During 2020-2021, the community of Somewhere Else - The Bread Church will be without a full-time minister, whilst prayerfully considering our future mission.
We are therefore delighted to welcome The Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson, Chair of the Liverpool Methodist District, who will have pastoral oversight of the community during the coming year. Sheryl is no stranger to Somewhere Else, as during her time in Liverpool, she has led breadmaking and worship on a number of occasions.
The following is a little information about Sheryl from her http://theologyeverywhere.org blog page. This page is a place for contributors to share theological ideas and Sheryl is one of the contributors. It is made available every Monday by the Methodist Church.
The Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson is the Chair of the Liverpool Methodist District. She studied theology at King's College London, and has served in circuits on the South Coast of England and in South East London. Before the Liverpool appointment, Sheryl was Ministerial Coordinator for Oversight of Ordained Ministries in the Connexional Team. Sheryl's background is in teaching and social work, specialising in work with young offenders. Prior to entering the Methodist ministry she managed young offender services for South East Kent. Sheryl enjoys cooking for her family and her friends. She also understands punctuation and has a wicked sense of humour.
Information about Methodist Churches in the Liverpool District
Latest guidance (18th August, 2020) from the Connexion allows for churches to reopen once a detailed risk assessment has taken place. This means that only a small number of the regular congregation will be able to meet in buildings at one time.
The trustees of SWE are continuing to work on developing our risk assessment, in light of guidance about food preparation, as well as worship. Please pray for the trustees as they prepare this; to ensure the safe return to Bold Street.
Position as of 11th June, 2020
Following the recent announcement to allow churches to open for private prayer from the 15th June, the Superintendents of the Circuits of the Liverpool District conferred together to agree a way forward.
Whilst recognising that some of our buildings have been open throughout the lockdown for essential reasons, such as hosting the foodbank or providing meals to vulnerable people, the decision was made not to open the Methodist Churches across the District for individual private prayer even though we have the permission of the government to do so.
There are several reasons for this:
1. The Methodist Church in Britain has decided not to make any change to its position until after the Methodist Conference has met at the end of June so there is no change in the connexional guidance.
2. Methodist Churches are primarily places where we gather in community to worship God. The practice of individual private prayer is something Methodists take very seriously, but it does not require a church building for it to happen. In fact, the Methodist tradition encourages believers to develop the practice of regular personal
devotions, recognising that prayers can be offered and God encountered at all times and in all places.
3. To open buildings requires comprehensive risk assessments for churches and these have not yet been carried out. Without these, Managing Trustees might be held personally liable (that is, not covered by insurance) if there was a claim against them for negligence.
4. There are procedures concerning cleaning and sanitising, distancing, and movement through the building, that need to be in place and enforced when we resume meeting together, and these have not been agreed at this stage.
5. We need to ensure that those opening and managing our buildings are not those in the 'highest risk' categories and, at present we cannot guarantee this to be the case. Furthermore, there are concerns to protect not only those who are vulnerable but also those who live in households where someone is shielding. We need to act in the
best interests of the wider population, which is a more complex matter than the opening up and managing buildings.
6. The Reinfection rate (R Number) in the North West is the highest in the country at the moment and we remain cautious about the spread of infection in our region.
The Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson, Chair of District 11th June 2020