District News – 15 December 2017

This Week’s News

Office News

The office will close on Friday 22 December and will reopen on Wednesday 3 January 2018. There will be a final mailing for the year next week.

Don’t forget

There is an event for young people aged 11-16 at 35 Chapel Walk next Friday 22 December from 6pm, with food, hot chocolate, marshmallows … and a Christmas movie. Should be great fun!

Google Digital Garage

The Google Digital Garage offers free digital skills training to anyone including organisations and individuals who want to:

  • increase their online confidence,
  • improve their digital skills for work
  • start their own business, including building a business online.

This includes using social media and taking first steps online to those who don’t currently use computers/the internet.

For more details, visit their website: https://events.withgoogle.com/book-digital-garage-sheffield/

One Mission update

Peter Ensor, once a lecturer at Cliff College, has been based in the Methodist University of Kenya for nearly 4 years now. He ‘only has’ 700 essays on one course to mark, plus 700 exam papers!  Teaching the bible there is obviously far more attractive in Kenya than in Britain! 700 students in one module class!!! So Peter has expended his energies there amidst both national and denominational political battles. He pursues training people for ministry to give a strong leadership for the churches in the next generation. An excellent way of using his gifts.

However, he still needs our British, our Yorkshire support in prayer. Even if you only pray for him and the College Ministry students of Kenya when you read this, God will hear and answer.

So please pray for his health and strength, for him to have wisdom in devising and delivering courses in biblical theology that will be of relevance for the churches’ future leadership. Also please pray for the means to establish really good resources in their library. Bristol’s Wesley college sent their 38000 books to them. Now they have to be sorted, catalogued in their system and made available. Space and time! However they had some encouragement in a timely legacy producing money to buy shelving.  They really need to keep the library updated just as we do in our colleges in UK. Resources are therefore needed; pray for God’s ongoing provision.

Anne Dyer
Mission Enthusiast for Sheffield District

New District Safeguarding Officer

The new District Safeguarding Officer for Sheffield, Vicki Bennetts, introduces herself below:

“I am very pleased to have started working as a DSO for the Sheffield District, taking over from Grahame Snelling, who has moved into the same job, but in London.

“I hope that over the next few weeks and months I will meet up with many of you in the safeguarding network

“This is a 18 hours per week post and I will be working from home and from the District Office at Victoria Hall Sheffield. Principally I will be working on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but the nature of Safeguarding can require a flexible and timely response, which I will provide.

“Before taking up the post I was a Senior Manager in Sheffield Childrens Services, managing a wide range of Child Protection and Preventive and Intervention Services.

“I am a  trained Funeral Celebrant and a trustee for a local charity, which supports people who are working towards managing or being alcohol free. I also sing in a Community Choir

“I have six grandchildren and spend as much time with them as I can– I love walking with my rescue dog and going away in my Camper Van

“I look forward to meeting you.”

Vicki Bennetts

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

The 60th Anniversary Project

As you may have heard, improvements to Whirlow Spirituality Centre are in the pipeline! These should start in January and be completed in time for our 60th Anniversary celebrations in September.

The Chapel of the Holy Spirit was consecrated in June 1958. During the first half of next year, recommendations for upgrading our facilities – made by inspectors in 2014 – will be addressed. We are excited to see what God has for us in the future: changes to the building are part of the journey and will support the development and growth of the Centre’s ministry.

Plans include a second toilet, refurbished kitchen, new Chapel windows, improved AV, internet and exhibition capabilities as well as storage that better suits the character and life of the centre.

It is expected that the refurbishment will be carried out in two stages. Work on the Chapel will be done before Easter and the rearrangement of toilets and kitchen afterwards. There will be disruption to the Centre’s activity during the first stage and a short closure during the second.

A December meeting with all contractors will indicate whether alternative venues or postponements are necessary for any Whirlow events. These will be advertised as necessary. Please keep an eye on the website, Facebook page and Spirituality Centre emails for details.

There will be no specific fundraising for this project. It will be funded by the centre’s operating partners, Whirlow Grange Ltd and All Saints Ecclesall, from existing resources. However, the partners would be delighted if anyone wishes to make a contribution towards the costs of this ongoing development, please contact the office.

Sheffield and District Fair Play League

The SDFPL is a football league for adults (16+) that plays on a Saturday morning with 10.30am kick offs. It was set up in 1998 for churches in the Sheffield area (currently your pitch has to be within a 12 mile radius of Ponds Forge).

We have recently taken the decision to contact churches as we feel many may not be aware that there is a football league for them locally. The churches which are a part of the league find this a useful evangelism tool, and some are here (like mine) mainly for this reason.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if someone in your church is interested, please get in touch via email: sdfpl@fairplayleague.co.uk


Jonathan Buckley, the Sheffield Children & Youth Project Manager, has recently come across a number of groups offering grants, which may be of use to you:

The David Chilcott Fund provides grants for young people attending Christian camps, holidays and conferences who wouldn’t be able to afford to go on them otherwise. More information can be found on their website  at www.dcfund.co.uk

Methodist Youth Activities – http://myaltd.org.uk/ – is a Methodist based trust fund which was set up when MAYC closed down. They now give grants up to £5k pa for 3 years for work with young people aged 11-25. Their next deadline is April 30th. Information  on their application process is on their website.

The Deakin and Withers Fund

Established in 1852, the Deakin & Withers Fund was founded thanks to the legacy of Thomas Deakin, a Sheffield businessman. Now, the fund is administered by SYCF and we are dedicated to ensuring that legacy can continue to help people.

Who Can Apply?

  • Single, divorced, or widowed women over 40, who are in need, hardship or distress.


    • People applying must be members of a church which is a member of ‘Churches Together in England’ or ‘Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’.

How to apply?

For more information, please read the information sheet
The Deakin & Withers Fund Guidelines

If you want to make an application to the fund then download the: Deakin and Withers Application Form and return it to Karen Alsop at SYCF.


Deconstructed Nativity

13 – 21 December from 11am – 4pm

At 35 Chapel Walk this Christmas we are seeking to re-imagine the Christmas Nativity scene spanning traditional and contemporary ideas. We want to use contemporary art to discuss the well known scene and the issues that it brings up.

Entry is free

Stocksbridge Junior School Art Work Display

16 December – 27 January

For the last three years, children at the Stocksbridge Junior School have created art work on the theme of ‘Christmas’ which has been displayed at the Stocksbridge Christian Centre.

Among the art work for this year,  children in Years 3 and 4 have made  craft works which are innovative recreations of the manager scene using electric lighting, or have made artificial ‘stained glass’ representations of  the three Wise Men, the manager scene, or a large Christmas tree.

The children’s art is now on display in the Stocksbridge Christian Centre every Saturday from 16 December until 27 January, 2018 from 10 AM to 12 Noon in the church sanctuary.  Everyone is warmly invited to see the wonderfully creative work which the children have made expressing what they’ve learned about ‘Christmas’.  Refreshments are served in the church hall.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2018

26 February – 11 March

The District Fairtrade Committee is delighted that Gill Newton will again be hosting a Fairtrade coffee morning for Faith Leaders at Zooby’s in the Winter Gardens, on Thursday 1 March.

It is hoped that many churches in the District will also mark this fortnight with events and worship. Resources to help plan this can be found here: FAIR TRADE FORTNIGHT 2018

Training and Learning

Exploring Vocation

Saturday 13 January – Oxford Place, Leeds

Is God calling you to a form of lay or ordained ministry with the Methodist Church? Are you wrestling with your voation and wanting to learn more about what ministry might entail?

It can help to explore these questions in the company of others, so why not come to a day of worship , prayer, reflection and discussion at Oxford Place Methodist Church, Leeds LS1 3AX on Saturday 13 January.

Full details in the flyer here: Vocations Flier 2018

All We Can Conference 2018

Saturday 20 January 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

Bible Month Training

Saturday 27 January 2018 – Oxford Place, Leeds

This year for Bible Month we are focusing on the book of Jonah.  The training day is on Saturday 27th January 2018 at Oxford Place Methodist Church, Leeds, promises to be helpful to all those who will be leading worship and small groups during Bible month.

It will be led by Revd Paul Ashby, a retired minister and Old Testament Scholar. With workshops in the afternoon that will explore:

  • Leading worship and preaching
  • Leading creative all-age worship
  • Leading small groups

You can down load a flyer here: Bible Month (Yorkshire plus) 2018

A booking form can be downloaded here: 20180127 – Bible month training day and returned to Katrin in the District Office.

Re-Imagine Circuits – planning for life

Four one-day conferences around the UK to explore new ways of invigorating circuits to bring new life into their mission.

VENUES (Times each day 9.45am-4.30pm, refreshments provided)

  • Wednesday 28 February 2018
    Brunswick Methodist Church, Brunswick Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7BJ
  • Thursday 1 March 2018
    Manchester Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ
  • Saturday 3 March 2018
    Methodist Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH
  • Monday 5 March 2018
    Badminton Road Methodist Church, Badminton Rd, Downend, Bristol BS16 6NU

With examples of new and encouraging ways of working from around the UK to reflect on what we can learn and apply in our local context.
BOOK NOW and further information at www.methodist.org.uk/reimagine-circuits

More information on the flyer here: 2963 Re-Imagine conference flyer 2018

Job Vacancies

Preacher and Pastoral Worker for the Iranian Christian Fellowship (ICF)

Based at the The Kings Cross Church (TKCC), Hexthorpe Doncaster Methodist Circuit

Accredited preacher or training to be an accredited preacher within the Methodist Church or a member denomination of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

  • To regularly preach in Farsi and occasionally in English;
  • To contribute to the leading of Bible studies and other discipleship development activities;
  • To be involved in community outreach and evangelism to the Persian Communities of Doncaster and South Yorkshire.

Based upon a 40-hour working week. Paid pro-rata at 12 hours
£19.776 plus taxable housing allowance of £ 3710.40. All reasonable expenses will be reimbursed
Please e-mail Rev Jon Bellfield for application form and job description revjonnyb@btinternet.com

Application Deadline: Friday 22nd December
Interview Date Thursday 4th January

Hope for the Future  seeks a new
Chair of Trustees

Hope for the Future brings together politicians, churches and communities to take decisive action on climate change. It was established in 2013 to equip faith communities, local groups and individuals across the UK to raise awareness of climate change.

We help with letter writing, accompany people to meetings and organise events around the UK encouraging communities to take action. In four short years our work has gained national recognition as we have grown into the UK’s leading specialists in training and supporting citizens to work with their MP on climate change.

For more details, download the advert here: Hope for the Future – Chair of Trustee Advert(1)

Methodist News

Some last-minute help for Christmas

From the Bible Society comes a no-rehearsal-required “pop up” nativity.  The Greatest Journey retraces the steps of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men – but ultimately points us to the greater journey of all, when Jesus left heaven and came to earth! Tearfund also offers a nativity script, ‘God With Us’, including a narrated version or a version to be acted out by children and young people. Also available as a free download from Blackburn Diocese is ‘Pick and Mix Christmas’, which offers ideas for games, crafts, songs, prayers, teaching and reflection.

3Generate Youth President

Jasmine Yeboah has been elected as the Youth President-designate following last weekend’s 3Generate event in Southport. Read more about Jasmine’s election or watch her campaign video.

Children and Young People’s mental health – Green Paper

The Department of Health and the Department for Education have published a Green Paper, Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision. This sets out the ambition that children and young people who need help for their mental health will be able to get it when they need it.

Call for support on weapons treaty

JPIT, the Joint Public Issues Team, along with the Quakers, has released a video calling for people to act in support of the ground breaking UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. People are invited to sign a ‘picture petition’ asking the government to ratify the treaty. The use of nuclear weapons was one of the big topics of discussion at this year’s 3Generate and will be featured in the 3Gen manifesto (to be published early 2018).

Reflections on Messy Church

For those of you who don’t follow the Methodist Church’s Theology Everywhere blog, you might be interested to read the recent edition focussing on Messy Church, written by George Bailey, entitled Is it Church? Is it a means of grace?

Statement on Jerusalem

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have released a statement following the announcement by the USA regarding the status of the city of Jerusalem. Click here to read it.

Presidential Christmas message

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Loraine N Mellor and Jill Baker, have released their 2017 Christmas message on the subject of visitation. You can read and watch their message here.