From the Vicar July 2017

Welcome to the July and August edition of ‘From the Vicar’.  I hope that you find it informative.  Churches used to slow down in July and August, but that is much less true nowadays and certainly not true of All Saints, for both the staff and volunteers.

In this edition I have quite a lot to share about developments in the staff team.  But I want to begin by paying tribute to all the many, many volunteers who give so generously of their time and talents to support the mission and ministry of our church family.  While many of your ministries are very visible and public, others are invisible and very much behind the scenes.  We really are a church of everyday saints.  Every act of service makes a difference.  Thank you!

July opens with a very busy ordination weekend at Sheffield Cathedral.  Alistair Stevenson will be ordained as a priest at 4.00pm on Saturday 1st July.  He will then preside at Holy Communion for the first time at 6pm on Sunday 2nd July.  Please do join us for this very special occasion. As well as leading and developing our worship ministry over this past year as Director of Worship, Alistair’s training as a curate has included learning to conduct funerals and observing weddings, baptisms and services of Holy Communion.  From this weekend he will be able to conduct them all in person.   But given that this August he will become a Dad for the third time, we will be easing him gently into the priestly element of his role.

But Alistair is not the only member of All Saints being ordained at Sheffield Cathedral this weekend.  Many of you will remember Caitlin Thomson who was part of our young adult’s ministry before going to Cranmer Hall in Durham to train for ordination nearly three years ago. On Sunday 2nd July Caitlin is being ordained Deacon to serve at church of St Francis of Assisi West Bessacre, Doncaster.  I am delighted that she is staying in the diocese.  Both Caitlin and Alistair will be part of the same pre- ordination retreat at Cliff College in Calver.  Please remember all those on retreat in your prayers.


This summer is also a moment to celebrate the All Saints Internship programme.  On the last Sunday of June we were visited by Rachel Williams currently serving with Operation Mobilisation on the ship Logos.  Rachel was our Family and Children’s Ministry intern from 2014-2015.  It was wonderful to welcome her home and to see how she continues to grow in confidence not least as a public speaker. 

At the end of July Dan Moyes will come to the end of his time as Media and Communications Intern.  Alongside many other things, Dan has made an invaluable contribution to the redevelopment of our website and the creation of the new welcome pack.  We will miss him a great deal.  At the time of writing he is exploring further studies and is waiting for the details to be confirmed. More news in due course!

This year’s late arrival was Lauryn Reiff who joined us from Colorado at Christmas to be our new Families and Children’s Ministry intern.  Lauryn has made a very significant contribution to the children’s ministry and also to Alpha, as well as bringing lots of energy and fun to our team life.  The children have really taken her to heart. Our Open the Book team have particularly appreciated her acting skills.  Lauryn will go home to the USA for August but will return again in September.  Our prayers will be with her for safe travelling and a safe return.  We won’t be able to wait for her to come back to Ecclesall!

We are currently advertising for one or two interns for 2017/2018.  If you know any potential candidates please put them in touch with the office.  In addition we also continue to advertise for a new Director of Choral Music and Organist.  Again is if you know any potential candidates please would you put them in touch with the office.  In the meantime we are very grateful to Andrew Swarbrick for continuing to serve into the autumn.

Youth Ministry Leader

Amazingly it is now nearly three years ago that Chris Whitelaw joined us as our youth intern before progressing to take up the post of Youth Ministry Leader.  This September Chris will take up a new post as Associate Youth Pastor at Beulah Alliance Church in Edmonton, Canada.  Chris leaves All Saints will three years’ experience of ministry, an outstanding reference and a Durham degree in Theology & Ministry.  He is an exemplar of how an internship programme should work. Chris has grown hugely over the past three years.  He has made a huge difference to the growth and well-being of our youth ministry – while the young people have come to love and respect him.  Quite a few parents will really miss him too.  Chris has been an inspirational leader.  His final service will be at 6pm on Sunday 30th August.  He leaves us with much love and prayer as he moves to Canada. 

As we say good bye to Chris, we will say a very warm hello to Joseph Sheldon, who will be coming to join us as Youth Ministry Leader in September. The post is for 24 hours a week as previously.   Joseph was born in Lincolnshire.  He has extensive experience of youth ministry and plays both football and rugby.  He has a diploma in music and loves leading contemporary worship.  Joseph is currently studying for a degree in theology at Cliff College where he will start his third year this autumn.  He plans to combine his new post at All Saints with his studies.  Please do remember Joseph in your prayers.

Finance Team

I would also like to pay tribute to Ann Hawkes our Treasurer and to Janet Daye our Finance Officer for their amazing work in managing our increasingly complex finances.  Following a PCC Exec review, this coming autumn we are starting to work on simplifying our financial procedures and systems.  This will include researching and piloting new financial computer software with the intention of streamlining how we manage the finances of the halls, church building and Whirlow in particular.  This will be a major project including visits to the diocese and other comparable churches who hire out their facilities in the way that we do.  Here we are immensely grateful to Ann Hawkes and Rod Ismay for all the time that they are giving to this important infrastructure project.  Nonetheless to help us manage the day to day data inputting we will be advertising for a temporary term time only accounts assistant for 8 hours a week.  If you know of a suitable person please would you put them in contact with the office.

So as you can see Summer 2017 is very full of comings and goings.  It is going to be a very exciting time.