District Ecumenical Officer Paul King talks about how refugees and asylum seekers are being support in the Derbyshire North East Circuit thanks to partnership working with The North Derbyshire Refugee Support Group, New Life Church and the Friends Meeting, and the Mosque in Chesterfield.
Paul explains: "Immigrants to Chesterfield are not a completely new phenomenon. It was around six years ago when I first visited some Syrians who had arrived in the area and when I spoke to their neighbours, I found myself talking to a Romanian. We are now also in contact with Afghan's and Ukrainians.
"In Chesterfield itself there are just four Syrian families, with others not far away in Glapwell and Clowne and then others further way in North Derbyshire. They have settled into council housing. Afghans have arrived in relatively small numbers, and have similarly been offered housing.
"The Ukrainian families have been visiting Central Methodist Church on Saturdays along with their host families and we celebrated the Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas with them earlier this month.
"We have seen a number of families or young men who now appear to be in a sort of 'limbo' as they either have to move on or who are still waiting for their asylum to be granted. We continue to support them as best we can with our clothing stores and a football team has been created thanks to the support of the Mosque.
"Much effort is going in to demonstrating that, at least to some degree, and in some ways, 'there is room'."
How is your church or circuit supporting refugees and asylum seekers?
Give, Act and Pray as part of the movement to unlock UK poverty
When people come together to reclaim their dignity, agency and power, we can make huge changes. In ourselves. In our communities. In the world.
Building a powerful movement to unlock poverty has never been more important. The cost of living crisis threatens to sweep millions into poverty, threatening their dignity and agency. No one should have to face the choice between heating and eating.
To prevent more people being swept deeper into poverty, it's vital that those of us affected have a say. Now more than ever, churches and communities need to stand together and uphold each other's dignity, agency and power.
On Church Action on Poverty Sunday, join with other churches across the UK in giving, action and prayer. Celebrate the transformational possibilities of people coming together to reclaim their dignity, agency and power.
This year's Swanwick Conference's key note speaker is Pam Rhodes. If you would like to attend and enjoy a weekend of fellowship and catch up with friends do come and join us.
All are welcome.
Full details including how to register can be found on their website: www.mwib.org.uk
Bible Month is an annual campaign that celebrates scripture by inviting the whole Methodist Connexion to feast on one particular book of the Bible together. Typically, churches engage with Bible Month during June and many of the resources and training opportunities are timed accordingly. It is possible, however, for churches to choose a different month in the year in which to engage with the materials if that works better for their local calendars and needs.
In 2023, we're going to feast upon the Book of Revelation.
Revelation is one of those biblical books we can be tempted to avoid. It has a bit of a history and reputation for being misused, abused and misconstrued. Its odd and even disturbing imagery can make it quite an uncomfortable and perplexing read. But this pastoral letter, written by an elder sage to a diverse group of committed yet messy, tired, hurting and confused churches can actually offer us a lot of comfort and instruction about how to live hopefully, faithfully and lovingly as God's people today, however challenging a time and place we might find ourselves in.
So join us as we chew over its words together in a host of different ways; appreciating its strangeness, responding to its challenges and hearing its encouragement.
This will be live broadcast from Salisbury Methodist Church. We want to make this a day not just of learning but also of fellowship. We're encouraging circuits and churches to gather all those involved in facilitating Bible Month, so that you can enjoy the live broadcast together and take advantage of the opportunity to discuss and share what you're learning and how it might land in your context.
Full details including how to register can be found on the EventBrite page: BM23-Training.eventbrite.co.uk
The 2023 30 Days with Revelation Booklet is out and available to purchase now from www.preachweb.org
Join us for Frontline and explore with other young adults – ask questions, share learning, bring challenges. Whatever your experience or confidence level, you are welcome.
If you're looking to do a study in contextual theology, a PhD could be for you.
The postgraduate research programme at the Luther King Centre -- and at UTU as a constituent college of LKC -- is validated by York St John University. Alongside your individual study, we create many opportunities for those on our programme to come together for learning, support and encouragement. There is opportunity to discuss and present research findings, to share best practice, and to develop the skills needed for intensive research. These are rich occasions of community and friendship, as well as enabling new learning to take place.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
For lay & ordained leaders new to a rural context, entering a rural appointment for the first time, or in need of a 'rural refresher'.
"Really helpful – practical, inspiring & encouraging!"- Oct 22 RMC participant.
Come and explore mission, evangelism & leadership with a rural lens.
We're currently offering a 50% bursary for lay or ordained Methodist participants, whilst funds last.
If further information would be useful, please contact Sarah Hulme, rural mission & ministry officer via firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are involved in leading (in any capacity, formal or informal, as part of a team) a new Christian community, New Place for New People, new congregation, or Fresh Expression and haven't yet registered for our district gathering, please could you do so as soon as possible so that we can finalise plans for the afternoon. We will be hosted in Chesterfield by our District NPNP Pilot and will be joined by Matt Finch, Connexional Pioneering and Church Planting Officer. Further details and register your free place at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/new-christian-communities-gathering-tickets-496243105487
24th February – 17th March
Raising funds for Assist and City of Sanctuary, the exhibition explores the stories of refugees, shining a light on the perilous journeys asylum seekers undertake.
Entry to the exhibition is free and available to see during Whirlow's opening hours
22nd February – 29th March
A six week series: each Wednesday evening in Lent participants shall draw on a key principle from Thomas Merton, 20th Century Christian mystic, using a reading from his writings followed by Contemplative Dialogue to help with reflections.
For more information, visit the What's On page
Join us on Saturday 25th March 2023 at Hesley Woods for a fun day of workshops, worship and on-site activities. This event is for anyone aged 8 -18, but they must attend with Youth Leader/Minister.
Full details including how to book here! https://230325-youthday.eventbrite.co.uk
Lost, Found, Reclaimed
Over time things change – but is that always for good?
Lost, Found, Reclaimed takes as its starting point "The Lost Words" book, written as a response to the removal of everyday nature words – among them "acorn", "bluebell", "kingfisher" and "wren" – from a widely used children's dictionary, because those words were not being used enough by children to merit inclusion.
In this retreat we will be exploring some of the things that have been lost; what might we want to reclaim or rediscover; but also what new things have we found that aid our work.
Register link: https://20230605LayRetreat.eventbrite.co.uk before 3 April (places are limited)
You will provide pastoral support at three churches within the circuit, be involved in engaging with existing activities of these churches, encourage new opportunities for mission and Christian engagement and promote other ventures that engage with people across the varied communities in our circuit as appropriate.
This is a full time post of 35 hours per week and is for a fixed term until 31st March 2025with an annual salary of £21k.
If you are interested in this new post, then please email email@example.com for a job application pack
Time to step out of your comfort zone? Our top challenge events for 2023 are here
Are you looking for a way to challenge yourself in 2023? Why not do it while fundraising to improve the lives of UK children and families? You can take part in events across the UK. There are thousands of different fundraising sports events to choose from. Join #TeamActionForChildren. Find an event near you here: https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/support-us/fundraise-with-us/find-an-event-near-you
Are you passionate about making positive changes to the lives of children and young people in the UK? We are looking for 15 young people to join our mission to make sure the voices of children and young people are always heard. Find more information and how to apply here. The deadline for applications is Monday 13th February.
As we look towards Lent, we're preparing our own take on forty ways to count your blessings. We hope this will offer a positive boost to each day, and, if you're able to, help you to use this important and reflective time of the year to support our cause. This resource will be sent to our Methodist supporters and be posted on our website in February
We had a record year in 2021/22, recovering from the difficulties of the pandemic, £72,600 was paid out, the highest figure ever. Over 750 awards affected the lives of 1359 people, about half of them children. 87% started with applications from local authority or medical support services, Citizens Advice and charities spread across the whole country. The range of circumstances in applications is wide and includes help with buying food and basics such as bedding, cooking utensils and paying for essential travel. The highest categories of need are people who are homeless, suffering from medical or mental issues and claimants waiting for their first universal benefit, along with women who have experienced domestic violence and refugees and asylum seekers seeking assistance to secure education or training.
Read more about their work here
Do you have an interest in global relationships and global mission?
Join for us for a time of storytelling where we will hear from Mission Partners and about the most recent work of the World Mission Fund at the Radiate webinar.
Wednesday 8 February, 2023 at either 1-2pm or 7-8pm via a Zoom webinar.