We were very sorry to learn of the death of the Revd David Griffiths, a supernumerary minister living in the Derbyshire North East Circuit. David died on Monday, April 24th. We continue to hold Sylvia, their sons, Chris and Phil, and all the family in our prayers.
David's funeral will be at Central Methodist Church on Monday, May 15th, at 1:15pm, following a service of Committal and Commendation at Chesterfield Crematorium at 12:30pm.
The service will also be live-streamed on YouTube: https://youtube.com/live/CES6c6YlFiw?feature=share
We give thanks for David and celebrate his ministry, whilst praying for his family at this time.
We are also very sorry to learn of the death of Deacon David Clark, a retired deacon living in the Peak Circuit. We hold Sue and the family in our prayers at this time.
A one day summit to gather leaders together to be equipped, refreshed and pray together for their shared mission in their towns and cities.
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
Did you visit the MHA stand during the District Gathering? You may have already picked up resources for this.
Join MHA, the UK's largest charity care provider, on Sunday June 11 (or any other date to suit your calendar) to hear about MHA, pray for them and find out how to support them.
Everything you need for a service is provided: prayers, hymns, video, a quiz, and sermon. You can also order gift aid envelopes, download ideas for fundraising activities, and even for a primary school assembly.
On 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: https://www.church-poverty.org.uk/dignityconference/.
The conference will offer a really practical opportunity to engage with others who are passionate about working to tackle poverty in their communities, and looking for ways of working together which empower communities and rebalance power structures. Given your work with Church at the Margins in Sheffield, we thought this might be an opportunity for yourself or others in your community to come along, be resourced and create new networks. The conference will draw together people with lived experience of poverty as well as church activists, so it could be an opportunity for a group from your community to come along. There are different ticketing options for the conference, including a free option for anyone who needs it to attend.
On May 11th, there will be leadership learning day for anyone who is curious to know a bit more about leadership in the Church and reflect with others. The event will be held onsite at Cliff College (£30 including lunch and refreshments) but you can join by zoom and engage with others online in breakout groups following the keynotes and panels (£15).
We hope that you will attend and encourage others in your staff teams, church, circuit and district leadership teams to engage and use the input to stimulate ongoing conversations.
All our speakers are working in a Methodist context and are lay and ordained practitioners from across the connexion. We have also also invited some of those who are studying or have recently completed postgraduate research in leadership as students at Cliff College and the Queen's Foundation to share some of their findings with us.
If you are travelling a distance and wish to stay at Cliff College the night before there is an option to book accommodation on the same Eventbrite page.
The South Yorkshire UCAN (UK Church Administrators Network) group are organising a breakfast gathering at All Saints Church, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. This will be open to anyone who is involved in administration within the church setting. By starting early, it is hoped it won't impact too much on your working day, but will be an opportunity to learn more about the work of UCAN and to offer each other support and encouragement.
Find out more, and book your place here: https://ucan.churchsuite.com/events/tln1lcfk
Cliff Festival 2023 will explore significant garden encounters in Scripture – from the garden of Eden at the very start of the Bible to the tree of life and the restoration of all things in the book of Revelation. We'll be considering what it means to live in and witness to the kingdom of God in our messy world which will one day be fully restored to its created glory, and reflecting on the meaning of our stewardship of the earth and how we can honour God as we look after his creation. Come and encounter God in the Cliff garden with us at Festival 2023.
Book your place here: https://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/cliff-festival/cliff-festival-2023-eden/booking-2023
Lost, Found, Reclaimed -Over time things change – but is that always for good?
There are still some places available on the Lay Employee retreat – open to all who are employed within the Methodist Church in our region.
Why go on a retreat?
It is not quite like a holiday, but it is a break from usual work. Going on a retreat will help to re-energise you, and give you space to think creatively, and time to reflect.
In this retreat we will be exploring some of the things that have been lost; what might we want to reclaim or rediscover; but also what new things have we found that aid our work.
Register link: https://20230605LayRetreat.eventbrite.co.uk before 25 May (places are limited, especially if you want an en-suite room!)
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.
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:
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: https://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/news-events/research-fellow
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:
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: https://www.whirlowspiritualitycentre.org/blog/newchaplain
Lord of all our years,
whose grace stay alongside us amidst our grey hairs,
continue to guide our steps as we journey onwards.
May your Spirit encourage us to share what we have discovered and learnt in our long lives.
Let the resources we have found not be ignored or neglected,
but shared in the community and ministry of your people.
May we continue to play our part in that community of all believersunto our life's end.
In the name of the Christ, who ever beckons us onwards, we pray.
Graham Hawley, supernumerary presbyter United Stockport Circuit