District News – 21 April 2020

This Week’s News

Sad news

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Bill Marsden from Darfield in the Barnsley Circuit died at home during the early hours of Easter Monday. Bill’s preaching and ministry in the church has touched the lives of many people in the Barnsley Circuit and beyond and he will be missed by many.  Over the years he has also faithfully served as a Circuit Steward and a valued member of the District Property Panel and District Manses Committee.  It is hoped that it will be possible to arrange a suitable occasion to celebrate Bill’s life in the future but for now we ask that give thanks for Bill’s life and ministry and support his widow Barbara and the family with your prayers.

Bill died at Easter.  May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Easter to Pentecost – sharing our stories of faith

John French, long term member and Property Steward at Central Methodist Church, Chesterfield shares his testimony with us.

How does anyone answer the question of how/why they have come to Have a Faith.

My journey to my present Faith has taken many twists and turns over my lifetime .

For the first 38 years of my live I had no faith – never went to Church except for Weddings and Funerals, then one evening when I was by myself God touched me on the shoulder and spoke me.

You can read his full story here: Easter to Pentecost

Line Managers of Lay Employees

You will likely be aware that the UK government furlough grants scheme is now open to claims (claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme).

The Connexional Methodist Payroll Bureau have confirmed that they will be updating their procedures to so they can facilitate claims for churches and circuits that use their services. This will be a very large piece of work for them and they were not given advance sight of any details by government. The bureau will be in touch in a few days once they have had chance to build a new process. They would be grateful if people could give them some grace to make these preparations.

If you use another payroll bureau we hope they will be in touch with you in the next few days.

Rob Cooper and Neil Harland have been speaking and will provide further information, guidance and assistance once theyhave it.

Don’t forget that there is also the Line Management Support meeting next week, which is a good place to meet other Line Managers and also find out more during this interesting time.

Wednesday 29 April from 10am

This meeting will be from 10 – 12 pm, with opportunities for 1:1 conversations with Rob Cooper in the afternoon.

It is helpful to have an idea of how many people will be joining this meeting. You can also post a question for Rob to (hopefully) answer during the meeting.

The link to register is here: https://linemanagesupport.eventbrite.co.uk

Methodist Church Virtual Choir

Matt Beckingham was interviewed by Radio Sheffield on Sunday morning about the newly formed National Methodist Choir.

You can listen again here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p088w9hj

Matt is on from 2:54:38.

If you would like to know more, or get involved in future recordings, visit the website here: National Methodist Choir GB

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.


Physical Distancing means that most social events will not be taking place for the foreseeable future. It has been encouraging to see how many churches are rising to the challenge of keeping their communities together; creating streamed services, making YouTube videos which can be watched together (Facebook Watch Parties) or even going Live!

Online worship leaders forum

Thank you to the many people who have led worship or devotions online for their churches or circuit. Aware that this is a new experience for many of us we have arranged two opportunities for people to share experiences and ask questions. These are open to anyone from our District who has led worship online, or is considering doing so. Experts and beginners are equally welcome. Link on the links below to join either or both of the gatherings via zoom:

7:30pm Monday 27 April   Meeting ID: 982 3083 8711    Password: 003978

3pm Thursday 30 April       Meeting ID: 972 4910 8895    Password: 016653

If you have not used zoom before, allow a few minutes to download their app to your tablet/ smartphone or software to a laptop. Alternatively you can join by phone by dialling 0330 088 5830.

Contact Neil Harland [mission@sheffieldmethodist.org] if there are any topics you would like included in either of the sessions. There is also some useful new Connexional webcasting guidance

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Resources and updates from Whirlow Spirituality Centre

The centre has cancelled its programme of events until the end of July and will continue to review that position in light of government advice.

The gardens remain open to anybody partaking in their daily exercise: we ask visitors to follow social distancing guidelines.

At least weekly reflections will be posted on our blog. Other resources may become available: keep an eye on the website as, in this strange time, the team at Whirlow consider how to adapt and respond.

Response to Shock

On Easter Day, we considered the fear and surprise felt by those who encountered the risen Jesus.

On Tuesday, the first of our weekly reflections invited us to examine our capacity to engage with anything Jesus might have to say, in this other time of shock and upheaval.
(Every week, a member of our Reflective Communion team will share something online.)

Yorkshire Plus Learning Region – Regional Retreats

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the May Regional Retreat had to be cancelled. However, we are very hopeful that the November retreat will be able to go ahead. See below for details

Art, Faith and Transformation with Dr Deborah Lewer

Artists enact transformations on a daily basis.
On this retreat we will look at how visual art transforms matter and life and at how it might, just possibly, transform our faith.
We will also explore how artists through time have visualised transformative experiences and encounters.
This is an opportunity to engage with creative ways of seeing, and to  reflect on our theological ‘images’ as people of faith today.

Debbie is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow. She is a regular speaker and teacher in churches, theological colleges and at festivals and retreats on the rich relationship between art and faith. She is passionate about making art history accessible to all.

When: 17-19 November 2020

Where: The Briery, Ilkley www.briery.org.uk

Cost: £200.  Those in the Yorkshire Plus Region will receive a £100 subsidy from their District.  You are also free to seek further funding locally.

To register a place:  https://nov2020retreat.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information: Katrin Hackett, admin@sheffieldmethodist.org,0114 2709990 or 0114 4300255

Booking deadline:  17 September 2020

Training and Learning


Aurora Youth is an 8-month ecumenical course for anyone over 16-years-old seeking practical, hands-on training with a creative approach to assessment through portfolio submissions.

Aurora children is a child-centred course, suitable for those just beginning to work with children and for those who have done so for many years. Through input, guided reading, sharing, activities and reflection on your own practice, you will be empowered to find a fresh focus.

Both courses are being planned for September 2020 in Goole (in the Yorkshire North & East District) and in Rotherham (Sheffield District).

Full information can be found on their website: www.auroratraining.org.uk.

Job Vacancies & Volunteer Opportunities

The ONE Programme: Connexion

Twelve part-time jobs starting in September 2020 are available, across Britain, for those aged 18-23. The ONE Programme: Connexion offers a variety of roles in local churches, projects, Methodist Circuits and Districts in a year-long post that is paid and has training-provided.

Vocations Programme

Now recruiting for September 2020! All roles are paid and full-time. Our vision is to invest in 21 – 30 year olds from all backgrounds, focusing on spiritual formation, vocational development and equipping for a life of mission and purpose in the 21st Century. We offer a unique, fair, accessible and challenging initiative for participants to engage their faith with their profession and calling, with mentoring and a peer context of vocational discernment.

The programme has two exciting streams:

Stream 1: Pioneer/Entrepreneur – Mission, Evangelism and Leadership Focus.

Stream 2: Vocational and Discipleship Focus (Leadership).

For more information visit the website or email Jude Trenier.

Chair of the Property Development Committee

Information about the role is now available on the Methodist Church website: chair-of-the-property-development-committee

Anyone who would like to be considered for the role is asked to send a letter expressing their interest and outlining their suitability for the role.

The closing date is 15 May 2020.

Other News

CLC Bookshops

Although the bookshop is temporarily closed, we are working from home for you to place orders, make payments and answer questions. Just about everything usually found in the bookshop, including CLC Gift Vouchers, is available for you to order. Whatever you need for yourself, your friends, neighbours or family, get in touch. Don’t be without needed resources while staying at home!

Make sure to order your daily reading notes from CLC Sheffield, and have them delivered to your door!

Methodist News

Methodist Women in Britain

The Covid-19 situation is naturally causing difficulties with our usual MWiB processes, not least the printing and distribution of the Spring 2020 Annual Review.

In light of this, the new Annual Review is currently only available as an electronic download / pdf. This is available on our website at the link here : annual-review

Ordination Exploration Day

The next Ordination Exploration Day takes place on Saturday 2 May for those who wish explore a call to ordained ministry. Due to the current limitations, this event will be held online with additional resources to help you prepare. If you feel you would like to explore a call to ordained ministry, then click here to book your place.