District News – 1 August 2017

This Week’s News

Own Arrangement service for Autumn

Another in the series of Own Arrangement services written by Christine Sheasby. The theme is “Can you hear me?” and is an opportunity to reflect on God speaking to us, our speaking to one another, and our deafness, both spiritual and physical.

OA Service for Autumn 2017, Hearing God


Whitwell Arts Festival

Saturday 12 August

The Stocksbridge Christian Centre (Cedar Road, Stocksbridge S36 1AS) will host a festival of arts and crafts by local people.  There will be a wide range of items – oil and water colour paintings, video drama, carving and woodwork, blackwork, crocheting – all sorts of things which local people have made and want to share with everyone else.  There will be art work by students from the Stocksbridge Junior School and the Stocksbridge High School.  The doors are open from 10 AM to 5 PM.  The Mayor of Stocksbridge will formally open the event at 11 AM.  Refreshments will be served in the church hall throughout the day.  Everyone is warmly welcomed !!

From 3 to 5 PM,  there will be a ‘proper’ afternoon tea in the church hall.

Anyone who would like to contribute anything, or who would like to know more about the event are asked to contact the Revd. James H. Grayson on 07780 70-1116.

Dedication of a Work of Art

Sunday 13 August

Stocksbridge Christian Centre (Cedar Road, S36 1AS) will formally dedicate a modern painting of the Parable of the Prodigal Son at  3PM.  Steve Lake, an artist local to the Whitwell Estate, created this work as a gift to the church.  The parable is shown in an Afro-Caribbean setting.  The Act of Dedication will form the key part of the service which is built around the theme of the lost son.   This service  will be the only service of the day at the Christian Centre. Refreshments will be served afterwards.   Everyone is invited to celebrate the donation of this painting

Training and Learning Opportunities

Iona Community

The Iona Community is delighted to announce a short programme for Autumn 2017 to be run in conjunction with the St Columba Hotel on Iona whilst our own centres are closed for refurbishment and maintenance work. There are 3 weeks on offer:

  • Walking into Winter – a gentle week of conversation, readings, and writing with Wild Goose authors and poets Jan Sutch Picard, Joy Mead, and Ruth Burgess (21st-28th October)
  • Stillness, Silence and Song – an unhurried  week of meditation and song with Alison Adam (formerly of Wild Goose resource Group) and Cara Riley (28th October- 4th November)
  • Cycles of Grace: Exploring the Ten Beatitudes – a week reflecting on how to live well, with activist and author Alastair McIntosh (4th  – 11th November)

Full details can be found on the Iona Community website:


Prices start at £755 (for 7 nights) and include accommodation, all meals, and the programme charge.  Rooms can be booked directly via the  hotel’s own website http://www.stcolumba-hotel.co.uk/index.php?id=9

Any queries can be directed to pat@iona.org.uk or Marketing@iona.org.uk

Advance Notification: A Study Day for Preachers and Leaders of Worship

Led by The Rev Dr Kate Bruce, Deputy Warden and Tutor in Homiletics and CODEC Research Fellow in Preaching, Cranmer College, Durham. For further information, download the flyer:LP study day or contact admin@chesterfieldmethodists.org.uk

Other News

Christian Aid

Summer Holiday

Our fortnightly update is taking a summer holiday over August! This will be our last fortnightly email until our East Midlands update returns on 6 September. We wish you all a restful and refreshing summer and look forward to updating you on all the exciting things to come for Christian Aid in the second half of 2017! 

Final chance to catch our ‘I Witness’ exhibition

Our fantastic ‘I Witness’ exhibition, featuring images and artwork showing the life-changing work taking place in Haiti following the devastating earthquake, is currently on display in St Michael’s Church, Waddington. It is there until Friday 4 August and will be the exhibition’s last outing before our exciting new exhibition, ‘Inherit the Earth’, goes on tour! Before ‘I Witness’ leaves Waddington, there will be a Sunday Afternoon Tea from 3–5pm at St Michael’s on Sunday 30 July. All are welcome to gather for this tea and take a look at the exhibition. To find out more, please visit: http://www.lincoln.anglican.org/news-events/news-stories/st-michaels-waddington-hosts-i-witness/ 

See you at Greenbelt!

Are you going to Greenbelt this year? If so, do pop by to say hello to our wonderful East Midlands colleagues Martin and Emma who will be at our Christian Aid venue – ‘Bank of the Common Good’. Here there will be everything from an Escape Room (where you’ll be in a race against time to escape a bank vault) and Big Shift workshops, to giant piggy banks and even giant £1 coins battling  it out against climate change — plus plenty more! Also, do check out our café where we’re working in partnership with The Real Junkfood Project.

There are still opportunities to volunteer in our Supporter Engagement Team at Greenbelt this year as well, where you will receive a weekend pass to the festival, travel expenses and food vouchers for meals. To apply to be a Greenbelt volunteer, please visit https://jobs.christianaid.org.uk/ 

Volunteer Opportunity

We are looking for Christian Aid Teachers to support Church of England Primary Schools in various parts of the East Midlands. Christian Aid teachers are volunteers who help schools explore issues of global justice from a Christian perspective and show young people how they can change the world. Is this you or do you know someone who might be interested? We are looking for new volunteers to help deliver our exciting new accreditation scheme in Church of England schools across the East Midlands. Please share this advert and apply here: https://jobs.christianaid.org.uk/vacancy/christian-aid-teacher-volunteer-1237/1255/description/ 

Baked Alaska for Schools

The fantastic Riding Lights Theatre Company have taken materials from the Baked Alaska touring play and developed them in to a free film and resource pack for schools! They have split the play into seven short excerpts, each approaching this complex issue from a different angle, from big business to biblical parables, from international stories to home truths here in the UK. To access these fantastic free resources, please visit: https://ridinglights.org/baked-alaska/baked-alaska-for-schools/

Taste Newsletter

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.
  • TASTE supporters Gordon and Margaret Taylor who celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary (60 years). They asked friends and family to make donations to TASTE in lieu of presents. This has raised £245 for us.
  • A grant of £2,000 from Harry Inman Charitable Trust for Latrines at Barnden Memorial Hospital in Jos, Plateau State. The Trust had already made a grant of £3,500 towards this borehole currently under construction at the same hospital
  • Ebenezer Dami the son of one of TASTE Nigeria Trustees who is recovering well after a major operation
  • The £5,000 and £100 donations received from TASTE supporters this month

Pray that:

  • TASTE 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
  • TASTE UK will be able to find a suitably qualified and experienced Administration Manager
  • The equipment break downs which are hampering our work will be resolved soon so that we can complete projects that have been delayed in a number of needy communities
  • The funding application to the States of Guernsey put together with the help of ECORYS Leeds will be as successful as previous applications. ECORYS Leeds over the last 3 years has helped us raise over £80 000 from the State of Guernsey

Thank you for praying for us. Feel free to call Ben on – 07737413772 – if you’d like further information about any of these matters. Our website address is www.taste.org.uk

Urban Theology Union

UTU has been through many changes over the years, including our strategic site move the Sheffield city centre. In the last twelve months we’ve said ‘Farewell’ to two members of staff and welcomed Helen Coates who will be our Office Manager from September.

We are continuing to disorganise and reorganise as a member-led charity and want you to be part of that. If you are not a member yet the membership form is here.

The Urban Theology Unit at Victoria Hall is open for you to drop in on Mondays between 10 am and 4 pm and by appointment at other times.


John Vincent leads our regular Colloquiums at the unit. These are opportunities for people to present their thoughts and ideas in a small and informal setting.

In the Autumn these will be at the new time of 12 till 1:30 pm and you are invited to bring your lunch to eat while we chat (hot drinks provided).

UTU has been supporting urban ministry in the UK since 1969.  

We offer a member-network, our own courses and Manchester University courses in contextual theology.

Visit their website to learn more: utusheffield.org.uk

Methodist News

Living wage

The Methodist Council announced this week that it has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation, committing to pay all of its 220 staff at least the voluntary living wage rate. Read more here

Youthscape Summer Film School

From 13-16 August, Christian charity Youthscape is offering a chance for 15 filmmakers-to-be, aged 16 to 19, to attend masterclasses in film making from international filmmaker James Chapman. For more details and information on how to apply, click here