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Dear friends,

At long last, it seems that Spring has sprung.

After a cold and belated winter with

disruptive snow and freezing temperatures for weeks on end, there are signs of life, colour and fragrance all around. Soon there will be leaves on the trees and nesting birds.

In CS Lewis's book, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, in the land of Narnia  'it is always winter but never Christmas'. There was never any let up from the icy grip of the wicked witch; until spring began with the return of Aslan, and nothing could stop the power of life returning to the world.

In our western part of the world the natural seasons echo the gospel pattern of death and resurrection. Through darkness and suffering there is new life and hope all around us. It is a welcome change from the dreariness of winter and helps to lift the spirit. We may not be able to precisely predict when winter finishes and spring begins, but it will happen, nothing can stop it.

Living in the Easter season is about celebrating the reality of God alive and active in our world. Nothing can stop God's passion and drive to express his love for us and creation. Many of the Easter stories involve surprise, and shock. Not all are easily understood, but at their heart is the expression that nothing can prevent God's transforming love and grace present in life.

We can ignore or take for granted the signs of life all around us if we choose, or we can appreciate its reality, wonder at the mysterious beauty and accept the constant invitation of God to join in his transforming way of life.




I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and
very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: “Come unto
me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.”


Services during April

Sunday 1st

Rev. Tim Crome
Holy Communion – Easter Day






Local Arrangement







Sunday 8th

Local Arrangement




Mr David Battye



Holy Communion


Sunday 15th

Rev. Tim Crome
Café Worship 



Rev. Henry Ohakah





Sunday 22nd


Mr David Green





Rev. Tim Crome
Holy Communion








Sunday 29th
Rev. Tim Crome

Mrs Carol Wignell


A Minister’s wife was preparing pancakes for her young sons. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their Mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, "Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait." The oldest boy turned to his younger brother and said, "You be Jesus."

Church Family News


We do thank everyone who contributes to this column.

We like to share good news of new births, new jobs, special birthdays and anniversaries, weddings and other life events, as well as more difficult news, particularly if prayerful support will help, and if you want to. It's important to say that permission is always obtained before anything is written here.

It's with sadness that we learned of the death of Betty Egan, who attended church with both ourselves, often in the evening and at Lunch club, and at Bents Green too.

We continue to pray for Duncan Storey, Jane and family. Duncan will be starting a different chemo and we pray for its effectiveness and a continued lack of side effects.

We pray for Kate Woodcock, who has had foot surgery. This will be very disabling for a quite a long period of time for Kate as she will be unable to weight bear. Please support Steve and all the family in prayer.

We pray for the Coates family who have been having a difficult time recently, with Anna having suffered a skiing accident, happily she will probably be home at the time we read this. Bryan was admitted to hospital the same week and we pray he feels more comfortable soon.

We praise God for happier news:

Andrew Watson, son of Ken and the late Betty, suffered a heart attack but happily he's now been discharged from hospital and is staying with his brother. We wish him a good recovery.

Linda Watchorn had positive results from her recent tests / biopsy and it's so good to know that all is well.

Sarah Axe, grand-daughter of Sheila Gilbert, is in her final weeks of pregnancy. She would really appreciate our prayers at this time for a happy outcome.

Chris Bishop (Joy’s husband) is now officially an Ordinand! So we will be off to live in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, in September, for 3 years for Chris to start training, thank you everyone for your prayers.

On Sunday 18th March we had a 160th Birthday cake for Beryl and Margaret S, neither look 160 I’m sure you’ll agree. Happy Birthday ladies and thank you for adding cheer to that snowy day. We hope most of you got some, we tried hard to distribute it by home delivery! 



Thank you

Action for Children

On behalf of 'Action for Children ' Ann and I would like to thank all the collectors and the Film Club for their contribution towards the £732-25 raised this year. 

Jean Sampson



Banner Cross Methodist Church Review


As regular readers will know, we have been considering our own church in relation to ‘the seven marks of a healthy church’.  We have been sharing the findings of last Spring’s Church Review amongst as many members as possible, by getting more feedback from discussions at Café Worship services, and by publishing information in Banner Headlines.

Responses on these areas of the life of our church have been reported faithfully by members of the Leadership Team, so that the outcome of the review meetings in Spring last year has been captured and can be shared widely.

During Café Worship services starting last December, the congregation at Banner Cross has considered the first three “marks of a healthy church”:

  • Energised by Faith
  • Outward Looking Focus
  • Seeks to Find Out What God Wants

The latter “mark of a healthy church” was discussed at the Café Worship service on 18 March when those present looked at 10 statements about God’s Mission, rating them either “true” or “false”. 

In this month’s edition of the magazine, we are setting-out below the fourth “mark of a healthy church”, that is: “Faces the Cost of Change and Growth”.  Discussions involving the congregation will take place at the next Café Worship service to be led by Tim.

Faces the Cost of Change and Growth

What we valued:

  • Friendship
  • Worship

Challenges we face:

  • Retaining Members
  • How to adapt to change in smaller numbers in Church on Sundays
  • Competing with other ‘activities’ on Sundays – no longer a special day
  • Keeping people positive
  • Time – lots of jobs and too few people to do them.

To be continued …..


Welcome to My World

Alison Russell


Can you briefly tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Sheffield to older parents, Ceridwen and Bill Crookes.  I grew up two roads away from where I live now. As a young child, I went to Bents Green Church; and as a teenager and in my 20s, I attended All Saints Parish Church with my schoolfriends. I was a pupil at Silverdale School, and then I went to the 6th form at King Edward VII School.  I graduated from The University of Sheffield with a degree in English Literature and Latin. In the mid ‘80s, I had a very interesting temporary job as a clerical officer and visitors guide at Hathersage Parish Church. During that year, I realised my vocation was in administration. I then went to college for a year and gained a diploma in Administration. Most of my career was spent in the Civil Service, from the Manpower Services Commission to the Department for Education.  The position I held for the longest time, and the most enjoyable one, was when I was Executive Assistant to the Chief Economist at the Department for Education when its Sheffield office was located at Moorfoot. I had to leave paid employment in 2010 to care for my husband, Steve, who has had a lot of small strokes, so I am now a full-time carer.  I have been involved with voluntary work throughout my adult life. Amongst other roles, I have been a Brown Owl; helped raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society; and helped at Luncheon Club. Currently I do a lot of secretarial work for a stroke club Steve and I attend. I live in High Storrs with Steve and our very old cat, Reggie.

Who was, or what were, the main influences in your life?

I realised, drafting this piece, that throughout my life I have been influenced by words and music.  My parents encouraged me to go to Church. I also inherited from them a love of: singing, books and animals. I am also indebted to all my English teachers and lecturers, and also to all the Musical Directors who have helped me improve my singing technique, especially my Singing Teacher, Carol, who gave me private tuition in the ‘90s.  She made me realise that singing was something I would always want to do. My husband, who is very sociable, has helped me to become more outgoing and confident.  I have also learned a lot from him about history, the city of Liverpool and football. 

What role(s) do you have in our Church?

I sing Soprano with The Singing Group and I am its Secretary. I am a member of the Editorial Team for Banner Headlines.  I regularly participate in meetings of: the Worship Group, the Communications Group and the Church Council. I also draft the Bible Readers rota.

How did you become a Christian?

I became a Christian as a teenager whilst I was a member of Pathfinders (a Sunday School Group) at the Parish Church.  My Christian journey has not been easy, especially since I became a carer for close family in my late teens. But I have been encouraged to continue on this journey by my fellow-Christians and the power of prayer. 

When did you first come to Banner Cross Methodist Church; and what were your impressions at that time?

I first visited Banner Cross in the mid ‘70s when my parents joined.  At first, I only went occasionally to special services and social events; then, after my Dad gave up driving in the late ‘80s, I attended more often.  Around 1990 I decided to leave All Saints and become a member of Banner Cross Methodist Church.  I met Ann and Chris Barker at Membership classes at The Manse (when it was at Ecclesall Terminus).  At that time, Reverend Michael Brown was the Minister. I already knew him a little because my parents were in the congregation and had joined the choir.

My first impressions were that the congregation was made up of a lot of families who all knew each other very well, having grown up together.  So I thought it was a bit ‘cliquey’. However, there were lots of activities for all ages. I particularly enjoyed the trips organised by members of the Contact Club, and the concerts and family parties. 

Have your first impressions changed at all?

Banner Cross lost any whiff of “clique-i-ness” (my word!) a long time ago, and that first impression was wrong anyway. Many people made my parents and me very welcome. We were invited to join various groups and never looked back as a family.

If you had one prayer request for moving forward the life of Banner Cross Methodist Church in any way, what would it be?

I pray that through our community work, outreach through charities, and plans for increased visibility externally, we might encourage and welcome new members to join us in fellowship, but particularly in worship.

What hobbies or interests fill any “spare” time

As you will find out below, my main hobbies are reading and singing. I have been a Soprano in Escafeld Chorale since 1999. Before that, in the early ‘90s I performed in a few Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas. In fact, since junior school, I have always been in a choir. My husband and I try to go somewhere together most afternoons, so I have become an expert in cafés and know where to buy the best latte and who makes the tastiest cakes.  We are both armchair supporters of Liverpool FC and hope that Jurgen Klopp will bring the team some silverware soon. I like watching good dramas and history programmes; and I rarely miss ‘Pointless’.  I am a cat lover.  As I write, my own cat, Reggie, twin of the late Ronnie, (Steve named them after the Kray twins) is still with us and quite alert at 18 years of age.  I enjoy looking after neighbours’ cats when they are away and will probably become a “mad cat lady” when I am old.  When inspired, I try to write my own humorous poems. I also enjoy quizzes.

What books do you enjoy reading?

I am a member of the Banner Cross Book Club which started in

2006. Reading books chosen by others has broadened my range, and indeed my mind, immensely. I am so glad we formed this group. My favourite authors are: Kate Atkinson, Joanne Harris and David Mitchell.  I try to read at least two (auto)biographies; two Man Booker Prize-nominated novels; and two classics or “retro-reads” every year.  My husband and I were members of the Sheffield Branch of the Thomas Hardy Society. One of our ‘claims to fame’ is that we attended a meeting of this society at the actor Dominic West’s former family home in Derbyshire.  I have read almost all of Hardy’s novels, my favourite being ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’.  I also enjoy reading poetry. 

What music do you enjoy listening to?

I love many different genres from classical to rock and pop.  I listen to (and sing) mainly choral music these days.  My favourite composers are Handel and Purcell. My favourite musicals are: West Side Story and Les Misérables.  I listen to loud rock music to relax (bizarrely).  I have many favourite artists, such as: U2, Queen, Simple Minds, ABBA, Elton John and David Bowie. There are too many to mention as I love music, especially pieces I can sing along to. Both “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “O Holy Night” always move me to tears so I only just manage to sing them.

Are you involved in any other charities or organisations?

Steve and I are keen members of our stroke club.  We are among the five founder members of this club which was formed in 2012 for stroke survivors of working age and their families. We organise all our own fundraising and have built up strong links with clinicians and researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and The University of Sheffield. I also support Alzheimer’s Society when I can, and I am a Dementia Friend. 

Please give us one fact about yourself that we may find surprising

I am a very big fan of ‘Alice Cooper’, the American singer-songwriter and “The Godfather of Shock Rock”. Steve and I have seen him in concert and we have many of his albums.  When our stroke club held an ‘80s Night fundraising concert a few years ago, Steve went as ‘Alice’ complete with long, black wig, black and red eye make-up and a large snake (a draught excluder, not a real one!). A surprising fact about ‘Alice’, bearing in mind his macabre alter ego, is that Vince Furnier (his real name) is a born-again Christian, and a substitute Sunday School teacher. 

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who help and encourage me, particularly in my ‘job’ as a full-time carer. I won’t name any names but these people are: NHS staff; support workers and home carers (for Steve); ‘colleagues’ at our stroke club and at Escafeld Chorale; neighbours; and friends old and new.  I would like thank, in particular, all my Banner Cross Church Family for all your prayers, support, emotional and practical help in the years I have been attending this Church.  I couldn’t manage without you.


crowns\crown 2.bmpQuiz on the Royal Family

The Royal Family will be in the news a lot in 2018 when we will see the birth of another great-grandchild for the Queen and Prince Philip; and the weddings of two of their grandchildren.

Can you name all the “royals” past and present from the questions below? 

The first initials of their Christian names spell out the full name of someone who was baptised and confirmed into the Church of England in March 2018. Who is it?


1    Who was the President of the Girl Guides and also of the Northern Ballet Theatre?

2    Whose birthday is on the 21st of April?

3    Whose Godmother is Zara Tindall?

4    Who launched the Invictus Games?

5    Who won Sports Personality of the Year in 1971?

6    Who was a first cousin of King George V?

7    Who was a page boy at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten?

8    Who will drop to seventh in line to the throne with the birth of the new royal baby?

9    Who is the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary?

10  Who studied Art History at the University of St Andrew’s?

11  Who was the youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert?

12  Who will be getting married in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in October?

Answers on page 16

Sweeney Todd and Chitty Bang Bang

As you know I am arranging a few social events this year and the second one is to the Ellesmere Production of Sweeney Todd, which will be on Thursday 26th April.

Pat, Alison, Rachel, Hazel, Kath, Caroline, Jane and I will be going.

Our tickets are bought and paid for and we'll perhaps arrange to go out for some tea beforehand?

We'll have two separate outings in May, another theatre trip, to see Manor's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This is the week beginning 15th May. Please confirm with me asap if you'd like to go.

Another meet-up, at the Prince of Wales, Thursday 31st May 7.30pm. No names or numbers necessary.

Chris Rowe


Time for a Social

We are planning a “BEETLE DRIVE” on Saturday, 14th April at 7.00pm.

We all deserve a bit of fun and frivolity after this bad weather, so rush and put your names down on the noticeboard in the entrance of the church, as we need to know the numbers for catering. A buffet is what we’re thinking at the moment.

There will be a donation at the end of the evening for our charity, South Yorkshire refuge Law and Justice

All enquiries, see Leadership Team


Banner Cross Lunch & Friendship Club

We have several spaces in our Tuesday Lunch & Friendship Club. If you or anyone you know are interested, please contact one of us. Why not give it a try to ‘see if is your cup of tea’?

Ian McCollough 2662035; Steve Woodcock 2667701 or                                                                            Stewart McIntosh 2369228 or Phillip Brown 2962036.

Christmas Fair

This year’s fair will be held on Saturday 1st December. If you are able to run your usual stall will you please let Pat Dickinson know. There will be a short meeting, after church on Sunday 15th April for those who are interested. Thank you

Pat Dickinson



There is an honesty box on the desk next to the photocopier which is for donations towards personal copying. The cost is 5p per copy.


Leadership Team


..\My Pictures\BC Headlines\2015_06_19\Hiking boots.jpgWalking Group Weekend

4th – 7th May

Members of the walking group have booked at Studfold Farm, Lofthouse, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5SG, for a walking weekend. If anyone would like to join us for all or part of the time, there are pubs and B&Bs in the area, but it is the Bank Holiday weekend, so you might need to book soon.


Sheffield Half Marathon

Sunday 8th April

Once again we will be opening our church for refreshments and facilities for the supporters (and runners if required!) of the Sheffield Half Marathon. We won't be having a morning service but we will honour the Lord by showing hospitality. In the afternoon we will be having meal together before the evening service.

Hopefully we will have good weather and serve refreshments outside, but if not, we will open the front doors and Room 1. We will need a team of people to help set up from around 8.30 a.m. and then serving refreshments all morning.  Also we would like to serve homemade cakes, scones, etc, so if you can do some baking that would be most appreciated. If you can come and help at any time, or bake, or both, please contact Rachel Tomlinson. 

The race route is from the city centre, up Ecclesall Road, Knowle Lane and Ringinglow Road to Norfolk Arms; along Sheephill Road; Hathersage Road; Limb Lane; down Ecclesall Road South; Ecclesall Road, to finish on Pinstone Street.

Please note, Ecclesall Road and Ecclesall Road South will be closed from 08.45 until 13.00, so we suggest arriving at church early if your journey involves travelling by car on this road.

It would be great to have as many people as possible cheering on the runners! 


Britain's bees need our help


The wild meadows and flowers bees feed on are disappearing fast, and that means our buzzy friends could be in for a very tough spring. Over the last few decades the UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows, making food scarce for our bees.

That’s where we come in.The Eco Group have agreed to ceate a willdflower border around the lawn to extend our wildlife garden. This will be in addition to the area already left unmown. We could also improve the lawn area by reducing the number of cuts per year. There would be a trade off between a neatly kept lawn and a lawn buzzing with bees and hoverflies. Last year I took some photos of the lawn plants, but found it difficult. As soon as flowers came into bloom the gardeners did a lawn cut. This removed a large source of pollen for our bees. The following flowers were found - Creeping Buttercup, Daisy, Dandelion, Ribwort Plantain, Selfheal, White Clover, and Yarrow.

Bees pollinate three-quarters of the world’s crops - apples, strawberries, onions, carrots, and many, many more. We wouldn’t last long without them. But if we want them to keep growing food for us, we need to do our part by growing food for them.

38 Degrees are running a scheme for members to plant flowers for

bees. Last spring, more than 50,000 of its members took part. This year 38 Degrees wants to do even better, and make sure more of its members than ever are planting seeds to help out the bees. This will make sure there's enough food for bees to survive and thrive this summer. Whether it's a plant pot on a windowsill or an urban garden, we can all sow seeds to give our bees a helping hand. Please note that the seeds are only for 38 Degrees members. Non-members can purchase their own seeds and create a wildflower patch in their garden.

The Eco Group would appreciate your views on lawn cuts and should be sent to Sean Ashton.

Andrew Watchorn


Some bits of Easter Trivia

There are many interesting and fun facts about Easter. Some are common knowledge and others more obscure. Knowing this list of trivia facts will help answer Easter trivia questions, amaze your friends, and add to your knowledge of this interesting celebration.

  • After Halloween, Easter is the top-selling candy holiday.
  • Easter always occurs between March 22 and April 25.
  • Easter is a “movable feast” – one that is set according to the phases of the moon – so the dates are different each year.
  • It is believed by some that Easter was named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eastre, whose symbols were the egg and the hare.
  • More than 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are manufactured each year.
  • The most famous Easter parade is held in New York.
  • The first Easter eggs were colored red, in memory of the blood Jesus shed during his crucifixion.
  • Up to now, the largest chocolate Easter Egg was created in Tosca (Italy). It weighed 15,873 lbs, 4.48 oz., and had a circumference of 64 ft, 3.65 in. at its widest point.
  • An Easter egg hunt held in London in April 2012 took a Guinness World record for having the most entrants. When 12,773 people took part.
  • In the 13th century, the church prohibited the eating of eggs

during Holy Week. Marking the eggs laid during the week began

the custom of decorating eggs.

  • Hot Cross Buns, a Good Friday treat, contain raisins or currants and then topped by a glazed icing cross.
  • Roast lamb, the main dish at Jewish Passover, is the traditional meat for the main meal on Easter Day.
  • Simnel, a fruitcake with marzipan (sugared-almond paste) on

top and 11 marzipan balls representing the 11 apostles (not Judas, who betrayed Christ), served at tea time.

  • Easter biscuits or cakes, eaten on Easter Sunday, containing spices, currants, and grated lemon rind.
  • It is believed that an Italian baker made the pretzel to look like arms crossed in prayer during the Passover season.
  • The Easter bonnet is any new or fancy hat worn as a Christian headcovering on Easter, by tradition. It represents the tail-end of a tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter, in harmony with the renewal of the year and the promise of spiritual renewal and redemption.
  • In some European countries, other animals, in Switzerland the cuckoo, in Westphalia the fox, brought the Easter eggs.


Julie Andrews Turning 79

To commemorate her birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for a benefit.
One of the musical numbers she performed was 'My Favourite Things' from the legendary movie 'Sound Of Music'. Here are the lyrics she used:
(Sing It!) If you sing it, it is especially funny !!


Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,

Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,

Bundles of magazines tied up in string,

These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillac's and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.


Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad

Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted
over four minutes and repeated encores.
Please share Ms. Andrews' clever wit and humour with others who would appreciate it.


Selected proofreading mistakes from large-circulation newspapers

  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
  • Miners Refuse to Work After Death
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
  • Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Items for the May edition of the Headlines

                                    can be sent via e-mail to

 terrykirkwood@virginmedia.com or by using the good old-fashioned methods of either popping it into the pigeonhole at church, through my front door or even by phoning me on 255 3771 but whatever method you use, can I have it no later than 15th April, please.

Thank you,



Quiz on the Royal Family  Answers

1. Princess Margaret; 2. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; 3. Prince George;

4. Prince Harry; 5. Princess Anne; 6. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia

7. Prince Michael of Kent; 8. Prince Andrew; 9. Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester; 10. Kate, Duchess of Cambridge; 11. Prince Leopold; 12. Princess Eugenie

The first letters of their Christian names spell out Meghan Markle


If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.

Ian Turgenev


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