Engaging Locally

One of MET’s challenges is to provide events and support that are accessible to its members reasonably near where they live. This article sets out MET’s plans for Regional Co-rdinators to help link us all together, whether we’re on the Executive (Exec), or part of a church with several MET members, or a lone member in a church with different emphases to MET.

MET has over 2,100 members spread somewhat thinly across the UK. In some places there are little clusters of members, perhaps many members in a single church or Circuit, but mostly we are all over the place (geographically rather than theologically!) This means that District-based support through our previous system of MET District Representatives (or Reps) has worked quite well in some Districts but hasn’t been viable in many others. One Rep for each District meant there were 31 people with whom the Exec wanted to communicate regularly, and that proved to be too large a number to be workable.

So a big Thank You! goes to all District Reps who have contributed to MET life locally as we say goodbye to that role. Each was sent a thank-you letter in January explaining the planned change and asking them to destroy any MET mailing lists they still have, so we comply with the Data Protection Act.

New Regional Co-ordinator roleL~

We will have eight Regional Co-ordinators who will help meet the needs of MET members in their region and encourage others to join. They will work as a team with the MET Exec member responsible for Networking (currently Sue Dunstan). The regions are the seven Methodist stationing regions, with Scotland as a separate eighth region.

Region Districts
Scotland 31 – Scotland
32 – Shetland
North of England 9 – Cumbria
13 – Darlington
20 – Newcastle upon Tyne
Lancashire 6 – Bolton and Rochdale
15 – Isle of Man
18 – Liverpool
19 – Manchester & Stockport
21 – North Lancashire
Yorkshire 16 – Leeds
25 – Sheffield
27 – West Yorkshire
29 – York & Hull
Wales / West Midlands 1 – The Synod Cymru
2 – The Wales Synod
5 – Birmingham
11 – Chester & Stoke-on-Trent
28 – Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury
East Midlands 14 – East Anglia
17 – Lincoln & Grimsby
22 – Nottingham & Derby
23 – Northampton
South-West 7 – Bristol
10 – Channel Islands
12 – Cornwall
24 – Plymouth & Exeter
26 – Southampton
South-East 34 – Bedfordshire, Essex & Hertfordshire
35 – London
36 – South East

The Regional Co-ordinator is the main person who will engage other members in their region. This is likely to be by initiating and supporting local events run by MET and its partner organisations, such as:

~**ECG and any regional ‘mini-ECG-in-a-day’ event*~~*Cliff Festival (Derbyshire); Summer Fire (Southport); South-West Conference*~~*The MET Prayer Conference (Derbyshire) and other local prayer conferences*~~*An evening praise event*~~*Bible teaching / study days, for example at Hexthorpe in South Yorkshire*~~*Running a MET stand at a District Synod lunchtime ‘marketplace’*~~*The MET lecture at Methodist Conference when it’s in your region*~~*…or anything else appropriate to MET’s aims**~

We expect that Regional Co-ordinators will share ideas amongst themselves and with the Exec member who will then help sort out how to make it all happen. We expect Regional Co-ordinators to work with and be supported by others, such as:

~**Key people in each District in their Region, with whom to form a small team*~~*District Evangelism Enablers, District Development Enablers, District Youth Enablers*~~*The Connexional Team, with whatever appropriate events they are promoting, such as regional gatherings for mission and evangelism*~~*Relevant members of MET Exec, for example Lou Ashford and team for Prayer events, David Hull and Mark Reasbeck for teaching events to encourage preachers, probationers and student ministers; Gareth Higgs for events for young adults and/or students**~

Regional Co-ordinators will have access to the MET membership database information for their region (under data protection rules) so they know who is in their region and what skills they can draw on to grow this part of the body of Christ. Obviously that depends on MET members volunteering information about their gifts, skills and experience: more on that in a later edition!

Some practical points: whilst the Regional Co-ordinator role is for volunteers, out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed (e.g. postage, stationery, travel, phone calls, pre-approved funding for speakers, this last one being typically more expensive). A telephone, PC and Internet access with email are essential, being the main ways most of us communicate and share information. Appointment to the role will be initially for three years, starting September 2009.

The time commitment is one of those open-ended things: usually the more time someone can give, the more will be achieved. Perhaps it is the equivalent of being a church steward, which is another role where the time commitment is so dependent on the other stewards, the size of the church, the energy levels of the other church members, and most importantly, what the vision is. This is where flexibility to cope with peaks and troughs of activity, and having a team from around the Districts, become so important.

What sort of person might fit the role?L~

MET needs members with passionate enthusiasm for its vision and aims, and Regional Co-ordinators will be people who:

~**Are good communicators – natural networkers and encouragers*~~*Have good organisation skills and can adapt to fit round what needs doing when*~~*Understand and respect confidentiality**~

Given the busyness of many of our ordained members, interest from lay (non-ordained) people is especially welcomed, recognising also that some lay people are busier than ordained! However, if this is something to which you believe God is calling you and you are already busy, then God will also help you set something down in order to take this up.

Please think and pray about these eight roles as without people in place, MET can’t truly engage locally with its members. Maybe you are interested? Maybe you know someone who would be a good co-ordinator? Maybe you don’t want to be a co-ordinator but would like to be part of a small team working with your co-ordinator?

What next?L~

The role description and person specification as set out here are also available from our administrator, Hazel Harwood, or via the website

To apply, tell us why you’d like the Regional Co-ordinator role and what you can bring to it to help make it work – what experience, skills and gifts do you have that fit this role well? We’ll need your contact details too. Maybe that information is on a CV (Curriculum Vitae) as for a job application, or maybe you prefer to write us a letter.

We’ll also need contact details of two people who know you quite well and can tell us about you, so you need their permission before you send their details to us:

One should be an independent MET lay person (i.e. not a relative)

One should be from an ordained person (e.g. your minister)

We on Exec think this is a practical and exciting way of moving forward, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!