District News – 5 February 2019

This Week’s News

Office News

The District Office will be closed next week apart from Monday morning. Katrin will be attending a Cliff College Short Course. Emails may be answered, and messages left on the answerphone will be picked up during this time.

This means that there will be no Weekly Mailing next week.

Church Leaders’ Network

We are pleased that Revd Dr Martyn Atkins; Past President of the Methodist Conference, ex Cliff Principal and current Superintendent Minister of Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, will lead the next Church Leaders’ Network. This will take place on Tuesday 12 February 2019 and is a gift from Cliff College to all those in church leadership. The programme for the day will include:

10:45 am Coffee, tea and cake
11:15am Presentation and conversation with Martyn
12:45pm Lunch

To book your place please email Veronica on reception@cliffcollege.ac.uk

Full detail on the flyer here: Cliff Church Leaders

Fake emails

We have been advised that there have been a number of emails sent from methodist.org.uk, methodistchurch.org.uk and other email addresses of members of the Methodist church which appear genuine in terms of their subject matters.  The emails asks for you to click on a link.  This link should not be clicked on and if you are not sure, please call the sender to check that the email is genuine.

Should you click on the link you should not disclose any login credentials and if you have disclosed details then you should immediately change your password to your email address and anywhere else that you utilise this password.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2019

25 February to 10 March
It would be good to hear what your circuits/churches are planning to do to mark this year’s FairTrade Fortnight.

For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid. This year we are focusing on the people – in particular the women – who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we love so much.

£1.82* is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on less than 73p** a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty, despite some chocolate companies making massive profits.

For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but they are likely to see even less money for their work.

This is why we at Fairtrade are campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa. If we can work together with governments, chocolate companies and retailers to make the commitments and policies necessary, then we can make it happen.

For more ideas – visit the Fairtrade Fortnight website : Get Involved

Resources for Worship Leaders and Preachers

These resources, which have been developed by Jenny Carpenter and Jenny Bywater, are the ideal way to incorporate the theme of Justice and Fairness into worship. They can be used by ministers, local preachers or worship leaders and are appropriate at any time but were developed especially for use during Fairtrade Fortnight which, in 2019, runs from 25th February until 10th March. Further ideas and information can also be found on the Fairtrade Foundation website: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/

Freedom Conference

Saturday 13 July – Hall Road Methodist Church S43 1GH

Freedom Community Project are holding their first (to become) annual conference on the 13th July 2019. Our keynote speaker is Ian White from Cliff College & Micah68 (an organisation offering support to the people of the Middle East) on Hospitality.

There will be seminars on Universal Credit; Issues around Debt; and Future Vison for Freedom

To book your free place call 0300 302 0334 or email info@fcgroup.org.uk

Full details can be found on the flyer here: flyer-conference


Temenos Exhibition

5 March – 20 April at Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Launch with Ric and Ian, 5 March, 7:30pm. £15.
Contemplating Temenos with Ric, 31 Mar, 7pm. £10.

Temenos is ten paintings by local artist Ric Stott that explore the idea of threshold space. Poet Ian Adams has written arresting pieces that accompany the works. At the launch, both artists will invite participants to absorb and be transformed by words and visuals. On 31 March, Ric will use the exhibition to point people towards something deeper.

Prints of the paintings are available to buy via 35 Chapel Walk website:

Details and information here.

Please contact us to arrange alternative viewing times.

Prayer Space

Starting on Wednesday 6th February 1:00pm – 2:30pm at Victoria Hall, Room 46 will be opening up as a prayer space for people to come and just be.

A space of peace and tranquility in the middle of busy day. A dedicated space where you can grow, an opportunity to draw aside, take time out and meet with God.

To access Room 46, please use the entrance on Chapel walk and take the stairs to the first floor and follow the signs.

You can download and print the poster for your notice boards here: prayer space

Queer Ways of Being

8 – 21 February at 35 Chapel Walk

A contemporary art exhibition celebrating LGBT+ History Month

Friday 8 February – Preview Evening

Tuesday 12 February from 7-9 pm – Queer Spiritualities: an open and friendly conversation about queer spiritual experience with input from a variety of faith backgrounds and identities

Tuesday 19 February at 7:30 pm – Queer Ways of Being: Performance Night – An evening of spoken word and performance art rooted in queer experience and identity.

Springs Dance Company – Bread of Life Tour

Thursday 18 April – Wesley Hall, Crookes

A reflection on the last supper, Bread of Life celebrates the meal of bread and wine with Jesus, the ever present King. This Lent and Easter rediscover the living, breathing Bread of Life, through this stirring depiction of how God is building a community of love with Jesus himself at the centre.

Springs would love to hear from anyone else interested in hosting a performance of Bread of Life. Further information can be found here: Bread_of_Life_2019

Learning & Development Opportunities

Sheffield District’s Learning & Development Group:

Weekly Focus

On the Sheffield District we have a Learning Grid containing over 50 opportunities and development, identified by the Learning and Development Group, summarised on the District website, and produced in our attractive folder which you can hopefully find in your Local Church. If you can’t locate it there, then contact Katrin in the District Office. Over the year ahead, as part of our living out of the District Mission Policy, we are going to share a little about the courses on offer, in the hope that along the way, you might find something that will interest you. You can also apply, via the District Office for grant funding from the District in support of the learning and development activities you might engage in.

Next week the focus will be on the “ALPHA” course.

Yorkshire Plus Regional Retreats

7-9 May 2019 – Cliff College – In a Good Place?

The Spring Regional Retreat for Presbyters, Deacons and Lay Employees will be from Tuesday 7 May – Thursday 9 May. It will be led by Jill Baker, Vice-President of the 2017-18 Methodist Conference, at Cliff College.

During this retreat we will think about the importance of place in our own lives:

  • How has place impacted upon our spirituality?
  • Where have been our “sacred spaces”?
  • Is there a “theology of place”?
  • How do we reconcile rootedness and journeying?
  • Where does pilgrimage fit in?
  • How important is place in the bible narrative?

Above all, the retreat will provide space (in a beautiful place) to reflect and pray and seek to discover a renewed “good place” in God.

This is an excellent opportunity to recharge your batteries!

More details on the flyer here: Jill Baker Retreat 2019 flyer

Urban Theology Union


The Forum will meet from 12 noon to 130 pm in UTU’s library area in the basement of Victoria Hall Methodist Church, Sheffield (entrance in Chapel Walk). All are welcome.  Bring your own packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be available.

The next session will be as follows:

Wednesday 13 February: David Price on ‘The impact of immigration in Sheffield’ with Joe Forde as respondent and Ibtisam Al-Farah as Chair. David will draw on his recently published book Welcome to Sheffield –A Migration History and will argue that Sheffield has now become an ethnically diverse and cosmopolitan city and needs to come to terms with this. Copies of David’s book will be available for purchase.


Enquiries to Jill, UTU administrator, 0114 2709907 / office@utusheffield.org.uk

The Contemplative Minister:
Leading from the Still Centre

4 March 2019 : 10.00 am – 4.00 pm

Why do so many clergy feel under constant pressure in ministry?  Why do some experience burnout?

During this day of reflection, intended for clergy, readers, ordinands and licensed church leaders, Ian will help us to review our model of ministry and explore how we can recapture its contemplative heart.  The day has been designed particularly with those in parish ministry in mind, but is open to Methodist ministers as well.

Ian Cowley is an Anglican priest who has served in parish ministry in South Africa, Sheffield, Cambridge and Peterborough. He is author of four books on spirituality, discipleship and the local church.  From 2008 to 2016, he was Co-ordinator of Spirituality and Vocations in the Diocese of Salisbury, when he developed the material for this workshop and his book of the same title. He has recently retired from full time ministry and continues to write and teach, and enjoy time to pursue recreational interests.

There are limited places. The closing date for bookings is 28 February.  To book, download the form below.

Booking Form

Christian Heritage Conference

8 March 2019 – Retford

Following the success of previous events attended by those involved in Christian heritage from across the UK, we are holding our fourth free conference on 8th March 2019 in Retford. This year we plan to have a mixed programme covering themes and issues from our work, and we hope to have some overseas guests as well. A detailed programme will follow.

Call for topics and presentations:

It would be great if you could let us know if you can speak on a specific topic or development that would be of interest to other group members, for example holding public lectures, events for children/families, marketing, lottery and grant applications etc. Please also let me know if you know of others who might be interested in attending. Please also feel free to suggest topics for wider discussion or that you would like help with.

Adrian Gray –  adriangray@pilgrimsandprophets.co.uk

Religious Tolerance Forum

9 March 2019 – Retford

On the following morning, a Saturday, we will hold the fourth event marking the contribution of Christians to the development of religious tolerance worldwide. Speakers already booked include Prof Larry Kreitzer talking about the early Baptists and their contribution to religious freedom and
Masoud Abadi, an Iranian refugee and campaigner. We are also in discussion with the US Embassy about a speaker from Washington which would be very exciting.

As before, there is NO CHARGE for either of these events but you are asked to pay for lunch on the Friday. Retford has good rail and road links, and we are also arranging low price B & B at Mattersey Bible College.
If you think you can come, please let Adrian and Maggy Watkins know: mm.watkins@btinternet.com

If you want to stay at Mattersey, please let us know soon as space is limited. Advise Maggy on what accommodation you would like and for which nights. Please also indicate if you will be using your own transport or not. Costs to stay at Mattersey are approximately:
Cooked Breakfast £3.00
Bed & Breakfast single room £20.00 per night
Bed & Breakfast double en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people. £30.00 for 1 person (only 3 rooms
Bed & Breakfast twin en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people. £30.00 for 1 person (only 1 room available)

This information can be downloaded here: Christian Heritage Conference 2019 intro

Puppet  Ministry – Volunteer Training Workshop

Saturday 23 March : 10am to 12 noon : Woodseats Methodist Church

Saints Alive Puppet Team are running a volunteer training workshop. Why not come and try your hand at puppet ministry, and see if you could get involved.

Full details in the poster here: Sheffield circuit puppet ministry

Other News

Church Action on Poverty

Sheffield CAP Civic Breakfast This will be on Friday 22nd February and the topic is homelessness. We are inviting people working in frontline services, individuals who’ve been affected by homelessness or being badly housed, church and community leaders, relevant officers from health / local authority, local councillors and MPs etc . Please pray for a good meeting

We invite you to Different Light, our service for Poverty Sunday at 3pm on Sunday 3rd March 2019.

The service will take place at St Matthews Church, Carver Street, S1 4FT.

Our speaker is the Very Reverend Peter Bradley, Dean of Sheffield, who is a member of the Sheffield City Partnership Board and Chair of the Fairness and Tackling Poverty Partnership for the city.

Come and join us as we try to see poverty in a different light and consider how we can make a difference.

You can download their January update here: january cap update

Methodist News

3Generate Manifesto now online!

Each year a 3Generate manifesto is produced, based on the conversations that took place and expressing the views, concerns and aspirations of the children and young people who attended. The 2019 Manifesto is now online, along with a growing bank of ideas and resources to help workers – and the whole Church – engage with the issues raised.

We would love to hear how local churches and groups are engaging with this year’s manifesto and so your church/minister will receive a hard copy of a manifesto response postcard.

However, if you prefer to send your response electronically, please fill in the online version (can be downloaded as a Word document from the Manifesto page) and email it to the 3Generate Team.

NEW! Well Learning Hub YouTube Channel

The Methodist Children, Youth and Family Team is pleased to announce the launch of the Well Learning Hub. This YouTube channel contains videos about a range of topics that may be useful for children’s, youth and family workers.

Current videos cover topics such as spirituality in gaming, intergenerational worship and digital wellbeing. With some of the shorter videos lasting 10 mins, these could easily be watched over a coffee break, or there are longer videos too. Pick the topic that interests you and watch it at a time that suits, watch it on your own, or with a team to reflect on and discuss together. Some of the videos also have accompanying resource sheets to download.

We hope the Well Learning Hub will become a place you visit frequently to develop your learning and skills in your work with children, young people and families. Over the coming months more videos will be added.

If you would like to see particular topics covered then do let us know your thoughts by emailing the Team.