methodist Church to pray together every Tuesday from 12.45 to 1.00pm. Our first gathering will be led by Carolyn Lawrence, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference.
Join the weekly prayer meeting on Zoom. Register for the first Prayer Meeting on 1st September here.
Join the weekly prayer meeting on Facebook Live here.
Ten ways to practice evangelism
Ten ways to practice evangelism - a fun, getting-started resource with a basic orientation to evangelism, 10 ways to practice evangelism, and 40 ideas to put them into action for churches and individuals.
Two new online guides for your ministry from the Evangelism and Growth team
Mission planning workbook - An in-depth, practical, guided process that takes churches and circuits through the mission planning process step by step and includes lots of space capture information, ideas, and plans.
Updates from the Property team
The Property team have released the following updates:
- Guide to Using Your Worship Space
- Guide for Weddings
- Guide for Funerals
- Guide for Face Coverings
- Cleaning Churches during Covid-19
- Possession Proceedings COVID Update - What do Managing Trustees need to do if they need to regain possession?
Autumn workshops from the College of Preachers
Click here for a list of workshops. In addition, they are also offering a workshop on 'Preaching Advent to Epiphany', which will be led by the Revd Canon Dr Christopher Burkett, Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Chester and Editor of The Preacher. Places on this workshop can be booked by clicking on this link and entering the password Preach610.
These workshops are all being offered on-line but places are limited.
Youth President 2021/2022
Applications are now open for the role of Youth President 2021/2022. Click here for more information.
Guide for Act of Communion and Guide for Cafes
As well, there is new information added to the Covid-19 funding section.
A message from the Communications Team
The Communications Team of the Methodist Church are seeking to discover how churches, circuits, districts or other projects across the Connexion have engaged online during lockdown. The aim is to learn from examples of good practice and help equip the Church as the world moves into a new digital era.
The survey can be found here.
"Test and Trace" update
Click here for the latest update.
Face covering and worship
The government has updated its guidance Safe Use of Places of Worship:
In summary there are valid exemptions for some individuals and groups to not wear a face covering in these settings. In particular, those who are leading services or events in a place of worship, and those who assist them (for instance by reading, preaching, or leading prayer) do not always need to wear a face covering, although one should be worn especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
This exemption does not apply to worshippers, who should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space.
Online Worship - what are we learning?
We are now taking bookings for this online event. To book your place please click here.
The E&G section of the website has had a makeover, following the Conference’s affirmation of the Connexional Strategy for Evangelism and Growth. There’s a new video entitled ‘Good News to Share’, new content on Church Growth, Pioneering and Congregational Discipleship, downloadable resources to help with mission planning, starting New Places for New People and developing leadership skills. Finally, you can also watch again all of our ‘Mission in Lockdown’ webinars, presented by connexional leaders, on topics such as anti-racism, community engagement, resilient mission-planning and more.
Preaching in a Time of Crisis
A workshop with the Rt Revd Prof Tom Wright, former Anglican Bishop of Durham. Thursday 1 October 2020, 1pm to 3pm, via Zoom
We have all been living through a time of crisis as the world has sought to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the press and politicians warn of difficult economic times ahead, and many are now talking of a climate crisis. We cannot close our eyes to the problems the world is facing, and yet Christians are called to preach Good News. How can we do that in a time of crisis? How can our preaching both challenge and reassure people by helping them to see God at work even in dark times? Join us as New Testament scholar, theologian and former Anglican Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, helps us to explore these questions and look at how we can be effective preachers in a time of crisis.
To book a place on this workshop, please click here and when prompted enter the password Preach110
The Value of Preaching in Ministry
A workshop with the Rt Revd John Pritchard, former Anglican Bishop of Oxford. 17 September, 11am to 1pm, via Zoom
What is the role of the sermon in today's Church? As our society become more visual, where information is delivered in 240 characters, people want to be moved by the experience of worship, and truth is often felt to be relative, what is the value of preaching in ministry? The Rt Revd John Pritchard, former Anglican Bishop of Oxford and author of numerous books on the Christian faith, prayer, and ministry will explore this very important question, looking at the value preaching still brings to ministry and how we, as preachers, can preach with confidence, knowing that what we are offering remains an important and valuable part of ministry today.
To book, please click here. When prompted, enter the password Preach17.
Coronavirus Guidance for Property
Click here for the latest updates
Property Matters Newsletter
Click here for the latest property matters newsletter.
Change begins with a bicycle campaign
For girls like Nawalat in Uganda, bicycles are more than a means of transport – they are a way to break the cycle of poverty. This year, you can join All We Can and be a part of the change that is happening. Support All We Can’s Change Begins with a Bicycle campaign using the resources available to order or download from allwecan.org.uk/cycle
Can we conduct church meetings, church council and Synods online?
Posted 30 /07/20
Online Worship - what are we learning?
As churches, individuals and circuits, we’ve been learning so much about how to worship and make community online as a result of Covid-19 and the restrictions it has brought in its wake.
For many, Zoom, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook (and even those old-fashioned things called phones) have opened up unexpected horizons of creativity and mission.
The Connexional Team and Singing the Faith Plus are planning a series of events in early autumn that will allow us to share some of our learning and develop best practice for the future. What patterns have you evolved, what mistakes were made, what changes are you putting in place, and what opportunities for the future are exciting you?
Read our flyer, including our three key questions, and do get in touch.
To register your interest and find out more information please contact Gabriella Mahadeva firstname.lastname@example.org
Updates on Guidance
- Updated Guide to Using Your Worship Space and Guide for Outdoor Worship for further clarification
- Updated Guide for Face Coverings to include exemptions
- Updated Guide for Shops and Guide for Cafes to reflect government guidance on face coverings
- Updated Cleaning Churches during Covid-19 regarding hand dryers
"Hope in Uncertain Times" giveaway booklet
Hope in Uncertain Times is a giveaway booklet pointing to hope for now and forever in Christ. As churches re-open it is an ideal gift to give with an invitation to join your church in person or online. Check out the design here.
The Methodist Church is a key partner in this publication, and so the voucher code HOPEin2020 used on the Hope online shop will allow any of the Methodist people to buy this publication in packs of 10 at £3 per pack (plus P&P) – a special offer price equivalent to 30p per copy, which otherwise starts at £1 per copy.
Weekly All-Church Prayer Meeting | Every Tuesday @ 1245pm during the new Connexional Year
The Conference has declared 2020/2021 a Year of Prayer to support the new Connexional Strategy for Evangelism and Growth. Districts, circuits, churches, and individuals are invited to pray for the Methodist Church as we deepen our commitment to be a growing, evangelistic, inclusive, justice-seeking Church of gospel people. In addition to prayer resources available later this summer on the website, a weekly online Church-wide ‘prayer meeting’ will launch on the first day of the Connexional Year. This will draw on the rich diversity of Methodist traditions and leadership to help the whole Church journey deeper into prayer together.
Video: The Methodist Church has Good News to share!
To celebrate the new Church-wide strategy for evangelism and growth, check out this short film of scores of diverse Methodists sharing personal testimonies to God's goodness. A great conversation starter with your churches, as you explore "What does the Good News sound/look/feel like?"
Seeking a new National Rural Officer
Passionate about helping rural Christians and churches serve their communities? Pray about applying to be the next National Rural Officer of the Methodist Church. More information here.
Local Preachers and COVID-19
Updates on Local Preachers and COVID-19 can be found here.
Ministry of Proclamation and Preaching of Deacons
Information on the Ministry of Proclamation and Preaching of Deacons can be found here.
The ordination services which were due to take place at the Conference in June 2020, have now been rearranged.
There will be three ordination services held on Sunday 18 April 2021.
3pm at Wesley’s Chapel, London for the diaconal ordinations
3pm and 6pm at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster for the presbyteral ordinations.
It is very much hoped that it will be possible for full congregations to gather for these services but even if there are restrictions due to Covid-19, the services will still be held on that day and made as accessible as possible.
Further details, including the names of the ordinands at each service, those who are officiating and information about tickets and attendance, will be provided by September 2020.
Please remember the diaconal probationers and the presbyteral probationers in your prayers as they navigate these strange times in the life of the church at such a significant year for them.
Using Zoom Webinar for Synods
A guide to leading Synods using Zoom Webinar can be found here.
Update to the Coronavirus Guidance for Property page
We wanted to let you know about recent updates on the Coronavirus Guidance for Property page. There are 2 new pieces of guidance on:
In addition, there have been updates on:
- Guide for House groups and Small gatherings (to reflect change in Government guidance for Open Air Worship and small gatherings)
- Guide for Weddings (additional note about wedding receptions)
- Guide for Other Community Users (to reflect change in allowing small wedding receptions; additional user groups added and important note added regarding gyms, dance classes etc.)
It is worth noting that there is a dedicated page on the CPO website for those who wish to purchase PPE with the 15% discount. The page has been updated and details can be found here.
A Methodist Way of Life
An update for Superintendents and those in circuit ministry.
Are you or someone in your church needing to take time to reflect? Maybe at a crossroads in life considering the next part of their vocational journey? Our friends at Crossroads Retreats might be able to help. Click here for more information.
Charity Commission Annual Returns
The Connexional Team have produced the following guidance relating to the submission of Annual Returns to the Charity Commission.
New Guidance and New Format
The Guide for Other Building Users is now available. This guidance has been produced to provide a generic framework for the reopening of church buildings for community activities. Other new guidance includes: Guide for Pastoral Visits, Guide for Children's Worship and an update to the Guide for Holy Communion.
As we respond to the frequent changes in government policies and guidance for easing lockdown restrictions, we have altered the structure of the guidance for managing trustees. he aim is that the information will be more accessible and that updates will be clearly visible on the different aspects of re-opening, maintaining and using a church property.
Holy Communion in the light of Covid-19
The Faith and Order Committee have produced guidance for local churches that seeks to encourage reflection on deprivation and on the sacrament of Holy Communion, as well as providing practical guidance and suggestions so as to enable Holy Communion to be celebrated in safe and appropriate ways. See Holy Communion: Responding Pastorally in the light of Covid-19
New Test and Trace
Click here for a useful article about how to use Test and Trace during worship services.
Licences during the COVID-19 outbreak - who is responsible for COVID-19 precautions and how do we clarify this?
Click here for the article. This article also talks about cleaning arrangements for other users of the building.
Updated guidance for Local Preachers during COVID-19
Click here for the updated guidance. Issues addressed in the FAQs include whether Trial Services and Recognition Services can be online, and responsibilities of local preachers regarding accepting plan dates as lockdown is released.
Reopening church buildings - testing for Legionella
There is newly updated guidance on when you will need to test for Legionella on our Coronavirus Guidance for Property page.
Posted 7 July
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
After receiving the Government’s guidance around the re-opening of churches in England from July 4 we have added extra information to our guidelines. There is now specific advice around baptisms, weddings and funerals. You can find the guidance here: www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/property/coronavirus-guidance-for-property/
This link will stay the same regardless of any updates.
The guidance for Community Centres has just been released by the Government and our property team aim to have updated information for other property users of Methodist buildings on our website by the end of the week.
Please be aware that if you are in a devolved administration or in an area where lockdown restrictions are being extended, you should consult your own local guidance.
You can find a special service for the re-opening of Churches, Beyond Exile, here: www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
Posted 1 July
Reopening church buildings
The Government announced that Places of Worship can open from 4th July with certain restrictions. The Opening of Churches for Worship guidance from the Methodist Church is now available on the Coronavirus Guidance for Property page.
Posted 26 June
The Human Resources and Wellbeing teams of the Connexional Team will be hosting a Zoom Wellbeing Clinic on Wednesday 15 July 2020, all day. The purpose of the Wellbeing Clinic is for employees and ministers to have the space and opportunity to talk with Josephine Chuks or Linda Robotham, Wellbeing Advisers, to discuss general wellbeing concerns, mental health issues or to seek advice and guidance.
The wellbeing clinic is open to all employees and ministers, and each meeting is an hour slot. In order to book a slot please send an email to email@example.com. Slots start at 9am and the last slot is 5pm, starting every hour. Therefore, we have limited slots available so please contact us as soon as possible to confirm a slot.
The team looks forward to hearing from you.
In addition, here are two links from the Well-Being team which they felt might be of interest and use to ministers:
- This article was written at 3 weeks of lockdown and these feelings may still resonate. This article from Graham Fawcett is a useful reminder of how we may still be feeling and how to process those feelings. Click here for the article.
- Fatigue – is this a word that has more meaning now than ever before? Read the blog from Ben Porter at Thrive Worldwide, our occupational health provider about fatigue which helps us understand why at this time this is normal. Click here for the blog.
Update on re-opening buildings
The Government has announced that places of worship in England may re-open for worship from July 4 2020. Our Property Team is working on what Managing Trustees will need to consider in order to re-open buildings and we will update our website as soon as practicably possible. We will also be releasing a special service to celebrate a return to public worship.
In the meantime you can see the updates on what steps Managing Trustees will need to take when considering whether to open church buildings here.
Property guidance relating to Covid-19 including a Re-Opening a Building Checklist and a Covid-19 Risk Assessment. Both of these can be started now and will need to be followed in the event of any changes.
Safeguarding considerations during the pandemic can be viewed here.
We know that Covid-19 has impacted lives around the world. Unfortunately, refugees are at a high risk due to the conditions they currently find themselves in. This week, during Refugee Week, we encourage you to make use of and share All We Can’s Refugee Week worship resource. You will find all you need to run a service that reflects biblically how we are to love our neighbour.
Back to Church Update
We continue to heed the Government guidelines for churches and to consider the needs and risks involved in reopening places of worship. We will look carefully at changes to Government guidance on churches when they are announced and update our guidelines as necessary.
We continue to heed the Government guidelines for churches and to consider carefully the needs and risks involved in reopening places of worship. At this point, we do not anticipate making any changes to our own guidance until after the Conference which takes place between June 25 and July 2.
We are aware that the Government’s furlough scheme is changing and we will liaise with those Treasurers who have already been in contact with us about furloughing staff.
Online reflective group for people in ministry, Mondays 10:30-12:45
Mark Argent and Lynsey Heslegrave are offering a series of online reflective groups for people in ministry in June and July 2020.
These are an opportunity to pause and talk together. They draw on our backgrounds in accompanying people as they explore their experience of God and how they are working, and offer a space for people to reflect with others in ministry on their changing role in the world of Covid19, and on where God is in this.
How are people feeling? What’s going on? Where is God in all of this? How do we cope with less face-to-face human contact, with socially-distanced funerals, with meeting friends and church members only through a computer screen? Is there trauma being bottled up, which would be eased by having space to talk and reflect? As this is about reflecting on current experience, people will gain most from attending regularly. Each session is self-contained and people are welcome to attend for whichever sessions suit them. For more information or to book, please use the following links:
Updated guidance on using Church buildings for streaming worship is available here.
Use of buildings update
The majority of the property team guidance is now live – principal areas updated include early year education and construction/repair work.
An update can be found here.
Supervision while social distancing.
As a reminder, guidance for receiving and offering supervision while social distancing can be found on the Supervision Pages of the website. By clicking the links below, you will be taken directly to the respective pages that hold these documents.
- Guidance on receiving supervision while social distancing can be found here.
- Guidance on offering supervision while social distancing can be found here.
Jane Leach, the Connexional Director of Supervision, has also written some guidance on the more technical aspects of supervising virtually. You can access that guidance by clicking here (Pdf).
Wellbeing Resources and Hymns for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 (18—24 May)
A (free) message of hope!
We've arranged for a limited number of free copies of the Hope Together magazines for local churches to use for evangelism and mission. Packed full of testimony, inspiring stories, and spiritual encouragement, they're a great accompaniment to food bank parcels, care packages, invitations to online church gatherings, outreach to care homes and NHS workers, and more.
To order for your church, visit HOPE for All and use the promocode: methodist-2020-mag. Please note this code will give 100% off your order. However, HOPE are unable to remove the ‘Postage and Packaging’ charge at the check-out, so you will need to pay the P&P initially. As soon as your order is processed, HOPE will refund the P&P charge to you. This should be the next day.
These are available on a first-come-first-served basis, so please do plan wisely.
I am due to move this August. What’s happening?
The Conference will be asked to adopt the changes to the stations as usual and at present we are assuming that all moves will go ahead as planned during the summer (therefore removals should be booked). A small contingency group has been established to look at issues that might arise and we will publish further advice if the situation changes.
Re-opening Church Buildings
The Property team are currently working on guidelines with regard to safe reopening of our buildings. Updates will be posted here.
Many people are asking about the re-opening of nurseries and pre-schools in our buildings from 1 June, and please be assured we are working on the updated guidance which will be published as soon as possible.
Having checked the FAQ’s if you have specific queries regarding property please email firstname.lastname@example.org,
Reopening of building that are used as Nurseries and Preschools
Please note we are drafting this advice –and will post it here, and on the main website, as soon as possible.
A training opportunity from the College of Preachers
“Four Weddings, A Funeral and A Christening”: an on-line workshop for preachers to explore how we can share the Gospel through preaching at weddings, baptisms and funerals.
Although how we minister has had to change in recent months due to the pandemic, funerals are still taking place, in some areas, sadly many more than previously. In time, weddings and baptisms will again be held. This workshop will look at how we can use these events to share the good news and hope of the Gospel.
This workshop will be led by the Revd Dr Duncan MacPherson, Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, author and former lecturer in Theology.
Date & Venue: Thursday 11 June 2020, 11am to 1.30pm, via Zoom.
This on-line workshop is being offered free of charge.
To book a place on this workshop, please visit this page
For an update click here.
Being transparent and safe online
See our guide to Pastoral Contacts for ministers in a virtual world (Word doc)
MHA Sunday is a date where the church traditionally comes together to give thanks for the work of Methodist Homes (MHA) and to offer prayer for those in later life and those who care for them. This year Covid-19 has had devastating impact in our homes and schemes, with hundreds of lives lost including our residents, members and colleagues. At 3pm on Sunday 14 June, MHA will be broadcasting a service where we not only have the opportunity to give thanks and pray, but this year to also pause and remember those lives that have been lost to this disease, to pray for all in later life and those who care for them. Please will you stand with us in thanksgiving and remembrance at 3pm on Sunday 14 June?
Further details will be available on our website, nearer the time.
Prayer and Methodist News for those without the Internet
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.
You can find the whole of this week’s Podcast here.
Churches together have produced this prayer card for use in the Coronavirus epidemic – feel free to share it.
Prayers with the dying and bereaved
We have had some requests for help with prayers for the dying – when a minister cannot attend. And prayers with the bereaved.
Please feel free to share these with those it might help.
Mission through Online Worship
An early study on the implications of Online worship in the Anglican Church is available here.
If you have any insights to share please do email Paul Wood (Interim Director Of Ministries)
Local Preachers' Meeting Guidance
Thinking how to run your Local Preachers’ Meeting during the lockdown?
We have drafted some guidance that can be downloaded here.
Mental Health and Wellbeing for ministers 2020
We are conscious that, during this time, you are supporting people through all kinds of difficulties, challenges and unprecedented anxieties. Though you’re used to being with and alongside others in illness, bereavement, the end of life, and amid mental health difficulties, the scope and scale of Covid-19 are new, and challenging, and potentially overwhelming.
Tools for using Facebook
The presentations below were shared by Facebook during a recent conference call for faith and community leaders organised and hosted by Citizens UK. For those of you making increasing use of Facebook and other social media platforms, they may contain useful guidance and tips: but that is by no means a wholesale endorsement of Facebook! We hope they’re of use to some.
Volunteering for chaplaincy in care homes
You will be aware that some of the most vulnerable people to Covid 19 are residents in care homes including those run by MHA. In a situation where there is a shortage of staff because people are ill or having to self-isolate MHA are looking for volunteer chaplains and it may be that presbyters or deacons would want to offer some time to this if you have capacity.
If you want to consider this please consult the superintendent minister and the circuit leadership team as the wider implications on work in the circuit will need to be considered, particularly as chaplains are limited to access to only one care home.
If you want to volunteer with MHA please send an email to email@example.com
Holy Communion and On-line Acts of Worship
For many Christians there will be a real sense of loss marking Maundy Thursday and celebrating Easter Day without the opportunity to gather for Communion. The Methodist Church has produced two resources which can be used when people are unable to take communion in church and are especially relevant as we find ourselves in lockdown. Methodists vary hugely in their attachment to Holy Communion. Today it is common practice for Methodists to receive communion once a month, although for many years some congregations only celebrated the Lord’s Supper once a quarter. Drawing from other Christian traditions, a resource for Spiritual Communion has been created for people who aren’t able to receive the sacrament physically. The second resource is for a Love Feast, which has its roots in the early Church and has a particular place in the Methodist tradition. We are also reminded of the words of the Covenant Prayer, where we pledge to ‘freely and wholeheartedly yield all things’ to God.
The Methodist Conference of 2018 adopted the policy that: ‘presbyters and other persons authorised to preside at the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper are not permitted to use electronic means of communication, such as the internet or video-conferencing, in order to invite those not physically present with the presiding minister to receive the elements.” In doing so the Conference recognised that there are diverse views as to whether such practice constitutes Holy Communion, that there is not yet a shared understanding, and that the questions potentially lead to a significant re-imagining of sacramental theology. This is in line with the position of our ecumenical partners in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.
While discussions have been taking place throughout the COVID-19 lockdown about how worship can be adapted for people at home, the Conference resolution of 2018 stands. We are conscious at this time that many people are not only isolated at home, but are also excluded from accessing services online. Many of our sisters and brothers in Christ are deprived of the opportunity to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, so we stand with them at this difficult time. Many Christians around the world have no opportunity to worship or practice their faith freely and again we are mindful of their struggle while we navigate our own ways through this crisis. A recognition of what we are missing is itself a reminder of the privilege of being members of Christ’s body.
Easter Day Love Feast https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/16689/easter-day-love-feast.pdf
An Act of Spiritual Communion for Easter Day https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/16692/spiritual-communion-for-easter-day.pdf
We invite you to share some of your ideas for celebrating Holy Week and Easter. Here are a few that we received:
A funeral liturgy: I can’t get to a funeral
The Ministries Team have prepared this short Worship at Home Sheet for those who cannot get to a funeral. Click here for the material.
Please feel to distribute as appropriate.
We are keen to hear from you what creative ways you are adopting to
- ‘Visiting’ the immediate family to make funeral arrangements
- How you are rethinking your practice in preparation and delivery of funerals
- Supporting the wider mourners
- Engaging with online funeral services
Please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share your ideas with others.
Updated Guidelines for Funerals During the Coronavirus Crisis
With regret, ministers are asked to note the further restrictions on use of Methodist buildings and the number of people attending a funeral.
Click here for the guidance.
Ministerial Counselling Service
We recognise this might be difficult times for ministers. If you feel you would like to access the ministerial counselling services, please consult this document.
Ministers' Wellness Survey
We have decided to extend the deadline for responding to the Wellness Survey by an extra fortnight – it will now close on 17 April. We sent out a gentle reminder to those who hadn’t responded yet just before the Corona Virus lockdown was announced. Since then, ministers are likely to have been working flat out setting up new ways of being church during the lockdown. Given that the survey is about ministerial wellbeing, it would be a pity if this unprecedented threat to health and wellbeing got in the way of people being able to give their considered response. So, if you have completed the survey, thank you! If you haven’t had a chance yet, you’ll find the survey here – it will probably take about 20 minutes to complete.
Survey URL: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/F9QRGVS
A message from Paul Wood and Jude Levermore
Click here for today's letter from Paul Wood and Jude Levermore
Free material from ROOTS
ROOTS has produced free material to support Worship at home during this time. The material will be updated every week and two weeks will be available at any time.
Click here for the material.
Updated information on Baptisims, Weddings and Funerals
Click here for the updates
All Church Buildings to close, please
The Methodist Church is announcing a closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable future. The only exception will be for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out closely within Government guidelines. The Methodist Church suspended worship services last week with some churches still opening for quiet prayer and reflection. This must now also be suspended. We would encourage people to use our online resources at home which include downloadable services and links to online worship services.
The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference said: “We are asking people to change their way of ‘going to church’ to help to protect themselves and others. We have put in place measures that will enable Methodists still to be part of the worshipping community, whilst for everyone’s sake staying away from church buildings. There is a range of resources available for people to use at home which we hope will help them to continue their cycle of prayer and worship. The Methodist Church is more than its buildings and if in these unprecedented times we can continue our life as Methodists without using our buildings we will help to reduce the chances of transmission of the virus.”
If you are running a foodbank or soup kitchen we would urge you to seek advice on how to operate as safely as possible from central bodies such as the Trussell Trust or IFAN. In the first instance ensure that those at high risk are not volunteering and put at risk, minimise contact and observe social distancing, ensure people do not remain on the premises but take food away quickly and think through all your processes to minimise all unnecessary person to person contact. There should be no-one on the premises who doesn’t need to be there.
If you’re running a night shelter there is advice available here:
What should I do if I am due to take my sabbatical?
In order that the Church’s ministry might be at full strength after the crisis prearranged sabbaticals should be taken as arranged and may only be deferred with the permission of the District Sabbaticals Group (SO 744). Any change in the timing of a sabbatical may only take place after consultation as directed in SO744 noting that this will impact on future planning. In any case any deferment should be within this Connexional Year.
Full guidance is found in SO 744 and this should be followed.
How does COVID-19 affect supervision arrangements?
Guidance on receiving supervision while social distancing can be found here.
Guidance on offering supervision while social distancing can be found here.
What is happening to candidates for the ministry during the current situation?
The Candidates Selection Committee will not physically meet in the way planned from 23 March but all candidates have been contacted about the way in which the candidating process will be completed.
Updated advice on Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Click here for the update.
Superintendents' Conferences 2020 - CANCELLED
It is with sadness that I write to inform you that we have decided to cancel this year’s Superintendents’ Conferences in Oxford and Blackpool.
The current uncertainty around coronavirus means that Superintendents will have different demands in their home circuits. Cancelling now releases Superintendents to focus their attention on local needs and also protects the church a little from losses of people booking train tickets (and having to cancel them later) and some of the venue costs.
It is of course my prayer that we are over this crisis before May, but on current predictions this is unlikely. Over the coming weeks, health permitting we on the Connexional Team we will continue to find ways to help you respond to Our Calling in these challenging times.
Be assured of my prayers
A message from the Secretary of the Conference
The Methodist Church
18 March 2020
Brothers and sisters,
We are living in strange times and as so often we find ourselves pulled in different directions. As those called to pastoral ministry, we are committed to doing the best that we can to care for people at a time of great anxiety and uncertainty. As responsible members of and representatives in our communities, we need to follow the advice of the Government to keep people as safe and free of the risk of contagion as possible.
For those reasons, the Connexional Team yesterday issued advice that all worship services and business and fellowship meetings should be suspended. We have cleared the diary for meetings at Methodist Church House until Easter and will review the situation on a daily basis from now on. Our social outreach work needs to continue as well as it possibly can, so please be mindful of the guidance around good hygiene in running (for example) foodbanks, night shelters, or drop-ins for the homeless. Again, we balance the care that is essential with our need to fulfil our mission to those who are (as in all situations) the most vulnerable.
The guidance on public worship affects the occasional offices. Whilst it is not appropriate to hold large public celebrations of Baptism, the current situation might lead parents or others not to want to delay a Baptism and we need to be willing to offer an appropriate pastoral response and if need be Baptism with a much smaller gathering. Similarly, we are assuming that all weddings will be postponed but that there might be exceptional circumstances in which a marriage can be solemnized with a small number of witnesses. Those who have weddings in the diary will need to speak with sensitivity to the couple concerned about their options.
In the same way, we need to think about our funeral ministry. Local councils will have guidance around what is possible or permission in crematoria and cemeteries. We will want to offer the pastoral care that we can for grieving families and the reverent committal of the deceased to God whilst putting off the holding of large memorial services.
Our guidance on pastoral visits is on the website. You might want to consider what can be offered by telephone rather than face to face, and perhaps a telephone cascade system to enable prayer requests, pastoral news and the need for practical help to be passed on.
There will be financial implications for some churches and circuits. In the first instance, can I ask that any church’s concerns be raised with the circuit and that circuits that feel they are going to run into difficulties speak to their districts? If district treasurers are concerned, they should contact the Finance Office in the Connexional Team. Please be assured that we shall keep our finance operation (including the payroll) running. Our HR team is also on hand should any advice be needed about paid staff whose work may be affected.
The calling of the Church is to respond to the Gospel of God’s love in all circumstances. These trying times are both a challenge and an opportunity to proclaim the faithfulness of God through our continued care for God’s people. We shall continue to update the website with guidance and with ideas about how our mission and our pastoral ministry can continue and we would welcome any examples of good practice that you are following or have seen.
It is important in all this that we do not fail to look after ourselves. Beyond that, supervision and spiritual direction can be offered by telephone or video conference as well as face to face; this might be a time when those who are supervisors need to ensure that they are available more frequently and those who are supervisees need not to be afraid to ask for additional help. And, of course, our physical wellbeing matters and we all need to be alert to the medical advice.
As always, we watch over each other in love. Those of us who work in the Connexional Team have been grateful for the many promises of your prayers that we have received and please be assured that we are praying for you and the communities you serve.
Yours in Christ,
Jonathan R Hustler
Secretary of the Conference
A Prayer by the President of the Conference:
If we are ill, strengthen us
If we are tired
Fortify our spirits
If we are anxious
Help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.
Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders!
Don't let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves
Fix our eyes on your story
And our hearts on your grace
Help us always to hold fast to the good and see the good in others.
And remember there is just one world, one hope,
One everlasting love, with baskets of bread for everyone.
In Jesus we make our prayer,
The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,
In whom we trust, these days and all days. Amen
COVID-19 Update (March 17th)
Click here for the latest update.
COVID-19 Update (March 16th)
Please find below a message from Jude Levermore and Paul Wood:
As you will appreciate, we are in a very fluid situation, so many people want to make their suggestions and many have to be context specific. The British Government have announced they will give a daily update, we in turn intend to review any guidance given (daily or more frequently as the situation develops) and will update our advice to you as necessary, these can be found here
Worshipping at Home
Last week we provided a worship at home sheet. We will endeavour to coordinate this for the coming weeks. A new section on the Singing the Faith plus website has been created to host these materials, you can find this here. If you are willing to draft a similar act of worship please email Gabriella Mahadeva email@example.com who will send you guidelines and allocate you a particular Sunday.
We continue to hold you in prayer at this challenging time.
We have updated the Superintendents' Handbook! Click here to download it.
Updated Coronavirus guidance for churches
We have updated our Coronavirus guidance for churches – to read the full guidance click here.
Corona Virus and passing the peace
Please click here for information on passing the peace.
In the light of the ongoing situation around coronavirus, ministers are being encouraged to take extra care around hygiene when preparing to share Holy Communion. Please click here for today’s press release and suggested guidelines. We continue to pray for those people affected by the coronavirus.
We are now taking bookings for the Retirement Course in October and November.
20-22 October - Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre - click here
3-5 November - High Leigh Conference Centre - click here
Music Summer Exchange
We’ve received this email from Scott Cockerham, who is the Music Director at St Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Titusville, Florida:
My son and I lead music here and are planning to go the UK this June and July. Would it be possible to set up a tour of churches that may welcome guest musicians from America? We specialize in taking tradition hymns and freshening them up with bluegrass and jazz styles. We would like to do this on a volunteer basis in exchange for lodging accommodations. For more information please click here.
We share without prejudice or a recommendation but that it might be helpful to parts of the connexion
Preaching from the Prophets
“Preaching from the Prophets”: a workshop for preachers to explore what the Prophets of the Old Testament have to teach us and how we can communicate their wisdom in our preaching. This workshop will be led by the Revd Dr Wendy Kilworth-Mason, Methodist Presbyter and former university lecturer.
Date & Venue: Saturday 2 May, 12 noon to 4pm, Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, Flintshire. Cost: £27, includes lunch. For more information, please click here.
To book a place on this workshop, please click here.
In the light of the ongoing situation around coronavirus, ministers are being encouraged to take extra care around hygiene when preparing to share Holy Communion. Please click here for today’s press release and suggested guidelines. We continue to pray for those people affected by the coronavirus.
Superintendents' Conference - Oxford
There are 3 more spaces left at the Superintendents' Conference in Oxford that takes place from 5-7 May at the Oxford Belfry Hotel in Thame. To book your place please click here.
Our latest LPWL Newsletter can be downloaded by clicking here.
Retirement Course - March 2020
We have a few more spaces left at the Retirement Course that takes place at High Leigh Conference Centre from 3-5 March 2020. If you are able to attend please click here to book your place.
A First Move in Ministry? 7 more spaces left!
Are you in the fourth year of your first appointment? Likely to move appointment or seek a reinvitation? This event is for you! To book your place please click here and to download our flyer click here.
Evangelism and Contemporary Culture Officer
We're seeking an innovative leader to join the Methodist Church in Britain team as Evangelism and Contemporary Culture Officer.
Are you passionate about helping new people encounter God and become disciples of Jesus who change the world for the better?
Do you have a track record for inspiring and equipping theologically-diverse people to be confident, inclusive evangelists?
Find out more here.
All people are welcome to apply; we particularly encourage applications from people of colour and younger adults.
Spiritual Formation Event
‘Divine Intimacy, Ordinary Holiness’ is the intriguing title of the forthcoming Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation which will be held at Drumalis Retreat Centre, Larne, N. Ireland in June (14-19). Bookings are now open for this retreat which follows a Benedictine-style rhythm, incorporating teaching, silence, worship and small group sharing into a programme which many previous participants have described as life-giving and transformative.
The Community for Spiritual Formation has its roots in the Upper Room Ministries and is run in Britain by a small group of mainly-Methodist trustees including presbyters Nicola Vidamour, Sheryl Anderson and James Bamber and past Vice-President of Conference, Jill Baker.
Retirement Course - February 2020
We still have two places available at the next Retirement Course that takes place from 11-13 February at the Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire. If you are able to attend please e-mail Gabriella - firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Superintendents' Conferences 2020
We are now taking bookings for the Superintendents' Conferences 2020. Details can be found here.
Exploring Matthew's Gospel: Preaching the Lectionary in the Year of Matthew
A workshop for preachers to explore ways in which we can most effectively share the good news of Matthew’s Gospel through our preaching. This workshop will be led by the Revd Neil Richardson, New Testament scholar, author and former President of the British Methodist Conference.
Date: Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Time: 10am to 4pm
Venue: Ludlow Mascall Centre, Shropshire, SY8 1RZ
Cost: £12 (no lunch) or £17 (includes lunch)
To book a place, please click here. Please publicise this around your networks.
Superintendents' Conferences 2020
We will open the booking for the Superintendents' Conferences 2020 on 9 January at 12noon.
Preaching the Good News of Matthew
“Preaching the Good News of Matthew”: a workshop for preachers to explore ways in which we can most effectively share the good news of Matthew’s Gospel through our preaching. This workshop will be led by the Revd Dr Stephen Wright, Vice Principal and Academic Director of Spurgeon’s College.
Date & Venue: Friday, 17 January 2020, 2pm to 5pm, Mount Street Jesuit Centre, 114 Mount Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 3AY.
Venue is easily accessible by bus or London Underground.
This workshop is free but places are limited.
To book a place on this workshop, please email email@example.com
Sermon of the Year 2020
This competition, organised by LWPT, is an opportunity to raise the profile of great preaching in your circuit. Please publicise this at your next Local Preachers’ Meeting and note that the closing date is 23 February 2020.
The StF plus site is now upgraded
Click here to access the newly upgraded site!
Some interesting research from the Bible Society
Click here for a very helpful video.
posted 08/11/19 and updated 27/01/20
A First Move in Ministry?
Are you in the fourth year of your first appointment? Likely to move appointment or seek a reinvitation? This event is for you! To book your place please click here and to download our flyer click here.
Supernumeraries web pages
We are delighted to announce that the Supernumeraries webpages are now live on the Methodist Church website and can be accessed by clicking on this link.
The latest LPWL Newsletter can be downloaded here.
The Well is a network for all those working with children, young people and families; whether ordained or lay, paid or voluntary the Well is for everyone. If you sign up to the Well you will receive regular mailings containing information about relevant events, resources, opportunities and funding. There is also an extensive range of information and resources in the Well section of the Methodist website.
You can also find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ministrywithchildrenandyouth
and on Twitter @childrenyouth
Church Stewards' Handbook
We are delighted to announce the publication of the long awaited Church Stewards Handbook which is free to download and print locally. We are treating this as a work in progress so if you can think of improvements please do feel free to email Paul Wood firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are the number of Candidates for Ministry falling?
The Ministries Committee have received this report and share it with the church for its reflection. Further work around the recommendations will follow.
Remembering Our Call: An Annual Service for Local Preachers
This is now available in Word format and can be downloaded here.
Marriage and Relationships
The report, study guide and film being provided to support discussions around marriage and relationships can be found online here. These resources are also available to order from Methodist Publishing; orders will be dispatched after the 23 September. District synod orders are being collated and handled directly in time for forthcoming meetings. More resources to support prayerful reflection are to be added online in the next week.
Are you beginning your 4th year in public ministry? Starting to think about your first move in Ministry?
First Move in Ministry – is a fully funded Continuing Development in Ministry opportunity especially for you. Save the date! Click here for our flyer. More details to follow.
Are you in your 10- 12th year of travel – wondering what next?
Recharge could be for you - 22-24 June 2020! Save the date! More information here.
Want to help your people think about their vocations?
Follow Alison Ransome our new Vocations Advisor, on twitter - Alison, is collecting and sharing stories around the Connexion. Share yours by following @MethodistVocat1
Michael Paterson's presentation at the Superintendents' Conference 2019
Michael's video is now available to watch below:
Circuit Stewards' Handbook
We are delighted to announce that the long awaited Circuit Stewards’ Handbook and training materials are now available here.
We hope to make the new Church Stewards’ Handbook available in the autumn.
Remembering Our Call: An Annual Service for Local Preachers
This is now available as a PowerPoint to download here.
Remembering Our Call - An Annual Service for Local Preachers
Following the decision of Conference in 2018, Local Preachers are required to attend an annual service of reaffirmation of their call (SO 563(3)(v)). Usually, this will be part of the Local Preachers’ Meeting, but could form part of a circuit service. An order of service has been prepared by the Faith and Order Committee, and is now available for download here or from the Methodist Church website here.
We hope that this will become a significant time of worship, celebration and recommitment for those who serve the church through their faithful preaching week by week.
Connexional Evangelism and Growth Strategy Foundations Welcomed at Conference
Since autumn 2018, the new Evangelism and Growth team has led 75 consultations in every region of the Church – the first phase of its work to inspire, architect, and embed a contextual, coherent, and coordinated Connexional Strategy for Evangelism and Growth. Those consultations led to a “Strategic Foundations Paper” that was workshopped at the Superintendents Conferences and the Methodist Conference. Another 300 people from across the Connexion will engage with these strategic foundations at an October 2019 Consultation on Evangelism.
The developed strategy will be presented to the 2020 Conference in Telford for discussion and acceptance. In the meantime, the Evangelism and Growth team is kick-starting some experiments to help the whole Church stretch into a renewed commitment to faith-sharing, growing churches, and starting new Christian communities.
Here are a two ways you can get connected now:
If your church doesn’t yet have a mission plan, the Mission Planning Toolkit has lots of resources to get you started and to guide you along the way. Mission Planning is a crucial step towards one of our strategic dreams: Every Church Growing.
Are you looking to pioneer something new in your circuit or church? We would like to help you get started, and affirm you as you seek God’s calling, with a “New Places for New People” starter grant. We are looking for projects right at the start of their pioneering journey where £100-£1500 would lift a bit of pressure at that early stage.
Trey Hall, Director of Evangelism and Growth said: “As we prepare to launch a significant strategy change in 2020 around starting new churches, partnering with leaders in the most deprived areas of the country, and raising up a movement of young leaders, we’re excited to announce these micro-grants as a very small sign of the expansive commitment that we hope to make in 2020.”
Worship: Leading & Preaching is changing!
The Worship: Leading & Preaching website was introduced in 2015-16 and is well overdue for a makeover. The new site is now live.
Five headline changes are:
- New page design with graphics and colour, optimized for most device types.
- Easier navigation around the site – harder to get lost!
- Book-marking within Worship and Prepare.
- Easier and more efficient printing.
- Course contents re-organised into more logical blocks for learning.
We hope that these changes will make learning more accessible and remove obstacles from the path of those developing their calling as Worship Leaders and Local Preachers.
The technical details of the changes are here. All existing users will be given prior notice and will be switched to the new course automatically. They will still be able to access the current course for a while, although we hope that they won’t want to. Please don’t hesitate to contact Bob Bartindale for clarification.
New Professional Certificate in Pastoral Supervision Training Course
The Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute in association with the Institute of Pastoral Counselling & Supervision is offering a course for Clergy, Pastoral Care Team Leaders, Lay Ministers, Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Chaplains, Pioneer Ministers and Spiritual Directors to develop understanding and skills in reflective practice in pastoral and ministerial settings.
You can find more information about this and other professional supervision training courses here.
New Superintendents' Induction Courses 2020
Dates for the New Superintendents' Induction Courses are now on the website at this link.
Exploration Day 18-30s
If you know anyone in the age group of 18-30s who would like to explore a Call to Ministry, please ask them to come along to our Exploration Day that is scheduled for Saturday 5 October 2019 at Methodist Church House, London. Bookings are open at this link.
Superintendents' Conferences 2019
The material from the Superintendents' Conferences 2019 is now available to download here.
Presbyteral Session Communion Liturgy
The Ex-President of Conference, The Revd Michaela Youngson, has made available the liturgy from the Presbyteral Session of Conference for those who wish to use it. It can be downloaded here.
Called to Ordained Ministry - Stories
We’ve added some more Video Testimonies of people called to Ordained Ministry onto the Website at this link. Feel free to use them – in worship, meetings or to direct people who you feel may be called to ordination.
Worship: Leading & Preaching
Spring School and Summer Schools provide the group “Explore” sessions from the Worship: Leading & Preaching course at Cliff College. Students still require a local tutor and mentor, but benefit from learning with a diverse group from around the connexion. Summer School takes place from 5 - 9 August at Cliff College and Spring School is 23 - 27 March 2020. Despite the information on the flyer that can be downloaded here, we will be offering all modules at both events. If there are those in your circuit who could take advantage of these opportunities, please let them know – bookings will remain open until mid-July.
Also, our new WLP in a Year programme starts in September. This is designed to allow completion of Worship: Leading & Preaching within a calendar year, and is especially appropriate for those intending to candidate for ministry. Further information is available here, or contact David Hunt at email@example.com.
Ministers' Retirement Course
For those looking towards retirement in the next 2 years there is an opportunity to attend the Ministers' retirement course. Details can be found here.
We are pleased to announce that Alison Ransome the Learning Coordinator from the North West and Mann Region will be seconded from September 2019 to serve in Ministries: Vocations and Worship as Vocations Advisor. She will take the lead alongside other members of the Connexional team in work around the Vocations Strategy. Alison has experience of Fresh Expressions of Church and is a passionate advocate for the ministry of the whole people of God – we look forward to her sharing her gifts with the team.
Superintendents' Conference Oxford 2020
Due to the change of the 2020 May Bank Holiday, the Superintendents' Conference in Oxford will now take place from Tuesday 5 May to Thursday 7 May.
Rise and Shine
Rise and Shine is an event for young people aged 16 -23, who have been chosen by their church to attend, as they are in leadership or show potential in leadership. Rise and Shine will bring young people together for a weekend to listen to God, pray and talk together and gain a deeper understanding of leadership through worship, workshops and creative activities. The weekend is from the 12–14 July at Cliff College in Derbyshire. More details here.
Young Local Preacher Weekend
Do you know a young person aged 16-25 with a call to preach? This year we are launching a Young Local Preachers weekend, for anyone aged 16-25 who is a local preacher, or at any stage in the training, or even just thinking about it! The Methodist Church and Cliff College will be hosting this weekend event full of inspiration, challenge and a chance to develop new skills. The weekend will be held at Cliff College from 20-22 September 2019. Tickets cost £75 and can be bought via the Eventbrite link here.
Supervision Record Keeping and Note Taking
Guidance on the handling of supervisory files can be found here.
Candidating for the Ministry?
Do you know people who you think might or are considering Candidating for the Ministry?
Here are some stories you might like to share.
Circuit and Church Stewards Training Materials
Circuit Stewards materials to be published 14 June
Church Stewards (in draft form) autumn 2019
Worship: Leading and Preaching
Information on Peer Review can be found here.
Annual Service to be published in July
The May LPWL Newsletter can be found here.
Ministry in the Methodist Church – Conference Report
The Conference Report can be found here.
Includes Questions for reflections, Bible Study
Update on Supervision Roll Out
Being Supervised - click here for more information.
Expect Research Questionnaire
New MDR guide
Click here to download the MDR guide.
Focus on Vocations
Postcards and new web materials including video testimonies.
Exploring Ordination Days. Click here for more information.
Candidates for Ministry
In 2019-2020 all Candidates must be admitted as Local Preachers or trained and submitted a portfolio as a Worship Leaders (having completed modules 1-4) by February 2020. In effect this means W:LP portfolios must have been submitted by 30 September 2019.
Training for Ministry: Circuit Based Learning Programme
Click here for more information
New Bible Study Materials on the theme of Ministry
(linked to the Ministry in the Methodist Church conference report)
Materials for this page should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org