Methodist Women in Britain logoMethodist Women in Britain (MWiB)

Cumbria Methodist District Women's Network

Message from the
District Co-ordinating Team

Margaret Newrick, District President 2014-2016

November 2016

Hello ladies

On Tuesday, 11 October 2016 a large gathering of women, along with one or two men, came together for a very special event at Penrith Methodist Church. It was to mark a new beginning for MWiB in Cumbria, for that afternoon Rev Richard Teal, the Chairman of our District, would commission a Co-ordinating Team rather than inducting a new District President. 

What brought about the need for change ? Firstly, although many women had been approached to take my place as President
no-one had come forward to take on the role and we had already
felt encouraged by our friends visiting us last year from the women’s movement of our Methodist partner church in Argentina to rethink our structure. In the words of Eccleiastes 3:8 “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven”; while it's often easier to carry on in the same old comfortable way, there comes a time when things must change.

What did God want us to do? In order to find out, our team of officers met at Cottage Wood to set aside a day of thought and prayer. As a result, we felt God was calling us to do something new. By having the structure of a co-ordinating team we will have the opportunity to pool ideas, skills and talents, to share different tasks and also enable women to be involved on a short or longer-term basis. We will be one body made up of many parts.

During the morning of the October day, our aims were explained, questions addressed and an opportunity during group discussions for women to comment and share ideas on where we go from here. The groups looked at three questions;

a) What do you value about our meetings?

b) How do you think we can make this transition a positive experience?

c) What topics would you like to see covered in the future?

The feedback from the six groups will be collated and acted upon.

I have felt privileged to fill the role of District President during the last two years but am excited at the prospect of what lies ahead. I will be part of a Co-ordinating Team with a flexible, inclusive way of working. We will move away from a rigid structure of President, Officers and a fixed programme of meetings while still retaining the opportunity for properly addressing the business of Methodist Women in Britain. We'll keep those things which are valued such as residential conferences and opportunities to meet together for workshops, speakers and localised Quiet Days of thought and prayer.

The response to the day was very positive and the actual Commissioning Service very moving as we stepped out in faith answering God's call to do a new thing Isaiah 42 v 8&9............

Rev Richard Teal used 1 Corinthians 12: 12-20 for his address and the message of one body made up of many parts was very appropriate.

If you'd like to become part of the team please contact us; you'll be more than welcome. The Team will all share in the variety of tasks and when a specific event or issue is being considered we'll invite others to share the tasks as part of a satellite group.

The Co-ordinating Team is at present: Margaret Newrick, Jill Morris, Dephine Gratrix, Jane Williamson, Mary Elliot, Sylvia Hall, Anne Hasson, Irene Mckay, Pat Staley and Joan Wager.

Many of the team will be at our Autumn Gathering at Thornleigh, Grange-over-Sands which is our next event for which details have already been circulated. I hope to see some of you there.

Take care and God Bless