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District News – 26 September 2023

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This Week's News

Derbyshire Farmers' Harvest Service

Sunday 1 October at 2:30pm

The Derbyshire Farmers' Harvest Service will be held at Bakewell Livestock Market on Sunday 1st October at 2.30pm. This year we are pleased to welcome David Gwatkin (an agricultural chaplain and 7th generation farmer from the Welsh Marches) as our guest speaker, Derbyshire poet Philip Holland and Bel Canto & St Anne's Church Choir from Baslow. If you are able to attend we would be very pleased to see you there.
We will be raising funds at the Harvest Service for farming support charities the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and the Derbyshire Rural Chaplaincy's Welfare Fund.

Stepping out – District Gathering

We have updated the District Gathering page to add in the slides from Jeff Conklin-Millar and Ali Johnson's workshops. There is also a link to the Growing Good toolkit and a short video presentation.

Hospitality and Sanctuary for All

What does it mean to offer hospitality and sanctuary to the stranger? Never has this been a more pertinent topic as a growing number of people are displaced around the world due to war, persecution, natural disasters and climate change.
Inderjit writes: My understanding of hospitality is expanded by sanctuary, a deeply spiritual concept centred on mutuality, solidarity, protection and safety. It's about shared human warmth and shelter, dwelling together without fear of oppression or harm.
Inderjit is a Methodist Minister working continuously to develop the idea of Sanctuary from the beginnings of the Sanctuary Movement when Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary and beyond. He invites us to join him in this work.
Click here to book: or call 01761 433 709.

Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund

A new fund which will help young adults – aged 18 to 35 – to experience ecumenism outside England is now open for applications. This experience can be study, pilgrimage, volunteering, or any activity that promotes church unity.
The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund has been set up by Churches Together in England and the Snelson family in memory of Bill Snelson. A dedicated ecumenist, he was General Secretary of Churches Together England (CTE) from 1997 to 2008.
Applications for The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund need to be submitted by 31 October 2023. The fund will then open for the next round of applications in early 2024. Across these two rounds, there is approximately £6,000 available. There are no minimum or maximum amounts for which one can apply. However, the decision-making panel are keen to fund as wide a range of opportunities as possible with the budget available to them.
More information including how to apply can be found here:

CTE at The Hayes

Paul King, our Derbyshire Ecumenical Officer, recently attended the Churches Together in England conference at The Hayes, Swanwick.
He has written a short report about the experience, from taking the "audacious step of offering a contribution to the programme from Christians Together for Chesterfield," to some of the highlights, including a presentation from Revd Ian Rutherford, who some may recall was a probationer in the Doncaster circuit.
You can read the full report here: CTE at The Hayes

Request for used Laptops and Tablets

Rev'd Dr Jonathan Gichaara is asking for donations of unused and unwanted laptops and tablets (in full working order). These will be taken to Kenya for use by Kenyan students to assist in their education.
Preferably any data should be wiped clean in order they are ready to use. If you have a donation to make, please contact Rev'd Jonathan directly –

Support Mencap this Christmas?

Would your church be interested in supporting Mencap this Christmas as your chosen charity?
Right now, people with a learning disability face inequality in every area of life. With your fundraising support we can make the UK the best place in the world for people with a learning disability.

Here are some simple ways we could fundraise together

  • Donate a percentage of ticket sales
  • Bucket collections
  • Organise a Christmas raffle
  • Refreshment stall donations

For more information please contact Beth Wright
or call 07929 710500

District Office updates

Warm Spaces – Possible Grant Funding

The news agenda moves on, but for the significant number of people within our society who struggle to afford basic necessities, inflation continues to push prices upwards and support networks are stretched thinner and thinner. And chronic loneliness and isolation remains. Last winter as a district we supported 41 churches offering welcoming warm community spaces. Many of these are planning to continue this ministry in some form.
If your church is planning to offer a warm space or similar activity through this winter, we MAY be able to access some external funding towards your costs. Contact Neil Harland this week or next if you want to be included in this. Please do also contact your local councillors, as several councils are preparing to support grassroots community organisations.
Key feedback from experiences of churches across our district last winter is summarised here

Safeguarding News

The Safeguarding audit results showed that churches are not always adhering to Safer Recruitment principles. As a result we have set up two bespoke sessions

Session 1: Tuesday 3rd October, starting at 7.30pm -- Principles of Safer Recruitment:

  • What does the phrase mean and why do we need it?
  • Who, at local level, is responsible for what?
  • Understanding the Connexional Safer Recruitment Policy

Target audience:

  • Church and Circuit Safeguarding Officers
  • Church and Circuit Stewards

Registration link:

Session 2: Thursday 26th October, starting at 7.30pm -- Safer Recruitment: Process and Paperwork
Target audience:

  • Church and Circuit Safeguarding Officers
  • Church and Circuit Group Leaders

Registration link:

Advanced Module training

There are again two ways in which those who are required to do the Advanced Module training, which should be redone every four years. Please register for either Online or Face-to-Face, not for both!

Online Training

  • E-learning (units 1-5a) – approximately 4 to 7 hours which can be completed in smaller sections. Alongside the e-learning, participants complete a Workbook which they then take to the Gathered session. You will be given a link to access this training, which much be completed before attending the Gathered session. This is sent out after registration has closed for the Gathered session
  • Gathered Session (Unit 5b) – a 2 hour facilitated session to consolidate learning from Advanced Module (online) e-learning. This session is held on Zoom.

Dates of the Advance Module Online Gathered sessions
Sessions will run from 10am – 12 noon or 7pm-9pm

  • Wednesday 6 December – hosted by Sheffield
  • Thursday 25 January 2024 – hosted by Sheffield
  • Wednesday 21 February 2024 – hosted by Sheffield
  • Tuesday 5 March 2024 – hosted by Sheffield
  • Wednesday 4 June 2024 – hosted by Yorkshire North and East
  • Thursday 20 June 2024 – hosted by Yorkshire North and East

Use this link to register for your preferred date and time:

Face-to-face Training

  • Preparing the Ground – Unit 1a (up to 1 hour 30 minutes) – completed prior to the formal taught session, and brought along to the core learning.
  • Core Learning (Units 1b-5) – minimum of 4 hours taught

Sessions will run from 10am – 3pm (including a lunch break)

  • Saturday 27 April – Broom Methodist Church (Rotherham & Dearne Valley Circuit)
  • Wednesday 8 May – Chapeltown Methodist Church (Sheffield Circuit)
  • Saturday 15 June – Peak Circuit (venue to be confirmed)
  • Wednesday 3 July – Bolsover Methodist Church (Derbyshire North East Circuit)

Use this link to register for your preferred date and time:

Please do book early.


How to talk about asylum? A justice seekers conversation

7pm Wednesday 4 October on Zoom

We will attempt to find answers to common and challenging questions together, and explore how we can better bear witness to the reality, complexity and humanity of asylum, in our churches and as Christians in our world. With Tom Martin, Director of City of Sanctuary Sheffield, and Rev Inderjit Bhogal, founder of the Church of Sanctuary and City of Sanctuary movements. Whether you are actively involved in supporting asylum seekers, or have questions that you have never dared to ask in church, you will be welcome in this Zoom conversation.
Further details and registration see

Positively Rural – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in a Rural Context

Thursday 5 October April at 10:30am God for All: Rural Churches for All.

How do rural churches engage with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work?
Rev Jill Marsh (Inclusive Church Officer for the Methodist Church) will be with us to think about these questions as we aim to reflect God's inclusive love for all people in our own local communities.
As usual, there will be space to discuss the issues raised in smaller groups.
Register here:
Bookings close 3 days beforehand
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.

New Christian communities gathering

12:30pm Saturday 11 November

An afternoon for anyone who is involved in leading (in any capacity), or preparing to lead, a new Christian community to spend quality time with others who are following similar callings in other places across or affiliated to Sheffield Methodist District.
We will be joined by Rev Anthony Clowes, Church Planting Officer for Manchester & Stockport District. Anthony will explore with us lessons from the Joshua Centre's starting of 30 new congregations within Liverpool's Church of England Diocese.
Lunch and hospitality provided by Gleadless Valley Methodists.
Contact Neil Harland for more details.
Please register so we know how many to cater for

And Finally ...

From the Methodist Prayer Handbook

Gracious and loving God,
we thank you for those treasures we have from you -
the gifts of different resources, wisdom, understanding and compassion.

Encourage us to be willing to share those gifts and not to hide them away.
As we journey through this connexional year
help us to be truly present in the light and dark of our own lives
so that we can encounter your presence with us.

Through our personal experiences and discipleship
may we also be willing to share the light and darkness
of those we are called to serve in our different communities.

We pray in the name of Christ. Amen

Get In Touch
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Norfolk Street
S1 2JB

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