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District News – 7 November 2023

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This Week's News

Gill on Tour

Gill looks back on her travels in October, including her time in Birmingham at 3Generate (can you spot her in the photo?); representing the Methodist Church at the funeral of Revd Canon Leon Osborn in Norfolk and joining an Ecumenical Vigil in London, plus visit to the Beds, Essex and Herts District. You can read more here: Gill on Tour

Revive us again

Revd Leslie Newton (husband of Revd Gill Newton) has recently had his book, Revive Us Again, published. This book is the fruit of his sabbatical studies in 2021. Leslie explores how the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, achieved extraordinary impact across the United Kingdom and beyond. This is an invitation to be inspired by Wesley's message and methods and see how, by reclaiming these treasures, Methodism and the wider church may once again transform society.

"A timely and timeless reminder that I hope is read widely throughout British Methodism, and beyond."
Revd Dr Martyn Atkins
"A hope-filled invitation to rediscover the richness and vibrancy of the early Methodist movement."
Deacon Eunice Attwood
"It's impossible to resist the infectious enthusiasm for God and the Methodist movement in this engaging book."
Rachel Lampard MBE
The book is available on Amazon:

Retreat for Presbyters, Deacons and Lay Employees

The retreat planned for November had to be cancelled, but we are pleased to announce details of the May Retreat.
Abba Amma: Improvisations on the Lord's Prayer with Nicola Slee at Wydale Hall from 7-9 May.
Space is limited so do register early:

Out of the Ordinary – Advent Campaign

Scratch beneath the surface this Christmas
During Advent and Christmas, you are invited to experience how the wonder of God's love is revealed in the ordinary:

  • 2,000 years ago, a seemingly ordinary birth changed the world
  • each day, ordinary acts of kindness can breakthrough to the extraordinary

Find out more here:

There is still time to order the scratch postcards from Methodist Publishing too:

District Office News

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

A reminder that the GDPR were brought in to protect people's personal data from being used inappropriately. We have been informed of a case where a former church member was contacted by someone who has been given their email address by achurch member without prior permission. There had been a good reason why the former member did not want their details shared, and this could have serious consequences.
I have arranged some training sessions on the following dates:

  • Monday 13 November at 2pm
  • Tuesday 14 November at 10:30am
  • Wednesday 15 November at 7pm

It is the same Zoom link for all three, as I will be covering the same material each time.
If there is something specific you would like help on, please get in touch
Katrin – District Administrator and Data Champion

District Safeguarding Update: A church that welcomes all.

In the strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity we are reminded that the Methodist Church 'prioritises justice and dignity for all, especially those who have previously been excluded, and which stands in active solidarity with them'.

10 top tips for making our churches more dementia-friendly.

A list of 10 top tips for making our churches more dementia friendly is now available on our Dementia Friendly Churches ( webpage.

On the page, you can find:

  • a link to a recording of our 'Making Our Churches More Dementia Friendly' webinar, packed with useful ideas
  • 10 top tips for making our churches more dementia friendly
  • information on 'Memory Worship' at Wesley Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea,
  • a list of useful websites
  • a recommended reading list
  • a list of frequently asked questions about Dementia Friendly Churches,

A charter for survivors

A charter for survivors has been added to the Support for Survivors ( webpage. This charter was written by the Methodist Survivors Advisory Group and is an invitation to the Methodist Church to listen, to repent, and to change.
A charter for survivors (

As ever, if you have any questions or concerns, please give me a call on 07483 362 735 or email me at
Many thanks
Alison Hill -District Safeguarding Officer.


New Christian communities gathering

12:30pm Saturday 11 November

There's still time to book your place at our New Christian Communities Gathering on Saturday at Gleadless Valley Methodist Church in Sheffield Methodist Circuit we will even provide the lunch.
Please register so we know how many to cater for

Administrators/Office based workers Training Day

Thursday 16 November from 9:30am

UCAN not only encourage our local gatherings, but also organise training days and we have been able to arrange for one to take place in Sheffield. Just a few days left to book a place. Bookings close this Friday!
Amplify Your Impact is a 3 session training day aimed at all those working in church administration and operations.
Come to talk about time management, implementation, evaluation, effective workflows, and cohesive team. How can we identify what is the best use of our time, and provide the most administrative value? How can we Amplify our Impact?
The cost is £44 for UCAN members and £59 for non-members.
Full details, including how to register, can be found here:

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Night Prayer

A new exciting offering starts soon! Night Prayer is a new event which starts on 19th November: A chance to take some time out ahead of the week to come or to reflect on the week that has passed. Join us at 7pm for a hot drink (plenty of de-caff options are available!) and quiet fellowship before moving into the chapel at 7.30pm for a time of prayer and reflection until 8pm.

Contemplative Carols

Join us this Christmas Eve to sing or listen to carols together and enjoy the quiet space of our beautiful, candlelit chapel. Wrap up warm; we will sing in our garden, weather permitting!
Help needed: Are you an experienced musician or singer? Do you like to bake? We need a small group of confident singers and musicians who are able to meet for a rehearsal at some point in the preceding week and lead the music. We are also offering refreshments to those who come and would welcome offers of Christmas cookies or bakes and a couple of people to organise refreshments. Finally, one or two people to help decorate the Chapel on Christmas Eve and light many candles before we start would be appreciated.
Please let us know if you would like to be involved in any way with this.

The Turn of the Year

Join us for a time of reflection and fellowship as we mark the turn of the year. Together we will prayerfully reflect on 2023 and look forward with hope to the coming year.


Members of the Justice, Dignity and Solidarity (JDS) Committee

The Methodist Council is seeking passionate applicants to become members of the Justice,Dignity and Solidarity (JDS) Committee.
As a member of the JDS Committee you would have the opportunity to make a significant
contribution to the life of the Church. If you have a calling for Equality, Diversity and
Inclusion, and enthusiastic about championing the Justice, Dignity, and Solidarity strategy,
join us on our journey to create a truly inclusive Church where the values of justice, dignity,
and solidarity are at the heart of everything we do.
Full details here:

And finally ...

I have been told that the newsletter is lacking in humour...

Why is 'dark' spelled with a k and not c? Because you can't see in the dark.
Why is it unwise to share your secrets with a clock? Well, time will tell.
Just so everyone's clear, I'm going to put my glasses on.

more seriously

from the Methodist Prayer of the Day

Holy God, in the wonder and diversity of your awesome creation, your glory is revealed all around us in a myriad of ways. Yet often we are blinded to the treasures that you have placed for us to discover because our eyes are focused on our own priorities, or we look in all the wrong places!
The most wonderful treasures are often to be found in surprising corners, unexpected people and new experiences. Help us by your Spirit to have patience to understand that you are always at work; even when it remains unseen by us. Give us eyes that are open to see where your activity is evident and ears to hear when you are inviting us to share in the process of bringing new things to birth.
May your light shine in all the dark places of our lives, our churches, our communities and our world, so that the treasure that lies within might be revealed to us.
In the name of Christ, Amen.
Gill Newton, President of the Methodist Conference, 2023/2024

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