District News – 28 February

This Week’s News

Sad News

Our thoughts and prayers are with Revd Gill Newton, Revd Lesley Newton and their daughter Laura following the death of Lesley’s father on Friday.

Fairtrade Fortnight film

The Fairtrade Foundation have just released a short film, less than two minutes, which would be very suitable to show in worship this Fairtrade Fortnight or to use in a discussion or study group. You can find it here: home delivery service

YMCA White Rose Report

YMCA White Rose has had the privilege of working in Parson Cross with Parson Cross Initiative and Mount Tabor Methodist Church since September 2015. Over the past 18 months or so, we have run: Drop-in sessions and Youth Groups at Mount Tabor, after-school groups at Chaucer Secondary School and Southey Green Primary School, Lunch Clubs at Foxhill Primary as well as various activities during school holidays.

We are also the first organisation in the country to deliver the Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award in a Youth Group setting…pioneering stuff indeed!

Whilst there’s been challenges with funding and the behaviour of a small number of young people, the work so far demonstrates what can be achieved in partnership between a local Church and local Charities such as ourselves. We’re one of a number of local Christian based  Youth Work Charities here in Sheffield, and we’d love to be able to work with other Churches in the local area to support you in your work with children and young people.

Alongside the above, we also work with the Anglican Diocese, Cliff College, Methodist District and CaSS (Christians and Sheffield Schools) to deliver the Joined Up Conference (www.joinedupconference.com) and the Aurora Youth and Children’s Ministry Courses (www.auroratraining.org.uk), both of which are aimed at training and resourcing volunteer Church based youth, schools and children’s workers. We’ve also recently completed a piece of consultancy work for the Sheffield Circuit around their Youth and Children’s work.

If you’d like to get in touch to see how we could potentially support you, do get in touch. My email address is jonathan.buckley@ymcawhiterose.org.uk, and my phone number is 07450 778678.

Finally, 5 YMCA staff, volunteers and supporters are running the Sheffield Half Marathon on April 9th to support our work in Parson Cross. If you’d like to sponsor us, you can do so at www.give.net/ParsonCross.

With thanks, Jonathan Buckley

Peak Filling Station – February

Steve Fisher, in February – “What is God’s purpose for our rural churches”. Steve presented us with some surprising challenges, how we do church and what we are to our community.  Weekly meetings of a dwindling number of people is discouraging but knowing nothing else we carry on regardless.

Steve suggested that instead we should combine for larger celebrations and meet in our localities to identify and serve the needs of our community: “to be church to them” to meet them where they are rather than expecting them to come to us.

See below for future events.


Whirlow Spirituality Centre
Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Sheffield

Deep Talk Day – Things Fall Apart – Transitioning and Hope

Monday 6th March – 10.15am – 3.30pm

This is the first in a series of five ‘Deep Talk Days’ which will be held at Whirlow between now and the end of the year. Each day is stand alone, although attending more than one will have a cumulative effect.  These days will use the principles of life coaching, peer-to-peer group work and story-ing to explore questions of identity and life-purpose.

The days will be led by Jeremy Clines who is the Anglican Chaplain to the University of Sheffield.  He will lead the session with the use of sacred stories and a mixture of more contemporary tales to facilitate the asking of deeper questions from a new vantage point.

The day will begin at 10.15am and close at approx 3.30pm. Please bring your own lunch, drinks are provided. The cost of the day is £18 payable in advance using the booking form which can be downloaded here or online here.

Please note your booking can only be guaranteed on receipt of the fee.  We are sorry but unfortunately we do not have the facility to take payments over the phone.

Cost: £18
Please bring your own lunch
Drinks will be provided

“Holiness and Justice” Art Exhibition

Saturday March 11th 2017 to Friday March 31st 2017

This vibrant and thought provoking exhibition of seven paintings by Sheffield artist and pioneer minister, Ric Stott, is the result of the commission given to him by the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference on the theme of “Holiness and Justice”.  The paintings will be on display throughout Lent and full dates and times can be found here.

On Saturday 11th March 2017 at 7.00pm Ric Stott will be at Whirlow to launch the exhibition and introduce his work.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn a little more about it and perhaps gain a better insight into the ideas which the artist is trying to convey.  Refreshments will be served and there is no need to book for this evening launch event.

Please download a poster and flyers to publicise in your neighbourhood and faith community.

Peak Filling Station

Christians of every hue celebrating together at Calver Village Hall, S32 3XR – Saturdays at 7pm

Steve Holmes, 25th March

Why do we narrow Christianity to what happens only in or around Church.  Early on Steve was invited to become a professional footballer but chose to go into banking.  Steve went on to applying his commercial skills in his Church and a small team launched community meals and village based children’s nurseries; then they converted a disused bus depot to become a Family Entertainment Centre, Business Incubation Centre and Vocational Training Centre.  Next the team launched 13 mainly NHS dental practices; and Steve has now been asked to team with health authorities to provide care for recovering mental health patients.

Steve’s journey has been far from smooth but the consequence has impacted far beyond the boundaries of conventional church.

Jonathan Dunning, 22nd April

Meadowhead Christian Fellowship – Based in a shop unit on the south side of Sheffield, MCF has a community of people very similar to the those in the Peak District, and is responsible for range of local and international of international programmes to serve others; MCF presents an example and challenge to us.

Dorothy Bates, 20th May

Plus Prayer meetings –Tues 21/3 and 18/4, 7.30 Calver Methodist Church

1703 A4 poster
1703 A6 flyer (4 to a page)

Art and Soul / Footprints Connection

Last Autumn we reinstated Art & Soul after a 3 yr absence  and from now will return to its quarterly slot in the calendar: Below you will find the programme for this year – giving you plenty of time to book the dates in your diaries.

Footprints Connection is based at Carterknowle Methodist Church, Edgedale Rd, Sheffield S7 2BQ – just off Abbeydale Rd. There is level access into the building.

You don’t need to book in – just come on the day, but if you need to contact us please phone and leave a message on our office number – 0114 2587495 or email us on  footprintsconnection@gmail.com   .

Art & Soul will run in the chapel between 1.30 – 3.30.

The majority of the time is in silence using a variety of resources from basic art materials, to poetry, scripture etc.

These are free events but donations to our work can be made on the day.

8 March – Hope in a Dark World

What do we hope for when so much in the world seems scary and bleak? How can we be a light to others in our community? What helps us when we are struggling with the weight of life?

7 June – Changing Landscapes:

natural landscapes form the backdrop to today’s theme as metaphors for the landscapes of our inner lives. Most of us know the isolation of being in a wilderness place or the confusion of ‘not being able to see the wood for the trees’. Where do we find the rest of a peaceful place? – an oasis? – a gently flowing stream? We take our lead from these natural landscapes and reflect creatively on our inner journeys. This event will be a shortened adaptation of a day’s workshop held at Whirlow Spirituality Centre in May

Learning and Training Opportunities

2nd Religious Tolerance Conference

Saturday 11 March – 9:30 to 1pm – The Well, Hospital Road, Retford DN22 7BD

This is the second year that Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and Pilgrims & Prophets have promoted a day Conference on the subject of Christian Heritage, thinking about how we promote museums and heritage churches to tourists as well as Christians.

If you are interested in coming please contact Adrian Gray c/o The Well, Hospital Road, Retford  on 01777 702344.

You can download a flyer & programme here: Religious Tolerance Conference 11th March 2017

Joined-Up Conference

Saturday 11 March, 2017, 9:30 – 3:45pm at St Thomas Church, Philadelphia.

It is not too late to book for the second JOINED-UP CONFERENCE for children’s, youth, families and schools workers.

The day includes two fantastic keynote speakers starting and ending the day, and lots of workshop choices throughout the day, from Children’s Spirituality to young people and mental health; from Engaging young people outside the church to special needs; from Creative engagement with your local school to Messy Church.  Check out the website now to find out more and book your place.  Cost £10 which includes your lunch!

Details and booking at: www.joinedupconference.com

Job and Volunteer Opportunties

Christian Aid treasurer

Would you like to play a pivotal role in helping to support Christian Aid in Sheffield? Have you got accountancy /book keeping experience? The Sheffield Christian Aid committee is currently looking for a new treasurer who would feel able to:

  • maintain records of any money received from individuals or churches,
  • pay any bills
  • periodically send money accrued to Christian Aid in Leeds- the HQ of the Yorkshire area.
  • attend committee meetings 5 times a year.

For further details please contact Alison Trezise (Chair of the Sheffield Christian Aid committee) or Paul Furbey (Regional Coordinator for Christian Aid). Contact details:

  • Alison Trezise – (0114) 236 5938
  • Paul Furbey – 07841 920379

Other News

Taste – Life Changing Water

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us.   We can’t do what we do without your prayers.

Praise for:

  • God’s continuing protection and faithfulness to our staff and His promise to be with us always – even to the end of the age.
  • The relative calm in and around Plateau State which means that the people of Loton Community are returning to start rebuilding their lives. We are also returning to complete a project in the community.to start rebuilding their lives.
  • The agreed measures for safeguarding the solar panels at Bassa School for the Deaf from further theft which mean that this project to provide light and clean water to the School should be completed in the next few weeks.
  • The continuing peace in many areas especially a number of states in the Northern Nigeria where many people are continuing to return to their villages and communities to rebuild their lives.

Pray that:

  • Our staff will continue to honour God in all that they do both in the UK and in Nigeria
  • The UK and Nigeria Trustees will know God’s wisdom in their oversight of TASTE
  • The World Water Day on Wednesday 22 March will draw attention to the plight of millions of people who lack clean water. Please joining with us in raising awareness and funds
  • The Annual Sheffield & North Wales TASTE Fun Runs on Saturdays 13 May 2017 & 29 April 2017 respectively will be well supported and will continue to be a good way of raising funds for our projects.

February Prayer Letter

Christian Aid

The Peterborough office has closed

We are sorry to announce that the Peterborough office has now formally closed. We are committed to continuing to support you and delivering the high standard of care you expect from Christian Aid. For Northamptonshire and Rutland, this support will now be provided from our office in Loughborough. Our team in Loughborough will be very happy to help with your queries and receive any donations.

Book your Christian Aid Week speakers!

We will be allocating Christian Aid Week speaking requests at the end of next week so if you would like to book a speaker for Christian Aid Week please do let us know as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. We will still take speaking requests after this date, however we cannot guarantee that we will be able to fulfil them. To book a speaker, please contact your local regional coordinator or our East Midlands office on 01509 265013, eastmidlands@christian-aid.org

Big Shift Campaign Training

Join us for an evening training session to get equipped and inspired to build our Big Shift campaign! On Tuesday 14 March, we will be holding a campaign evening from 7-9pm in our Loughborough office: Christian Aid Office, Upper Rooms, Loughborough Baptist Church, Baxter Gate, Loughborough LE11 1TG. If you would like to find out more about our Big Shift Banks campaign and meet other local campaigners, please do join us!

East Midlands Christian Aid fortnightly update, 22 February 2017

CLC Bookshops

LENT begins on Ash Wednesday, 1st March!! Click here to download a PDF leaflet of books and offers.
More titles are available at the bookshop.

Palm Crosses – Don’t get caught out!!
Get in touch and order in plenty of time for Palm Sunday, 9th April, and collect them (or have them delivered) when you want.
Just £8.99 per pack of 50, or 20p each

Whatever you’re after, don’t forget to factor in the discounts available on qualifying purchases* from CLC!!   Thanks for shopping local and helping us maintain a Christian presence and meeting place on the high street.

Methodist News

A place to call home?

The Joint Public Issues Team, in collaboration with Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action, have launched a series of six bible studies on the British housing crisis. This resource aims to facilitate reflection and discussion.

Fairtrade Fortnight

27 February – 12 March is Fairtrade Fortnight, highlighting the issues behind exploitation in the food production business. Fairtrade has produced some helpful resources for churches to get involved, including sermon notes, prayers and more. Click here to see for yourself.

For a range of Fairtrade gift ideas, please visit the Methodist Publishing website

Returning Home this Lent

With Wednesday 1 March being Ash Wednesday, Lent is fast approaching. If you’re still looking for ideas for a personal reflection this Lenten period, why not consider this year’s Churches Together in Britain and Ireland offering ‘Returning Home’? With contributions from the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, this year’s resource explores how our Christian faith has been deepened and enriched by other faiths.


In the coming week the Prayer Handbook will be encouraging us to pray with Christians in Australasia, Europe, Britain and Ireland. The theme for next week’s A Word in Time Bible studies is Restoration and Unity written by the Revd Catrin Harland.

East Africa Famine Appeal

South Sudan is the first nation in six years to declare a famine, but the UN have issued a stark warning that other countries face extreme food-shortages across East Africa. 

All We Can and the World Church Relationships Team of the Methodist Church in Britain are calling for support for an urgent appeal to respond to immediate needs in South Sudan and to help avert famine in other countries on the verge of disaster.

Ongoing food crises have pushed many East African countries to the brink of catastrophe with millions across the region facing malnutrition, illness and death. On 20 February 2017 it was announced that South Sudan had already reached tipping point with two counties being declared as officially affected by famine.

Droughts and unpredictable rainfall, protracted civil conflicts and entrenched economic crises, have led to widespread food insecurity across East Africa and people are already dying. Without urgent support, many other communities across the region face the threat of famine in 2017.

The Methodist Church in Britain are urging people to respond quickly, generously and collectively to this catastrophic situation by supporting the appeal being managed by All We Can.

Serge Tissot, Head of UN Food and Agricultural Organisation in South Sudan, said of the crisis: “Our worst fears have been realised”. In South Sudan, people are already losing their lives because of a lack of access to food and the problem is expected to get worse unless the international community responds decisively.

In 1998, Sudan faced a famine that led to over 70,000 people losing their lives. All We Can is responding to the dire circumstances in South Sudan in alliance with its experienced humanitarian aid partner in the country.

Moreover, All We Can hopes to reach other countries in the region that are at risk of famine because of widespread food insecurity resulting from drought, unpredictable rainfall and regional conflicts.


All We Can’s Humanitarian Aid Manager Jason Snuggs said: “This situation is incredibly serious, it is not one we can ignore. We need supporters to give generously and without delay so we can respond to the need in South Sudan and help towards averting famine in other countries in the region on the verge of disaster.”

The United Nations have stated that there is a threat of an unprecedented level of hunger, not only in South Sudan but in a number of other nations as well. Local organisations All We Can has worked with for years, in countries like Ethiopia, are already stressing the pressure they are under. Long-term development work with communities is severely threatened by this crisis.

The magnitude of need across the region is enormous: In South Sudan alone, 100,000 people are facing famine in the northern-central part of the country and a further 1 million are classified as being on the brink of famine.

Tragically, the declaration of famine in South Sudan throws the spotlight on a much wider disaster.

In areas of East Africa, and in neighbouring Yemen, a lack of food is no longer a matter of discomfort but of survival. Malnutrition is widespread, in some countries water is scarce and the need for lifesaving aid; food, water and sanitation, is critical.

Gifts to this emergency appeal will enable All We Can and its partners to respond quickly to those in greatest need.

To support the East Africa Famine Appeal go to www.allwecan.org.uk/famine