District News – 25 April 2018

This Week’s News

Official opening of Sanctuary

Last Friday was the official opening of The Sanctuary – the new space run by City of Sanctuary Sheffield. There were founders, donors, volunteers, service users, BBC Look North, Paul Blomfield MP and members of the public who just happened upon us.

It was a great atmosphere of welcome and hospitality.

The work at the Sanctuary was praised by local MP Paul Blomfield who congratulated all involved on creating an atmosphere of hospitality not hostility.

You can catch BBC Look North on iPlayer, it was on at 6.30 BBC1 Friday 20th April.

Sad News

We are sad to announce the death of Jeanne Belben, widow of Howard Belben, former Principal of Cliff College. Jeanne died peacefully in the early morning on Tuesday 17th April after a short illness.

Jeanne’s funeral will be on Wednesday May 2nd 2018. There will be a short interment service at 2pm at All Saints Church, Curbar Lane, S32 3YU followed by a service of Thanksgiving for her life and ministry at Bents Green Methodist Church, Knowle Lane, Sheffield, S11 9SJ. All are welcome to come and share with the family and the church in this act of thanks and remembrance.

Gifts in Jeanne’s remembrance will be devoted to the RNIB. Their talking books service was one of the joys of her last months as her eyesight deteriorated.

Grants Committee

The date of the next District Grants Committee has had to be moved from May 10th to Wednesday June 6th. If you have applied for a grant, please note that a response will not happen until after this date.

Learning & Development Grants

Learning and developing ourselves, our churches, circuits and district are vital and intrinsic aspects of being active people of God. However, the Sheffield District Learning and Development group recognises that sometimes the cost of developing or attending such opportunities may be a deterrent or barrier.

We are therefore pleased to announce the District Learning and Development Fund, set up to support learning and development activities of Methodists in the Sheffield District.

Priority will be given to people who have no other learning and development grant entitlement, especially first time applicants, but applications from staff, including presbyters, will also be considered.

Learning and development funding can cover such things as resources for house groups or study groups; expenses for speakers from other parts of the country; costs of joining a workshop, course or activity or contributions to extended periods of study.

Grant application forms can be downloaded from the website here: Grants for Learning and Development Opportunities.

The deadline for each round of applications is 2 weeks before the Learning & Development Group meet. The next deadline is therefore  1 June for the meeting on 15 June.

Regional Retreat with John Bell

We have 2 spaces left for the Regional Retreat at Wydale Hall, led by John Bell, due to last minute cancellations. If you are a presbyter, deacon or lay employee with the Methodist Church and would like to book a place, please contact the District Office (0114 270 9990 or email admin@sheffieldmethodist.org)

Thy Kingdom Come Prayer Initiative 2018

You may remember at the Spring Synod that we were invited to get involved with the national prayer initiative.  Some of your churches many be going to the Beacon Event in Leeds?


This is a great way to connect those who are already praying and mobilise others to realise the power of prayer as we fulfil our calling to introduce people to Jesus and build the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.

I have been asked by the District to connect those who are already in prayer meetings or who have planned events for Thy Kingdom Come.

Please will you connect by:

  • Sign up to the pledge to pray on the Thy Kingdom Come Website?
  • Can you inform me when you will be praying and where you will be praying

Please send me any prayer requests that you may have which are to do with building the Kingdom in your area.  We will then circulate these around the District so that we can be connected in our prayers.  We will also put this information on to the web site and let people know where and when people are praying in the District.

Once the initiative is over, we would love to hear some testimonies of what has happened in and through your times of prayer.  There may be words of knowledge or prophecy that you feel is right to share.  You may be able to testify to answered prayer, which can be an encouragement to others.

Finally, do you think it is a good idea to connect the District in prayer in a way in which prayer requests for Kingdom work can be circulated around our region and we know that we are standing with each other in this way?

If so, I would be glad to hear from you.

I look forward to a speedy response, as we don’t have much time to get this organised.  But that should help us to focus and get connected.

With every blessing in your ministry.

Rev Jonathan Haigh on behalf of the District.


May Day at Thorpe Hesley

Monday 7th May

Come and join us at Holy Trinity Church and Community Centre, Thorpe Hesley (S61 2QJ) for our annual SPRING FESTIVAL. This year including a ‘Journey through the Bible’ exhibition in Church. This is a real fun event with Hot food and a variety of stalls, Licenced Bar with real ales and Prosecco Bar, displays and demonstrations and Children’s games. Entrance is £1 and the event starts at 11am. For more information ring Steve Wilson on 07442 000765

Afternoon Tea

Monday 7th May from 2pm to 5pm

Rev Jen and Phil invite you to Afternoon Tea at Panbride, 8 Springwell Crescent, Sheffield S20 1XP. Proceeds are to purchase bibles for Emmanuel Junior Academy.

As Chaplain at Emmanuel Junior Academy I am looking to raise money for the purchase of Bibles for the new Y3 pupils (starting in September 2018). Bibles for Children has provided (for the cost of postage) Bibles for every child in school but they are only able to do this once. Y6 Leavers will take their Bibles with them!

Bibles for Children will provide the Y3 Bibles at a heavily discounted price BUT i still need to raise that money (about £350).

I can promised:

  • A warm welcome;
  • Vintage China; and
  • Great Cake!

Rev Jen Mullis OBE

Burngreave Ashram

Informal sharing, lunch & seminar

Monthly on First (occasionally second) Mondays


12 Noon – Informal Sharing
12:30 PM – Lunch Bring & Share
1:15 PM – Seminar

Theme: My difficulties with Faiths and Cultures

  • 7th May – Chris Bullock
  • 4th June – Rev Dr John Vincent
  • 2nd July – Patsy Cunningham

All are welcome, free of charge.  Donations welcome as able!

Download a poster for your noticeboards: CH&LIB. FLYER. May.July,2018.1

Training & Learning Opportunities

Walk Through the Bible – New testament

You are invited to join the Barnsley Circuit at Wombwell Methodist on Saturday 12 May 10.00 (arrival from 9.30) to 4.00 for this exciting day of exploration. Relax and enjoy the journey as an experienced guide encourages you to see God’s Word. A great day seeing the Big Picture of the Bible.

Please bring a packed lunch – drinks provided throughout the day

Cost only £5 (WTTB usually £14 but greatly subsidised by Circuit and District

Booking essential through Ellie Peet, elliepeet59@gmail.com 07919155101
or through Barnsley Methodist Circuit Office 01226 321522 circuitoffice@btconnect.com

Safeguarding CSS Foundation and Refresher Module Training the Trainers day

Training will be from 10.30am – 2.30pm

Coffee from 10am and lunch will be included.

Date: Wednesday May 16th 2018

Venue: Victoria Hall Methodist Church, Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 2JB

To book a place please contact: Val Higgins – 0114 2709990/val@sheffieldmethodist.org

Date: Saturday Sat 23rd June 2018

Venue: Bar Convent, 17 Blossom St, York YO24 1AQ, York

To book a place please contact: Sian Henderson – 01904 786275/yorkshirenemethodist@icloud.com

Candidates’ Support Group 2018/19

Are you considering candidating for presbyteral or diaconal ministry in the Methodist Church?

Would you like to work through this process with others sharing the same journey?

Would you appreciate information, practical help, mutual support and theological reflection along the way?

If so, the Candidates’ Support Group is for you and you would be most welcome.

Full details on the flyer here: Candidates Support Group Flyer 2018

Northern Retreat at The Briery

Tuesday 16 – Thursday 18 October

Water from our own Wells – Leader: Henry Morgan

Cost £200

Henry says, ‘My experience in the ministry of spiritual direction has taught me that people deep down already know most of what they need to know about God: for the most part they don’t need new information. The problem is that in a busy life the treasure that lies within us is easily forgotten or overlooked.  So, the intention of this retreat is that it might help unblock our wells and allow the God given living waters within to flow free.’

Henry Morgan left Anglican parish ministry in 1992 to set up The Annunciation Trust, which supports and encourages the ministry of spiritual direction.  www.annunciationtrust.org.uk . He has been Chair of Spiritual Directors in Europe.

At the foot of Ilkley Moor in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, The Briery is a place of spiritual renewal, where those who come can find God in an atmosphere of love, prayer, healing and peace.

This will be mostly a silent retreat.

Interested? Contact Rev Sandie Exley-Watts sandie@exleywatts.me.uk       01924 840219

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

Nidd Valley Methodist Circuit requires a full time

Circuit Children’s & Family Development Worker

from 1 September 2018

Based in Harrogate

Salary £21,000 – £24,000 per annum depending upon experience

Application Form & Job description Tel: 07944 853489 or e-mail :  petergambles76@gmail.com

Closing date for applications –  25 May 2018
Interviews will be on 14 June 2018

There is a genuine occupational requirement that the post holder is a Christian

Other News

Christian Aid

Christian Aid Week is less than one month away!

Do you have everything you need for Christian Aid Week this year? Here in the East Midlands office we are very happy to support you in any we can, from help organising your fundraising events, coming to speak, or ordering resources! Please visit our CAW website to read the stories for this year and to see our full range of resources: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/christian-aid-week

Live Q+A with Haiti Country Manager, Prospery Raymond

Next Monday (23rd) at 2.30pm, you are invited to join a live question and answer session with Haiti Country Manager, Prospery Raymond. You can send us questions for Prospery in advance or log into Facebook and send live questions! To take part in our live q+a, please become a friend with our Christian Aid East Midlands facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/judi.perry.christian.aid. You will then be able to watch and take part in our live streaming event on Monday! Please send any questions for Prospery or about the Facebook event to mgage@christian-aid.org.

New campaign Uprooted and Overlooked

Get involved in our new campaign on displacement. Two-thirds of people forced from home are still in their own country. Seeking safety but unwilling or unable to leave, they are denied the official protection given to refugees. Many of the world’s displaced remain hidden or ignored. Will you read their stories and join us as we fight for a fair deal for all displaced people? Get involved by emailing your MP asking them to support displaced people or volunteer to host our church exhibition tour to raise awareness of internally displaced people. Find out more by visiting: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/campaigns/uprooted-overlooked

Taste – Life Changing Water

Prayer Points April 2018

Praise for:

  • God’s faithfulness in protecting TASTE staff as they travel to many remote areas to carry out projects
  • The successful completion and commissioning, this month of the project in Bakin Kande funded by Harry Inman Charitable Trust
  • The appointment of a new member of staffByencit Dala. Byencit, meaning Joy, will be responsible for general office duties so freeing up Doris to concentrate on her role as Community Development Officer

Pray that:

  • Our staff will continue to honour God in all that they do both in the UK and in Nigeria
  • TASTE UK will find a suitably qualified and experienced Bid Writer to work with our CEO to significantly increase our income from funding applications. We are receiving an ever increasing numbers of requests for help from needy communities.
  • The two Fun Runs, North Wales Saturday 28 April & Sheffield Saturday 12 May (last one for Sheffield) will be well supported and will raise plenty of money for our ongoing work in Nigeria. Why not join us by registering online or getting in touch with Ben – 07737413772
  • The 3 recent funding proposals submitted by a consortium led by TASTE Nigerian would be successful.

Thank you for praying for us. Feel free to call Ben on – 07737413772 – if you’d like further information about any of these issues. Our website address is (www.taste.org.uk) you can also get our latest news by following us on:

Methodist News

“Reforms are urgent, now is the time for tough action”: Dame Margaret Hodge

Christian leaders united in the House of Lords on Tuesday 17 April to challenge government inactivity on tax justice reforms and to demand immediate tough action. Launching “Church Action for Tax Justice” (CAT), President-Designate of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Michaela A Youngson, joined Lords Rowan Williams and Richard Harries, Dame Margaret Hodge and Quaker Leader Paul Parker to demand an end to corporate tax evasion, greater transparency and a change to the negative narrative around tax.

In her speech to a packed committee room, the Revd Youngson said: “I hope we can shift the narrative around tax away from it being a dirty word, or a necessary evil, but rather a blessing and a means of all citizens having a stake in a generous society that cares for all.” Dr Rowan Williams talked about an “unquenchable thirst for more” in the corporate sector (referencing the name of the Christian Aid report), a “wilful blindness” amongst policy makers and how tax should not be “an us and them but a recognition of shared goals and mutuality”.

Opening the meeting, Dame Margaret Hodge, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax, congratulated the new initiative, saying: “there has never been a more important time than today to address issues of tax justice…this is not anti-business but pro fairness…Reforms are urgent, now is the time for tough action.”

CAT will seek to inspire all Churches about the urgency of creating fairer and more effective tax systems to fund healthier public services, both in the UK and internationally.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Chair of the Christian Aid Board, said: “The creation of this new Church-wide movement is timely. Many of the world’s largest companies seem to have forgotten that they have moral duties, as well as legal ones. They must support human flourishing, not least by paying their fair share of taxes in all the countries where they do business – and being fully transparent about the relevant data.”

Ending financial secrecy in UK tax havens like the British Virgin Islands is one of the reforms CAT will pursue, along with changes to the way large multinational companies are taxed.

In addition, the new campaign will call on Churches themselves to make more vigorous and vocal use of their power as investors in major companies.

CAT has developed out of the Methodist Tax Justice Network and seeks to be more ecumenical, embracing all Church denominations.

One recent sign of the success of the worldwide movement for tax justice has been the decision by Vodafone to publish its country-by-country reports from 2019 onwards. Christian Aid, the Tax Justice Network and others have long campaigned for major multinationals to publish such data, because it can throw up suspicious patterns that alert tax authorities and civil society to potential tax dodging. This, in turn, helps them to hold companies to account.

Universal Credit is driving families to food banks

Universal Credit must ensure families are fed:

  • 51% rise in food bank use in Universal Credit Areas; 13% rise in other areas
  • The Trussell Trust’s report on the impact of Universal Credit report is clear – families are being pushed into financial crisis and towards foodbanks
  • Churches welcome this important report and call on Government to focus on ensuring Universal Credit meets families’ basic needs

“A benefit system that allows families to go hungry is a benefit system that is failing,” said Paul Morrison who advises a group of national Christian Churches on poverty.

“The Government’s drive to reduce spending and to focus on work incentives means we have lost sight of the purpose of a welfare system – ensuring that families are fed. Cuts to Universal Credit have been justified as providing an incentive to work. It is now clear that reducing and delaying the incomes of some of the poorest families has significant consequences including hunger.

“The work of the Trussell Trust and the others providing emergency food aid is vital. Many churches are committed to hosting and supporting these projects, but it is a source of sadness and anger that emergency food is needed more and more.”

Over the past year there have been increasing reports from churches and ministers of numerous families seeking help because of Universal Credit.

The Rev David Hardman, a minister based in Southwark, commented on his recent experiences: “A new father called at my door. He was struggling; waiting for a delayed Universal Credit payment and doing his best to keep his family going.”

“The foodbank had helped but it became clear that his baby needed nappies and other supplies, he just didn’t have the money to pay for them. The church helped by buying what he needed for his baby I also made sure he had money on his travel card so he could keep looking for work and avoid being sanctioned. It is a privilege to be able to help families like these – but we shouldn’t need to and certainly not so often.”

Paul Morrison concluded: “Most people who struggle because of Universal Credit will not visit a food bank or knock on a church door. The food bank clients are the tip of the iceberg, a warning sign that must be heeded if we are to prevent disaster for many families”.

JPIT Internships

The Joint Public Issues Team have two vacancies for one full-time and one part-time year-long internships, paid at the London Living Wage. Starting in September 2018, these vacancies are based in central London. Apply here before Tuesday 1 May.