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District News – 23 May 2023

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This Week's News

Sad News

We were sorry to learn of the recent death of Mrs Shirley Ellins, a member at Greenhill Methodist Church, Sheffield. Shirley was the District Archivist from 1998 until 2008 and was was meticulous in carrying out her responsibilities. We hold her family in our prayers.

There will be a Celebration Service for the life of Deacon David Clark on Friday 26 May from 12 Noon at Bakewell Methodist Church.

Save the date!

Saturday 9 September

The next District Gathering (including Synod business) will be held at Central Methodist Church, Chesterfield. Watch this space for more details, including how to register

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.

Merging Churches for Mission guidance

New national guidance has been offered on whys and ways of merging churches or church councils.
This contains real life stories, suggestions for questions to ask and technical guidance. It is purposefully written for a context where change feels necessary but painful and the future hard to interpret. There are already many instances of churches and circuits across our district pro-actively changing their legal structures and places of gathering.
Contact Neil Harland if you are wrestling with how to move forward in your context.

New Guidance for Local Arrangements

A Local Arrangement is a service of worship where there is no allocated Minister or Local Preacher available to take responsibility for leading worship. If approached positively and with appropriate support and encouragement, Local Arrangements are an opportunity for building up the congregation and releasing new gifts and creativity for the glory of God.
Here are new Guidance for Local Arrangements for you to download. Please distribute it to anyone in your circuit who is responsible for Local Arrangements in their church.
Ask your Local Preachers' Meeting whether there is more you could do to encourage and equip those leading and participating in Local Arrangements around your circuit.

Yorkshire Churches Day

Yorkshire Churches Day (YCD) is a chance for every place of worship in the county to open up and showcase the amazing history and heritage found inside their buildings.
It is a day to tell stories and bring to life the variety, beauty, history and sheer wonder of Yorkshire's churches, chapels and places of worship. The aim of the day is to encourage everyone to visit their local church even if they have never stepped foot inside a church before. It will be a day for those who are curious about history and heritage of their local surroundings.
This year we are running YCD in partnership with Heritage Open Days (HOD), holding it onSaturday 16 September. This is England's largest festival of history and culture, when thousands of people come together to celebrate their heritage, community and history.

To register, visit the Heritage Open Days website and add details of your church, stating you are opening for Yorkshire Churches Day. The deadline for entry is the August 10 2023. Full details on how to register and advice on fundraising events and how to attract publicity can be found on our website.

District Officers News and Updates

Update on Fairtrade in the Sheffield Methodist District

Fairtrade District Status is now being monitored by the newly formed Sheffield District Justice Seekers group as it falls squarely within the remit of seeking justice! We would continue to urge all churches to try to buy Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and other items as much as possible, especially if you are a Fairtrade church. This is much more of a challenge in the current cost of living crisis, where the temptation to simply buy the cheapest product is very strong. However, in order to fulfil the second of the 2 greatest commandments i.e. to love our neighbour as ourselves, we need to remember that the climate crisis is having a devastating impact on farmers in the developing world.
Farmers who have done little to contribute towards climate change themselves are bearing the brunt of extreme weather events such as drought, vicious storms and/or floods that destroy the crops they rely on to survive. However difficult we may be finding it in the UK, we still live in a relatively wealthy country with access to welfare benefits, health and education services, unlike many farmers who grow some of our favourite foods in less-economically developed countries. Without fairer prices today, more farmers growing staples like cocoa, bananas and coffee will be forced out of business by the climate crisis. Lives and livelihoods of whole communities are in danger, but Fairtrade is making a big difference to people like Sadick Abanga who lives in Ghana. Sadick farms nine acres of land for cocoa and has been doing so for 18 years. It's getting increasingly difficult due to the climate crisis, but he is working with Fairtrade to farm differently. Since joining his Fairtrade co-operative eight years ago he's had training on managing the environment, had extra support from Fairtrade Premium funds and enjoyed a real say over long-term decisions with his co-operative.
So, despite the genuine challenges we do face here in the UK please do make the case in your churches to keep buying Fairtrade.
Many thanks
Alison Trezise -Fairtrade District Co-ordinator


We are always happy to help publicise any event you may be holding in your own church and Circuit. The easiest way to submit an item is via the online form here:

Small Church Rural & Rooted

1 June – 7pm online

If you live in a rural area you might want to join a group discussing how being a church without a building might work. We will hear examples of 'flourish' and 'open' using a Methodist Way of Life and explore how we could use these in our locality. To register for the event, which takes place at 7.00pm on 1 June click here.
This conversation is open to anyone from a small church or rural community

Dignity for All

Saturday 10th June

JPIT are collaborating with Church Action on Poverty and the APLE collective to host a conference in Leeds called 'Dignity For All'. The conference will explore how we build a movement to end poverty that puts the real experts of poverty at the centre – people with lived experience. Church members and activists are invited to come and be part of the day-conference, exploring what it looks like to build change within our churches and communities that promotes dignity. All of our speakers throughout the day will bring something of their own lived experience of poverty, and throughout the day participation will be encouraged and facilitated.
You can see more about the conference here:


Buildings Management Co-ordinator

Emmanuel Methodist Church, Barnsley Circuit

Main responsibilities

  • To serve the needs of the church and the community through the efficient allocation and letting of rooms
  • To liaise with community groups, organisations, and other lessees in relation to bookings and invoicing.
  • To ensure that the building resources of EMC are effectively and efficiently promotes, publicised, maintained and administered

Hours of Work: 14 hours per week to be worked flexibly to meet the needs of the post with some evening and weekend work required
Rate of pay: £12/hour (£8736 per annum)
For an application pack, please contact Carole Jewkes on 01225 321552 or email
Closing date: 1 June 2023
Interview date: 8 June 2023
Start date: as soon as possible.

Part-time Caretaker

Silkstone Common Methodist Church, Barnsley Circuit

Silkstone Common Methodist Church seek to appoint a part-time Caretaker who is suitably able to maintain a good level of general maintenance and provide access as needed to church premises.
Hours of Work: 5 hours per week to be worked flexibly to meet the needs of the post with some evening and weekend work required
Contract: 1 year fixed term contract (this may be extended, subject to funding)
Rate of pay: £10.90/hour
For an application pack, please contact Carole Jewkes on 01225 321552 or email
Closing date: 31 Maye 2023
Interview date: w/c 5 June 2023
Start date: as soon as possible.

We Are Seeking A Chaplain!

Whirlow Spirituality Centre exists to encourage, support and resource spiritual development of individuals and communities in the Christian faith, based at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.
Our current Chaplain, the Revd Joy Adams, is retiring after 8 successful years in the post.
Applications are now invited for the role of Chaplain, who will:

  • oversee the mission of the Centre to provide a place for individuals, groups and churches to explore the Christian faith through contemplative prayer, teaching and reflection
  • contribute to the mission of the Centre through the ministry of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit
  • guide and develop our vision and ethos of the Centre ensuring that it is a place of stillness, inspiration, hospitality and welcome
  • manage the operation and programme of the Centre with Christian spirituality and education at its heart

The post is open to both lay and ordained applicants. It is salaried £33,820 FTE pro rata for 0.8FTE (4 days) £27,056 plus pension.
The closing date for receipt of applications is Monday 12th June 2023, with interviews to be held on Monday 10th July 2023.
Full details here:

Research Fellow (4-year fixed term)

in New Place for New People, Evangelism and Growth

Set in the beautiful Peak District in Derbyshire, Cliff College is a Methodist and evangelical learning community, rooted in God's Word and Spirit. The academic programmes of Cliff College seek to form and equip students for the practice and leadership of Christian mission and evangelism in contemporary contexts. Offering a range of recently renewed programmes of theological and practical study – both onside and online – the College continues to build on its heritage to establish its position as a global centre for evangelism and missiology.
Cliff College is seeking to invest in excellence in academic research into the challenges and opportunities of evangelism and mission in the contemporary context, particularly in the Methodist and Wesleyan tradition. Through an exciting part-funded collaboration with the New Places for New People initiative of the Methodist Church in Britain, the College is undertaking a 4-year research project helping to excavate learning about evangelism and growth from NPNP related pioneer projects, and the College's wider missional engagement. This 4-year Research Fellow post will be focused on delivering the NPNP research (50%), as well as contributing to the College's broader research, publication and teaching in evangelism and mission (50%).
The postholder will be a member of the community of research, scholarship and mission at Cliff College, as well as contributing to the Methodist Church in Britain's understanding and practice of evangelism and growth.

This exciting opportunity requires someone who:

  • is passionate about investigating and articulating new ways of understanding evangelism, mission and growth in the contemporary context
  • has completed, or is nearing completion of doctoral level research in the area of theology, practical theology or missiology
  • wants to further their experience in research for both the church and the academy
  • is able to contribute to a collaborative research environment, both at Cliff College and with the Methodist Church in Britain

Salary: £30,000 per annum (or stipend, terms and conditions for Methodist ministers)
Closing date: Monday 5th June 2023, 9am
Interviews: Friday 16th June 2023

All details can be found on our website here:

And finally ...

From the Methodist Prayer Handbook

Bless all those who I meet today and those who will give me some part of themselves; their love, their knowledge, their wisdom and their grace.
May I gladly receive the gifts of others today, letting my neighbours into my life and in doing so meet you, the God of all grace.
Shape me, Holy God, in and through my neighbours this day.
Surround us with your free and generous love.
Helen Cameron, Northampton District Chair

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