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District News – 20 June 2023

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This Week's News

Sheffield District Chair to be President of the Methodist Conference

The Revd Gill Newton and Deacon Kerry Scarlett will be inducted as President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference on the afternoon of Saturday 24 June at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

The Revd Gill Newton is a lifelong Methodist who came into ministry in 1997 after a career in banking. She has been the District Chair for the Sheffield District since 2014, having previously served in Barnsley and Bramhall & Wythenshawe Circuits. She is National Chaplain to the Girls' Brigade in England and Wales and a Walk to Emmaus Community member.

Deacon Kerry Scarlett has been a Methodist deacon since 2008. In the Methodist Church in Britain, the Methodist Diaconal Order is both an order of ministry and a religious order. Mrs Scarlett works as part of the Connexional Learning Network Team and is aligned with the Birmingham District. She has a particular interest in social justice and community organising and developing the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network and the anti-trafficking charity Adavu which supports survivors of modern slavery.

The Revd Gill Newton says:
'It is a great honour to have been invited to serve as the President of the Methodist Conference. I am looking forward to meeting the Methodist people and those with whom we partner across the Connexion, and uncovering more of what God is doing.'

Deacon Kerry Scarlett says:
'It's a real honour to have been asked to represent the Methodist Church in Britain as Vice President. I am excited for the many opportunities and experiences which lie ahead, but especially the chance to meet with people from local churches and communities all across the Connexion, to listen to their stories, and to discover the hidden treasures of what God is doing in our midst.'

You can follow the Conference online and watched streamed sessions here

Regular updates from Gill will be shared in the District through our weekly mailing, website and social media channels.

Together with Refugees

How we treat refugees reflects who we are. At our best, we are welcoming to those facing difficult times. Yet too often people fleeing war, persecution or violence are treated with hostility in the UK, rather than compassion.
Together With Refugees brings together people and movements to stand against the divisiveness and hate directed at refugees. It will show that most people support a fairer, more effective and compassionate approach – and that refugees have always been part of the UK. It's who we are.
With your support, we are calling for a kinder, fairer and more effective approach to supporting refugees. Find out more here:
They have produced a short video to mark the start of Refugee Week, which can be view on this web page.

Book Launch by Gaynor Taylor

Gaynor is a Christian novelist who lives in Chesterfield. She will be introducing her latest novel, Where Ravens Circle (available from Cornerstone and on Amazon), and reading some extracts on Monday 26th June, 7:30 pm, Cornerstone, Central Methodist Church, Chesterfield.
We hope as many folk as possible will come to support and encourage her.

Eileen Hoyle

Following on from last week's news of the death of Eileen, Revd Michael Wildgust shared his memories of her:
It is of course with sadness that I note the death of Eileen Hoyle. But my personal memories of her are of much laughter and fun over many years. She worked alongside me on the weekly Newsletter which we produced together with dear Ruby Walton. For ten years each Friday morning the stewards vestry was alive with witticisms and laughter as the three of us collated the weekly news for the Grapevine and put over two hundred and fifty copies together each week for distribution in the church and local shops. One of Eileen's close friends was another returned missionary Irene Jefferson, a member of Stephen Hill, who once took a sea trip around the UK on a buoy laying vessel. On her return it was Eileen who quipped, " Irene will know more about buoys now than she ever did". Eileen you were deeply cherished God and us all, you will be lovingly cared for by Him, and we thank God for your life long service in his church abroad, and at Stephen Hill, and please continue to make 'em all laugh in your new heavenly home.

District Officers' Updates

District Office

As I will be attending the Methodist Conference next week, there will be no weekly newsletter. The District Office will be closed for the week. I will pick up emails and will try to respond when time allows. Messages left on the office phone will also be picked up during this time.
Katrin – District Administrator

NPNP Rossington

Members of our Doncaster Circuit have over the last two years been listening, testing and researching a vision to start new Christian communities in the ex-mining village of Rosssington. These "New Places for New People" will be grounded on core values of loving service and active discipleship. The team will initially focus on three key initiatives: new housing chaplaincy, a youth club and a Christian-based mindfulness group, each of which has emerged through a careful assessment of the community's needs.
With the support of their Circuit Meeting, and seed funding grants of £40,000 from Sheffield District and £20,000 from the Connexional Evangelism & Growth Team, the Rossington team have now reached the crucial stage of recruiting a part time Community Pioneer to work with them as they start to put these into practice (see below for the vacancy).
What aspirations and challenges could shape a new Christian community which connects with people in the place where you live?
Neil Harland – District Mission Enabler


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)

Holy Anarchy

Saturday, 8 July, 2023. 10am-1pm

A joint event between Christ Church, Pitsmoor, Sheffield (host venue), Luther King Centre, Northern College and the Urban Theology Union.

  • So what is the kingdom of God?
  • Why might the kingdom be like holy anarchy?

Hear the Revd Dr Graham Adams explore this in more detail.
Click on link for more information:

Appreciating Church conference

Saturday 30 September

Appreciating Church is running a conference on 30th September 2023, with a theme of "Appreciating the tough stuff". It will be a day full of inspiration and wisdom from AI practitioners, including speakers and interactive workshops. It will be a hybrid conference, with an online (Zoom) and onsite (Priory Rooms, Birmingham) conference running in parallel. Much thought has been given to the hybrid nature of this conference, and will be tailored, separately, to both parties of attendees.
The cost of either conference is £100 until 30th June (so get bookings in quickly!), £130 after that.

Exploring Digital Conference

Saturday 30 September from 10am

A day online exploring the digital world for Methodist churches and communities.
Join together with Methodists from all over Britain for a special digital gathering. Learn from key individuals who've mastered the digital world on how to connect and share the Gospel online. The event will feature insightful keynotes, group discussions and an expert panel. Don't miss this chance to enhance your church's online presence and explore faith in the digital era!
Click here to book

Reflect Retreat

17th – 19th October 2023

Praying Without Words
For many there is a strong desire to cultivate an inner life of prayer, it has always formed an essential part of the Christian tradition. Many also long for silence and stillness. Where does this desire, this longing originate? How might it be fulfilled? A retreat provides a good opportunity to explore and experience 'praying without words', bearing in mind there are no experts, just explorers
We shall explore the way of 'praying without words' as taught and practiced in the Hebrew Scriptures (OT), by Jesus and the early church (NT), through the early century mystics to present day. Whether this is your usual practice, or you are just venturing on this path of discovery this retreat could be for you.
This is not a totally silent retreat; however, space and time will be offered to enter into and experience prayer of silence, and we shall respect each other's space as appropriate.

Download the booking form here: Reflect Retreat Booking
Reflect is the national Methodist retreat and spirituality movement open to all.


Community Pioneer

Doncaster Methodist Circuit

The successful applicant will have the aspiration for everyone to access a fulfilling life in Christ through growing and developing communities across Rossington, spreading the Gospel to new people who don't go to a traditional church.
It is envisaged the post will develop and evolve with the successful applicant, considering their skills and gifts, and in response wo where they feel they are being called, whilst working closely with Ministers, staff , the wider leadership team, and people within Rossington.
The post holder will be responsible and accountable for growing and developing various communities with key project areas of focus being New Housing chaplaincy, Youth hub, and Christian mindfulness.
For an informal conversation about the role please email Jack Key at
Download the full job description here: Community Pioneer

Senior Administrator


Unlocking real life stories of urban people, Revealing Good News of the Down to Earth Christ, Releasing life changing skills and confidence
Currently office based in Rotherham but for the right candidateflexible home working from further afield can be explored (and may become apreferred option in the future).
Salary – £6,688.34 per annum for part time post
Hours – 11 hours per week
Start date – last week of July 2023 or as soon as possible after that.

  • To establish, maintain and operate effective office systems
  • To support the work of Unlock Local Workers, National Council &Unlock Chief Officer
  • To manage supporter and donor relations
  • To facilitate delivery of the annual Unlock London Walk

Details from: -Unlock, 15 Station Road, Rotherham, S60 1HN01709 380 318

Other News

The Methodist Church sends out a number of newsletters on a regular basis. Here are a couple:

Global Relationships – news from the Global Relationship Team : Read the latest version here
Property Matters – a focus on property-related updates and guidance : Read the latest issue here

You can sign up to receive these and others here:

And finally ...

A prayer for Refugee week

Holy God, creator of all there is,

You make all people in your image, each person unique, each life sacred.

In Jesus you reveal yourself taking sanctuary on earth, fleeing with family as a child into exile and sanctuary, enduring false testimony and persecution.

We hold before you all who are deprived of their homes and run for sanctuary, many travelling by unsafe vessels on unsafe routes.

We hold before you the anguish and cries of those in danger, those who drown, in the seas, remembering especially those who even as we pray now are lost in the Mediterranean Sea.

Be the shelter of their souls.

Bless all agencies of rescue and their efforts to save lives.

We pray for an end to the storms of war, poverty, extreme weather and cruelty in policies.

We pray for compassion and peace, so that people may live in their homes and not be afraid.

Strengthen us all to work together to build cultures of welcome, hospitality and safety especially for all who are seeking the sanctuary in human friendship.

In the Name of Christ.

Inderjit Bhogal, 15 June 2023
Founder and President of City of Sanctuary

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