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District News – 08 March 2022

This Week's News

Ukraine Appeal

All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain have launched an emergency appeal in response to events unfolding in Ukraine.
As communities face violence, upheaval, and the trauma of war, your urgent support is needed. Working together with the Global Relationships Team of the Methodist Church in Britain, donations will be used to support the response to the crisis happening in Ukraine, and ensure that critical humanitarian assistance is available to those who need it.

Sanctuary for Refugees

Revd Inderjit Bhogal, past President of the Methodist Conference and recipient of the World Methodist Peace Award 2018 has written an article on Solidarity with Ukraine: Sanctuary for Refugees. In it he says: As Christians we are called to speak out for peace and support sanctuary. It is good to hear of churches around Britain, Ukraine and other countries offering space for prayer, and opening their doors to offer sanctuary. Every Church can be a Church of Sanctuary.
We will work and pray for a world without war and violence, and always sanctuary for those whose lives are vulnerable to danger and harm.

You can read the full article here: Sancturay for Ukraine Refugees

Understanding Islam – the first steps

Saturday 19 March from 10am

Hoyland and Birdwell Methodist Church ,Sheffield Road, Barnsley S70 5XB

This is a day to help us begin to explore what Muslims believe, a journey into understanding Islam from its own perspective. It will be led by Dr Chris Hewer, a Christian who comes from a background in Christian theology, education, Islamic studies and inter-faith studies. He has worked in the field of Muslims in Britain and Christian-Muslim relations since 1986, including 6 years as Adviser on Inter-Faith Relations to the Bishop of Birmingham.

We will 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

There is no charge, but donations would be welcome on the day. Please bring your own packed lunch.
If you would like to come please contact Revd Mick Neal – 01226 748402or e-mail: giving your name and contact details.
Full details here: Understanding Islam

digital church – what have we learnt? What next?

It's now 24 months since COVID locked the doors to our buildings. An explosion of digital experimentation followed. With few official experts and no training manual we each discovered different responses for our own contexts. As the world keeps turning, we now wrestle with how to balance needs of analogue church alongside digital possibilities.

Join us on the evenings of Tuesday 29 or Thursday 31 March on Zoom to take stock, build supportive networks, ask questions, and explore what would help each of us now. You can register here for either date

Whatever your role or how expert/amateur you define yourself we value your insight at these sessions – preachers, worship leaders, technicians, IT gurus, essayists, digital congregants, youtubers and TikTokers – Christ's avatar has many parts.

Representative Synod

Everyone Has A Story will be the theme of our next district synod gathering on 2 April at Cliff College. We will explore what happens when we more regularly share stories of faith when we gather as church, and introduce a wide range of ways to do this so that everyone can feel confident to share their own story. Including contributions from Holly Adams (Connexional Evangelism and Contemporary Culture Officer), Paul Cookson (Christian poet), Anna Bland (Leeds Sanctuary), Andrew Goldsmith (LICC) and Sam Roberts (District Communications Officer). Plus worship led by Cliff College, and a free lunch.

Everyone is welcome to join us – you don't need to hold any official church roles to be invited. Book you place and register for your choice of workshops now at and start thinking about who you could invite. We hope to offer a similar uplifting experience to the Radical Hospitality event back in September 2019 for those who were able to attend that.

District Safeguarding Update

SCIE – Social Care Institute for Excellence, is delivering 2 webinars for faith-based organisations in the next few months. These sessions are being promoted by the Connexional safeguarding Team and will supplement the Methodist Churches approach:

SCIE Webinar: Safer recruitment in faith-based organisations

Wednesday 23 March 2022 " 12:30 – 14:00 "
Safer recruitment practices help to make sure that staff, volunteers and trustees are suitable to work with others in the organisation and with beneficiaries. Safety should be considered at every stage of the recruitment process. It's a vital part of creating a safe and positive environment and making a commitment to keep beneficiaries safe from harm. Read more here.
Register in advance for this webinar:

SCIE Webinar: Managing volunteers in faith-based organisations

Wednesday 20 April 2022 " 12:30 – 14:00 "
Leading on from safer recruitment, once our volunteers are in role, it's important we manage them effectively to ensure they operate safely and in line with safeguarding practice. Often, and particularly in charities, it is only with the support of volunteers that we are able to fully deliver our services. They can bring such diverse levels of experience and skill; effective management can also enable us to retain and develop good volunteers. Read more here.
Register in advance for this webinar:

As ever, if you have any questions or concerns please give me a call on 07483 362 735 or email me at
Many thanks
Alison Hill
District Safeguarding Officer.


Regional Retreats

Coming to Rest: Going in Peace" with Nick Helm -17-19 May 2022

In this retreat we'll take time to move from active ministry to a 'quiet place' to stop, rest, reflect. From this place we will reflect on our experience of ministry in the light of Luke 10 – Jesus' sending out of the seventy-two. Seeking in this to recognise the life-giving affirmations of Christ, draw upon his peace that we are able to go from the retreat with greater peace in our soul.
Nick Helm is the Advisor in Spirituality in Hereford Diocese. He has held roles with responsibility for Spirituality and spiritual development in the Sheffield and Hereford Dioceses.
Cost: £220. Those in the Yorkshire Plus Region who have not attended a retreat previously in this connectional year will receive a £110 subsidy from their District. You are also free to seek further funding locally from your Circuit or local church.
Register for a place here:
Registration closes on 14 March 2022 – this may have to be cancelled if we do not get enough people registering

Online Retreat

For those who may find it difficult to take time away from the home, the Learning Network are putting on another one-day Regional Retreat.
Hospitality and Sanctuary for All
Wednesday 23 March from 9:30 to 4:30
Together with Inderjit Bhogal we will explore the joys and challenges of working with refugees using biblical themes such as hospitality, welcome and sanctuary.
Registration now open:

Communities of Practice

Positively Rural – Wellbeing and Mental health

Wednesday 27th April 2022 10-11.30am
Looking at general mental health issues in rural communities.
Speakers:Carla Quenet to speak about Mental Health First Aid andJulie White from Farm Community Network
Register here: (deadline 24 April)

Positively Rural is an online community hosted by the Yorkshire Plus Learning Network, but open to anyone of any denomination involved in rural ministry, including volunteers, lay workers and clergy.

Lay Workers' Gathering

Tuesday 10 May from 10am-1pm
David Goodall, the Missional Communities Enabler in the Leeds Circuit, will be exploring the Methodist Way of Life and how it can help in our daily work.
There will be the usual gathering over coffee from 10, then a short time of worship before his session from 10:30. There will also be a chance to meet in your specific role groups to socialise and chat at the end.
The session will end by 1pm, but do feel free to bob in and out as your time allows!
Register to attend here:
please note registration will close on 6 May

Lay Workers Retreat : 13-15 June – Wydale Hall

Exploring 8 Pillars of Wellness
Wellness is an active process of living a fully engaged life at every level of being. It is becoming aware of, and making healthy choices toward a healthier state of life.

How can we pursue wellness? Understanding wellness is easier when we use the concept of 8 Pillars. Life is not one component, but many parts working together. With the 8 Pillars in place, wellness can be ours!

A 48 hour retreat open to all Lay Employees within the Methodist Church in the Yorkshire Plus and North East Learning Regions (Sheffield, Yorkshire West, Yorkshire North & East, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Darlington Districts)

  • En-suite room – £200 (limited availability)
  • Dormitory accommodation – £150
  • Day visit – £75

Districts will subsidise the cost of this by half, for those who have not already taken part in a Regional Retreat this year.
A £50 deposit is required at the time of booking (invoices can be requested). This will be non-refundable for any cancellation with less than 8 weeks notice.
Book here:
Registration deadline – 5 April 2022

Job Vacancies

Are you the missing piece in our Scargill jigsaw?

Scargill Movement is an international, ecumenical community living and working in the Yorkshire Dales. Our mission is to provide space for the mysterious transforming love of God to work in people's lives. Hospitality, creativity and fun are at the centre of what we do, and we provide a place of relaxation, refreshment and learning for guests who come to attend programmed events, independent visits and retreats.

We are looking to recruit a new Chaplain. See Advert and Job Description.
If this is something you want to apply for then email: for a full application pack. Closing date 9 April 2022.

Other News

Agents of Change Roadshow

Do you want to be part of the Methodist journey towards a more inclusive and just Church and society?

Would you like to be empowered to challenge racism, champion racial justice and be a part of bringing about transformational change?

If so, please join us on
26th March, 11am – 3.30pm,

immerse yourself in stories, conversation and creative exploration of putting hope into action.


This year 3Generate, the children and youth assembly of the Methodist Church will be back at the NEC in Birmingham and will take place from Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October.

We're looking for adults and (new for 2022) 16 to 17 year olds to volunteer as part of the delivery team on the weekend of the event itself. We're also looking for adults, children and young people to volunteer to join one of our Satellite Groups – who help to plan the weekend's programme. You can join as part of a youth group, or as individuals.

Volunteer recruitment opens on Wednesday 9 March 2022.

The Methodist Podcast – Ukraine

In this week's Methodist Podcast we talk to two Methodists in Ukraine who are fleeing from the invasion to find safety, we hear how peace can stand up to aggression and learn how to talk to children about worrying news events.

Listen here.

And finally...

Prayers for Ukraine

Loving God, your Son Jesus Christ, wept over Jerusalem.

Today, we weep over Ukraine.

We weep for those uprooted from their homes and lives.

We weep for those cowering in basements.

We weep for those who have witnessed death and destruction on their streets.

We weep for those separated from parents, from children, from spouses and siblings.

We are amazed at the resilience of people seeking to comfort those in need and so we pray for Governments opening up borders so that Ukrainians can have safe passage.

We pray for churches and individuals providing food, clothing and shelter.

We pray for medical workers ensuring that shattered bodies are put back together again.

We pray for ordinary Russians demonstrating and voicing their disapproval of the military actions in Ukraine.

May the Holy Spirit give us the willpower to turn our tears into action also.

May we, through our words, prayers and example pursue the things that make for a just peace in the world today and especially in Ukraine.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.


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