District News – 7 July 2020

This Week’s News

Office News

The office staff continue to work from home, so email is the best way to contact us. The phone line (0114 270 9990) will still work, but be aware that it might take longer to answer,  so do leave a message if the answerphone picks up (even if it is to say that it was not urgent).

Government and Methodist Church guidance is being monitored regarding returning to working in the office, but for the time being all meetings are being held via Zoom. It has been noticed that this has meant more people have been able to attend since travel is not an issue!

Katrin is planning to have some time off next week, so the next weekly mailing will be on 21 July.

District Weekend of Prayer and Celebration

11 & 12 July

Circuits were asked to make sure that the Prayer Resource was made available to all all members in the District. If you have not received a copy it can be downloaded here: Prayer resource

More information about the weekend has been circuilated via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and can also be found here: http://www.sheffieldmethodist.org/a-weekend-of-prayer-celebration-11th-12th-july/.

The service for Sunday is being recorded and a link will be shared as soon as it is ready. We hope this will be circulated widely to enable as many as possible to join in our celebration!

“How to be missional” webinar

It was great that over 100 people attending the webinar last week.

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

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Enjoy the gardens and virtual programme

Emerging from a period of lockdown is, for some, causing anxiety and a sense of obligation.

At Whirlow, we will not yet open our buildings to visitors, in order to minimise risk and minimise stress for our friends, volunteers, staff…… Events and our ministry will continue to be remote / online for the time-being (see below for details)

That said – we miss you! And would love to see you enjoying the gardens, at appropriate social distance. Please feel free to wander, picnic, contemplate, meet friends……

…and if you have green fingers, we have no objection to your tending the life that’s growing there : )

Future Zoom Events

Going through the motions: Covid-19 and grief

A webinar for those in church leadership positions – Tuesday 11th August, 7:30-9pm

The Yorkshire Plus Learning Network in conjunction with Rev Debora Marschner and student minister John Hayward are putting on a Webinar on Grief  to explore and understand the cycle of grieving all sorts of losses.

We will be looking at some theories of grief to help us consider individual and collective experiences of bereavement in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There will be opportunity to examine possible responses to build resilience in our church and wider community as we move out of lockdown.

Registration in advance is required as places are limited and you can do so via the link here:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

July / August @ Whirlow

  • every Sunday, ‘Virtual’ Space to Be, 830 – 915am. Get reminders from our Facebook page.
  • every Tuesday, Reflection available on the blog at 9.45am
  • 16 July, ‘Virtual’ Praying Without Words, 8pm. Book here.
  • 21 July, Virtual Simple Quiet Day.  Book here.
  • 2 August, Space to Reflect, find downloadable materials on this post, from 31 July

Methodist Church News

Re-opening churches for worship

Some churches in England are able to re-open, under specific guidance, from 4 July. The Methodist Church’s Property team have been working hard throughout the lockdown to produce relevant guidance for Managing Trustees and Ministers based on the Government’s own guidelines here.

The guidance for property pages has been updated and consolidated to reflect the recently published government guidance on the Safe Use of Places of Worship.  Click here to view the changes or choose a link below:

We are still awaiting guidance from the government on Community Centres.  The guidance currently states, ‘Meetings or small gatherings, as now permitted in other multi-use settings. (To be published shortly.)’  Please continue to check for Coronavirus Guidance for Property for updates when new guidance is published.

Beyond Exile, a service to celebrate a return to public worship, can be found here.

New Test and Trace Record Available

The Government has requested that Churches in England assist the NHS Test and Trace service by keeping an accurate temporary record of visitors to church premises for 21 days. This request by the Government for the Church to collect personal information about visitors to our premises in England, and to share this with the NHS Test and Trace service (in the event of possible infection), raises immediate concerns about data protection. The ICO has in the last day or so produced much anticipated guidance on the data protection implications. Hot on the heels of the ICO’s guidance TMCP has produced a new Focus Note to help Managing Trustees understand what steps they need to take to comply with this request and how to ensure compliance with data protection legislation.

Read more

Licences during the COVID-19 outbreak

Who is responsible for COVID-19 precautions and how do we clarify this?

COVID-19 restrictions continue to be slowly released and our church buildings are gradually being allowed to re-open for more activities, both Church related and for those third parties who frequently use Methodist premises. Managing Trustees are understandably raising questions as to where responsibility for COVID-19 safety falls. Read more

Sourcing PPE

Christian Publishing & Outreach (CPO) have offered Methodist churches a 15% discount on PPE.  CPO have worked to ensure that the products on offer do not affect the supply chain for key workers.  Items for sale include:

  • Hand sanitiser and stands
  • Covid-19 signage
  • Face masks and gloves
  • Anti-bacterial wipes

Another recommendation for sourcing PPE is an organisation called Church Buying which works to help simplify the process of purchasing PPE for churches

Methodist Conference

Sessions of the Methodist Conference are available to watch again here.

Fund for Human Need

When we went into this strangest of times, here at FHN we knew it was going to be busy. After a small ‘breathing space’ in March when many of the support agencies closed their doors because of the lockdown, the impact of the Covid 19 really started to show in April as payment applications steadily rose. They reached record levels in May June, and at one point we received 100 application emails in 24 hours. There was also a dramatic reversal in the ratio between organisation and personal applications as those organisations struggled to stay in touch with clients and adjusted to less face to face working.

Read the full newsletter here: july20