District News – 15 November 2017

This Week’s News

All We Can Conference 2018

January 20 2018

You are invited to an engaging day of inspiration, challenge and action. Join special guests Rev Dr Calvin Samuel, the President and Vice President of the Methodist Conference, and inspirational worship leader Geraldine Latty, to celebrate how change happens when we all work together.

Find out more and book your free place at allwecan.org.uk/conference

Extraordinary Christmas

As we celebrate Jesus, God’s extraordinary gift to us, help congregations make an extraordinary difference for some of the world’s poorest people by using All We Can’s Advent and Christmas resources.

Prayers, reflections, poems, films and more, will help light up your services as well as light up lives across the world.

Order and download from www.allwecan.org.uk/christmas  or contact Tim Baker on t.baker@allwecan.org.uk or 01977 616828

Lay Leadership Day

Monday 4 December

A day exploring leadership for lay people working in the Methodist Church in either a paid or a voluntary capacity eg youth, children, family or community workers, class leaders, lay missioners or local pastors.

See the flyer for full details: Lay leadership Day

One Mission Forum report – part 4

Barriers to growth?

If we are to reverse the 100 year decline in membership in Methodist churches across Britain, will it take yet another 100 years? What is the future- give up and merge with another denomination?  Sell buildings to the newcomers on the block – the growing African immigrant congregations? Or prepare to change, to adapt to our multicultural cities, adapt our scattered rural chapels: but how? – leave it to our Venture Pioneers? What of the generation that is already present in our congregations- the over 60s? There are still 10000s of them who have no clue as to what the Good News of Jesus really entails. They are the ones ‘vaccinated’ against ‘churchianity’.

Do we therefore plant a new church?  Where is the right soil, the right ‘weather’?  Risk goes with growth.  That means a lot of work by a lot of people.  So, can we shift the metaphor?  Is the church ‘expectant’? Mother churches pregnant with baby churches? Imagine!  9 months of change before a birth! There may well be ‘mood swings’ when complaints are made – that there are insufficient ministers, inhibiting structures or are we lacking younger people with energy, allocation of funds…? Vulnerability?  It’s not British…  Rather can we be more upbeat -for the joy of a healthy birth to come? That can motivate us and that can be exciting to the whole family.

After child birth comes fast growth of the child, with a lot of intensive input from parents. Can we ‘bring up’ new disciples? Jill reckoned the ‘greatest risk we face is an inability to create new disciples’. Training can be available. Contact the District office, arrange for the DLMN people to prepare a few sessions for your churches. Ask your local evangelist to equip the congregations and work with other churches in the circuit.

Can we encourage each other with positive examples of growth across and through the churches in Sheffield, Doncaster, Bolsover, Barnsley, The High Peak, Rotherham? Retford? Worksop? What alternative models are there?  Or is it a matter of content of how the members share their passion for Jesus in the midst of their own difficult contexts?  Wesley advocated for us to share testimonies, our stories of how Jesus our Lord intervenes in our lives, gives us strength through illnesses, reaches out through us to others in difficulties, rejoices with those who see transformations.

Please share your stories with us all through responding to this message. I can coordinate them or indeed the District Administrator, Katrin, can post them on the website news page. Let’s encourage each other to the honour of Jesus our Lord.  We are partners in His Mission.

Ann Dyer


Christmas Art Fair

Dec 2-9 : 12 – 9pm daily

35 Chapel Walk will be hosting a Christmas art fair featuring work by local artists. Come along and pick up something unique!

Christmas Art Fair

 Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Simple Quiet Day

Tuesday November 21st 2017
9.45am – 3.45pm

These days are intended to provide you with the space to “be” before God; to relax, reflect and pray and so to renew your spiritual resources.

The day begins at 9.45am (beginning with a Reflective Communion that is open to all) and closes at approx 3.45pm. Please bring your own lunch – drinks are provided. The cost is £12 payable in advance online here or by using the booking form here.

9.45—Holy Communion with reflection and resources offered for use during the day
12.00—Midday prayer
3.30—Gathering together and prayer

The programme for the day is kept very simple to provide maximum space. Please use what is offered in so far as it is helpful.

December at Whirlow

The month ahead at Whirlow Spirituality Centre.

Regular worship

  • 1st Sunday, December 3rd. Reflective  Worship, 7 – 8pm
  • 3rd Sunday, December 17th. Reflective Communion, 7- 8pm
  • every Sunday. Space to Be (silent meditation), 830 – 915am
  • every Tuesday. Reflective Communion, 945 – 1030am

Advent Quiet Days – December 2 & 6 (repeated)

The Magnificat and Benedictus of Luke’s gospel will frame these days of Advent reflection led by our chaplain, the Rev Joy Adams.

9.30am – 3.30pm, £12.

Full details and booking information on the website.

Deep Talk – December 4

No Longer at Ease: Desiring Change and Liberty

The last in our Deep Talk series, an adaptation of Godly Play for adults of all ages and stages. Led by Jeremy Clines, Anglican chaplain at the University of Sheffield.

10.15am – 3.30pm, £18. This event is currently fully booked. To be added The waiting list, please contact us.

Praying Without Words – December 16

A new group exploring the benefits and challenges of silent prayer
For anybody drawn to silent prayer, meditation or contemplation, this group will provide change to practise, learn and explore questions such as: am I doing this right? Nothing is happening, why bother? How can I stop my thoughts?

7.30 – 9pm. No charge, donations welcome. More details here.


Simple Quiet Day – December 19

Space to ‘be’ before God. Relax, reflect and pray. The day starts with our weekly Reflective Communion service (open to all.)

9.45am – 3.45pm. £12. More details and booking info here.

Plans are being made for our 2018 programme!

Some details are on our What’s On pages already and more will be there soon. In addition to our worship, Simple Quiet Days and Days of Retreat, there will be:

  • events and groups working with Christian meditation and silent prayer techniques
  • two Enneagram workshops
  • an exhibition of abstract art about Thomas Merton, with related events
  • more Community Bible studies and Contemplative Fire events
  • music – some Taize, more We Who Sing, Pray Twice, a concert on Shrove Tuesday and some lunchtime recitals
  • a series of celebratory events in September, incorporating Heritage Open Days and our 60th Anniversary
  • Holy Week reflections, contemplation and action-themed events and a sunrise service
  • a storytelling group.

Building works to improve our facilities are planned for next year, so it is taking a little longer to fix dates. Please keep an eye on the website!

In the meantime, to register interest in any of these events or topics, make suggestions for our programme or hire us for your own event, please get in touch.

Training and Learning Opportunity

Bridge Builders – Responding to Criticism

February 15, 2018 @ 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

A workshop training day for people in church leadership held at Blackley Baptist Church Centre, Prospect View, Elland HS5 0TD

There is a world of difference between constructive feedback and corrosive criticism.

Fair assessment, offered graciously, can help you to be a more effective leader. But harsh comments, perhaps comparing you unfavourably with your predecessor, may become a drip, drip, drip that just wears you down.

You may find yourself wondering why you are the target, and what can you do or say in response. How can you move out of a mood of anger or resignation? How can you avoid getting hooked into finger -pointing yourself?

This is both a spiritual exercise, requiring God’s help to grow in grace, and a practical challenge, looking to learn ways of listening and speaking that can earth the cycle of blame.

And even if you are not personally under fire, you may be aware of undercurrents in your church that tend to drag people down. How can you name what is happening below the surface, in a way that allows it to be addressed? Things to explore in a supportive atmosphere …..

A Practical Focus

The workshop is designed to equip you as a leader within your church. It is for anyone in leadership, but specially relevant to those in a position of overall oversight. The aim is to give you confidence, and hope.

Full details via their website here: https://www.bbministries.org.uk/course/responding-to-criticism-blackley/

Job Vacancies

Sheffield District Communications Officer (part-time)

The appointment is for 8* hours per week on average throughout the year, recognising that there will be times of concentrated activity,
with a probationary period of 3 months.

Salary will be £4,250 per annum plus contributory pension scheme.

The Communications Officer will be responsible for supporting, and where appropriate providing, pro-active communication between the District, its circuits and churches, and between them and the wider community.

Working in partnership with other District Officers, the main tasks will be to:

  • to enable people to be equipped to exercise their particularly ministry and fulfil their calling
  • to increase the awareness of learning opportunities
  • to enable officers and other across the District to see new ways of doing things
  • to raise the profile and awareness of the work of the District internally and externally
  • to enable a flow of relevant information between churches, circuits and individuals
  • to better inform churches and circuits leading to new activities

Applicants should be sympathetic to the aims, objectives and ethos of the Methodist Church.

District Communications Officer – role outline
Communications Officer Person Specification

Communications Officer application Form
Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form

Alternatively please email the District Administrators on admin@sheffieldmethodist.org  or call 0114 270 9990

Closing date:  12 noon on Friday 17 November 2017

Interviews in Sheffield on Friday 8 December 2017

Other News

Christian Aid

Join the East Midlands team – volunteer administrator needed

Do you have office experience, with excellent administration skills and a customer focus? Do you know your way around a spreadsheet? Would you like to put your skills to good use, and help us in our supporter-facing work, enabling our supporters to Give, Act and Pray to help tackle the root causes of poverty? Here in the Loughborough office, we are looking for a volunteer administrator for four (or more) hours a week. For more information, and to apply, visit: https://jobs.christianaid.org.uk/vacancy/supporter-care-volunteer–1207/1225/description/ 

Loughborough Fair Trade Fayre and Café this Saturday!

The Loughborough Fair Trade Fayre is back, with over a dozen stalls selling a wide range of fairly traded crafts, gifts, foods and fashions. There’s also a Fairtrade café selling a delicious range of cakes and drinks. Entry is free so do come along to Loughborough Baptist Church between 10am-3pm this Saturday for some ethical Christmas shopping!

Christmas Appeal 2018

Our Christmas Appeal this year is being supported by UK Aid, meaning that every pound you give, the UK Government will give a pound more! Donations made to the Christmas Appeal between now and 5 February 2018 will be matched up to £2.7 million. That’s double the support for people living in poverty! To find out more about our Christmas appeal this year or to order or download your free Christmas resources, please visit: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/christmas-appeal

Give A Day Away

As part of our Christmas appeal this year, the East Midlands team are launching our Give A Day Away campaign. This is where we donate one day’s pay to our Christmas appeal, which can then be match funded by UK Aid! We are giving a day away because there is enough for everyone this Christmas. If you would like to join us and Give A Day Away, please visit our JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christianaideastmidlands

Methodist News


A new initiative calling for improved rights and better support for ‘stateless’ people has been backed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Rabbi Hershel Gluck OBE, chairman of the Arab-Jewish Forum.

The pair have joined 110 religious and faith leaders in signing a statement urging the UK Government to do more to welcome those who no longer have a country to call their home.

The move comes during Inter Faith Week (12-19 November) which seeks to build on the good relationships and partnerships between people of very diverse faiths and beliefs.

All have a shared commitment to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity. The statement is calling for action on the part of the UK Government to review its policies towards stateless people as many end up in prolonged and pointless detention while the Home Office tries to remove them from the UK.
‘Stateless’ people without legal status cannot leave the UK because no country will accept them. But without status, they don’t have permission to work in the UK and remain vulnerable to destitution, exploitation and detention. Worldwide there are around 10 million ‘stateless’ people. Signatories are calling for alternatives to detention and better support for access to rights and advice and help with integration.

The move is part of the #LockedInLimbo campaign which is led by the European Network on Statelessness and seeks to end the detention of people who end up locked in limbo simply because they have no country that they can return to.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said: “This is a significant statement, showing inter faith support for global efforts to contribute to ending statelessness and the arbitrary detention associated with it. Faith groups have an important role in calling for policy-makers to prioritise the welfare of people who face marginalisation and exclusion. It is good to see so many faith and religious leaders addressing this deeply concerning issue that affects millions of people worldwide.”

Rabbi Hershel Gluck OBE, chairman of the Arab-Jewish Forum and chairman and founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum added: “There is no question that statelessness leaves people vulnerable and at risk of being forgotten and abandoned. All people deserve to have their human rights recognised and respected, which is why this multi-faith communities collaboration is so important.”

Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim representatives have supported the statement. Signatories include Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Bharti Tailor, Vice-President of Religions for Peace UK, the Rev Lorraine Mellor, President of the Methodist Conference and Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Chair of the Liberal Judaism Rabbinic Conference. The statement will be open for other faith or religious leaders who wish to add their support via the website http://lockedinlimbo.eu. A full list of signatories can be found at: http://lockedinlimbo.eu/uk-faith-leaders-statement-against-detention-of-stateless-people.

People designated as stateless, according to the 1954 Statelessness Convention, are “not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”. Citizenship has often been described as the ‘right to have rights’. Statelessness, in turn, is a corrosive condition that impacts almost every aspect of daily life. The use of immigration detention and the criminalisation of irregular migration is increasing across many parts of Europe.

Text of statement:

An estimated 10 million people worldwide are stateless, which means that according to the 1954 Statelessness Convention they are “not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”. Citizenship has often been described as the ‘right to have rights’. Statelessness, in turn, is a corrosive condition that impacts almost every aspect of daily life.

The use of immigration detention and the criminalisation of irregular migration is increasing across many parts of Europe. Stateless people are particularly vulnerable to arbitrary detention, including here in the UK. Some face indefinite detention because there is no country to which they can be returned but equally no prospect of regularisation in the country hosting them.

All our faiths compel us to affirm the dignity of all human beings and to offer help to anyone in need. The best of this country is represented by the generosity, kindness, solidarity and decency that the United Kingdom has at many times shown those who need our protection, even at times of far greater deprivation and difficulty than the present day.

There is strong multi faith support from local, regional and national religious leaders which demonstrates a shared commitment to the welfare of the most marginalised and a degree of moral and ethical urgency to this issue.

We therefore urge the UK government to do more to welcome stateless people and in particular to adhere to five key principles:

  1. Implement a range of alternatives to detention to ensure that stateless people do not end up locked in limbo simply because they have no country to which they can return.
  2. Ensure early identification where a person lacks a nationality, and guarantee that detainees have full access to the UK’s statelessness determination procedure.
  3. Carry out an individual vulnerability assessment as part of every decision to detain.
  4. Facilitate integration in the community by regularising stateless people and granting them a residence permit and facilitated access to naturalisation.

5. Improve monitoring and data collection on statelessness as in order to effectively address the problem it needs to be properly understood.