From:                              Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury District Office []

Sent:                               15 November 2023 10:58


Subject:                          15/11/2023


New this week:
Wonderful Christmas Gift - update
Ablewell Nativity Event
Amplify Youth Weekend
Prayer Guide Training Course
In case you missed it:
Fairtrade Christmas Market
New District Grants Officer needed
District Warm Spaces Grants
District Advent and Christmas Small Grants
Safeguarding and Admin Vacancy
Meet Emily 
NPNP Conference
Lay Workers Retreat Day
Advanced Safeguarding Training

Dial-a-prayer free phone line to hear prayers : 0808 281 2514 Methodist News : 0808 281 2478

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Wonderful Christmas Gift! Who can you invite?

The Springs Dance company will be performing “The Journey of the Magi” on Saturday 2nd December at 5.30pm at Walsall Central Hall.  Here’s one review:
Forget The Nutcracker, Springs Dance Company’s Journey of the Magi is the best Christmas show I have ever seen! I went along to see it one dark, wet and dismal night in Birmingham and I came out having been touched, amused and moved to tears. Journey of the Magi looks beyond the tinsel and trappings and reveals the real meaning of Christmas.  Sir David Bintley CBE
The performance is suitable for children and adults alike.  The District has agreed to fund all costs associated with this performance so that churches can offer this as a free gift to people who may be blessed by it.  We particularly hope that this might be enjoyed by people who may not otherwise be able to access a Christmas treat like this, though everyone is welcome.  (Unfortunately, whilst making it accessible cost-wise, please be aware that nearly all the tiered seating can only be accessed by steps…we will only have around 20 spaces accessible for those with mobility needs which will need to be booked by contacting Richard Lockley on
Booking is via TicketSource: and bookings are now open!

  • Think of who you might be blessed by this - perhaps from groups associated with your church.  What might you need to do to encourage them to come?  Perhaps you can offer to accompany them?
  • It you would like to bring a group along, the District can help with travel costs.  For groups, we can also provide a Christmas craft session and light refreshments beforehand, to make more of a day of it.  Please contact the District Office or District Chair directly.

You can find a taster of the show here:


Ablewell Nativity Event


Amplify Youth Weekend

Amplify 2024 will be taking place between 15th and 17th March 2024!
Amplify is a weekend away for 8-18s and their leaders from the Birmingham and Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury Districts. The weekend is packed full of outdoor activities as well as our own programme of worship and activities.
So where do you come in?
Are there children and young people in your church who would enjoy a weekend away?
Are you a leader that could enable your young people to be a part of the weekend?
Do you have some spare time across the weekend to come and help in our small but mighty stewarding team?
Tickets for the weekend are on sale now, and steward applications are open.
A deposit of £10 for leaders and £20 for young people is needed to secure a place, and this can be done up until Sunday 7th January. This is then put towards the total cost of £20 and £80 respectively.
For more information and to book tickets, please visit
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at
Please consider how you might be involved in Amplify, and keep the event, the planning team and those who will attend in your prayers.
Many thanks,
Charlotte 🙂


Prayer Guide Training Course

This course is designed to enable you to begin guiding/accompanying others as they take part in Ignatian based retreats.

It has been continuously evolving since the first such training in Birmingham that was introduced by Fr Gerry HughesSJ and associates in the late 1980s.

It is a starter-course which will equip you to begin accompanying pilgrims on retreats. If you do that as part of Manresa Link there is always supervision, and encouragement to take part in ongoing training/development over time.

The course will consist initially of 10 Saturday mornings, commencing on January 13th 2024, but with a break on February 24th. These will all take place at St Mary’s Convent, 98 Hunters Rd, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1EB

The Saturdays will then be followed by two Retreats In Daily Life (4 weeks duration). In the first retreat, half of the course participants will be prayer-guides and the other half will be retreatants. Then roles reverse for the second retreat.

On the Saturdays there will be prayer, input on various aspects of Ignatian Spirituality and on skills needed, and then the “real” work of the course – the triads! This is small groups of 3 course participants, one person sharing, one listening and one observing.

Each week course participants will be given a piece of Scripture to pray on daily.

Then, on all but the first Saturday, participants will be assigned to groups of three (the triads). In the triads, one person will share what they have been experiencing in their prayer over the past week. Another of the three will have been appointed to be a “prayerguide” to listen to them, and to help them to explore and deepen. The third person acts as an observer of the listener.

Each of the three then feedback to the others.

Roles swap around and repeat the process, so that on each Saturday, everyone has had a turn at sharing, prayer-guiding and observing.

One of the training team members will also have been sitting in and will give overall feedback.

Because the triads are the heart of the course, it is important that you attend all sessions – your absence in any one week will disrupt that process. We do try to have contingency plans for emergencies but ask that you set attendance as a priority.

Evaluation – during the course there will be a process of joint evaluation. Participants will be invited to use a self-evaluation tool to help them to assess for themselves where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and how these develop throughout the course as learning takes place. This will be explored with members of the training team as we go along, but it is a positive oriented process – discovering your gifts and helping you to discern God’s call to you.



The total cost for this course is £200. We ask for a £50 deposit once your application is accepted, and that the remaining £150 be paid at commencement of the course. However, we can consider requests for bursaries of for more time to pay.


Fairtrade Christmas Market


New District Grants Officer needed

We will be sorry to say farewell to the Rev’d Helen Croft, currently serving in the Vale of Stour Circuit, who has received permission from the Stationing Advisory Committee to explore opportunities to serve in ministry in the United States.  Helen will obviously go with our prayers, and we will look forward to seeing what God has in store for her.
This leaves the District looking for a new District Grants Officer, a voluntary role open to both lay and ordained people.  This is an important role in the life of the District with clearly outlined responsibilities.  You can find an outline of the role here.  If you are interested in exploring this, please contact the District Chair.


District Warm Spaces Grant Scheme

Warm Spaces 2023
Last year many churches in the District opened a Warm Space for the Winter.  In some places it worked very well and in others there was little demand.  Most often people welcomed the company as much as the warmth.
The Methodist Church does not want to see Warm Spaces “normalised” in the same way as Food Banks.  We want a just society where neither are necessary.  But with direct government support for fuel bills withdrawn and prices still high, many predict that this winter will be at least as hard for households as last year.  And whilst people are cold and hungry, we want to help churches to meet this need (Matt 25 v.31-46).  Therefore the District Policy Committee has agreed to extend our Winter grant scheme, with £500 available to churches opening a warm space.
Please apply here after reading the safeguarding considerations here and the examples here


District Advent and Christmas Small Grant Scheme

This Advent and Christmas, the District is supporting the Connexional campaign “Out of the Ordinary” by making small grants available to churches wanting to reach out beyond their Sunday congregation with the message of God’s love in Jesus.  In a change this year, the top limit you can apply for has been raised to £200 and the cap on the number of applications that can be made in a Circuit has been removed. These grants are easy to apply for but they are carefully scrutinised, so please make sure you’ve thought through how you can meet the criteria!
Click here to apply.


Safeguarding and Administrative Worker Vacancy

The Stafford Methodist Circuit is seeking a Safeguarding & Administrative Worker to support and oversee the Circuit’s Safeguarding Practices and to provide day to day administrative support to the Superintendent Minister, in collaboration with the Circuit Administrator.
Working closely with the Superintendent Minister, we seek someone with the ability to lead and instruct on all aspects around Safeguarding at
Circuit Level.  Applicants should have experience in Safeguarding within a volunteer or employed environment with a working knowledge of
workplace IT systems.
20 hours per week
Salary: £25,967 per annum (pro-rata)
Fixed term – until September 2025
Closing date for applications: 1st December 2023
For Job Description & Person Specification, please contact


Meet the NPNP additional Needs Enabler

Do you have a heart to share God’s love with all, especially those with additional needs?
Come along to a zoom gathering where Jo Yair will introduce you to Emily, our New Places for New People Enabler for Additional Needs. Emily will briefly introduce you to her work, and how the District can support you as you connect with people on the margins who may find attending church a challenge. 
We would love to see you there.
To book your place on the zoom contact Emily
Venue: Zoom
Wednesday 29th November from 10-11am.


'Wholehearted' Conference for those interested in NPNP 

An invitation for anyone thinking about, or leading a New People New Places to join the Evangelism & Growth team at ‘Wholehearted’ conference:
12 to 14 January 2024 at Yarnfield Park, near Stone, Staffordshire.
We will spend time seeking God, discerning vision, engaging in strategic planning and workshopping knotty problems. It would be great to have your voice and wisdom inspiring those in more established contexts. Places, include accommodation and food, are fully funded but a deposit of £50 is required when booking (returned in full after the weekend to all who attend). If you need help paying the deposit please contact Julian Bond or contact Jo Yair
Book here <


Lay Worker District Retreat Day

If you are a paid lay worker then you are invited to join us at a District retreat day at Shallowford House on Friday 24th November 10.00-3.30pm.
The district will cover the cost of the day, lunch and refreshments (transport costs will not be paid by the district).
This special day for lay workers will be led by Rachel Parkinson and hosted by Jo Yair. There will be plenty of space to connect with God, connect with others or spend time with yourself.
Spaces are limited. To book a place please contact Jo Yair by email at by 11th November and to let her know of any special dietary requirements.



Advanced Safeguarding Training

 Advanced Safeguarding Training Dates.
Anyone wishing to book onto one of these sessions needs to email
All of the below are training dates at The Methodist Churches below:
25th November – Solihull – face to face – 9.45am registration




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