Supernumeraries' Gifts and Needs Group
When ministers ‘sit down’ we have to make significant adjustments to the way we relate to ourselves, our families, our church, and even to God. We are still ministers but may be dismissed as retired and have come to a full stop.
On Sept 1st we find ourselves deprived of the role we have occupied perhaps for many years and become just another person turning up at church on Sunday morning wondering what the next day, week, or year will bring – if anything. The fellowship of colleagues is no more and, as we get older, we can feel isolated and un-cared for.
Some supernumeraries will recognise this picture; others will tell you that life is as full as ever it was. Many supernumeraries in the Southampton District are valued as we serve in our local churches, help neighbouring circuits when there is a shortage of active ministers, get involved in our local community, or enjoy caring for grand-children. Others will say how much they value the care they receive from ministerial colleagues both active and retired; some get together with other supernumeraries; some have found a new lease of life as we explore new avenues of service.
The District Supernumeraries Gifts and Needs Group was set up in 2016 in response to a concern that at least some supernumeraries felt under-valued, under-used, and un-cared for.
- We visit all newly retired supernumeraries in the District to offer a welcome, listening ear, and encouragement. Without putting any pressure on them we offer them the opportunity of making known to the district any gifts or skills they would like to make available. We make it known that this opportunity is open to any supernumerary. The offers made so far are listed below. We are sure there are more who have much to offer and who could be added to this list.
- We try to make sure that those supernumeraries who, with the passing years, have become more frail are cared for. Many supernumerary colleagues in the same circuit, and indeed the superintendent and other active colleagues, are active in this caring work. We feel sure, however, that there are still some who feel isolated and un-cared for.
- Many supernumeraries find fellowship in their local church, with active ministerial colleagues, and, for example, in Spectrum groups. We also note that many value the opportunity of meeting with retired colleagues who share the same life experience and we try to encourage this where possible.
The following Supernumerary Ministers would be happy to offer to serve the District in the following ways. Please make contact direct with the Minister.
Chris Jones - mentoring newer ministers
Cecil King – help for any circuit or church that wants to be part of the District link with the United Church of Zambia by “twinning” with a congregation in Zambia.
Roger Larkinson – help with New Testament Greek
This information is placed here by the District Supernumeraries’ Gifts and Needs Group.
Any Supernumerary Presbyter or Deacon is welcome to make an offer of service in the District which will be placed on the website. Please contact Revd Tom Stuckey, interim convenor of the District Supernumeraries’ Gifts and Needs Group for more information.
District Reconciliation Group
The District Reconciliation Group is here to help with advice and support:
- by offering assistance to achieve reconciliation between people who are in dispute with each other, and
- by fulfilling the requirement of Standing Order 1111 (4): To respond to requests for assistance when a formal complaint has been made and in such additional circumstances as the District may decide.
- by making training in PWT known and accessible
- Funding from the District Group for Learning and Discipleship is available for people taking training. GLAD will pay half the cost for Ministers with the Circuit expected to pay the other half; for lay people the funding is one third with a third expected from the circuit and a third expected from the individual. Grants can also be made to churches or circuits organising their own course. Email Gill Lawson, the GLAD secretary.
- Please contact us – you’ll find our names below.
*Rev Jenny Ellis
Mrs Angela Fisher
*Rev Steph Jenner
*Deacon Brian Purchase
*Rev Andrew de Ville
Convenor of the District Complaints Support Group:
Rev Lesley Martin
*have completed Bridge Builders training
What we believe
At the September Synod in 2014 the District agreed the following Positive Working Together policy:
No one in the District should experience bullying or harassment. Anyone who does have this experience can engage the person exhibiting this behaviour, using the Shared Commitment Document which we have all agreed shall be the basis for our relating and working together.
This was taken up by the whole Church and the Conference of 2015 issued guidelines, including the following definition:
Any behaviour, always involving a misuse of power, which an individual or group knows, or ought reasonably to know, could have the potential effect of offending, humiliating, intimidating or isolating an individual or group should be regarded as unacceptable. ‘Unacceptable behaviour’ changes its label to ‘bullying’ or ‘harassing behaviour’ when it causes actual harm or distress to the target(s), normally, but not exclusively, after a series of incidents over a prolonged period of time.
The full guidelines and a short guide to them can be found on the Methodist Church website.