From:                              Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury District Office []

Sent:                               09 March 2023 09:41


Subject:                          08/03/2023 - update


New this week:
District email disruption
Presbyteral Synod details
Enquiring Minds Events - update
Wesley House Webinar
Easter Study Retreat Day - update
Church Magazine Competition
In case you missed it:
Circuit Administrator required
Spiritual Direction Course
Every Church a Growing Church: Mission Planning for all
Re:planting Church at the Margins
Fairtrade Fortnight
Legal and Trust Officer needed (URC)
Easter Pilgrimage Bookings Open
Children's Support Fund

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REPRESENTATIVE Synod date and venue

Representative (and not Presbyteral - thanks to those who pointed out my error!) Synod will be taking place in person on Sat 22nd April from 10 am - 3.30 pm at Cannock Chase High School, WS11 1JT. Each Circuit Representative will receive Synod Papers by Easter. Please contact Richard Lockley if you have recently changed your contact details or have not received the papers by Easter Sunday.


Enquiring Minds events

There are two face to face events:
Sunday 12th March 3.30-5.00pm  at Albrighton Methodist Church WV7 3JA  and
Sunday 19th March 3.30-5.00pm at Kingswinford Methodist Church DY6 9NP

And an online event:

Have you ever been in that situation where you don’t quite catch someone’s name the first time you meet them. Then on each subsequent meeting you have with them it becomes more and more awkward to ask? Sometimes it can be a bit like this with our faith. Maybe something in a sermon or piece of scripture prompts a question, but we feel awkward and don’t know who to ask about it.  Maybe you lie awake worrying at night and contemplating big questions about life, the universe and everything. Perhaps you want to go deeper in to your understanding of faith.
If you have ever had questions about faith, but didn’t know who to ask, now is your opportunity. This Lent the  Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District will be holding a number of “Enquiring Minds” events where you are invited to come and ask questions about faith. As part of this we are holding an online event for all in the region. The panel will include Rachel Starr, Director of Studies at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham. Along with our two District Chairs the Rev. Rachel Parkinson and Rev. Novette Headley.
You will need to book for the online event as places are limited. Go to Enquiring Minds Tickets, Wed 22 Mar 2023 at 19:30 | Eventbrite
Why not explore your faith this Lent, with Enquiring Minds.


Wesley House Webinar


Easter Study Retreat Day

More information to come, but in the meantime please contact Rev Liz Dunning ( 


Church Magazine Competition

How good is your church magazine? 

Here's a reminder for the 2023 church magazine competition!


The search is on for Britain's best church magazine. Entries are now invited for the annual competition run by the Association for Church Editors (ACE), which is an independent, not for profit organisation.

"Judging from the number of brochures and leaflets that land on our doormats and the array of magazines in newsagents, other organisations still value printed material," says Sally Churchus, Chair of the national organisation, "so we are keen to encourage church editors everywhere".

For the coming 2023 competition, which closes on Monday 3rd April, awards will be made for any size of magazine using just black and white printing. The Gold Award winner will receive the John King Trophy, to be held for one year, while Silver and Bronze Awards will receive an inscribed trophy to keep, together with a Certificate of Excellence for display.

A panel of judges assesses each magazine, giving points for various aspects including cover design, headlines and clarity of the Christian message. The prize-giving in the autumn is open to everyone, and will include a lecture by a Keynote Speaker along with talks on various ways to improve your magazine. This year's meeting will be held at Central Hall Westminster on Saturday 30th September.

Further information and the entry form can be found at


Cannock Chase Circuit Administrator needed


Spiritual Direction Course

We are planning to run a course on Spiritual Direction starting this May. It’s for praying people who already show an aptitude for ‘prayerful hospitality’ and have some training/experience in listening. There will be a mix of ordained and those with other callings and the course will be as much about doing/experiencing as about hearing/thinking. It’s ecumenical. It’s costly – in terms of time & commitment, also money (although there can be help with the latter).
“This experience will support you to deepen your relationship with God and equip you to accompany others who desire to do likewise. Whilst it starts from where you are at, it will help you travel with God as far you desire and He permits. Once you have overcome any initial reticence to apply, be ready and available to be both surprised and delighted!” (comment from previous participant).
Details at Spiritual Direction Courses - Diocese of Lichfield (
We would welcome Methodist applicants. Applications by end of March latest.
Wishing you well
Charles Ruxton
Lichfield Diocesan Spirituality Adviser
(01743) 891636


Every Church a Growing Church: Mission Planning for all

Be inspired, gain practical tips and receive help tailored to your context, so that every church might freely share God's love in Christ.
Date and time:
Sat, 8 July 2023, 10:00 – 15:00 BST
Perhaps you have found yourself asking some of these questions:
How do we do mission when we’re all worn out?
What if we have big ideas and a small congregation?
How do we produce a circuit mission plan?
his online conference seeks to inspire you to discover the particular gifts your church/es have to offer the community and to create simple, useful plans for positive action. Through a mixture of presentations, workshops and team coaching sessions, we'll explore God's call to share the love of Christ in word and deed, offering what we have to our community and letting the Spirit get to work.
Maybe your church has struggled to get started with mission planning. Or you've made a start, but got stuck along the way. Perhaps you have a mission plan, but it hasn't yet translated into positive action. Or maybe you're leading a whole circuit in mission planning. Wherever you are, this conference will help you get unstuck and get going. Workshops will explore topics such as doing mission in small churches, building community partnerships and mission planning at circuit level.
The conference is aimed at lay and ordained church leaders - church and circuit stewards, lay workers, ministers and Superintendents - all those responsible for helping churches live out their calling. Individuals are welcome, but for an even greater impact, why not bring a team from your church or circuit?


Re:planting Church at the Margins

As part of the visit of the President and Vice-President of Conference, the Birmingham District has organised a one day event at Kenilworth Methodist Church on Saturday 11th March called Re:Planting Church at the Margins.  
There is an excellent line up, with Deacon Eunice Attwood as keynote speaker and a really good choice of workshops including one led by our own Ministry & Missions Co-ordinator, Jo Yair.  Worship will be led by an intergenerational team.  The day will be designed to be accessible to all personality types and learning styles.
The Birmingham District has extended a specific invitation to members of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District.  For more information and bookings see here:


Fairtrade Fortnight

Dear Friends, 
Fairtrade Fortnight: 27 February – 12 March 2023 
Don’t forget that Fairtrade Fortnight is coming up – 27 February – 12 March.  Fairtrade churches undertake to include fair trade in worship at least once a year and you may want to consider this if you are leading worship on 5 or 12 March 
The Fairtrade Foundation has not produced new materials as far as I can see but there are ideas at: 
If you look for fairtrade worship resources on-line, you’ll find that several churches have posted materials that they have prepared in previous years. These may give you inspiration. 
If you are based not too far from Wolverhampton, Beckminster Methodist Church in Wolverhampton Circuit is hosting a fairtrade themed coffee morning on Saturday 18th March – 10.30am – 12 noon. Wolverhampton Fair Traid will have a stall there, giving you the opportunity to buy Easter eggs, cards and gifts. There will be the usual selection of grocery and craft items and you would be very welcome to browse over a cup of coffee. 
Beckminster Methodist Church, Birches Barn Road, WV3 7BQ. 
Wolverhampton Fair Traid is still trading and is steadily replacing the grocery items that Traidcraft has traditionally provided with other fair trade brands. If you have been affected by Traidcraft going into administration and finding it difficult to source goods, please do get in touch with me as Wolverhampton Fair Traid offers goods on a sale or return basis to churches and other organisations and we may be able to help you.  
Brenda Shuttleworth 
019002 330002 


Legal and Trust Officer needed

Legal & Trust Officer, West Midlands – 28 hours per week (some evening and weekend work is required)
Salary £44,000 - £47,000 (pro rata)
Key legal compliance role in small regional charity team to suit problem solving individual with excellent people and organisational skills.
We are seeking someone to play a key role in the work of the West Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church. Based at our office in Yardley, Birmingham, you will be the principal point of contact with the Synod’s solicitors and will work with the Property Officer to take the lead in transactions relating to land and property matters. You will support the work of local churches, both in relation to individual matters and by promoting an awareness of their various legal obligations as local charities.  This role supports the work of the Resources & Compliance Committee and the Trust Company Board, including undertaking the role of Company Secretary.
You will need to be an excellent communicator, both verbally and in writing, with good problem-solving skills, who is able to work effectively as part of a team and also on your own initiative. You will have experience of legal and governance matters, preferably relevant to a church charity, and must be able to learn quickly about the way the Synod works and be able to represent it and the wider United Reformed Church in a range of settings.
Application pack available from Helen Cavaco, Synod Office, Digbeth-in-the-Field URC, Moat Lane, Yardley, Birmingham B26 1TW
Tel: 0121 783 1177    E-mail:
We do not accept CVs as we use an application form to evaluate people on the same basis.
Applicants should state any involvement with church matters and the United Reformed Church in particular where this is relevant.
A statement setting out the reasons why they are interested in the Legal & Trust Officer post must also be included.


Golden Valley Easter Pilgrimage bookings open

There are only 12 places available on this Pilgrimage which is shared between the Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury and Birmingham Districts, and there’s already strong interest.  Dates are 10th to 15th April beginning and ending in Hereford.  The cost is £140, including everything except your return travel to Hereford (bursaries available if needed).  
This is a wonderful opportunity to take time out with God.  However this is a remote area and overnight accommodation is very basic so please do watch the information video before deciding to book
If you decide it’s for you, please contact Richard Lockley as soon as possible.  


Children's Support Fund

There is still money available from the above and if your Church is thinking of running any Children's activities, then, please consider applying for a maximum of £500. The attached application form needs to be completed.. Any further questions please contact Tim Lorimer on Many thanks





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