Guidance for Places of Worship
3 November 2020:
Remembrance Sunday: The government has stated that as an
exemption from the new national restrictions a service of
remembrance can only take place outdoors around a cenotaph.
congregational services can take place on church grounds but
ministers can broadcast a service virtually. More
information can be found here.
2 November 2020:
Following the Prime Minister’s statement on 31 October, it has
been confirmed that new national restrictions will be
brought into effect from
5 November 2020 (subject to a Commons
vote today, Wednesday 4th November) in
As part of these new restrictions, places of worship and their
ancillary accommodation will have to close or remain closed for
congregational worship and all other user groups, except for the
- Individual Prayer
- To broadcast acts
- Funerals (a maximum
of 30 close family & friends can attend)
- Formal childcare or where
part of a school (including OFSTED registered early years
voluntary and public services, such as blood
donation or food banks
- Support Groups (click here to
view the guidance)
- Place of work where the
work cannot be
carried out at home
- Repairs or
construction work that is
- Community cafés
providing a take-away
wedding ceremonies will not be permitted
to take place.
details of all the restrictions can be found here.
5 November, the restrictions under the 3 tier system should be
followed. After 5 November, the national restrictions will
take precedence until they are lifted. We will expect more
details to follow over the coming week. All such updates
will be posted on the Methodist website, Signpost for Ministry,
TMCP website and the usual communications channels (including
social media) as they are made available.
note this is for England only and please check local restrictions
for Scotland and Wales.
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”.*
the theme of the President and Vice-President of Conference this
year, being the final words of John Wesley before his death )
Seminar on Online Safety
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,
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.
Book: For more details, and to
register, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-safety-birmingham-district-safeguarding-conference-2020-tickets-123484582711
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.
- An overview of
online safety and social media; including an update on
current threats (national and regional)
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
- 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)
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
for further information.
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) (email@example.com
) or Kerry Scarlett (firstname.lastname@example.org
With best wishes,
Kerry and Sue
from Action for Children
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.
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: https://youtu.be/6Dxl9OLhdLo
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 iamsanta.org.uk/methodist
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: www.starry-night.co.uk
Habits Lent Resources
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
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
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.’
Mylechreest, divisional commander, South London Division,
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
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.
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
Children and young people aged 8-17 years old can be registered
only once by either their group leader or parent/carer.
They need to be registered by 15th November via this link.
Elections open on 21st November for a limited period.
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
Lives - forging lasting links with
families and young people. Find more details here.
Beyond – helping communities to build resilience
and a brighter future. Find more information here.
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?
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