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District News – 5 December 2023

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This Week's News

Out of the Ordinary – Our Advent Journey

As we journey through Advent we are looking at how God's extraordinary love can transform our ordinary lives.

  • Look at the people around you, where do you notice the divine shining back at you?
  • Look at the world around you, where do you see glimmers of the divine?
  • Look at yourself, where do you see the divine reflected back at you?

Each Sunday in Advent we will be sharing a reflection and/or a prayer about the theme out of the ordinary theme. We will share them on the district website and on social media. Share them with your friends, family and anyone who you think needs to hear the message of hope this Christmas.

Deputy District Chair, Julie Coates is the first to share her reflections and a prayer for Advent Sunday.
Follow all the stories here:

Fun for all in the Peak Circuit

On November 25th a group of Bamford villagers organised a Christmas Market to provide funds for new equipment for the Recreation Ground play area. Stalls were set up in the car parks of the 'Anglers' Rest' which is celebrating ten years of community ownership this year.
As the 'Anglers' is directly opposite the Methodist Church in Bamford, we decided to help out by providing facilities, staffing and equipment for a LEGO DAY.
Tall, wide, fragile, intricate and interesting models were made and a good time was had by all – including some adults who were deep in concentration 'helping' their offspring and enjoying every minute of their excuse to play Lego! Even two well- behaved dogs came along-- but purely to watch, you understand!
With a congregation mainly of folks of advancing years it becomes increasingly important to build up links with young families in the community and this event gave us an excellent opportunity to do just that.
The switching on of the village Christmas lights followed, mulled wine was served , the Chapel cross shone out brightly, and Father Christmas came along to join in the fun.
New friends were made and a happy (if tiring day for some!) time was
enjoyed by people of all ages.


Our news item last week prompted the Sheffield Circuit office to get in touch. They provide storage space for the Sheffield Shoebox Appeal which provides around 2,800 boxes to vulnerable people in Sheffield, they also proved around 500 Mother's Day bags for women in Sheffield. Contact Heather Rotherham in the Sheffield Circuit Office ( if you are interested in finding out more about this work.

Call for Advent candle to remain unlit for peace

To remember all those who have died in the Israel/Palestine conflict, Methodist churches across the country are being called upon to leave their second Advent candle unlit this year.
The call not to light the candle, which represents peace, on the second Sunday in Advent (10 December) and on subsequent Sundays, follows the news that celebrations to mark Christmas in the Holy Land will be subdued this year.
Churches who participate are invited to take a photo of their Advent Ring on Christmas Day with the second candle unlit to be shared with local church communities in the Holy Land.
More details here:

British Methodist Choral Society

The British Methodist Choral Society, (formerly British Methodist Youth Choir) are holding a concert weekend at Hucknall Central Methodist Church in the Nottingham North East circuit from the 2-4th February 2024.
They are looking for anyone who would like to sing with them on the Friday evening and rehearse, also rehearsing on Saturday morning and afternoon, with a concert on Saturday evening, and then sharing in worship on Sunday morning.
If anyone would like to sing, or for more information, please could they email Judith Laycock (administrator) as soon as possible to

District Office news

Safeguarding Update

The Safeguarding section on the District Website has been updated to include information on Safer Recruitment. This includes the two training sessions held on Safer Recruitment Principles and Process and Paperwork.
As always, 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

Statistics for Mission/Annual Return

A reminder that the data entry site ( ) is now open for data collection and will remain open until the end of January. This is also a good time to check that the office holder information listed is still up to date.

You can also find the Annual Returns section on this site. Some significant changes have been made to help make it more efficient and relevant to the current needs of the wider Church. It is still possible to download the checklist – but please do not send a copy of this into the District Office.


Climate Justice Coalition – Day of Action

Saturday 9 December at 12 noon

There will be a rally and march in Sheffield on 9 December as part of the Climate Justice Coalition's Day of Action linked to COP28. Gather with Banners and the Samba Band at Devonshire Green at noon for speeches and songs then march via Fitzwiliam Street and Charter Row to City Hall for further speeches and music. Inderjit Bhogal is one of the invited speakers. Please come and join our Sheffield Methodists for Justice and Peace flag.

Christmas Praise in the City

7pm on 7th December at Victoria Hall in Sheffield

Join Cliff College, The Foundry, Victoria Hall and the Methodist Church in Sheffield for an evening of Christmas carols, a short message and refreshments. We'll come together at 7pm on Thursday 7 December at Victoria Hall in Sheffield, in the heart of the city, to worship and hear the Christmas message again. 
Admission is free but it will help us with numbers for refreshments if you can register in advance using this link:

Christmas Coffee Morning – Hathersage

Saturday 9 December – 10am

All are welcome to drop in to this Coffee Morning and Christmas Crafts session at Hathersage Methodist Church in Derbyshire on 9 December. Pop in for hot chocolate or fairtrade coffee, enjoy some home-made cake, and browse the Christmas crafts and plants on sale. There will also be a range of free craft activities for all the family, based around recycled materials. The environmental theme is deliberate as this event is raising money for insulation and solar panels for the church building; and there will be a chance to look at displays about the church's eco-project.

Whirlow Spirituality Centre – Quiet Day

Tuesday 12 December – 9:45-3:30

Led by Becky Farrell, this Simple Quiet Day in the run up to Christmas will reflect on the themes of meekness and majesty both within the Trinity and within ourselves.

Participants will need to bring their own packed lunch, hot drinks and biscuits will be provided. Book your place here

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 3 days beforehand.

Positively Rural is an online community hosted by the Methodist Church, but open to anyone of any denomination involved in rural ministry, including volunteers, lay workers and clergy.

Getting Started Online – District Digital Training Day

You are invited to Getting Started Online, our District Digital Training Day, Saturday 27th January 2024, 10am until 4pm.
We will be exploring Digital Evangelism, developing a digital strategy, encouraging engagement online, branding and visual identity, how to build a content plan and roles and responsibilities.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day.
Book your place today

Retreat for Presbyters, Deacons and Lay Employees

Abba Amma: Improvisations on the Lord's Prayer

with Nicola Slee at Wydale Hall from 7-9 May.

The Lord's Prayer, or the Our Father, is a prayer text and practice that unites Christians worldwide and puts us in touch with Jesus and Christians throughout the ages. People of other faiths and traditions are also drawn to this prayer. But how do we pray this prayer today, in light of our growing awareness of the dangers of patriarchal and monarchical language and thinking? On this retreat, Nicola Slee will share something of her own journey with the Lord's Prayer and suggest that we are called, not so much to repeat the prayer unvaryingly, as to live in its pattern and improvise around it to find our own authentic way of praying.
Space is limited so do register early:


  • Do You Have a Heart for Christian Mission?
  • Are You Interested in Helping Churches Make Best Use of how they communicate?

The Yorkshire Synod of the United Reformed Church is seeking a


to enable the development of Church Mission through the use of its traditional and social media.
Based predominantly from home, we are looking for someone whose excellent communication skills and understanding of church matters will help to lead, develop and maintain channels of missional communication from the Synod as well as supporting churches with relevant advice as they continue their developing digital based mission.
This is a fixed 2-year part-time role (14 hours per week including occasional evenings and weekends).Salary £25,000 to £28,000 pro rata
Application pack available from the Synod website at or via the Synod
Closing Date for applications 8th December 2023

And finally ...

Message from Rev'd Gill Newton

As some of you may be aware, my appointment as the Sheffield District Chair is due to conclude in August 2025. That means that my appointment must be reviewed over the next few months ahead of the Spring Synod 2024 at which any necessary recommendations regarding the future would need to be made.
As you may imagine, I have been giving this matter a great deal of thought and prayer.
I have concluded that in August 2025 it will be time for me to move on from this role and for the district to benefit from fresh leadership. It will also allow me to serve the church in a different way for the final years of my active ministry, a way that hopefully will become clear between now and August 2025!!
Margaret Mwailu, Synod Secretary is liaising with the Conference Office about the process that needs to be followed. I hope that you will join me in praying for Margaret and all those who will be involved in managing that process.
It has been my joy and privilege to serve the district in this way and I look forward to returning to the role for one more year at the end of this Presidential year. In some ways it feels strange having to make this decision so soon, but it is necessary, in order that the required processes can all be completed in time.
With my continued thanks and prayers for you all,

Get In Touch
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