District News – 17 December 2019

This Week’s News

Office News

This will be the last weekly news for 2019, so we take this opportunity to wish you a peaceful Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We know that for many it may also be a time of sadness or difficulty – when the pressure to conform to expectations can be overwhelming. May you all find moments of peace and calm amongst all the busyness to experience God’s love.

Follow the Star

We hope you have been following the Facebook posts during Advent. It is lovely to see all the amazing things going on in our District! If your event hasn’t appeared, make sure Sam Roberts, our Communications Officer knows about it by emailing her: comms@sheffieldmethodist.org

National  Methodist Choir of Great Britain

2020 will see the launch of the National Methodist Choir of Great Britain.

The choir brings together singers from across the Methodist Church in Great Britain. NMCGB is a living demonstration that the Methodist Church wasn’t just born in song, but is thriving in song now, too. Open, contemporary, ambitious, hospitable, forward-facing, celebratory, and joyful in sharing the Good News through the best of music, from all musical genre.

Details of the first course will be announced in the New Year.

If you would like to be kept up to date, follow the choir on Facebook: fb.com/methodistchoir or email info@thecalltour.com


Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Woman in Waiting – Advent exhibition by Sarah Sharpe

from now to 7 January.

Art that invites us to reflect on creativity and loss, inspired by Mary’s call to wait; give birth and let go.

In Waiting… a written response

7 January, 11am – 1230pm
Some of our visitors, moved by the art work in the chapel this Advent and Christmas season, have put pen to paper in response. We invite you to do the same.

Contributions of prose, poetry or any style of writing whatsoever, can be shared and heard at this informal session, facilitated specifically to cater for those who might feel daunted.

There is no charge – we are grateful for donations on the day to cover our costs. A minimum of £5 is suggested. Details about this workshop and the exhibition are here.

Spiritual Accompaniers’ Resource Evening
21 January, 730 – 9pm. 

Conversation, listening practice in triads with feedback and peer supervision, for all recognised Spiritual Accompaniers. Details here.

Cold Calling
25 January, 8 – 930am. 

A discussion and support opportunity for all those who have been bruised or perplexed by their experience of the discernment process for ordination, within a Christian denomination. Share your story over breakfast. Details here.

Lifepath Barnsley

Tuesday 25th – Friday 28th February 2020

Now in its 6th year and based at Emmanuel Methodist Church, Lifepath Barnsley is run by an ecumenical team of volunteers and celebrates and explores the life and faith of James Hudson-Taylor.

Lifepath is a Scripture Union project to help Christians in local communities organise an event to which they can invite local schools. It aims to give Junior school pupils the opportunity to explore the Christian faith through the lifepath of a well known historic Christian with a link to the location and to use this as a springboard to encourage them to reflect on their own lifepath.

Barnsley-born missionary James Hudson-Taylor (1832-1905) followed God’s call to China. Radically, for a missionary of the time, he chose to learn and adopt the language and dress of the local people in order to share his faith. Hudson-Taylor founded the China Inland Mission, now OMF International – one of the largest Christian Movements in the world.

Learning about his life in England and China there are opportunities to explore cultural differences – to take part in a tea ceremony and dress up in traditional Chinese clothes; to be creative – making fans and sculpting a Chinese tea bowl; to learn new skills – perhaps using chopsticks for the first time and writing in Chinese caligraphy; to pray and reflect on faith and one’s own lifepath in the creative Prayer Journey and worship.

Interspersed with songs, quizzes and stories it is a fantastic day that schools really enjoy bringing their Year 5s to.

Lifepath Barnsley 2020 takes place Tuesday 25th – Friday 28th February and we’re looking forward to welcoming more than 300 children over the 4 days.

For more information or to volunteer to help with this event please contact Kirstie Hall or Heidi Moore lifepathbarnsley@outlook.com

Training and Learning

Grants towards the full cost of attending any Training & Learning Opportunities (including travel, accommodation and resources) may be available from the District Learning & Development Group. The application form can be found here: Grants for Learning and Development Opportunities.

Cliff College – Short Course Programme

The Certificate in Youth Ministry course is an addition to the Short Course programme developed in partnership with YFC (https://yfc.co.uk/), who have previously led our Schools work unit.

We are delighted to welcome John Hawksworth as Course Leader. John is a good friend of the college –  Local Ministries Senior Manager for YFC, contributes already on our BA in Mission and Ministry degree, and is a postgraduate alumni of the college.

The teaching week will be delivered Monday 28th September – Friday 2nd October 2020.  Details of the course can be found via this link, which is now live: https://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/certificate-in-youth-ministry/

The Cert in Youth Ministry now adds to the Certificate courses in Children’s Ministry, Family Ministry, Ministry among Older People, Men’s Ministry and Women in Leadership.

More information about the wider Short Course programme can be found on: http://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/students/shortcourses/overview/

Bible Month 2020
An introduction to the Book of Ruth – Keynote Speaker: Dr Rachel Starr

Saturday 29 February 2020 – Boston Spa Methodist Church

Rachel Starr is Director of Studies (undergraduate programmes) at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham. She completed doctoral studies in Buenos Aires, researching the relationship between theologies of marriage and domestic violence. With David Holgate, she is author of the SCM Studyguide to Biblical Hermeneutics (2nd edition, 2019) which is used in the Worship Leaders and Local Preachers course.

You will have opportunity to choose two of the following workshops:

  • A Bible Study on Ruth
  • Preaching Ruth
  • Leading a local Arrangement during Bible Month

Cost: £10, lunch provided.
Book your place via the link here: 2020biblemonth.eventbrite.co.ukBookings close on Thursday 20 February at 12 noon. 
Payment can be made by card or offline – full details on the booking site.

Job Vacancies

District Safeguarding Officer (part-time)

Sheffield District

We are looking for an experienced safeguarding professional to join our committed and high performing team in Sheffield and surrounding areas.

This exciting opportunity is to support and strengthen the Methodist Church’s response to and practice in relation to safeguarding.

The role is 21 hours per week to be worked flexibly including evenings and occasional weekends, with a probationary period of 6 months.

Salary will be between £19.23 & £21.36 per hour dependent on experience (£21,000 – £23,325)

Closing Date: 12 noon on Friday 3 January 2020

Lecturer in Biblical Theology and Mission

Cliff College is seeking to appoint a Lecturer in Biblical Theology and Mission to join its Faculty team at this exciting time in the life of the College. We are looking for an experienced teacher who is willing and able to play a key role in the team that delivers and develops our academic programmes as we live out Cliff’s history, identity and purpose to equip and serve the local church in mission and evangelism.

We are looking for someone who:

  • is an experienced teacher of biblical theology and mission or related subject in an HE setting
  • has a heart for mission and evangelism
  • is willing to play an active role in the life of the Cliff College community

If this is you then you can download an application pack from our website at www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/jobs For more information or to arrange an informal conversation about the post, please contact Allison Cooper, Academic Registrar at registrar@cliffcollege.ac.uk or 01246 584200.

Salary:                  £34,000-£37,000
Closing date:      Friday 31 January 2020 at 12 noon
Interviews:         Week beginning 10 February 2020

This post is open to all applicants, though female and BME applicants are particularly encouraged to apply.

There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR) that the postholder is a Christian. Regulation 7(2)a of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 applies.

Volunteer Opportunities

Chair of Methodist Academies and Schools Trust (MAST)

From September 2020. Unremunerated, reasonable expenses paid.

The Methodist Academies & Schools Trust (MAST) is seeking a new Chair to lead its work on behalf of our 66 schools in the state maintained sector. The MAST schools are a high performing group, distinguished by an ethos of care and inclusivity and driven by values rooted in Christian tradition. All in the Primary sector and nationally spread, some are solely Methodist while others are shared ecumenical projects (predominantly with the Church of England). A few have already become academies under partner trusts and others are in the process of academising under a Methodist Trust banner – the Wesley Trust. The new Chair will oversee MAST’s continuing work with all its schools.

MAST seeks a new Chair who shares the Trust’s vision for education and can articulate this as an expression of Christian commitment. MAST’s key responsibilities are for the quality and Christian character of its schools, and for re-framing the Methodist presence in the changing world of schools provision. The new Chair will therefore have a successful profile in the world of education and strong experience of strategic organisational leadership. We work increasingly closely with our sister Methodist Trusts in the academies and in independent sectors (the Wesley Trust and MIST).

This is a time of real change and opportunity for people of faith in education. Methodists have been at the forefront of this work for almost 300 years. Our current Chair has overseen a significant period of development and restructuring and has advanced the reputation of Methodism in education. This is an exciting opportunity for a proven leader to continue that work and make further progress in the field of education.

For more details of the post and application process go to


or contact Barbara Easton beaston@methodistschools.org.uk (020 3903 9078)

or Paul Martin districtchair06@gmail.com  (01204 843302)

The closing date for applications is 17 January 2020
Interviews will be held on Friday 7 February 2020