Enabling Services - new Circuit team in place

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The Circuit has now established its Enabling Services team with the appointments of Laura Wolfe and Joseph Tulip.

Laura joined in March as Enabling Services Manager, followed by Joseph who arrived as Communications Co-ordinator in April.

Laura will head the team in supporting churches across the circuit to fulfil legal and governance requirements. These include property matters, GDPR, governance, communications, administration, financial matters, charity registration, and safeguarding.

The theoretical basis for Enabling Services can be found in 1 Corinthians 12:28 — "And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues." (NRSV).

Laura explained: "It's designed to free up people from the administration involved within churches to allow them to focus on their callings and mission.

"We have great Ministers and local preachers here, and we also have incredibly skilful and dedicated volunteers carrying out crucial roles within our churches.

"It's not everyone's natural inclination to become an expert in Health & Safety or GDPR, but these are legal requirements. Our job is to work with everyone involved to get these things done as easily as possible, without detracting from the focus of the church to introduce people into the Kingdom of God and help people live as followers of Jesus."

The mum-of-two brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously worked in marketing, web development, and specialising in business management within a network of schools.

Laura is also closely connected to the Methodist Church, having spent the past five-and-a-half years as Circuit Administrator in her home town of Chester-le-Street. She is also Data Champion for the Newcastle upon Tyne Methodist District.

"I took on the Chester-le-Street role after the job vacancy was read out in church," said Laura, "It led me to become more active in my faith rather than just being a passenger, and I understood what it meant to have a calling."

Laura went on to become a worship leader within the Chester-le-Street Circuit, and began exploring local preaching. Now she's excited to be part of the Tynedale Circuit.

"I felt I was called to apply for this job," said Laura, who is married to Andrew and is mum to Alistair, 23, and Mabel, 19. "I've been made to feel really welcome here and I'm starting to get to know people across the circuit."

Outside of church life, Laura enjoys spending time with her dog, two cats, and the two horses she keeps at a livery yard.

Joseph has spent most of his career as a senior journalist at the Hexham Courant, and has also worked in public relations and communications. He is from Haydon Bridge where he attends the Methodist Church alongside his wife Jayne.

His role is to develop communications across the Circuit, to help Ministers and individual churches promote their activities, and to ensure church members have access to Circuit news, reflections and worship resources.

Joseph is working to evolve the Circuit website and social media pages. He will also enhance audio visual resources, and is looking forward to working more closely with churches on all forms of communications as Covid restrictions ease.

Another key part of Joseph's role is to communicate the gospel message beyond the church into the wider community.

"Like Laura, I have been made to feel most welcome," said Joseph. "I have been amazed at how the Circuit has embraced technology over the past year.

"We want to maximise opportunities for our church members. Good communication is vital in terms of finding out how people want to worship, and equipping them with the resources they need. We fully appreciate that not everyone has internet access.

"I'm looking forward to meeting people face-to-face as I make my way around the circuit. I'll also be looking for church activities to promote and inspirational stories to tell about people and their connections with God."

Joseph enjoys football and can also be found on the golf course.

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