From the Vicarage June 2019

Welcome to the June edition of ‘From the Vicarage’ a final farewell from Gary and Gillian Wilton. It is quite incredible how time flies. Where did the last six years go? It only seems like yesterday that we were saying goodbye to Brussels and packing to come home to Ecclesall. And then again it still only seems like yesterday when we first joined All Saints fifteen years ago, attending the brand new ’10.45’am service. We arrived then with two sons aged 11 and 8, both attending Totley All Saints Church of England Primary School. And now we leave for a second time with our eldest son Alex aged 25 working as a Computer Scientist in London and attending the Vineyard Church in Balham. While our youngest son Simeon aged 22 is just completing his degree in Ecological and Environmental Sciences to start an internship at St Philip’s and St George’s Anglican Church in Edinburgh. How did that happen?

The past six years have absolutely flown by and it has been a huge privilege to have been part of this chapter in the life of All Saints Ecclesall. Apparently during the past 6 years I have preached 300 sermons, chaired 160 PCC and PCC related meetings, sent 40,000+ emails and drunk 9,000 cups of tea.  I have loved working with such an amazing army of volunteers, such wonderful wardens and PCC members and the most brilliant church staff team ever. They have all been fantastic to work with. 

At the same time we have loved sharing our home and our table with so many people – and yet we know that we still did not manage to invite even half of our growing church family.

The living God has been very good to All Saints over these last years.  He has blessed us as a church family very richly indeed and that has included us as a family too. We will leave the vicarage full of memories and full of thanksgiving – counting our blessings and wanting to follow God into the future. With the psalmist in Psalm 111 we declare:

Praise the Lord!
We will give thanks to the Lord with our whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of honour and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever.

Many of you are very keen to know exactly where we are going.  And we are frustrated that we are not yet able to tell you precisely where. At the time of writing, the detailed negotiations of my contract are entering the very last stage.  Even when every fine details have been agreed, it will still take a little time before there is an announcement as hard copy documents will need signatures from people in France, Brussels and London before they come to me for signing in Sheffield.  As soon as we are able – we will let you know all the details.

Lots of you have also asked ‘who will be in charge during the vacancy?’  In the Church of England this is very clear – the Churchwardens Sarah Leighton and Ruth Watkin along with the Area Dean Toby Hole are fully in charge – they are the Bishop’s officers and will oversee All Saints as directed by the Bishop. A key feature of an interregnum is one of ‘No Change’. This means that the life of the church needs to continue as normal.  For All Saints this will very much mean ‘business as usual’. The three Associate Vicars, Alistair Stevenson, Beth Keith & Dan Christian, in consultation with the Area Dean will continue to lead the spiritual life of All Saints, while the Operations Manager Rachel McLafferty will continue to manage the Operational life of the church as agreed with the Church wardens. With such a great team continuing to lead and serve the Church Family you have a great interregnum ahead of you!

For Gillian and I, a much hoped for part of our future will be more time and space for ourselves as a family. Gillian and I are keen to have more time together and to have a few adventures together. We want to have more time with Alex in London and Simeon in Edinburgh. We also want to ‘honour our mothers’ spending proper time with both of them – Gillian’s Mum in Suffolk and Gary’s Mum in Southampton.

But of course Ecclesall is our home – and once the new vicar is fully established and the church family is fully under his or her charge – and only with his or her agreement - you may find that we pop up again. A few days ago Gillian had a great conversation with another member of the church family ‘Its just like you Wiltons are attached to All Saints with elastic. You leave us for a while, but then the elastic just pulls you back’.

So rather than ‘Goodbye’ – its ‘Au Revoir’ to the church family from us as a family.

Thank you for a most amazing six years!

With all our love and prayers in Christ Jesus

Farewell to Gary and Gillian - Sunday 23 June

  • 8.00am Holy Communion

  • 9.00am Bacon Rolls

  • 10.00am Morning Worship Service (replacing 9.15am and 11.00am)

  • 11.10am  Coffee and croissants

  • 12.00pm Depart



 Sunday 2 June

8am          Holy Communion

9.15am     Choral Communion

11.00am    Morning Worship

6.00pm    Evening Worship 

7pm           Reflective Worship

Whirlow Spirituality Centre

Sunday 9 June PENTECOST

8.00am    Holy Communion

9.15am     Choral Communion

11.00am    All Age Worship

6.00pm    Praise and Prayer at Sheffield Cathedral


Sunday 16 June

8.00am    Holy Communion

9.15am     Morning Worship

11.00am   Holy Communion

6pm          Evening Worship

Sunday 23 June


8.00am    Holy Communion

10.00am   Morning Worship


Sunday 30 June

8.00am    Holy Communion

9.15am     Morning Worship

11.00am   Holy Communion

6pm         Evening Worship


9.30am    Weekly Prayer, Church

9.45am    Reflective Communion, Whirlow


Wednesdays 10.30am   Holy Communion

Space to Be 8.30am    Every Sunday, Whirlow

Youth Service for 11-18s 7.30pm Sunday (term time), Halls

Community Bible Study 9.45am Friday (term time), Whirlow

Tea Service Sat 22 June 3pm An informal service for seniors in Church followed by afternoon tea.

Small Saints 10am Thursday 6 and 20 June, Church for under 5s

 Messy Church 30th June at 4pm, Church Halls


Janet Harris Mission Partner Janet will be speaking at 9.15 and 11am services on 2 June.

Mothers’ Union 2pm Tuesday 4 June Church

Praying for the Children’s Ministry 8pm, Tuesday 4 June, 352 Carterknowle Road

Men’s Prayer Breakfast 7.30am Thursday 6 June, Church

Men’s Event at the Norfolk Arms 8pm 16 June Experiences of being a Christian in the workplace

Luncheon Club 12.30pm Friday 14 June, Halls

Dad’s Breakfast 8.15am Saturday 1 June Halls and camping trip 14 June

Women’s Social Group 7.30pm Tuesday 18 June, Halls

Clifford All Saints School Summer Fayre Saturday 29 June 11am-2pm Ringinglow Road Site