District News 21 July 2020

This Week’s News

Holiday Club @ Home

Is your church looking for ways to engage digitally with families in your community this summer? Are local families missing your usual clubs?

We would like to present to you a potential missional opportunity that: is easy to access, low cost, requires minimal volunteers and doesn’t require premises or meeting face-to-face.

On the week of August 10th, many churches and communities across the district will be joining in a week of holiday club activities online. This is a resource that’s available for every church in the district to access, receive training on and deliver to their communities.

To learn more, email Lauren Rossell at holidayclubathome2020@gmail.com

How to be missional in the time of Covid-19

We were delighted that so many people registered and attending the recent District Webinar. Following on from that meeting Michael Harvery hosted an initial ACORN group in July. We were aware that it was very short notice for some. He has offered to repeat this in September. Dates are being discussed, but if you are interested, please let Katrin in the District Office know.

If you missed the event and would like to catch up, you can watch the video recording here:

For those who were not able attend, the event was recorded and is now on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/4C0taR92HpA

Learning Network Regional Retreats

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has been decided to postpone for 12 months the regional retreat for presbyters, deacons and lay workers within the Methodist Church scheduled for 17-19 November 2020. Dr Deborah Lewer was due to lead us in ‘Art, Faith and Transformation’ and I am delighted that she will still be doing so from 16-18 November 2021, at The Briery.

I am also delighted to let you know that Deborah has agreed to lead us in an online retreat on 18 November 2020. The ideas she has shared with me about what might be possible suggest that it will be a really lovely day with much for us to enjoy and contemplate, with plenty of space. We will be sending out details of how to book on in due course – but for now please save the date.

Safeguarding and Social Media

This time of lock-down has meant that more people are turning to social media to stay connected. The Methodist Church has produced some guidance for churches around digital commuications which can be found here: guidance-for-churches/social-media-guidelines/

There is also specific guidance around children and young people which can be downloaded here: children-and-youth-social-media-guidance-060520.pdf

Bereavement Support

The next District Safeguarding Newsletter, looking at Bereavement Support, can be downloaded here: Bereavement Support July 2020

The Learning Network is also arranging a webinar for those in church leadership positions on this. Registration in advance is required as places are limited and you can do so via the link here:


Archiving On-line worship

Questions have been asked about how we should preserve our records, especially all the on-line worship that has been taking place during this time. It is likely to be of interest to scholars of the future, and may also be of use going forward as we discover new ways of being church. John Tranter, the District Archivist, has been in touch with various Record Offices who would welcome a discussion with him about this. That being the case, if you don’t already do so, it might be worth considering how you do preserve your electronic communications.

Methodist Conference

A summary of the business which took place at this year’s Methodist Conference (online) can be found here: Conference 2020 Business Digest

Online Events

Space to reflect – Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Needs and Preferences

Bread and Breath…..

In anticipation of August’s Space to Reflect, we are thinking about Christ as the ‘Bread of Life’ he claimed to be. We need food – material and other – as human beings. We remember the devastating hunger faced by many.

On Tuesday, we considered the buffeting winds of our current situation. Breath, wind, spirit – also symbols of faith. We prefer not to be caught in gales that bend us, permanently. But they can also, as the post says, strengthen us.

It is not always easy to spot the difference between a need that is ours to meet and the effects of a gale we should allow to blow. We remember one another, in our efforts……

Covid-19: Adapting to the changing needs of our children and families

Date:    4 August 2020

Time:    3pm

Venue: Online. Registration required

More than 4.2 million children were locked in poverty before Covid-19 hit the UK. It was clear how a pandemic would make things worse for families who were already struggling. So, Action for Children sprang into action.

In this webinar, Action for Children staff tell how the charity rapidly acted to ensure that we could continue to support our children, young people and families in spite of the pandemic.

Disadvantaged children and families were disproportionately affected by the multitude of challenges that Covid-19 brought e.g. closed schools, loss of income, dealing with existing health conditions. Adapting our services and fundraising activities quickly gave families a lifeline in extremely difficult times.

Click here to sign up for this webinar: https://r1.dotdigital-pages.com/p/3WYD-6R7/covid-19-webinar

Learning and Development Opportunities

Mission Shaped Ministry Online

For over a decade the mission shaped ministry course has been the catalyst behind new expressions of church being planted and established congregations experiencing renewal. Many people from across Sheffield District have benefitted from this course. MSM is now available online, meaning making it more accessible and cheaper for churches to participate. The next course will run on Monday evenings starting in September, with 15% discount for churches booking before 31 July. Full details at https://fxresourcing.org/msm/msmonline/

Introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius

Whirlow is delighted to host a 16-session programme of The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in Everyday Life, led by Dee Sircar.

Starting 10 September, on Thursday evenings. £60 for 3 introductory sessions and an additional £120 to complete the course.

Participants will join in remotely. Resources will be sent by email, fortnightly input from Dee will be shared via Zoom and there will be contact with a Spiritual Accompanier by phone or email.
Find more details on the website. Reserve your place by booking onto the 3-session introduction.

Grants towards the cost of attending these courses may be available.  More information, including an application form can be found here: grants-for-learning-and-development-opportunities/

Job Vacancies

Community Worker, (Soft Play Development Worker)

Sheffield Methodist Circuit – Firth Park Methodist Church  (37 hours per week)

Firth Park Methodist Church is at an exciting moment in its development and is seeking to employ an enthusiastic person to join the team to operate its Soft Play facility. The purpose of the facility is to provide an essential service to the local community and develop Fresh Expressions of church.

The salary will be dependent on qualifications and relevant experience and is expected to be in the region of £20,000 – £24,000 pa (with pension provision). Grant funding is currently in place for this post for 18 months.

For applications packs please contact:

Firth Park Methodist Church, 8 Stubbin Lane, Sheffield, S5 6QL, tel. 0114 2490674, email firthparkmethodistchurch@gmail.com

For further information contact: Rev Mark Goodhand 0114 2420076

Closing date Thursday 31st July 2020

After consideration of their application, interviews will be arranged on an individual basis as soon as possible.

A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the DBS is required for this post. We are an equal opportunities employer but seek an individual sympathetic to the Christian faith.

Church Army

The Church Army have a number of vacancies:

Volunteer Facilitator (Maternity Cover) – closing date 27.07.20

We are looking for a Volunteer Facilitator to join us, to carry on the work in implementing our volunteer strategy under the guidance of the HR Team Leader.
Full details can be found here: Volunteer_Facilitator_Maternity

Payroll & HR Administrator – closing date 05.08.20

As a member of the HR Team, this role will provide a high-quality payroll service and support the work of the team.
Full details can be found here: Payroll&HR_Administrator

Other News

Taste Prayer Points

The July 2020  Prayer Points for TASTE (Transfer of Appropriate Sustainable Technology & Expertise) can be downloaded here: 20200713 July Prayer Letter

I pray that you will find much to encourage you and fuel your  prayers.

Methodist News

Re-opening churches for worship
(Updated 14 July)

A range of new resources are now available including the Guide for Other Building Users produced to provide a generic framework for the reopening of church buildings for community activities.  Other new guidance includes:  Guide for Pastoral Visits, Guide for Children’s Worship and an update to the Guide for Holy Communion.   Beyond Exile, a service to celebrate a return to public worship, can be found here.

Digital worship – what have we learned?

As churches, individuals and circuits, we’ve been learning so much about how to worship and make community online over these past few months. For many, Zoom, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook (and even those old-fashioned things called phones) have opened up unexpected horizons of creativity and mission.

In association with the Connexional Team, we are planning a series of events in early autumn that will allow us to share some of our learning and develop best practice for the future. What patterns have you evolved, what mistakes were made, what changes are you putting in place, and what opportunities for the future are exciting you?

Read our flyer, including our three key questions, and do get in touch.

To register your interest and find out more information please contact Gabriella Mahadeva mahadevag@methodistchurch.org.uk

Charity Commission Annual Returns

The Connexional Team have produced the following guidance relating to the submission of Annual Returns to the Charity Commission:

All registered charities are required to provide an annual return to the Charity Commission and keep their registered details up to date.

Failing to do so would be in breach of charity law and damaging for the reputation of an individual charity and any wider association.

The Charity Commission has recently issued guidance reminding charities of their obligations and stating that the Commission intends to get tough with those who have repeatedly failed to fulfil these:


Accordingly, please can we ask that everyone who is a registered charity takes heed of the Charity Commission’s advice and ensures that they are submitting their annual returns promptly.

Please note that if you are currently struggling to sign-off and complete your annual accounts or charity return due to coronavirus restrictions and the inability to hold physical meetings, there is currently a facility to apply for a 6-month deadline extension. To apply for an extension, please email the Commission at filingextension@charitycommission.gov.uk.

Further guidance on charity law and registration requirements is available from the Legal & Constitutional Practice Team at lcp@methodistchurch.org.uk