District News – 26 March 2020

This Week’s News

The District Office is very aware that there has been a lot of information sent out over the last few days, but hopefully things are now starting to settle into some sort of routine. We will continue with the Weekly Mailing on Tuesdays from next week. This will contain a summary of all the latest information received, with links to find out more.

We are aware that, possibly due to the amount of mailings,  some people have used the unsubscribe option thinking that they are being removed from one of the mailing groups. This option actually takes them out of all. If you do want to stop receiving a specific campaign – such as the Job Vacancies – then please use the update preference link.

We do encourage all to sign up to receive this mailing. If you forward this on to others, could you please ask that they sign up to receive it direct. On occasion, we may use the same list to send out important information that needs to be circulated as widely as possible as soon as possible, but are not anticipating having to do this very often.

Sign up to our weekly mailing

There is a new page on the District website: Coronavirus (Covid-19) which will contain all the latest news, guidance and resources to help  us in the challenging time. Do take a moment to read this and see what is available. It also gives details of how to get in touch with the District Office staff.

Also on the front page each week will be a message from Revd Gill Newton. a-pastoral-message-from-district-chair-gill-newton/. This week Gill also led a short time of worship in place of the service that would have taken place at the Presbyteral Synod. You can find the video of that here: Act of Recollection & Rededication

We are all learning how to do things differently – how do we keep connected in light of self-isolation and shielding. Video Conferencing is one way – some of the administration staff across the District met yesterday to chat about how we can help support our ministers and congregations at this time.  If you would like some help in exploring this, do get in touch!

Freedom Community Project

Due to the current crisis we are have increase our response to support all people within our communities. Our new opening times will be 9am-5pm Monday- Sunday. You can contact us via Messenger, Email, Telephone, Video call via website or call me back service.

We are offering
Debt Advice
Benefits Advice
Listening eye if you want to chat
Mental Health Support including access to counselling
Food Bank deliveries
Shopping for those isolated or self-isolating

You can contact us via:
Tel: 0300 302 0334
Email: info@fcgroup.org.uk
Video via:  www.fcgroup.org.uk click on chat box
Call me back service www.fcgroup.org.uk


Mark North MA,  CEO, Freedom

Sheffield Faith Communities

In response to a letter Faith Communties – Public Health sent by Greg Fell, Director of Public Health Sheffield, a dedicated website has been set up www.sheffaithcomm.co.uk where there is information and guidance for Sheffield faith communities in helping to tackle this unprecedent situation we find ourselves in.  The website is currently being populated with information so please bear with us as we get this up and running.

Please also ask anyone in your denominations who is a faith/religious person keyworker to register their details on the website. This is so we know who is active across the city in their place of worship. This will help us to do the following:

  • Gets assistance and support as needed to any particular place of worship
  • Stop any fraudulent claims of people saying they are a faith keyworker
  • Refer vulnerable or needy people in the city that may need pastoral care and support from a person of their faith

If anyone has further queries that they may need assistance with please ask them to email enquries@sheffaithcomm.co.uk

Kindest Regards
Shahida Siddique, FaithStar

All We Can

We have been made aware that in light of coronavirus, Methodist Church House is now closed. As this building is where All We Can’s offices are located, we are now not able to access the post that might be addressed to our office at 25 Marylebone Road, and it is not yet clear when we will be able to access the building. It is therefore really important for our work that the following message makes it out to the churches and circuits in the district, to ensure lots of post doesn’t go missing or get returned, especially if it may contain money:

If you do have post for All We Can, that you contact the Supporter Care Team on 020 7467 5132 (the office phone will redirect to the relevant person) or info@allwecan.org.uk to make alternative arrangements. Or, if you have a donation to submit on behalf of a church, group or individual, can we encourage you to do that online – the webpage to do that is here: https://www.allwecan.org.uk/give/make-a-donation/

If you would like to request our Bank Details in order to make a bank transfer, please contact the Supporter Care Team (contact details as above).

Please do pass on this message to anyone in your church or circuit who might be handling finances or considering sending post to All We Can (e.g. Church Treasurers or treasurers of church groups, such as Women’s Fellowships, Men’s Breakfasts, etc.)

Please note – this does not mean that All We Can has ceased it’s work – poverty and injustice continue in our world and as the virus spreads to parts of the developing world, our commitment to working alongside local communities to help them fulfil their potential is more important than ever. The work continues.

You may also find our devotional materials designed for ‘worship at home’ helpful – see allwecan.org.uk/allthings – again, this is something you could pass on to people in your congregations and who might be self-isolating.

Grace and peace to you and yours, stay safe and every blessing

Tim Baker

Thought for the day

Revd Alan Griggs, from the Derbyshire Rural Chaplaincy, has written a short reflection on how we are all affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and how there is a sense that this crises is lifting our moral  and spiritual awareness, and reminding us that to be a richer society we must care for the weak and vulnerable. It is heartening to hear stories of how groups are coming together to support each other.

You can read the full thought here : thoughtfortheweek