The beginning of 2021 has shown another challenging step as we continue to face the Coronavirus pandemic, with a new lockdown and the closure of schools. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering grief or struggling with the many challenges that the pandemic has and is throwing at us all.
As a collection of 34 Methodist churches across Birmingham we continue to operate and serve our communities, albeit in the new ever adapting way which we've come to accept of this time, with each church finding its own way of being community within the safety measures which are in place. We anticipate many churches will not be open for in person worship during this new lockdown period, but those which do in some form will do with COVID risk assessments and procedures in place.
Below is a collation of links and helpful information for everyone involved in church leadership who is trying to navigate through these difficult times.
[PAGE LAST UPDATED - 06.01.20]
Superintendents Letters and Reflections
Superintendent Ministers are the lead Ministers for each circuit (collection of churches) within the Methodist Church as a denomination. We have three, Reverend Alison Richards, Reverend Neil Johnson and Reverend Nick Jones, whom you can contact here.
Alison, Neil and Nick have been writing regular letters and reflections which you can find by clicking here to see our recent news stories.
Methodist News and Advice
The Methodist Church is constantly working on and updating its advice and guidance in these ever changing times. Please use the links below to navigate to a number of helpful pages.
- Main Methodist home page with news;
- Official Guidance
- Serving Neighbours and Speaking with Friends
- Church Community
- Talking to Young People
- Safeguarding Considerations
Live Services and Events
The main live service that we are promoting is that of our own Birmingham District which is going out each Sunday at 10:30am. You can click here to find that service on Facebook directly or click on the watch now link below to watch the most recent service. You can also now watch this service on YouTube by clicking here.
In addition to this service there are many other live services which are happening in our circuit and around the country, find our updated list here.
Children and Youth
We are working with our churches and with Birmingham District to support children and young people in our circuit at this time and we're working on signposting to more resources all the time.
The Methodist Church has offered guidance on how we talk to and support young people at this time. Click here to read more.
They have also offered resources on how to create safe online spaces for young people - click here.
There are many other good resources out there to support your church at the current time. We will compile a list of those that we find below.
- Yorkshire and North East District have compiled a list of some helpful ideas and resources – find it here.
- Reverend Mike Claridge from The Cotteridge Church has a blog where he is collating resources - find it here.
During this time we are also encouraging people to think about safeguarding in all that they do. There are updated guidelines on visiting people from the Methodist church which you can find here and you can read more about our general safeguarding policy here.
We also encourage everybody to watch the below video from Waltham Forest Burough Council and encourage you to consider how you are paying attention to the safety of those around you, particularly if you are using digital means to pastorally visit people in your community. Contact your church safegarding officer if you have any concerns.
We continue to follow Methodist guidance about the opening of church buildings. You can read the latest guidance from the Methodist Church here (most recent on 25th November 2020 as of time of writing). Risk Assessment is now a legal requirement before the re-opening of a Methodist building.
The newly formed Circuit COVID Team, made up of our three Superintendents, Richard Burr our Property Officer and Jayne Snape our Property and Facilities Officer, continue to work hard to support churches with their property and have recently written directly to churches with advice and guidance. If you need urgent advice then please contact Richard Burr, you can find his details in the Circuit Directory.
Get in Touch
If you would like to get in touch with the circuit team then please do so, click here for our contact us page. If anybody from the office team is temporarily unavailable due to being unwell then we will do our best to ensure that an out of office/voicemail is setup to make people aware, so unless you hear differently you can assume that the team will be operating as normal, albeit from home.
For churches with pastoral or worship based questions, your Minister is your first port of call, but the Superintendents are both available if you cannot contact them.