District News – 22 October 2019

This Week’s News

Methodist Youth Rep

The role  of Youth Rep involves representing children and young people in various settings. There are opportunities to travel around the country, meet different people and get involved with other organisations.

A number of different roles are available: British Youth Council reps, ecumenical reps, Methodist Council and Methodist Conference reps and a Social Justice rep, who links with the Public Issues team and the charity All We Can.

Being a rep is a fantastic opportunity that will benefit both the young person and the Church. So if you know someone suitable, then please ask them to consider the roles that are available.

All details are on the Methodist Church website


The recent training session I attended showed that Data Protection is an on-going issue. Several people have contacted the office to express an interest in a guidance/training session. Full details will need to be worked out, but at the moment the intention will be to hold a few evening sessions in February 2020, at venues across the District. These will be a mixture of instruction/question answering and sharing of good practice.

If you know of a venue that can offer hospitality for one of these, please contact me direct with the date and venue name.

Booking will be via EventBrite and there will be deadlines to enable me to judge viability. Watch this space!


Tithe, Tax or Trickle Down? Personal Philanthropy Today

Wednesday 6 November 12 – 1.30pm – Urban Theology Union, Victoria Hall Methodist Church, Sheffield

John Wesley’s advice in terms of the morality of personal wealth was that a person should ‘Earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can’, famously endorsed by Margaret Thatcher in her expectation that a lower taxation economy would mean that money would ‘trickle down’ to people of lesser means.

How far does personal philanthropy really address fundamentals of deprivation in the UK today? Who gives when, when and why? and what is the best way to enable personal giving and state welfare provision through taxation to work together? And where do churches fit in to this? What relevance do community foundations and the state have in encouraging long term, local giving, now and in the future?

Ruth Willis, CEO of South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation offers her personal reflection on these questions and examines the place of philanthropy and its relation to the work of communities and the role that churches play. She will include some models of giving through SYCF over the years – the Flood Appeal in 2010, the CSE Fund in 2015, Young Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing Fund, Deakin and Withers Fund – and the many other named Funds managed by the SYCF today.

Full details here: UTU Forum Nov 2019

Urban Theology Union – AGM

Saturday 23 November 2019

1pm: Informal time to catch up – Bring your own lunch – tea and coffee provided

AGM 2.00pm-4.30pm

Come and find out what has been happening and our plans to take UTU forward.
Speaker: Bishop Dr Joe Aldred – Principal Officer for Pentecostal and Multicultural Relations,  Churches Together in England on The Good Samaritan: search and rescue – UTU’s place in my journey in the call for Reparatory Justice 

Desert Day

Saturday 9 November – Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Time set apart to meditate on the word, specifically Ezekiel’s ‘heart of flesh’, rest, let go and be inspired by practices of the Desert Fathers and Mothers.

This day is designed for anyone interested in traditions of silent prayer or keen to gently explore them. Featuring some input, Lectio Divina, conversation and silence, it will be led by Rev Mel King, regional contact for Contemplative Outreach UK.

£25. Details and bookings here

Build Hope Breakfast

Tuesday 19 November – Handsworth Methodist Church, Sheffield

For over 126 years, GB has been working with churches around the world to reach girls and families.

  • Find out more about our tried and tested resources.
  • Discover how Girls’ Brigade Ministries can help you build bridges to, or continue to reach, families in your local community.
  • Learn how to grow a new, or develop your current, Girls’ Brigade group that’s integral to your church and flexible to your needs.

Join with us for a time of worship and discussions around missional equipping and how GB Ministries can help your church to BUILD HOPE amongst families in your local community.

Please email Eleanor on eleanor.bennett@gb-ministries.org to secure your free place by 5 November 2019.

Full details here: Build Hope breakfast – Sheffield invite

Understanding Islam: First Steps  Study Day with Dr Chris Hewer

If you have not yet been able to attend one of these days but would like to do so, Chris Hewer is back in Sheffield in November and will be repeating his introductory day on Islam in 3 different venues:

Saturday 9th November at Bents Green Methodist Church, Ringinglow Road, Sheffield, S11 7PU

Wednesday 13th November at Dore and Totley URC, Totley Brook Rd, Sheffield S17 3QS

Saturday 16th November at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Northfield Lane, Wickersley, Rotherham S66 2HL

These days run from 10.00 am  – 3.30 pm (coffee from 9.30) . There is no charge, although donations will be welcome on the day. Please bring a packed lunch. For further details and to book a place please contact Rev Liz Wills, e-mail: lizandjohnwills@gmail.com

These days help us begin to explore what Muslims believe, a journey into understanding Islam from its own perspective. They cover the following areas:

  • Islam before the time of Muhammad.
  • Standing before God.
  • Building a Just Society.
  • ‘Open House’ – when Chris will respond to your questions.

Dr Chris Hewer comes from a background in Christian theology, education, Islamic studies and inter-faith studies and has worked in the field of Muslims in Great Britain and Christian-Muslim relations since 1986, first at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Selly Oak in Birmingham and as the Advisor on Inter-Faith Relations to the Bishop of Birmingham. His current work is to teach study days and residential courses, to develop written and electronic resources and to be available for consultation.  He is an excellent communicator.

To learn more about Chris, his experience and work in the field of Understanding Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, go to  www.chrishewer.org

Training, Learning & Development Opportunities

Creating Safer Space – Advanced Module Training

A number of dates have been set up across the District. Some venues are yet to be confirmed, so booking isn’t yet available for those.

Please use EventBrite to book your place as soon as possible as spaces are limited.

Date:             Thursday, 14th November, 2019
Venue:          The King’s Cross Church, Urban Road, Doncaster, DN4 0EP
Time:             10.30 am – 3.00 pm
Book a place via:  https://css-advanced-doncaster.eventbrite.co.uk

Date:              Monday, 20th January, 2020
Venue:          The Peveril Centre, Buxton Road, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WP
Time:             10.30 am – 3.00 pm
Book a place via:  https://css-advanced-castleton.eventbrite.co.uk

Date:              Wednesday, 5th February, 2020
Venue:          Central Methodist Church, Saltergate, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 1UH
Time:             10.30 am – 3.00 pm
Book a place via: 5 Feb – https://css-advanced-chesterfield.eventbrite.co.uk

Date:              Monday, 10th February, 2020
Venue:          Wesley Hall, Crookes, Sheffield, S10 1UD
Time:             10.30 am – 3.00 pm
Book a place via: 10 Feb – https://css-advanced-sheffield.eventbrite.co.uk

Additional dates awaiting venue confirmation:

Saturday, 18th January, 2020;
Thursday, 4th June, 2020
Tuesday, 7th July 2020

If you have questions, please, email Val at val@sheffieldmethodist.org. Full details of who should attend can be found on the flyer here: Advanced Module Flyer – Training Dates

Introduction to Godly Play

The Vine, Sheffield / Friday 8th November, 2019, 10.00am – 4.30pm

Explore how Godly Play can enhance your mission and ministry in children’s work, intergenerational worship, adult small groups, schools, chaplaincy and care homes.

Cost:  £30.00

For more details: godlyplay.uk

To book: Friday 8th Nov 2019 

Contact: Kate Cornwell (GPUK Trainer) on kategodlyplay@thevinesheffield.org.uk

Navigating Change Conference 2019

Navigating Change is a movement that is concerned about the future of the Methodist Church in the UK. The figures speak for themselves, as year on year we have continued to decline in numbers to the point where it has become a critical issue.

This movement could be a starting point for you and your leadership to regain a sense of urgency and energy, to catch a fresh vision and to begin the process toward growing and planting new churches.

19-20 November – Swanbank Methodist Church

For more information and to book a place

Unique Facilitator one-day training course

Thursday 14 November 2019, 9.30am–6pm  – Soul Roots Youth Centre, Townend Road, Sheffield S17 3GA

  • Have you got a group of young people in your community who you want to engage with?
  • Would you like to train to become a facilitator and then offer something new to your local school?
  • Are you wanting to deepen your relationship with young people you work with….but don’t think they are ready for an Alpha Course, a ‘God Slot’, or church?

Over 50 workers have been on the Facilitator Training Course, and over 2000 young people across the Yorkshire region have completed one of the courses in schools, youth clubs, community centres, churches and pupil referral units. The course aims to help young people make positive decisions for their lives and to promote healthy relationships for themselves, and their groups, schools and communities. The course can be tailored to meet the needs of the young people within the group, and many young people who have completed the course have made major changes to their lifestyle choices. Several churches have used the course to build relationships and get to know the young people. Over the ten weeks, the young people have developed their trust in the workers, and have then been extremely receptive to invitations to small groups / Alpha courses / church events / camps etc


Cost: £200.00 per participant

To book a place or find out more, email jody.wigfull@yahoo.co.uk or call 07736299072

Cliff College

Short Course Programme

The Certificate in Contemporary Fatherhood course is an addition to the Short Course programme developed as a result of our growing partnership with Care for the Family (https://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/) who now support our old friends from Who Let The Dads Out? (https://www.wholetthedadsout.org.uk/)

We welcome Tony Sharp, Project Manager for Who Let The Dads Out? as our Course Leader, and Mark Chester, Dads Development Manager at Care for the Family as one of the teaching team, which will also include members of our Faculty here at Cliff.

We are delighted to be developing a teaching course in partnership with Care for the Family aimed at both reflection and practice. The teaching week will be delivered Monday 20th  – Friday 24th  April 2020.

Details of the course can be found here: https://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/certificate-in-contemporary-fatherhood/

Summer School

Cliff Summer School programme is now complete for 2020, with three streams focussing on the Bible:

  • Explorations in the Word; Ephesians 
  • Greek in a Week; Biblical Language
  • Engaging with the Word; Creative Bible reading

We are delighted that from our current Faculty Ben Pugh leads our study of Ephesians, our previous New Testament scholar Peter Ensor returns to Cliff to guide us through Greek in a week, and a good friend of the college Mike Parsons introduces us to some creative Bible reading strategies and skills. Cathi Thacker heads up the administration of the week, and Ian White acts as host.

Details of the Summer School week and a booking form can be found here: https://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/summer-schools/

Line Management Training

New to Line Management?

Join the Learning Network Yorkshire Plus Team and:

  • Identify the key skills and qualities needed to manage lay employees
  • Gain clarity on the different functions of line management
  • Understand the line manager’s role in the employment cycle

Next training day: 2 March 2020 at Leeds Church Institute.

Contact Siân Henderson (yorkshirenemethodist@icloud.com) to book your place.

Download the flyer for more information, including details of the Line Management Support Group: Methodist Church Line Management

Job Vacancies

Soft Play Support Worker

Sam’s Space Soft Play, Firth Park Methodist Church, Sheffield

Sam’s Space Soft Play is a brand new, purpose-built soft play facility at Firth Park Methodist Church. After years of fundraising and months of building, we are excited to be opening Sam’s Space Soft Play at the beginning of 2020! We are a Christian community who value each person as a unique individual, so Sam’s Space will be available to the whole community, welcoming people of all faiths and none. We will have specific Christian-based groups for children and their families as well as open play sessions for anyone to attend. We are passionate about making a positive impact in our community and providing a safe and fun-filled place where we can enjoy creativity, life and fun together.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and confident person to work with us to create a safe, positive and fun children’s soft play facility. You will be working closely with the Soft Play Development Worker to ensure day-to-day tasks are completed, as well as having the opportunity to develop new initiatives and offer creative ideas to the project. You will act as second-in-charge on a daily basis, ensuring smooth running of the centre. You will also cover the role of the Soft Play Development Worker during absences, such as Annual Leave.

  • Salary: £10 per hour
  • Job type: 20 hours per week (flexible days to be discussed, alternate Saturday hours required)
  • Start date: January 2020

For further information and an application pack please contact:

Chloe Donoghue, Firth Park Methodist Church, 8 Stubbin Lane, Sheffield, S5 6QL
Mobile: 07399781317
Email: chloe.firthpark@gmail.com

Trustees required for exciting new project for young people in Sheffield

The Thrive ethos:
We are motivated by our Christian faith to offer hope filled support and compassion to young people. Our work is young person centred and characterised by empathetic listening, and unconditional acceptance. Our mentors aim to empower young people to thrive emotionally, relationally and spiritually by supporting their wellbeing and building resilience.
We are fully committed to working with young people of all faiths and none.

We are looking for a variety of people, with different skill sets, who can gather around the vision and ethos to see young people thrive.

Having established a high calibre working party in June 19, we now urgently need to establish a robust legal structure around us.

We have already been successful at gaining around £10k of funding and made important and strategic links with a number of other organisations working in the same field.

Initially, our trustees will have the important functions of:

  • Writing our constitution
  • Registering the charity
  • Establishing systems for financial management including setting up a bank account
  • Providing guidance on and ratification of key policies

We anticipate that the work over the next 6 months would need people to commit an average of 2.5 hours a week which would reduce to around 1.5 a week as we get more established.

If you’re excited about what we’re doing and feel you might have some of the skills needed to establish a new charity, we’d love to hear from you!

For an informal chat, please get in touch with any member of our working party or our project leader, Ben Harper,

Full details can also be found here: Thrive Trustee Pack