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District News – 2 January 2024

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This Week's News

Happy New Year

So that was 2023! Are you looking forward to 2024?
Sometimes it is hard to think further than the next week, but there are plenty of things happening across the District and beyond that you might like to consider attending. Some will have a link to book a place. Why not make this year's resolution to be to book in early, not wait until the last minute!
Talking of deadlines:

Statistics for Mission 2023

Congratulations to Derbyshire North East Circuit – all your churches have completed their statistics!
I'll not name and shame, as there is still a month to go before the site closes on 31 January, but please check if your church has entered the data.
If you are having trouble accessing the site, do get in touch with your circuit office in the first instance. They may be able to enter the required data for you. You are asked to report the total membership as at 2 November 2023, any gains and losses, and the estimated average attendance as a main worship service and also online (if applicable).
If you have any questions on this, please to get in touch!

Cliff College

What skills and knowledge do you need to gain this year? Maybe how to support families in faith development, or how to help your church respond to issues like climate justice and health & wellbeing? Maybe you're exploring pioneer work or wanting to better navigate change and conflict in your congregations and communities.
Whatever your context and challenge, Cliff College can develop your theology and practice and help you respond to God's call to mission and ministry in 2024. Find out more on our website or contact us at

Property Stewards

The Methodist Church has produced a Property Stewards' Handbook!
This handbook is design to be an across-the-board information resource for property stewards at a church, circuit and district level.

It includes the Top 10 Essentials of being a property steward as well as other useful information and links.
You can download a copy here. We don't recommend printing this out as the file contains a lot of links to other useful sites and will (hopefully) be updated on a regular basis /

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Happy New Year! We were delighted to see so many of you over the holidays, with a Chapel packed for Contemplative Carols on Christmas Eve, Reflective Communion on Christmas Day and a Reflective bonfire for New Year's Eve.
You may wish to join us for some of the following events:

Morning Prayer

8:30-9am every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (apart from 9th January), where the Chapel will be open for silent prayer and reflection.

The Coming of the Light.

In the time between Christmas and Lent the church celebrates various events that bring Light to the world in different ways. In the depths of our winter you are invited to join us in listening to conversations between our Chaplain, Alison, and friends and then joining with others in a Zoom session for times of reflection on these events.

January Simple Quiet Day

Join us after Reflective Communion for a day of space to be before God; to relax, reflect and pray and so to renew your spiritual resources

Lament Quiet Day

Led by Louise Carr, who is responsible for the creation of the Stations of Lament exhibition, you will join a group exploring the themes of the exhibition together, but also with time and space to engage with the stations in your own way.

Visit for full details and to book (if necessary)

Breathe Deep

On Saturday 27th January 2024, at 9:30am, the doors of Sheffield Cathedral will open for the tenth Breathe Deep youth event for the diocese!
Breathe Deep is a youth event targeted at Christian young people from all over the diocese to be a large expression of church together. Many young people who come are from smaller churches, so to gather in large numbers brings another important dimension of God's church, in all its diversity!
Book tickets to Breathe Deep at

Life on the Breadline

Exhibition 9 Feb – 23 March

Life on the Breadline is a challenging exhibition featuring photographs from the Life on the Breadline grassroot case studies in Birmingham, London, and Manchester which challenge the way we think about people's experience of poverty in the UK and how Christians have responded to poverty during the 'age of austerity'. The photographs have been taken by the research team and by local residents, volunteers, and staff at the six case study projects.
Sheffield District, in collaboration with the ESRC funded Life on the Breadline project, Coventry University, and the Justice Seekers group have arranged for the exhibition to be on display in three circuits during Lent 2024: Sheffield; Derbyshire North East; and Barnsley. We will be seeking volunteers to help steward these – more details to follow soon!
In addition to the exhibition itself, there will be a launch event on Friday 9 February and a closing event on 23 March.
Churches are also encouraged to consider using the Life on the Breadline Lent course

District Safeguarding Update

Important change to Volunteer Application forms and Confidential Declaration forms

A single, more streamlined Volunteer Application form has been created by the Connexional Safeguarding Team and is now available on the Safer Recruitment page of the Methodist Church website here:
This form must now be completed by all prospective volunteers, whether or not the role they are applying for meets the criteria for an Enhanced DBS certificate. This single form now also incorporates the Safeguarding Declaration within it along with the Privacy Notice, which also must be completed by all applicants regardless of role.
Please note that this form now replaces Form A Part 1 & 2 and also any other Confidential Declaration forms you may have been using, including:

  • CSD/1 'Safeguarding Declaration for applicants with substantial access to vulnerable groups'
  • CSD/2 'Safeguarding self-declaration for office holders without substantial contact with vulnerable groups'
  • and SD/4 'Safeguarding self-declaration for members of church bodies'

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.


Positively Rural – Spirituality of older people

10 January at 7:30pm

We will be considering the spirituality of older people in a rural context with input from the organisation 'Anna Chaplaincy'.
Register your place here:
Booking close 5 days beforehand to allow time to send out information!
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.

Is poverty inevitable in the UK?

A Justice Seekers conversation, 7:30pm Monday 15 January on Zoom

Join us for a conversation with Mark North (Founder and CEO Freedom Community Project), Deacon Alison McCauley from Barnsley Circuit and Hannah Freemont Brown from Let's End Poverty Whether you consider yourself to be a lonely prophet, committed activist, qualified by experience, or don't know what to say. Just come ready for honest questions and respectful listening.
14.4 million people in the UK are currently experiencing poverty, and 3.8 million people are now living in destitution, without the basics to keep warm, dry, clean and fed. Despite many committed thoughtful people having devoted their lives to tackling poverty and economic marginalisation in one of the world's most prosperous countries. Is there actually another way, or must we learn to live with Jesus warning that "the poor will always be with you"
Get your free Zoom link here

Lay Employee Community of practice zoom gathering

Wednesday 31 January from 10:30-11:15
This is a more informal "drop-in" basis rather than having a focused theme. A chance to catch up with each other over coffee. Smaller work-based break-out groups can be facilitated if wanted. No registration is necessary, just follow the link to join in:

Lay Employees Retreat -- Yorkshire Plus and North East Districts

10-12 April 2024 -Wydale Hall, near Scarborough

"Hidden Treasures"
Finding and celebrating the hidden treasures and riches in ourselves and our surroundings. A range of sessions are planned to help rediscover a sense of hope about what lies ahead and find a renewed calling to see where God is at work in and with us.
As with last year's retreat, there will be a variety of options from quiet reflective to more active sessions, as well as space for one-to-one conversations, personal reflection and crafting!
Cost: £240 A subsidy of £120 may be available from your District towards this. If this has been confirmed, it will be automatically deducted from your invoice. A deposit is required to confirm your registration
Book early via EventBrite by 7 February.

New Christian Communities gathering

10am – 1:30pm Saturday 24 February

Our next gathering for anyone involved in leading a new Christian community will be on the morning of Saturday 24 February, concluding with lunch. The Metal Methodists will be our hosts, and Rev Dr Martyn Atkins (writer on evangelism, former Principal of Cliff College) will be our guest speaker.
Leading or birthing a new Christian community can be a joyous but also exhausting and isolating experience. This morning is an opportunity for you to spend quality time with our growing network of people following similar callings. Register your free place at


Trinity Circuit have two vacancies:

Facilities and Community Manager

The post is offered via a full-time 24-month fixed term contract.
Based predominantly across two sites:
The Crossing Church & Centre (S80 2AT) and The Grove Church & Centre (DN22 6LB), with an understanding that there will, from time to time, be the need to work from other sites within the Circuit, consideration will also be given for some hours to be worked from home.
The Facilities and Community Manager will play an important part in growing commercial income, remaining proactive in reviewing, and developing systems and processes whilst managing operational elements across two of the church sites.
This work will enable church leaders and members to be released from many of the day-to-day operational matters, allowing them to focus on mission, discipleship, and growth. This is a key strategic objective.

Volunteer Coordinator

The post is offered via a fixed term contract and will be based across two sites: The Crossing Church & Centre (S80 2AT) and The Grove Church & Centre (DN22 6LB). This post is not suitable for home working.
The primary focus of the Volunteer Coordinator will be to provide overall care for existing and all new volunteers assuming responsibility for their safe recruitment, induction, and supervision, whilst acting as the first point of contact for ongoing training and support needs.
The Volunteer coordinator will work with existing teams to support current groups to develop and thrive and identify new community activities.
The Volunteer Coordinator will proactively recruit volunteers, through volunteer fairs, social media and local press advertisements, word of mouth, contacts with existing volunteers and connections with groups such as Bassetlaw Community and Voluntary Service (BCVS), for the two Church centres.

For an application form or for an informal conversation about either roles before making an application please contact Richard Dearden, Circuit Operations Manager, by email at

Closing date: 5th January 2024
First Interview date: 18th January 2024

And finally...

From the Methodist Prayer Handbook

O God we come to you
God of the displaced, who created space for all,
God of the refugee, who carved a place for all,
God of the poverty-stricken strangled by the cost of living,
God of the marginalised and the ignored,
You are God of the moon and the sun,the stars and all of creation.
We come to you.

When our world loses meaning, O God we come to you.
When our faith becomes institutionalised and we lose our direction, O God we come to you.
When our service through the Church is repetitive and draining, O God we come to depend on you.
When our hope is stifled by our fear of the world's wars and greed, O God we come and we trust you.
When our vision becomes blurred by the tears of pain, anxiety, lack and loss, Lord God we come to you.

Turn our eyes to see in your ways.
Open our ears to hear your understanding of life.
Breathe your hopefulness into our hearts,
so that our hands and feet and heads may think and act only for you, as you help us to come to you.
Jongikaya Zihle, District Chair, London District

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