District News – 13 June 2018

This Week’s News


Yesterday I attended the Methodist Church GDPR training day in London. It was very interesting (yes, really!) with a lot of useful information about how we in the Methodist Church should be processing personal data. They covered the GDPR Toolkit (more information can be found on the TMCP website here: Toolkit), Consent and Data Security.

Consent is clearly something that many are worried about, especially regarding circuit plans and church/circuit/district directories. As a membership organisation, there is a legitimate need for data to held without needing to ask the individual to give their consent. Sharing of data is more complex.

The simple answer is that if personal data is likely to be in the public domain (eg: left in a church foyer, pinned on a noticeboard, published on a website) then consent to publish must be obtained. However, there are a lot of examples where there is a legitmate need within the Methodist Church family for some data to be published, and consent is not required.  If you are not sure about this, please get in touch for clarification

Within the GDPR Toolkit is the official Managing Trustees’ Privacy Notice which gives exact information on what and how data is processed within the Methodist Church. This notice needs to be circulated as widely as possible. You can print out copies to have on display in churches, and also share the link on any church/circuit websites. It can be found here:

Managing Trustees’ Privacy Notice

To me, the most reassuring part of the day was the statement made by ICO in an interview with the BBC in April 2018 – “We’re not looking for perfection, we’re going to be looking for commitment.” The resources available from the TMCP show this commitment.

I have been nominated the District Data Champion, so if you have any questions or concerns about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Africa, Gospel and Culture:

The Methodist World Mission Conference held at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, on 1-3 June 2018.

In my position as your Mission enthusiast, I attended this conference and therefore need to inform you of what took place. It was a full programme with plenty of African songs, plenary Bible studies with group discussions, plenary talks and many different workshops. Worldview, the Church, Health issues, Education Culture and Gospel, African women, Traditional African Religion, were all covered!

One coup was to manage to invite the Archbishop of the Anglican Communion in Africa who is the continent’s General Secretary. He gave us a challenging pair of talks. Which predominates- the scriptural gospel with its depths for discipling and transformation or cultural mores with a Christian coating?  We can ask the same of the West as of Africa. Africa however, has the massive growth pattern in Church growth – unlike the West. Without going into the detail, he advocated we know and ensure others know -relationally- not just cognitively, the people, their language[s] and the scripture. How is the Gospel ‘Good News’? We cannot offer what we do not have ourselves – whoever the ‘we’ are. Apply it as you will but apply it sensitively for and within each culture. Which aspects of which culture can be shared or discarded, contextualised or maintained? Discerning those issues is key to mission.

God’s Spirit is at work, but other factors are permeating society too- ones we know all too well; consumerism, materialism and secularism. Both Christians and Muslims should and do fight these. The archbishop works a lot on relationships between churches and religions. He is a Nigerian from the plateau state of Kaduna. Harmony is one key aspect of African communities and when that breaks down between ethnicities within one nation then trouble breaks out despite a Christian surface. There are failures, abuses, lack of accountability but it does not negate the positive attributes the African churches bring to the whole world. Many are scattered from Papua New Guinea to Malaysia to Japan let alone the Western world nations.

Then he also spoke of the Diaspora as we had a large representation of them from among our own Methodist churches and fellowships [Ghanaian, Nigerian, Zimbabwean were the main foci]. So what do Africans bring to our land? An enthusiasm for Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, a holistic handle on life, and a joyous way of worshipping. Dancing the night away? – On Saturday evening they attempted to show us how and many of our Partners and retired Partners jumped in on the act too! Keeping those diaspora churches on fire and letting them spread that fire is essential. The next generation may be compromised within British culture but the youth panel demonstrated their personal faith and how it had been developed through parental modelling of prayer that works.

Another aspect is the strength of character, willingness to work for justice for women, for children often suffering from tribal traditions but worse, drought and hence stress and overwork to get the seeds to provide food in due season. Many are on the move as our migration theme last year showed. They bring their worldview into ours and often they do not match. Rev Dr Chigor Chike explained the African worldview in general while being aware that it is expressed in many many cultures across Africa in various ways. He had African and British in pairs working on understanding of Christ and His Spirit- at least briefly; it was quite revealing of our assumptions.

Bunmi (Dr. Olubunmi Olayisade) the World Relationship officer for Africa, has visited many nations in Africa meeting the Methodists and other denominations. She is thrilled with the imaginative projects going on. If you wish to find out more go on to the website http://www.methodist.org.uk/our-work/our-work-worldwide/world-church/africa/

If you wish to be introduced to African style church -I think I could find a few to come and visit your church if you have no access to their vibrancy. Contact me – Anne Dyer: adyerdon@gmail.com or Bunmi herself.

Save the date

The theme for the 2018/19 Synods is “Passionate Worship”. The Synod Planning Group plans to invite all local preachers/leaders of worship to also attend. More details will be available nearer the time, but you might want to save the dates in your diaries: Saturday 8 September at Central MC in Chesterfield and Saturday 6 April 2019 in Sheffield Circuit.

Meeting Space available

  • Are you a  member of an organisation that holds conferences or needs meeting space for between 200 and 500 people?
  • Are you interested in using a Sheffield city-centre venue that offers speaker and delegate space, a café and break-out rooms?

Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street, Sheffield is taking bookings for events, meetings, concerts, AGMs and conferences.  We can provide a fully supported event service.

For more details about booking an event or for an appointment to visit Victoria Hall ring Rachel O’Leary on 0114 2721749 email vichallmethodist@btconnect.com.


Messy Church

Saturday 23 June – 10:30am – Greenhill Methodist Church

Loads of crafts, food, fun, stories and singing for all the family looking at the story of the Prodigal Son. If you are interested in seeing Messy Church in action, why not offer to help?

Full details on the poster here: Messy Church prodigal son poster

Songs of Praise

15 July at 3 PM – Stocksbridge Christian Centre

The Stocksbridge Christian Centre  will host the 2018 ‘Songs of Praise’ on 15 July at 3PM.   This is the fourth year the church has hosted this service which focuses on a particular social issue, and raises funds for a relevant charity.  In previous years, the event has supported charities working with Nepal disaster relief, refugees, and homeless youth.

Readings, hymns and songs this year  will be focused on the question of ‘Who is my neighbour ?’.   Funds are being raised to support Snowdrop, the Sheffield charity working with people who have suffered human trafficking . A representative from Snowdrop will talk about the work of the charity.

Refreshments afterwards.  The church’s postcode is S36 1AS and is located on Cedar Road at the junction with Pot House Lane.  Everyone is welcome.

Sheffield District MWiB

 District Day with Connexional President Sandra Goodwin

Tuesday June 26th 2018 Mosborough Methodist Church S20 5BT 11am – 3pm

Light lunch provided.

Coach Trip from the Interchange Pond Street

Tuesday 10th July 2018  Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum of Primitive Methodism. CW2 5QW

Beautiful Georgian Chapel and Primitive Methodist Museum which tells the story of this working class 19th century movement which transformed peoples’ lives with its message of ‘Freedom, Equality and Fraternity.’

Coach Trip Cost £18 with cream tea. Contact: georgeandelaine@gilcrux.eclipse.co.uk

Training & Learning Opportunities

‘Bring the Outdoors In’

Saturday 24 June 2-4.30pm, Woodlands Methodist Church, Harrogate

Want to know how to do outdoor worship?  Could you do with some ideas for Own Arrangements or church services?  Join Yorkshire Plus DMLN for a family friendly introduction to outdoor worship.   Find out how much fun it  can be, find out how scary it isn’t!  And take home with you a free booklet of ideas, activities and services for you to use in your own setting.

Bring a picnic, and don’t let the weather put you off – we’re not scared, we’re Northern!

For more details, including how to book, download the flyer here: Bring the Outdoors In

Godly Play

Stories for the Soul and Godly Play – for many contexts

Godly Play is an established yet innovative approach to Christian nurture. Although first developed for use with children, it also supports the spiritual well-being of adults, including older people in care settings – where it is more usefully named ‘Stories for the Soul’. This empowering method can be used in contexts such as intergenerational worship, schools, chaplaincy, children’s work on sundays, youth groups, and adult small groups.

An introductory day is being offered on Saturday 23 June in Sheffield.

To book: https://www.godlyplay.uk/2016/02/25/sheffield-one-day-introduction/

For more information contact Godly Play UK trainer, Kathryn Lord  kathrynlord22@gmail.com

Creative responses to Dementia – 25 June

Livability are working in partnership with Mutual Blessings, Sheffield, to offer this important event for people and churches who want to reach and support people living with dementia and their carers. The day will explore creative ways of supporting people living with dementia and their carers, and to share the joys and challenges involved.


Understanding Islam: the First Steps

A study day to be held at various locations in and around Sheffield, led by Dr Chris Hewer, a Christian who has worked in the field of Christian-Muslim relations for many years and is the author of several books, including ‘Understanding Islam: the First Ten Steps’. It enables us to understand more of Islam, as Muslims understand their faith, and allows plenty of time for questions.

Venues are as follows:

Saturday 30th June, 10.00a.m. – 3.30p.m; St Stephen’s Church, Fawcett St, Sheffield, S3 7PL;

Monday July 2nd, 10.00a.m. – 3.30p.m; Central Methodist Church, 38 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1UH;

Friday July 6th, 10.00a.m. – 3.30p.m; St Andrew’s URC, Upper Hanover Street,Sheffield  S3 7RQ ;

Wednesday July 11th in Tinsley; venue and times to be confirmed.

If you are interested in attending any of these days please contact Rev Liz Wills, 0114 2610732, or   e-mail: johnandlizwills@gmail.com for further details.

Mental Health Awareness Days

The Diocese of Sheffield’s Mental Health Working Group (MHWG) is again holding two Mental Health Awareness Days during 2018.  The first was on Saturday, 28th April and the second will be on Saturday, 22nd September at The Church of St. Mark, Broomhill, Sheffield – details, including how to book a place on either course, can be downloaded here: 28 April 2018 Awareness Day Leaflet and here: 22 September 2018 Awareness Day Leaflet

A quote from the Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield

“More and more individuals are facing challenges in relation to their mental health, which means that more and more friends and family are supporting them, sometimes in very well informed and skilful ways, but sometimes not.  This course offers interested individuals and church communities the opportunity to increase their awareness and confidence in this area and to provide more effective support.  I commend it to you wholeheartedly.”

BibleDay 2018

The Methodist Church Gracious Street, Knaresborough and the Nidd Valley Circuit, in association with Methodist Evangelicals Together present

“GROWING CHRISTIAN LEADERS”                      + models for today’s church from Scripture and early Methodism

A Bible Teaching Day with Rev Leslie M Newton [Chair of the Yorkshire North and East District]

On Saturday October 13th 2018

Coffee from 10-00am the day concludes at 3-30pm no charge – donations towards expenses further information from knmethodist@btconnect.com

Job Vacancies

Family Outreach Worker at Bents Green Methodist Church

20 hours per week from September 2018

Bents Green Methodist Church is seeking to employ a Family Outreach Worker who will engage with families and young adults connected with the church or on the fringe of the church, and support them on their journey of faith into a closer relationship with Christ and His Kingdom.  We would welcome someone with initiative who can develop good relationships with families and young adults in our existing activities, and will also have the imagination and skills to create new opportunities for friendships.  The church serves the community of Bents Green on the South-Western edge of Sheffield, close to the Peak District National Park.  We have about 100 members, with worship services in a variety of styles, and activities for all age groups.  We have about 50 families involved in our activities, with over 60 adults DBS-checked and fully trained in safeguarding to support this work.  We have a range of house, prayer and fellowship groups.  Pastoral care is a priority.

The successful candidate will be employed by Sheffield Methodist Circuit, but be exclusively based and managed at Bents Green.  The closing date for applications is Wednesday 4th July.  For an application pack please contact the Sheffield Circuit Office:  admin@sheffieldcircuit.org.uk, 0114 299 7130 or 0114 272 6561, or The Furnival, 199 Verdon Street, Sheffield, S3 9QQ.

Development Worker – MET

An exciting opportunity has arisen for the post of Development Worker for MET, to advocate and promote the work of MET nationally within the Methodist church and beyond.

We are looking for someone who is gifted in preaching/teaching and able to encourage, equip and support evangelicals in their ministry.

This is a full time post, but could be a job share for two part-time roles.
Salary range: £25,000 – £28,000. (For presbyters and deacons of the Methodist Church normal terms and conditions apply).

An enhanced DBS disclosure will be required for this post.
It is an occupational requirement that the post holder is an evangelical Christian.

For a job pack and further information please visit:
Closing Date: Friday 29th June 2018 (12 noon)
Interview Date: Friday 20th July 2018 – Westminster, London