District News – 14 April 2020

This Week’s News

Letter from our District Chair

Each week during Lent, we have posted a letter from Revd Gill Newton. The letter for Easter Sunday was also emailed out to ministers, synod representatives and circuits were asked to circulate it to individual church members.

If you haven’t already read it, it can be found here: Pastoral Letter.

District Benevolent Fund

One of the ways in which the District can offer support is via the Benevolent Fund. It is now possible to donate to this fund via the District website. In this way you could help the District to support individuals, projects, churches or partner organisations that are struggling in these times.  If you wish to make a donation, follow this link: Easter Giving 2020 

Thank you to those who have already made a donation.

Our Journey from Easter to Pentecost

We are inviting you to join us on our journey from Easter to Pentecost. We are going to be sharing testimonies, reflections and stories of how the Holy Spirit is working during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

If you’d like to share and contribute to this journey please email comms@sheffieldmethodist.org

Revd Michael Bowman, Chesterfield shares his reflection:

Reflecting on the contrast between our usual experience of Passiontide and Easter and this year, I was struck by how tactile the Gospel record is.

To read the full reflection, go here: Our Journey

National Methodist Choir

The newly formed National Methodist Choir of Great Britain held its first virtual performance on Easter Sunday. Led by Matt Beckingham from Sprotbrough Methodist Church in our Doncaster Circuit, and including people from across the UK and beyond, the choir launched All We Can’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal.  Click here to listen to the choir or get involved.

Sad News

We were sorry to learn of the death of Mrs Mary Turner, widow of Revd Herbert Turner. She died peacefully in the early hours of Sunday 5th April at home.  A committal service will be held at Chesterfield Crematorium on 23rd April at 12 Noon and a Thanksgiving Service will be held at some time in the future.

Easter Stories

Revd Fran Johnson has written about the challenges in being the church at this time in the rural communities in the Peak Circuit.

Easter hears singing in the Street

The decision to close churches set one small congregation in the Peak Circuit thinking about how to celebrate Holy week and Easter and be the good news in the community.

The idea of playing the Wesley hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen today” outside was suggested. It seemed a fantastic idea, but with not much technology behind them in the small congregation, the idea seemed as if it may fail until a friend in the village said: ‘You can use my Rock band PA system. I’ll play your chosen version through that.’

On Easter Day there was a sense of excitement as the cross was adorned with an orb of yellow flowers, and in the centre a notice saying: ‘Christ is Alive’. “Christ the Lord is Risen today”, in this spectacular version, was played to the village and enthusiastically applauded by the residents all around the village green.  It was heard from one end to the other and estimated at least 50 people stood and worshipped on their doorsteps. Two cyclists and a car or two stopped to listen.

You can read the full story here: Easter Singing

Easter Cross brings the community together

Living on a small estate of 42 houses in Rowsley, in the Peak Circuit, presented the challenge of how we could share the Easter good news of God’s love for all, in this unprecedented time. To put up a cross in the centre of the estate for Holy week was very much the heart of the decision. Made from a tree washed down the river in the recent floods here in Rowsley, it was erected on Palm Sunday, with thorns gathered from the riverbank that formed the crown that adorned the cross. A leaflet was delivered to every house explaining its significance for Holy week, but also as a sign of hope for this present day and time.

Find out what happened next here: Easter Cross


It is good to hear such Good News Stories – do you have a story you can share? 

Theological reflection in youth work survey

Are you an employed or voluntary youth worker? Are you interested in contributing to the learning of youth workers in the UK? Do you want to win a £100 voucher? Then we’ve got GREAT news for you!

Today we are releasing our theological reflection in youth work survey, which you can find here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdZ6NxeVSRfOwZxj0WkSgMe7Bi-iCdLp0nr0yAwQ8lUPO05Bg/viewform?usp=sf_link

It will take between 10-20 minutes to complete, and will contribute to important research about the ways in which youth workers theologically reflect on their practice. By filling out the survey you will also be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher for a shop of your choosing!

This piece of research is funded by a Durham Common Awards Seedcorn Grant and is a collaboration between Youthscape, St Mellitus, St John’s Nottingham (CYM), Ridley Hall and the Diocese of London.

If you have any further questions about the research, feel free to contact Phoebe at phoebe.hill@youthscape.co.uk.


Regional Safeguarding Conference

This was to have been held in 13 June, but the decision has been made to cancel. It was still in the planning stage and the hope is that it will be able to go ahead some time in the future.

Other News

CLC Bookshops

CLC BOOKSHOPS continues to meet needs. Our at-home service is available to you, so call us on 0114 2724663 and receive your order at home (or wherever). You can also email us on sheffield@clcbookshops.com or leave us a message on the shop’s Facebook page. Free delivery available on orders of £10 and above. The CLC website clcbookshops.com is also serving orders. Thanks for continuing to support us in prayer and purchases.

CLC Bookshops, usually at 2 Church St, Sheffield S1 2GN, currently at home…


TASTE was registered as a charity in the U.K. on September 7 1999, to encourage the spread of appropriate and sustainable technology in Nigeria. Originally, the intention was to take the form of sending suitably qualified Christian professionals to work alongside local people or offering support to young Nigerian professionals. However, this quickly moved to developing our own Nigerian drilling team who are responsible for the construction of community boreholes. More recently, we have seen volunteers from the UK travel to Nigeria to share their expertise, thus developing the skills and capacity of our own staff and the communities with which we work.

Their monthly Prayer Letter is one way in which we can help and support this project and you can read it here: 20200407 April Prayer Letter

Arthur Rank Centre

During its almost fifty years of existence, the Arthur Rank Centre has supported Christians, churches and communities through many of the joys and  challenges of rural life. From outbreaks of foot-and-mouth and BSE to the ongoing challenges of extreme weather, we have sought to provide both practical resources and pastoral care for those living, working and ministering in rural communities.

Now we are seeking to respond to the coronavirus outbreak which has so quickly impacted life across the world.

In light of the current ban on public worship in the UK, we will be providing resources for rural Christians and churches to use in their own homes and communities, as well as signposting to a whole host of advice and expertise around many of the range of practical issues we will face over the next few weeks and months.

Find out more on their websiter: Together Apart: A rural church response

Methodist News


3Generate 2020 is due to take place October 30 to November 1 at the Birmingham NEC. (Please note both the NEC and ourselves are expecting this to be beyond the current restrictions and, as things stand now, we are busy planning for these dates).

To this end, we have launched our programme planning which, this year, will be carried out by a number of satellite groups that will be meeting virtually between Easter and July to bring together an exciting and immersive programme for the event.

This year the weekend will feature:

  • an arts centre
  • a carnival
  • a market place
  • discussions, debates and lots of ways to explore issues
  • cafes
  • worship
  • sports and activities
  • opportunities to be challenged about social justice and those on the margins
  • an area for people who feel as though they are in ‘the wilderness’

and loads more!

If you are interested in joining one of these satellite groups to help plan any of the above (whether you can attend the actual weekend or not) please email Lauren. Tell us what you are passionate about and we’ll aim to get you matched up with the right team!

We have also started our volunteer recruitment. We are looking for 250 volunteers to help us in Birmingham in three distinct teams: Venue Teams, Care Teams and Operational Teams (see the website for more details).

We will be inviting groups to register for 3Generate via a link on the website from April 29. Registering your group helps us to plan the event and also means that we can send you the ticket booking link on June 3.

#loveyourself #loveyourneighbour

The Evangelism and Growth Team has launched a new social media campaign:  #loveyourself #loveyourneighbour. The campaign will engage with the many well-being conversations that have recently sprung up. More information and all the graphics, as well as a link to give us your ideas and stories, are available here.