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District News – 30 March 2021

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This Week's News

Advance Notice – Representative Synod

The Spring Synod will be taking place on Saturday 24 April, starting at 9:30am. It will again be held via Zoom and all who wish to attend must register for this by Friday 16 April. The link to register is:
If you know someone who would like to join via phone, please ask them to contact Katrin in the District Office, who can arrange this for them. We may not allow unknown phone numbers to join Synod.
This Synod will be chaired by the Revd Sean Adair who is acting Chair while the Revd Gill Newton is on sabbatical.

Zooming update

A few weeks ago we asked for information about the use of Zoom by churches and circuits. This was to enable the District to bid for a number of licences from the Methodist Church. These will cost £72 for the year from September (and will be free from now until then). Since then, the contract has started and all the initial licences have been allocated. We have been able to request a few more, so if you have not already requested one via your Circuit please get in touch as soon as possible as they are allocated on a first-come, first served basis.

Year of Prayer

A few weeks ago the service was led by the Revd Margaret Mwailu, our Synod secretary and presbyter in the Derbyshire North East circuit. Today it was led by Revd Sean Adair, Superintendent of the Derbyshire North East Circuit, minister of Chesterfield Central Methodist Church, and Deputy Chair of the Sheffield District. More information about the Year of Prayer can be found here and you can watch again (or for the first time) here

Look up

Matt Beckingham, founder of the National Methodist Choir of Great Britain and Worship Leader at Sprotborough in the Doncaster Circuit, is releasing his first single – Look Up. The song expresses the hope, that even in the darkest times, there is still light, and it will not be overcome. A short clip can be heard on YouTube. It will be available to stream and download from 4 April.

MHA Sunday 13 June 2021 – relieving isolation and bringing hope

By holding your own MHA Sunday service on 13 June 2021, you'll be joining thousands of churches across Britain in raising awareness of MHA, praying for people in later life and those who support them, and kindly donating to support our charity MHA.

The theme for MHA Sunday 2021 is 'relieving isolation and bringing hope', inspired by the book of Mark 5:1-20, which is also the theme of Bible Month. Free downloadable resources and details of a webinar explaining more about MHA Sunday can be found at

12 Steps Spirituality : What the Church can learn from addicts

The Newcastle District and the Wesley Study Centre, Durham have launched this exciting Conference to be held on May 8th exploring the treasures found in the 12 Step Recovery Programme and those who use it and what we can learn from them as individuals and the Church. Speakers include comedian and author Russell Brand and Methodist Director of Evangelism & Growth Trey Hall. Booking by Eventbrite only, places limited.


Stocksbridge Christian Centre

As an act of remembrance, we have been tying ribbons to the long railing in front of the church to remember individually each person who has died during the pandemic whom we know or is known to a member of the local community. These ribbons will remain up until we are able to host a Community Service of Remembrance in the summer. Ribbons will be distributed to anyone attending Easter morning service.
What is your church doing? Do share!

Gifts outside the Box

10-16 May

A week of online events to discern how we can use our gifts from God to serve others in safe and gracious ways. Organised by the Yorkshire North and East, Yorkshire West, Sheffield, Darlington, and Newcastle Districts.
Join us for any or all of these sessions, booking required. Book for the sessions you are interested here:
Registration deadline: Monday 3rd May'

The Gift of Community

When: 10 May, 7-8.30 pm
Who: Deacon Tracey Hume (Community Engagement Enabler)
What: How is the church reaching out into community situations in different ways? How has this changed over the last year because of Covid19? How can we safely engage with the community? How do we include the digitally poor and those on the margins of church?

The Gift of Empathy

When: 11 May, 1.30-3 pm
Who: Deacon Eunice Attwood (Church at the Margins Officer)
What: Walking with people of all ages who have experienced loss (bereavement, health, jobs etc). How can we empathise with people without getting drawn in too deep? How to have good boundaries in pastoral practice.

The Gift of Place

When: 12 May, 10-11.30 am
Who: Revd Richard Teal (President of the Conference)
What: What does a sacred place look like now? Are changes to sacred spaces still safe places? How do people find a sense of place between the physical and online? How do we broaden our definition of what "church" looks like?

The Gift of Confidence

When: 13 May, 7-8.30 pm
Who: Phoebe Parkin (Youth President) and Lynne Norman (Children, Youth & Families Officer)
What: How do we learn to live with uncertainty and the anxiety it brings? How do we encourage confidence and resilience in times of uncertainty? Children and young people, and many others, can face uncertainty about jobs, housing, exams, and university – how can we offer support in a safe way?

The Gift of Resilience

When: 14 May, 10-11.30 am
Who: Revd Michaela Youngson (Chair of the London District)
What: How we nurture our own resilence in order to support others. Can we use creativity to help ourselves help others?

The Gift of Togetherness

When: 15 May, 10-11.30 am
Who: The District Safeguarding Officers
What: Drop-in and chat. Ministers, circuit safeguarding officers and church safeguarding reps can drop in and chat with others in a similar role from around the region.

The Gift of Peace

(no booking required)
When: Sunday, 16 May Who: Revd Stephen Lindridge (Chair of the Newcastle District)
What: online worship, pre-recorded and available on YouTube in advance for all to join with or use locally

12 Steps Spirituality : What the Church can learn from addicts

Saturday 8 May

The Newcastle District and the Wesley Study Centre, Durham have launched this exciting Conference to be held on May 8th exploring the treasures found in the 12 Step Recovery Programme and those who use it and what we can learn from them as individuals and the Church. Speakers include comedian and author Russell Brand and Methodist Director of Evangelism & Growth Trey Hall.Booking by Eventbrite only, places limited.

Training and Learning Opportunities

Ideas Exchange for anybody involved in ministry with 11-25 year olds

Thursday 15 April, 10.30-12.00

This gathering for Youth Workers, and others involved in ministry with young people, will be a chance to share challenges and reflections, resources and ideas. Members of the Connexional team will also be present to share initiatives and suggestions. The gathering will use the four areas of 'Our Calling' to look at ideas for worship, learning and caring, service, and evangelism with young people. The time will be interactive, with a chance for conversation, sharing and some activities. This will be a brilliant opportunity to meet others in roles similar to your own and pool ideas and perspectives. We'd love to see you there!
Register here:

School Chaplaincy Course

Christians & Sheffield Schools (CASS), The Diocese of Sheffield and The Methodist Church run a training course for those interested in school chaplaincy. The programme will include: understanding chaplaincy; school expectations and boundaries; children & spirituality (SMSC); characteristics of Generation Z; chaplaincy in a multi-faith setting; safeguarding; mental health; loss and bereavement and identity matters.
The course will run online on 29th April, 12th May, 13th May, 26th May, 9th June & 23rd June from 9:30am -12noon and (hopefully)will meet in person on 1st July , from 10am – 3pm .
Hosted by Fiona Walton & Rachel McCallam with many guest expert voices contributing.
Cost is £50 and booking is essential. For more information visit
The District L&D group may be able to offer a grant towards the cost of attendings

Bible Month

Bible Month will soon be here! This year we will be focussing on the Gospel of Mark, which is also the Gospel we are following in the lectionary. With this is mind the Learning Network have created a year-long worth of opportunities to engage with Mark.

To find out more are about Bible Month and the resources available visit the Methodist Church website:
To find out more about events and how to book onto them visit:

Tackling bullying, changing culture and enabling positive relationships':

A series of webinars from the Methodist Church

They are designed for all church leaders with the Methodist Church and any other members and officers who are interested in how we can continue our journey of making churches and church work safer for everyone involved.

Webinar 1: Tackling Bullying, Changing Culture, Enabling Positive Relationships

April 20th 11.00-12.30
Within the church we believe that everyone should be enabled to flourish, to become the people whom God created them to be. Promoting positive working relationships is a key part of enabling individuals and communities to flourish and culture to change. The webinar will offer practical ways in which to tackle bullying, change culture and enable positive relationships.

Webinar 2: Reconciling communities: living well with difference

May 13 11.00-12.30
Change, disagreement and conflict is a part of everyday church life. This interactive webinar invites you to look at disagreements in a new light, seeing them as an opportunity for creativity, community-building and conflict transformation. You will experience an online facilitated conversation and find out more about the exciting new reconciliation and mediation pilot project being run in partnership with Place for Hope.

Webinar 3: Addressing Bullying through Justice, Dignity and Solidarity

Jun 17 11:00 – 12.30pm
In this webinar we explore the relationship between bullying, discrimination and exclusion. Panellists will examine the intersectionality between individual, institutional and structural forms of discrimination and the role each may play in bullying. The importance of creating a supportive environment in which trust and confidence is achieved is critical to ensuring that no one suffers in silence. This webinar will present a range of inter-related approaches to tackling bullying, discrimination and exclusion, through a range of options offered by the Methodist strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity.

Methodist News

Coronavirus Guidance for Property

Update 30 March 2021

The government has updated the Safe Use of Places of Worship to include details of how restrictions will be lifted for churches. Visit the site for full details:

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