From the Vicar October 2018

Welcome to the October edition of ‘From the Vicar’ and my introduction to All Saints-Tide. Hopefully very soon we will be able to say a strong welcome to everyone who passes by All Saints.  Following the very successful pilot signage outside the halls, I am delighted to report that we have now finalised the design of the new signage to be sited at the entrances to the church.  We are in the process of applying for permission to install the new signs and hope to have them in position for Christmas or early in the New Year. Every day I rejoice that we are called ‘All Saints’.  Our very name reminds me of our calling to be a vibrant, missional and multi-generation Christian family. Our new signage will only serve to underline who we are, and will strengthen our welcome to all people. It is also a wonderful reminder that we stand on the shoulders of all the generations of Saints who have gone before us in the faith.

The New Testament makes regular references to the ‘glorious inheritance of the saints’ and to the ‘great crowd of witnesses surrounding us’.  While in the communion service we often pray ‘Bring us at the last with all the saints to the vision of that eternal splendour for which you have created us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, by whom, with whom, and in whom, with all who stand before you in earth and heaven…’

At All Saints we begin October with Vision Sunday when we think about our church family finances for the year to come. This year our theme is ‘Faith in God, Faith in the Church Family and Faith in the Future. We have much cause to give thanks to God as ‘the one who calls us is faithful’. This year our finances have been very stable.  For 2019 we need to pick up the momentum or we will all too easily start slipping backwards.  For 2019 we have a real challenge to increase our giving by £30,000.   Please set aside time to read and to pray though the stewardship brochure before completing the ‘commitment page’.  Every new or increased pledge would make a real difference.  This year I am asking myself and all of us to be especially generous.

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October traditionally ends with ‘All Saints or All Hallowed Ones Eve’ on 31 October before All Saints Day on 1 November– which is effectively our Patronal Festival Day or Church Family Birthday. In most years 1 November clashes with the school half term, when many families are away and grandparents are travelling to other parts of the country to look after grandchildren.  This means that All Saints Day often passes by without proper celebration.

This year we are holding ‘All Saints-Tide’ from Sunday 28 October to Sunday 4 November.   The eight days will include:

  • ·         The installation of Alistair Stevenson as Associate Vicar of All Saints at 6pm on Sunday 28 October

  • ·         Gift Days for the BIG CHURCH WEEKEND AWAY

  • ·         The Light Party for 0-11 year olds from 4.15pm on Wednesday 31 October

  • ·         Commitment Sunday on Sunday 4 November

Having successfully completed his training, Alistair will be made Associate Vicar (0.5) of All Saints on Sunday 28 October prior to being commissioned in November to go with a small team to resource the mission of St Gabriel’s Greystones. We are hoping that Alistair will become Vicar of St Gabriel’s shortly before Advent – at a date to be agreed with the Bishop of Sheffield.  We will keep you updated on this. But in the meantime please would you put 6pm on 28 October in your diary.  It will be a very special time of expressing our appreciation and praying for Alistair’s continuing ministry at All Saints.  The service will be followed by a cake and something fizzy to drink.

Looking further ahead bookings are going really well for the Big Church Weekend Away from 25-27 January 2019. Over 200 people have booked and lots of people have said that they are going to book; so if you are thinking about booking, please do so ASAP. At this stage we have raised about a third of the cost of the weekend – so the All Saint-tide Gift Days will be a very important time to think and pray about what you can donate towards the overall cost of the weekend.  Here I am really keen to encourage those who are not able to come on the weekend to be particularly generous in supporting young families in particular to join us.

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The Big Church Weekend will be followed very quickly by Beth Keith’s Licencing as Associate Vicar on Wednesday 30 January 2019. I am delighted that Beth and her family will be joining us on the Big Church Weekend – it will be a wonderful opportunity to get to know them as well as many other new members of the Church Family.

Happy All Saints-Tide

Gary Wilton,


Spinning A Web Of Unity

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Having toured Rome last year to strengthen Anglican/Catholic relations, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s cricket team has had a focus on interfaith relations in 2018. On July 6th a combined xi made up of Anglicans and Catholic cricketers faced a multi faith team at Lord’s with cricketers from of Sikh, Jewish and Muslim faiths. At the end of August, the team were part of a two day interfaith festival playing against a Jewish, Skih and Afghan refugee team in North London.

A tournament was devised of lots of different 20twenty games. Unfortunately the Sikh team were unable to get a team together, so on the first day the Archbishop’s xi played two games against Maccabi Vale xi – a Jewish team in North London. The games were hard fought with Maccabi winning the first game batting first, hitting 141-4. We fell just short reaching 134- 3. However, in the second game, a century from the late arriving Sam Rylands, an ordinand at Trinity, Bristol, meant we reached 175-5. Maccabi could only muster 130-7. On a personal note, I bowled the last over and almost got a hat trick, taking two wickets and a run out off the last three balls of the game.

A highlight of the day, came during an evening of interfaith dialogue, fueled generously by Maccabi Vale. The Revd Chris Kennedy (ABC XI captain) hosted a discussion that involved Rabbi Nicki Liss (Highgate Synagogue), Esmond Rosen (Barnet Interfaith forum), the Revd Laurence Hillel (London Inter Faith Centre), and David Hampshire (Inter Faith Network UK).

Revd Kennedy asked, how can we truly love one another whilst acknowledging and cherishing our differences? Many answers were given, but Mr Hampshire argued that sport provided the perfect opportunity for camaraderie and friendship, uniting people with differences through a common passion. Mr Rosen concluded by arguing that, as all religions share a goal of peace, joint action to bless the whole community was the best way to promote interfaith understanding.

On the second day we were immensely privileged to play against a team made of Afghan refugees. This is a team that was set up by the refugee council and is based in Croydon, South London. The team is made up of boys aged 14-18 who clearly had a huge passion for cricket. The boys lived with foster families and spent their days in school before meeting every afternoon for training and practice. Their enthusiasm was inspirational. When we mentioned Rashid Khan – a young Afghan spinner who has burst onto the international cricket scene – you could see that he was their complete inspiration. They were also very good at cricket. When they batted, they played with reckless abandon, running like whippets between the wickets. They bowled with pace and control. I was umpiring for the first over of our innings – their opening bowler delivered one of the best balls I have seen live – swinging into the batsman, pitching on middle stump before curving away to hit the top of off stump. The batsman just stood there perplexed! It was a wonderful game of cricket – the refugee team hit 144-6, beating us by 7 runs as we dragged our way to 137-4.

This was a game of cricket you really didn’t mind losing. We gave the boys a lift back to the station after the game and were able to hear some of the moving stories of their lives. The refugee cricket project-leader, Antonia Cohen, explained: “Cricket has provided a significant number of our individuals with many benefits and opportunities. The warmth and respect with which they are often welcomed on the cricket pitch, where they are seen as players rather than refugees, means an enormous amount to them. At the same time, playing cricket has provided an almost unique opportunity to introduce them to the diversity of the UK and its communities.”

As a team we have endeavored to raise £2000 to support the project by buying equipment for them to use. All Saints have given a donation but if you would like to support the cause personally you can donate here:

The festival having finished, our tour ended on a very different note. The first captain of the Archbishop’s xi is now the chaplain at Eton College. On the final day we were invited to Morning Prayer in the chapel and dinner in the evening. In the day we were given a tour around St George’s chapel at Windsor before playing the Royal Household xi in the grounds of Windsor castle. A fantastic setting – although I was disappointed with tea, I did expect some smoked salmon. A cracking game of cricket ensued with us needing 3 runs off the final ball. Unfortunately, we could only hit a single and so lost by 1 run.

Like last year, under the guise of playing cricket, it was a wonderful opportunity to forge friendships with different people from lots of different backgrounds. It was most moving in seeing the faith of my team mates as well as those we were playing against. Sport has the ability to be a great equalizer, on the pitch you are all players unified in your desire to play. It is through this lens that sport and indeed cricket becomes a powerful tool for creating conversations and relationships that may not have happened otherwise.

Dan Christian

September 2018

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Meet Our New Communications and Operations Intern


Who are you and where are you from? 

My name is Dan and I'm from Dorking in Surrey. 

What exactly is a Communications and Operations Intern? 

Well I will be working with Rachel McLafferty, helping her in the jobs that she does. That means that I'll be helping running the social media pages, website and weekly emails. I’ll also be assisting in the organising of church events such as the upcoming Church weekend away! 

I’ll also be studying ‘Theology Ministry and Mission’ one day a week at St Hild’s college during my year here. I hope to get involved in many other areas of church life too.

What are you looking forward to most about the job? 

I'm excited for all that I will be doing but, building my design skills is an area of particular interest for me. I think the opportunity to work in a church is also very exciting and I have already seen the amazing things that this brings.

How are you finding your move to Sheffield? 

I like it! Bit colder than down south but the people here so far are lovely. I like living next to the city and am looking forward to exploring it further. 

I have settled in well with the family I am living with which has made the move very easy and comfortable.

What difference does Christian faith make in your life? 

Huge difference! My life has been completely shaped by my Christian faith. I wouldn’t be here without my Christian faith. I was fortunate to be brought up in a Christian church attending family and so, I have been completely shaped around the church from the friends I have, music I like, books I read and places I go. 

I am really hoping this year here I would grow and deepen my relationship with God especially as I enroll at St Hild’s

What can we be praying for as a church family for you? 

  • Ease into my role well to become a competent member of the team at All Saints. 

  • Discipline to practice my faith further and prioritise growing my relationship and understanding of Christ.

  • That I can settle into the home I am staying in and also that I settle into the area and am able to make friends here. 

  • For God to show me immeasurably more this year as I answer his call to step into ministry. 

Meet our new Associate Vicar

Beth Keith joins the All Saints team


I am absolutely delighted to share the news that the Revd Beth Keith currently pioneer curate at Sheffield Cathedral has accepted my invitation to join the All Saints staff team as Associate Vicar. Beth is married to Laurence and they have two children.  Beth trained for the ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham including research on vocation and ministry.  Prior to studying in Durham Beth and Laurence lived in Sheffield for over 15 years and were variously linked with St Thomas Crookes and Church Army.  Beth comes to us with a wealth and breadth of ministry experience gained here in Sheffield and nationally. Until recently Beth was a member of the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group. 

We hope that Beth and her family will join us early in the New Year.  Details about her licencing service to follow in due course.  In the meantime please remember Beth and her family in your prayers during this time of transition.


We anticipate that the Keiths will join us early in the New Year.  Please remember them in your prayers during this time of transition. On accepting the post Beth said "I am thrilled to be joining the All Saints team, the family is looking forward to moving to Ecclesall in the New Year, and we are hopeful for all God has in store for this next season".

Gary Wilton


From the Vicar September 2018

Welcome to the September ‘From the Vicar’.  It’s a bumper edition designed to set us up for the autumn.  I hope that you find it helpful and informative.

Following our summer sermon series about prayer, September’s morning and evening sermon series is entitled ‘Faith in the Church Family’.  It has been planned to help us begin our journey together towards the ‘Big Church Weekend’ in Buxton 25-27 January 2019 – perhaps the most important church weekend in the life of All Saints for many years.

As a multi-generation church family we are very young, young, young at heart, middle aged, old and very old.  And at any one time ‘in the midst of life we are in death’.  At any one time new babies are being born just as much loved older members of the church family come to the end of their walk with God in this life.  Indeed at the time of writing I am rejoicing in the birth of a baby boy to the Toombs family and mourning the recent death of Dorothy Burlison at the age of 92. 

This is of course, not to forget, those of us in the middle, who have been members of All Saints for a while.  We are also gradually moving up through the generations – however imperceptibly.  This includes even those who have given up birthdays or have elected to stay 39 on an indefinite basis! 

The last 18 months have been characterised by an unusually large number of deaths among church family members – this was particularly striking at the July service of remembrance.  I was very moved by all the names read out by Stephen Hunter. It was a very special reminder of so many church family members who had blessed or inspired Gillian and I since we first joined All Saints in 2004.

At the very same time we have been blessed by the birth of lots of wonderful babies and by lots of new people including families joining us.  Hence our continuing requests for help with the crèche and the children’s ministry.

All of this means that we are in the process of becoming a new Church Family – where for many of us - there are more people that we don’t know than people we do!

Many of us only know the people who attend the same home group or the same service or who do things ‘up front’ – even then we can struggle to remember each other’s names.  Hence the importance of the Big Church Weekend.  It will be a really special time of getting to know each other, making new friendships and renewing old ones.  An important time of being renewed as a Church Family.

This is why we have chosen the Palace Hotel in Buxton. We have booked the whole hotel including 300 beds.  It is the perfect venue for a multi-generation church family – although a little dated, it is very comfortable and very spacious with facilities for everyone.  It is also accessible by train and less than an hour away by car.

It’s also why we have asked Bishop David & Helen Williams to be our chaplains for the weekend, Joy Adams to lead optional early morning and late night prayers and Daniel McGuinness to be our main speaker.  They are a fantastic team, with very broad appeal.  I can’t wait to spend the weekend with them.  As well as growing together in the Gospel, I know that we are going to have lots of fun.

To make the weekend as accessible for everyone we have tried to make booking as easy as possible – either on line at or by completing a paper booking form.

The only price is the non-returnable booking fee which is £35 per adult and £15 per child.   We have tried to set amounts that everyone can afford. If you feel that you may have difficulty affording the booking fee please have a quiet word with Dan Christian, Alistair Stevenson or myself.  We will do all that we can to help everyone who wants to be part of this very exciting weekend.

Clearly the cost to All Saints PCC is more than £35 or £15.  But that is all that you are asked to pay.  If you are able to donate more to help with the total cost, may I encourage you to be as generous as you are able – and to think in terms of donating to support others to attend.

We are not charging a price for attending the weekend.  But asking everyone, including those who are not able to attend, to think about donating towards the total church family cost.  For illustrative purposes we have mentioned £115 as the approximate cost per head - but do not want to focus on this figure.  But rather to encourage everyone to think and pray about supporting other church family members.

It is possible to make donations whenever you would like.  Donations are open now – either online (via the link above) or by cheque made payable to “Ecclesall PCC”.  Cheques need to be sent to Rachel McLafferty via the Church Office.  In addition,  this All Saints-Tide from 28 October to 11 November we will hold a retiring collection after all the services in support of the Big Church Weekend – so that as many members of the Church Family as possible will have the opportunity to support the weekend by donation as well as in prayer.  Finally there will be a collection at the weekend itself to help cover any outstanding costs.  This is a whole church family weekend away – so we need to support it financially as a whole church family.  Should we be blessed with a significant surplus of funds after all the donations – we will give a gift to another church to help them finance a church weekend away. 

To help us get to know each other a little better the second Sunday of 9 September will be a Badge and Pastries Sunday.  Please come to church ready to wear a name badge and to look out for church family members who you don’t know yet.  Pastries will be in generous supply.

Many of you will know that members of the House of Bishops are currently working on a major teaching document entitled ‘Next Steps in Human Sexuality’.  It will be endorsed by the whole House of Bishops and then commended to the whole Church of England early in 2020.  Our own Bishop Pete Wilcox is chairing the sub group working on the Bible, hermeneutics and Biblical ethics.  The teaching document is likely to have a major impact on the whole church.  This autumn Dan Christian, Alistair Stevenson and I will be spending some time together beginning to plan how we will help All Saints navigate through what will be a very challenging and at times uncomfortable period for the Church of England.  We would value your prayers.

Last but not least, I want to draw your attention to this Autumn’s Alpha course. The launch party will be on Tuesday 18 September at 48 Renshaw Road.  Who could you encourage to attend?  Who could you invite?  How could you help?  Could you support the course in prayer? For more details contact Dan Christian at or 07841 835711.

With love and prayers for autumn 2018




Hospitality and Facilities Assistant

We are looking for a friendly and confident person to work within our Operations Team and support in the smooth running of our busy and vibrant church. 

For more information, please download the job descriptionperson specification and terms and conditions. If you would like to apply, please send a completed application form to Rachel McLafferty at

Applications will close on 21st September 2018. 

For an informal chat about the post, you can contact Rachel on 0114 2687574.

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Bishop Pete welcomed to talk All Saints

Christian Voices in Contemporary- 'Mutual Flourishing in a place of disagreement'.

During Lent, All Saints Ecclesall hosts an annual public theology programme in partnership with St Peter's College.  It builds on the very successful ‘Christian Voices in the Contemporary World’ series launched in 2014.  We have recorded each of the talks since 2017 and they can all be found below. This talk was rearranged after it had to be postponed due to snow.