From:                              Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury District Office []

Sent:                               11 November 2020 10:23


Subject:                          11/11/2020


Latest News:
Action for Children Conference report
All We Can Christmas Resources
In case you missed it:
Christmas/Advent District Grants - still available
Zoom Seminar on Online Safety
News from Action for Children
Holy Habits Lent Resources
3Generate Elections
Funding Opportunities
Dial-a-prayer free phone line
District Children's Support Fund update

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Action for Children Conference report

The Annual District Advocates Conference met online on 22nd October 2020 and during the day we listened to keynote speakers from the charity and time was given for us to share information about the support our Districts give to Action for Children. I hope you will find the following summary of the day interesting and helpful. Angela Newey (District Advocate)

Nick Jones - Managing Director of Fundraising, Communications & Policy
The latest figures at March 2020 show that the Charity helped 368,000 children and families through 503 services. 99% of these services have continued and the full crisis team has worked during the pandemic.
“ Every child should have a safe and happy childhood” This is the vision for the "End Crisis" Campaign. Money from Local Authorities has continued to come in and nurseries that are run on a commercial basis bring in funds. An appeal was made to generate funds to give essential items to struggling families and the £780,000 raised supported over 5,000 families.
The money raised from Secret Santa in 2019 was also used and this appeal is being promoted again this year. (Secret Santa 2020 packs are now available as well as Christmas cards and diaries are available online) . Many fundraising initiatives are not possible at the present time so new ideas are being developed. Poverty is a growing problem with 4 in 10 families struggling to feed their children and in some instances, front-line staff have donated food from their own cupboards.
Paul Carberry - Nation Director for Scotland, Serious Crime & Early Intervention
This project is funded by money from the National Lottery and is aimed at helping “high risk” 11 to 18 year olds, who are in danger of falling into a life of crime due to pressures from their personal environment. It is a pioneering programme, initially started in Glasgow, that is now working with 70 young people in that city. Local Authorities were contacted to let them know of the service and Edinburgh, Newcastle and Cardiff responded. These cities have now enlisted the help of the Charity. The project includes the use of peer mentors as a way to help young people in danger of falling into a cycle of organised crime and many of these are past offenders. Early intervention is used to direct the young people away from a lifestyle which could lead to drug supply and distribution as well as money laundering. The programme can take different forms e.g. school based or mentoring. Organised crime intervention not only helps the young people but also the local communities.

Joanna Miskin & Joanna Thurston - Online Support Workers.
"Parent Talk" is a free on-line confidential parenting advice service offered by support workers which has been arranged to compensate for the closure of Children’s Centres. Advice can be found in articles on the website, where there is also a link to a “"Live Chat.” This is funded through voluntary giving and, with so many parents in desperate need of guidance, a service like "Parent Talk" is needed now more than ever.


All We Can Christmas Resources

Let’s make this Christmas extraordinary! Your church might like to use All We Can’s Nativity – An Extraordinary Christmas – available as a video or as a script to use in your online church services over the coming weeks.

Or you might like to join us for the Big Church Sing – Christmas Special – live on YouTube on Sunday 29th November at 4pm. Find out more and download additional devotional resources for the season at

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


District grants for Advent and Christmas projects

The times are pretty desperate for so many people right now that it’s even more important that Christians fulfil our God-given mission to be a blessing to our communities.  However, with many of our traditional Christmas activities beyond bounds this year we will need to be creative in finding ways to be bearers of light and hope to those around us.  The District is making small grants available in this hope of sparking and enabling creative mission this Advent and Christmas.  Grants of up to £150 (maximum 3 per Circuit) can be applied for by anyone on behalf of their church or Circuit.  Full application details are on the form.
Share your ideas and the progress of your project via District social media sites (or through the District Office) so that we might encourage one another to tell the world that “Best of all is, God is with us”.*
(*This is the theme of the President and Vice-President of Conference this year, being the final words of John Wesley before his death )


Zoom Seminar on Online Safety

Over recent months we've become more aware than ever of the opportunities and challenges of connecting online. The Birmingham District Safeguarding Group, in collaboration with the Learning Network West Midlands, invite you to join us for a Zoom Seminar on Online Safety led by independent e-safety expert, Karl Hopwood.
To enable as many people as possible to benefit from this session, we will be running it twice. The two options are  Thursday 26th November 19:00-21:00  or Thursday 3rd December 9:30-11:30.  The session on the 3rd December will cover the same material as the one on the 26th November, so please book in for one session only.
How to Book:   For more details, and to register, please go to:
Further Information:
This session will be led by Karl Hopwood. Karl is a member of UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and sits on the advisory board for the UK Safer Internet Centre and the education advisory board for CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre). Karl has also done work for BECTA (British Educational and Communications Technology Agency), the European Commission and several Local Authorities within the UK. Karl has been employed for the last 5 years as an in-house consultant for INSAFE which is the coordinating node of the EU safer internet programme where he is responsible for the coordination of safer internet helplines across the EU. 
Session Outline:

  • An overview of online safety and social media; including an update on current threats (national and regional)
  • Online safeguarding in the church context: with particular focus on children, young people and older people, and Methodist Church safeguarding policies
  • Good practice for ministers, lay workers, volunteers, supervisors or line managers, or those who are part of a management /oversight group.
  • Breakout Room discussions: Exploring  case studies related to children/ young people and older people, and discussing  how to respond to concerns, and the aftermath/consequences for the individual, their family and friends, the  church and the wider community.
  • Final Plenary: Q & A with Karl Hopwood & Sue Holder (Birmingham District Safeguarding Officer)

Who should attend?
This event will be of relevance to ministers lay workers (including pastoral workers, community workers,  and youth, children and family workers), safeguarding officers, circuit and church stewards, local preachers and worship leaders, Sunday School teachers, and other volunteers. We also encourage strongly attendance by those acting in a supervisory, management or support capacity with lay workers.
Will the session be live streamed or recorded? The event will not be live streamed, but some parts of the session will be recorded. On Karl’s advice we will not be making this recording publicly available (e.g., on Facebook, District websites, etc.) due to the time sensitive and context specific nature of the issue. However, a copy of the recording, for personal use or use within a local Methodist Church context only, can be shared on request following the event. Please email for further information. 
Can I invite someone from another denomination / another region? We anticipate high demand for these sessions, which are limited to 95 attendees at each. We are therefore prioritising places for those in the Birmingham and Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury Districts. Please do encourage attendance from relevant persons within your church or circuit, but we politely ask you not to share event details with those in other Districts or denominations. 
For further information, please contact either  Sue Holder (Birmingham District Safeguarding Officer) ( ) or Kerry Scarlett ( )
With best wishes, 
Kerry and Sue


News from Action for Children

Hello everyone,
Trust my email meets you well. I’d like to start with a ‘thank you’ before telling you about some exciting Christmas events we have lined up. 
Thank you
Christmas is just 53 days away! Even though it’s been a really challenging year, the unwavering support of the Methodist Church starkly stands out in our memory.
We weren't able to meet up with our Methodist friends during the Conference, MWIB Residential and Action for Children Sunday, but we still felt the impact of your prayers, friendship and gifts. We can’t thank you enough but at every opportunity, we will.
Our Chief Executive, Trustee and the children we support recorded this video message for you:
Secret Santa is back!
This festive season, Action for Children is looking for a sleighful of Secret Santas to support our Christmas campaign. For most of us, the festive season is a happy time. But there are children all over the UK who face a Christmas without food, warmth or love; Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on their lives. We are working hard to change this – and we need your help more than ever. To become a Secret Santa visit
Starry Night – virtual Christmas carol
On Tuesday 8th December, join us and families across the UK for an evening of Christmas carols, fun and festive cheer hosted by Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow. Tickets are £10 per household and will give you access to exclusive entertainment, readings, and performances from celebrities including Angellica Bell and Call the Midwife’s Jenny Agutter. All this from the comfort of your own home. Buy tickets here: (Poster attached)
Karis Kolawole


Holy Habits Lent Resources

Seven weeks of material for Lent groups by Andrew Roberts Pb, ISBN 978 0 85746 994 6, £6.99

A welcome new addition to BRF’s growing collection of Holy Habits resources, Holy Habits: Following Jesus provides seven weeks of material for Lent and other groups and is suitable both for those new to the Holy Habits ‘adventure in Christian discipleship’ and for those who have worked with Holy Habits for some time. Each weekly session includes a reading from Luke’s gospel, prayers, questions for reflection and discussion, suggestions for worship, music and other materials, and a take-home idea.
Although written before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the applications, questions and take-home ideas are highly relevant to the pastoral needs, challenges and opportunities created by it. In his introduction Andrew Roberts writes: ‘No one can know with any certainty the range and scope of challenges that will be present when you use this material, but I believe that whatever they are, the life and example of Jesus and the way he responded to the challenges he faced will always be of utmost value in shaping our lives as we seek to follow in his footsteps.’
Praise for Holy Habits: Following Jesus
I was captivated when I read the book Holy Habits and so I am now delighted to commend  Holy Habits: Following Jesus,  Lent Course and Holy Week Resource. It is accessible, relevant, practical and most importantly will lead new disciples into a deeper understanding of following Jesus and more mature disciples into greater depth of faith. I warmly commend it to be used not only during the special season of Lent but indeed anytime.
Revd Richard J Teal: President of the Methodist Conference 2020/21.
‘As always, Andrew’s writings are spiritual in content, scriptural in basis and inspirational in outworking. Holy Habits: Following Jesus is a creative and practical resource to help us lean into Lent personally and as a group.’
Major Val Mylechreest, divisional commander, South London Division, Salvation Army
Following Jesus national home group
Following the successful Holy Habits Sharing Resources online home group hosted by BRF, there will be a Following Jesus home group starting on 16 February 2021. This is available for anybody to attend.
In addition, ten-minute videos introducing each Lenten session will be available for churches to use independently. The first of these will be available in early January. More information to follow about these two initiatives. To receive updates on the Following Jesus national home group, sign up here.


3Generate Elections

This year’s 3Generate elections take place from 21st November 2020 and will remain open for a whole month.  We’re keen that as many children and young people as possible, from across the Methodist Church, are able to participate.  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:
1.           Children and young people aged 8-17 years old can be registered only once by either their group leader or parent/carer. 
2.           They need to be registered by 15th November via this link.
3.           Elections open on 21st November for a limited period.
4.           All those aged 18-23 years can register to vote here.
Keep an eye on the Methodist Young Adults facebook page too.

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


Funding opportunities

Growing Lives - forging lasting links with families and young people. Find more details here.

Hope Beyond – helping communities to build resilience and a brighter future. Find more information here.


Dial-a-prayer free phone line

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.

 For more information click the following link:


District Children's Support Fund

The funding allocated specifically to the support of children and families in the District - particularly those experiencing some form of deprivation - is still open to accept applications at the moment.  Are there projects you might consider which could offer support even during the lockdown?  

The maximum amount of any claim is £500 and a Church can apply at any time using the attached form and send it electronically to Tim Lorimer who will process your application and give a decision within six weeks of receipt. The application will need the support of the hosting Church and circuit superintendent. Church’s cannot apply for retrospective funding.
We would hope that individuals and groups that have contributed in the past to the Holiday Fund will still wish to do so knowing that there money will still be used for Children’s Projects.  For more information please contact Tim Lorimer   on 07971899084. 



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