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District News – 16 May 2023

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This Week's News

Justice Seekers hybrid gathering 1 – 2:30pm Monday 22 May

Following on from the theme of "How to be a JUST church in an UNJUST world?" at our recent District Gathering, the first open meeting of our district Justice Seekers will be 1 – 3pm on Monday 22 May. This will be an opportunity to hear what each of us are passionate about and explore ways to support and encourage each other to be a positive force for change in an unjust world. Whether you consider yourself a seasoned campaigner or just curious to hear more, you will be equally welcome. This will be a hybrid gathering – either come to Victoria Hall, Sheffield (via the Chapel Walk entrance) or email Neil Harland for a Zoom code.

District Celebration Service

Sunday 11 June at 3pm – The Crossing Church, Worksop

The annual service celebrating the life of the District. This year we will hear testimonies from Revd Michelle Deans and Deacon Emily Hoe-Crook, who will be ordained at the Methodist Conference. We will also hear from Revd Claude Kimpinde who will be received into full Connexion at the conference.

St Andrew's Psalter Lane – 25th Anniversary

Sunday 21 May at 10:30am

We would like to invite you to our 10.30 am Service of Holy Communion on Sunday 21st May, when we will be celebrating 25 years since St Andrew's Sharrow and Psalter Lane Methodist Church joined together as a Local Ecumenical Partnership.

The service will be led by Naomi with Revd Richard Andrew and Revd Nick Jowett, who led our first service together in 1998.
The service will be suitable for all, with children's activities available, and will offer thanksgiving for our journey through the last 25 years and our looking forward in hope to the future.

We will be joined by some very special guests and the service will be followed by a shared buffet lunch with fizz and plenty of cake -- so please do bring your family and friends to celebrate with us

Reflect – Quiet Morning (via Zoom)

Saturday 3rd June or Monday 12th June 2023

Journeying with God: past, Present and Future
Using scripture, music, reflection and prayer: we'll trace God's presence with us in the past,
enable ourselves to meet God more fully in the 'now' and seek God's wisdom and guidance for all that's to come.

This online Quiet morning will be led by Rev Sam Funnell – a Methodist minister in Woking.
If you would like to attend please email Lynne Tonge 2tonges317@gmail.comstating which date you would like to book

There is no charge for this event but donations (suggestion £5)may be made by bank transfer to support the work of REFLECT(Reflect Bank Details: Lloyds Bank, Sort Code 30 96 18, Account no. 02833113please quote 'Quiet Day' as a reference for your payment – Thank you!)

Holy Anarchy with the Revd Dr Graham Adams

You are warmly invited to 'Holy Anarchy' on Saturday, 8 July, 2023.
Details on the link below:

You are welcome to just turn up, but an rsvp to the office would be helpful for an idea of numbers for refreshments. A Zoom link will also be available for those not able to come in person.
UTU Office

District Officer News

Coronation Parties

Thank you to all who sent in photos of their celebrations – check them out on our Facebook page:
Sam Roberts – Communications Officer

GDPR Annual Checklist

A reminder that the deadline for completing the checklist is 30 May. So far I have had 39 responses. The preferred method would be via the Google Form ( ). There is a Word version which can be filled in and emailed back to this office. The information will need to be transferred to the google form, so it would save me time if you could do that yourself. The form needs to be completed by each managing trustee body (Church council, Circuit meeting). If your church/circuit is having difficulty with this, please get in touch to see if I can help in any way.
Katrin Hackett – GDPR Data Champion

District Safeguarding Update:

Mike Pilavaci Statement

You may have seen recent statements from the Church of England's National Safeguarding Team and the Diocese of St Albans who are working together looking into allegations made against the Rev Canon Mike Pilavachi who has stepped back from his ministry with the Soul Survivor charity.

The Church of England have given several contacts for people affected by the investigation to contact:

Jeremy Hirst at the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at or the Church of England's National Safeguarding Team at

Soul Survivor's statement can be found here:

The Methodist Church recognises that this news may cause upset for some people and has a dedicated safeguarding professional who is available to support during this difficult time. She can also be contacted if you wish to report abuse of any kind whether it happened recently or a long time ago. Please contact Kate Little, Safeguarding Casework Supervisor and lead for the Methodist Church's response to survivors of abuse –

Here is a list of organisations that may also be helpful:

As ever, if you have any questions or concerns, please give me a call on 07483 362 735 or email me at safeguarding@sheffieldmethodist.orgMany thanksAlison Hill -District Safeguarding Officer.


Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB)- District Event

On May 21st MWiB are hosting a Bible Quiz based on the women in the bible. Rev Michael Brown is setting the questions and Rev Romeo Pedro will be the Quiz Master.
The Venue is Victoria Stafford Rd Methodist Church on May 21st 3pm for3.30pm Afternoon tea will follow the Quiz donations for our project "Twinning"

All are welcome do come along and make it an enjoyable afternoon.

Please contact Carol Wignell or Pam Meek for catering purposes if you wish to come:

'Faith in Change and Conflict'

12-15 June

Cliff College, Calver, Hope Valley, Sheffield, S32 3X
Faith in Change and Conflict leads people to develop their understanding, approaches, and responses to situations of change and conflict as well as understand the psychological transitions taking place during these times. Participants reflect critically on the role of the Christian leader and the desired qualities when dealing with potential conflict, heightened relational conflict, and challenging behaviours in a range of church, faith and community settings. During the course, theological, conflict transformational and peacebuilding resources, drawn from a variety of contexts, will help shape and develop participants' own practice, at work and at home.
Full details here:

Positively Rural – exploring the rural-specific contexts of poverty

5 July 7:30pm via Zoom

Join the Positively Rural team, plus guests Deacon Eunice Attwood (Methodist Church at the Margins Officer), Dr Chris Shannahan & Dr Stephanie Denning of Coventry University's Centre for Trust, Peace & Social Relations

Hear more about two research projects – Life on the Breadline & Rural Hidden Hardship Life on the Breadline update – Life on the Breadline ( and how they help inform our local rural contexts.
Join the conversation around rural poverty, the impacts & how we as Christians can respond.
Register here:
Deadline – 2 July (for administration)

Regional Retreat

The next Regional Retreat for Ministers and Lay Employees within the Methodist Church will be on 14-16 November at The Briery, Ilkely.
The theme is Creative Journeying and will be led by Donna Worthington. Donna is an experienced retreat giver trained in Ignatian spiritual direction, labyrinth walking and storytelling. She studied Theology at Cambridge, and completed an MPhil at Manchester University. She has written several plays, two of which explored the Lindisfarne Gospels, and Christian contemplative prayer. She has led retreats and workshops examining the Gospels through theatre, dream-prayer and dance-prayer.

  • We'll seek to deepen our spirituality, explore different ways of praying, and discover our journey with the divine.
  • We'll connect Scripture, nature and creative writing with personal reflection and prayer.
  • We'll explore the dreams we carry, aided by the artist Van Gogh. and we'll seek to be held by God just as we hold others.

To book online via EventBrite Deadline – 12 September (for viability)

Other News

Candidating for Ordained Ministry

Those considering candidating from September 2023 to start training September 2024 will be at a Discerning Ordination Vocation (DOV) Retreat 19-21 May. Please pray for all of the retreatants as they take this time to discern their call and for those who are leading the retreat.
If you are feeling a call to ordained ministry yourself please speak to your Minister or Superintendent Minister.

And finally ...

A Rogation Reflection

by Chris Morris, Farmers' Support Team Member

May 2023
The word 'rogation' comes from the Latin word, 'rogare' meaning 'to ask' and traditionally, Rogationtide is a time to ask God for blessings on the land.

Over the years, rogation has been observed in many ways in rural communities; a church service can be preceded or followed by a walk, sometimes called 'the beating of the bounds' where attention is drawn to local agricultural activity – the needs of land, crops, animals, and the people who work the land. It is an important season, much like a new beginning after nature's rest.

With Easter falling later this year, Rogation Sunday is in the period of first cut silage for dairy farmers: challenging because the weather is rarely settled in May. From my own experience, it can be one of the most stressful times. Making a good pile of quality first cut silage is so important! I would often send 'arrow prayers' to God to ask him to stop it raining! Elsewhere, crops are becoming established and do need water. Sheep flocks need quality grass to increase milk production for lamb growth. Late frosts can clobber setting fruit and vines.

It is also a chance to focus on social justice for those working on the land, not just in this season but around the year. With tight margins on vegetable and salad crops and the use of temporary and migrant labour, there is pressure to not pay staff properly (modern day slavery?) or house them adequately. We need to pray that fair employers should prevail, and offenders should be exposed.

So, all in all, these needs could be summed up in a prayer for Rogationtide:

Generous God, source of abundance,
You provide sufficient food to sustain us day by day.
We ask for your protection on our growing crops,
our fruit and vegetables.
That in due time we may enjoy a plentiful harvest.
We ask for your provision for those struggling with the cost of living.
We ask for your mercy for those who are exploited and treated harshly.
Hear us, good Lord.

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