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District News – 31 August 2021

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This Week's News

Sad news

We were sorry to learn of the death of the Revd Bryan Stevens, a supernumerary minister in the Trinity Circuit. Please remember, Doreen, Frances and all of the family in your prayers.

Climate Change Relay.

Young people are walking through Sheffield in a Relay to COP26 to draw attention to the devastating effects of climate change. The Young Christian Climate Network have come together with local churches and Christian Aid to mobilise people across the country to highlight the effects of climate change on the world's poorest communities.

Support the Relay in Sheffield on 5th September at 3:30 – 5:00 at Sheffield Cathedral to watch the live stream of the All Nations' Climate Sunday service from Glasgow Cathedral. Or gather at 4:00 at St Mary's Bramall Lane to greet the Relay walkers as they arrive from Chesterfield. Chair of the District Gill Newton will be joining the relay at Bramall Lane and the walking to the Cathedral alongside other faith leaders and politicians.
More information can be found at and here's a video to explain more

Following the relay, a Welcome Service for the new Presbyters and Deacons to the Sheffield Circuit will take place at Victoria Hall at 6.30pm. All are welcome.

District Safeguarding Update

Advanced Safeguarding training

I'm please to say I am now in a position to deliver the Advanced Safeguarding Training module. Working with Rachel and Carla from the Learning network we have scheduled 11 ONLINE sessions for this Autumn.
Please follow this link to access the dates, times and booking information

I've had a number of people asking who exactly needs to do the Advanced Safeguarding training. Current guidance states people in the following role need to complete this course:

  • Church and Circuit Safeguarding officers
  • All presbyters or deacons with an active preaching or pastoral ministry (including supernumerary ministers)
  • Those who are in paid employment or a voluntary role which includes leadership within the
  • Methodist Church, involving direct work with children, young people or vulnerable adults
  • Lay persons who are appointed to exercise pastoral leadership within a local church
  • Local Preachers and Worship leaders
  • Those who deliver the Foundation Module
  • Those in recognised roles involving pioneering, fresh expressions or evangelism
  • Mentors for the Youth Participation Scheme

I know many people will sigh at the thought of doing more safeguarding training. Hopefully, the words of Bishop of Horsham, Mark Sowerby, may help people view safeguarding training as an extension of our love and responsibility for those around us and not simply as a box that needs ticking:
Throughout the year churches across the country open their doors to people of all ages, for services, weekday clubs and vital community projects. IICSA and survivor voices have rightly put our safeguarding practices under the spotlight.
As a Church we believe in the intrinsic value of training to facilitate culture change to promote the safety and welfare of everyone who access our churches.
The care and protection of children, young people and adults is an important part of our Christian ministry and therefore training is vital to ensure Church Officers understand their responsibilities. Everyone who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a safer church and this is underpinned by robust good quality training.
Training is not only about understanding practice guidance and procedures, it is about deepening our understanding and respect for children, young people, and vulnerable adults. We have learnt from other reviews and inquiries (the Australia Royal Commission for example) that when preventative measures are in place (i.e. people understand how to recognise concerns and where to report them) these were extremely effective at decreasing the prevalence of abuse.

As ever, 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.

Disciples Under Construction

Attention! God at work. Deputy Chair Sean Adair talks about being a Disciple of Christ as being an ongoing process, we are always under construction. Read Revd. Adairs blog to find out more, but how will you wear your metaphorical high-viz jacket and show God is at work within you?

Ministers pension deficit

The need to urgently inject more funding into the ministers pension scheme was discussed at Methodist Conference this summer. One-off contributions totalling £45m are being sought from churches, circuits and districts across the country this autumn. Further information (including recently updated FAQs) is available at It is widely recognised that this essential and unavoidable cost must be collectively borne alongside maintaining assessments and investing in new missional work, and that some churches and circuits presently hold very little by way of cash reserves. We are therefore reliant on every church council and circuit meeting considering carefully and responding generously.

GDPR Checklist

Today is the deadline for returning the GDPR checklist to the District Office. There still seems to be many churches and circuits where this has not been received. I would remind you that this requirement was first reported via the weekly news back in December 2020, with training sessions offered from February 2021.
All churches, circuits and districts are required to complete this, and while we are sympathetic for any who are struggling, I must remind you that failure to complete this could be seen as a breach of breach of Standing Orders (019) and a breach of trust and therefore reported to the Connexional Team.


Sounds of the Spirit

Monday 13th September, 7.30 pm at St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church:

An annual event of beautiful chanting and recitation from different faith traditions, arranged by the Shirley House Interfaith Centre as part of the Nether Edge Festival.
This year's event will include presentations of Qur'anic recitation, Hindu chanting and dancing, and Sacred Harp singing.
It may also be possible to live-stream or record the evening, so please contact Revd Gareth Jones at or on 0114 250 8251 if you would like the link, or for further information.

Learning Network update

September 2021, and newly emerged from what we hope will be the last of a series of Covid lockdowns. We find ourselves standing at the beginning of something new. We are living in a different world, which brings with it new challenges and new opportunities. Whilst acknowledging there will be many of us who have lost loved ones; whose lives are radically altered; who have faced down incredibly difficult times. But we face a new chapter; all we need to do now, with God's grace, is to read it.

Take a look at our newsletter, and what's on offer. Perhaps you will find something with which to kickstart your new journey.

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Passing Through – 21 & 25 September

Passing Through is an opportunity to come together, unhurriedly, and articulate experiences of 2020/ 21.

Sessions create space to simply 'be with' your reflections, as you discern what to take forward and what to leave behind. We hope they will enable you to embrace what is healthy and release unnecessary baggage.

They are facilitated by Jane Moffat, accredited master coach, using the principles of coaching to gently guide participants to a place of personal affirmation, wisdom and enhanced clarity. Opportunities for one-to-one support with Jane or a recognised Spiritual Accompanier will be available.
Full details, including how to book, can be found here: Passing Through

Job Vacancies

Missional Property Enabler (part time)

Sheffield Methodist District

Please share news of this important new employed district role with your contacts.
The missional property enabler will encourage, support, advise and equip our churches and circuits to make their properties fit for mission, as part of our strategy for resourcing mission: For Such A Time As This. Using excellent interpersonal skills, technical expertise, professional networks and understanding of contemporary Christian mission they will work with volunteers, lay staff and ordained ministers to:

  • Create welcoming community spaces
  • Reduce property burdens facing volunteers
  • Develop innovative models of premises management
  • Reduce our carbon footprint

Further details at

News from other Organisations

Action for Children

Craftivism to urge MPs to make children a priority

  • Are you passionate about social justice and would like to do something to ensure children can fulfil their potential?
  • Can you make a craft to make a point?

If so, we'd love to get you involved in our September craftivism campaign.

You would be helping us to urge your MPs to commit to making children a personal priority by sending them a handcrafted star.

We believe there's a star in every child.

When a child has the safe and happy childhood they deserve, their star shines brightly. But too many children in the UK right now don't have the chance to shine.
Their childhoods are overshadowed by poverty, abuse, neglect and poor mental health. And the pandemic has only made things worse..
Our elected politicians can change this.
Sign up and we'll send you information on how you can make a difference.

Methodist Women in Britain (MWIB)

A happy Methodist New Year to you all!
As we begin this year some women will be eager to embrace the future, others will tread more cautiously, and some will still feel vulnerable and anxious; yet we are all part of Methodist Women in Britain. We go forward cautiously, not knowing what the new year will bring, but we are ready to embrace the future, endeavouring to involve all. I am conscious that not all of us have found the last two years easy, but I have been heartened by the innovation and imagination of the districts in their use of Zoom, WhatsApp and Facebook to keep in touch and to host coffee morning chats, events and services. If you are hosting an event, please do ask for details to be put on the website so that others may join. Now that we are gradually beginning to move forward, you could invite friends round to join these Zoom meetings, to meet women from other districts and strengthen our
network of MWiB as well as meeting face to face.

You can read more about the work of MWiB in their newsletter here

Get In Touch
0114 270 9990 / 0114 430 0255

Sheffield District Office
Room 47, Victoria Hall Methodist Church
Norfolk Street
S1 2JB

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