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Dear friends,

Images of the recent floods which have affected so many communities across the country are imprinted on our minds. The scale of devastation and heartbreak for homes, families and businesses is immense. And it is made worse by the prospect that this could be the new normal.

Whether we think of the fires in Australia, our own floods, or the plagues of locusts in Ethiopia, the scale and regularity of so called ‘natural disasters’, feed the sense of uncertainty in the times we are living through. We see and hear the fingers of blame being pointed and how more should be done to prevent such events and the suffering caused.

We also see and hear of tremendous stories of people and communities coming together to offer support and help in the crisis, which goes a little way to restore faith in our capacity for generosity and compassion.

In the meantime, our daily attempts at reducing our impact on global warming might seem paltry and ineffective, but we can all play our part to do what we can and to contribute to the mind change that is required. So signing petitions, contacting MPs, disinvesting our shares and investments from companies which support polluting and carbon based activity all play a part.

What do we do about our next car, if we choose to have one at all? Will we go hybrid or electric and what will that mean? If we have to pay more, are we prepared to do so? If we are able to drive fewer miles before needing to recharge, are we prepared to adapt and change our attitudes and mind sets?

The struggle between complacency and action faces us each day, in almost every decision we take.

As the words of the opening verse of hymn 729 say:

‘Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,

Nourish the life of the world in our care:

Gift of great wonder, ours to surrender,

Trust for the children tomorrow will bear.’

So, in this season of Lent, when we look at the realities of our world, our place in it and how we can be faithful disciples, are we willing to be changed and to help change our world?



Services during March


Sunday 1st





Rev. Graham Wassell

United at Millhouses and Holy Communion






Local Arrangement – Gathering


Sunday 8th





Mr David Green






Rev. Tim Crome

Holy Communion


Sunday 15th




Rev. Tim Crome

Holy Habits and Communion

including second discussion of the Report on Relationships





No Evening Service


Sunday 22nd




Rev. Tim Crome

Mothering Sunday





Local Arrangement – Gathering


Sunday 29th




Half Marathon

Welcoming our Community





Local Arrangement – Gathering

Enjoy refreshments together

Church Family News


Happy News!

A grandson for Ann and Chris Barker - born to Leah and Martin, and a little brother for Jonah - Nathanial – on Tuesday 11th February. Congratulations to all.

And a 6th grandchild for Lorna! Baby Zachary, born on Wednesday 19th February, a brother for Malachy.

Those who need our prayers:

Paul Hughes, husband of Julie (nee Aisthorpe) who has had surgery and who is having some further treatment.

Kate Woodcock – having had a Total Knee Replacement on Saturday 25th January. We do wish Kate well and a smooth recovery.

Brenda Martin will be moving into residential care soon, near Crystal Peaks near to where her daughter Lesley lives. We’ll be praying for you Brenda. The address is in the notices for a while, so that we can send cards or visit or both.

Janet’s brother-in-law, Andrew Askew who is in hospital in Norwich.

Hazel Harrison who has been unwell at home, and Hazel is very grateful for prayers, texts, soup and visits during this time.

Hazel’s sister Joy is preparing for surgery in March in Alderhay Hospital. Please keep her in your prayers.

Please note that we always seek permission to print anything in the family news.



I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the last year with moving house and family issues. I’m finally in my flat and settled so thank you for all your prayers, kinds words, lovely cards, flowers and gifts. I really appreciate it. I would also like to thank you all for your continuing prays and support for my son-in-law Paul Hughes, as he continues with his treatment. 

Thank you

Edith Aisthorpe

Services, Events and Meetings at Banner Cross in March and April


The Holy Habit for March and April is

 ‘Sharing Resources’

Sunday 1st March

10.30am; United Service at Millhouses Methodist Church joining with Millhouses and Carterknowle Churches to celebrate all we have done so far during the Holy Habits Programme. The service, led by Rev Graham Wassell and including Holy Communion, will be followed at approx. 12.15-12.30pm by a Bring and Share Lunch.

6.30pm; Local Arrangement – Gathering.

Wednesday 4th March

7.30pm; Church Council Meeting in Room 2. All are welcome to come along but only Church Council members can vote. 

Lent Course.  There are plans for a Lent Course on five Saturday mornings. Look out for further details nearer the time in Church. 

Saturday 7th March

Janet will lead a morning walk around Longshaw, weather permitting. Further details to follow.  1.30pm; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society film will be shown in Room 2 with refreshments.

Sunday 8th March

10.45am; Morning Worship, led by David Green.

6.30pm; Holy Communion Service led by Rev Tim Crome.

Saturday 14th March

10.30am; at The Rhubarb Shed Café, Sheffield Manor, S2 1UL (the site of the Manor wildflower meadows). A table (provisionally for10) has been booked – sign-up sheet to follow. Lifts to be arranged.  An Eco-Church event but all are welcome.

Sunday 15th March

10.45am; Rev Tim Crome will lead a Holy Communion Service relating to the Holy Habit of ‘Sharing Resources’. Followed by Lunch together. After this meal, there will be the discussion of the Report

on Marriage and Relationships, ‘God in Love Unites Us’. Please read

it before the discussion.

There will be no evening worship.

Sunday 22nd March, – Mothering Sunday

10.45am; Café Worship led by Rev Tim Crome. After the service there will be a discussion of the devotional workbook, ‘Seeking Aliveness’ by Brian D McLaren, led by Rev Tim Crome. 

6.30pm; Local Arrangement – Gathering.

Sunday 29th March

No morning service because we shall be offering hospitality and our facilities to those participating and observing the Half Marathon.

In the early evening (start-time to be advised), there will be refreshments, followed by a Gathering led by the regular evening worshippers.

Sunday 5th AprilPalm Sunday

10.45am; the Worship Group will lead a Local Arrangement service in the morning.

6.30pm; Holy Communion Service led by Rev Tim Crome.

Monday 6th April

7.30pm; Worship Group Meeting in Room 5. All are welcome.

9th April – Maundy Thursday

Banner Cross will host an Evening Meal and Service. Further details to follow.

10th April – Good Friday

Cross Walk of Witness begins at 9.30am at Bents Green, calling at Banner Cross for coffee. 8.00pm; Tenebrae Service will take place here at Banner Cross.

12th April Easter Sunday

10.45am; Holy Communion, led by Rev Tim Crome.(tbc).

6.30pm; Local Arrangement – Gathering.

Wednesday 15th April

1.00pm; Eating Together at The Crown Inn, Totley. See Janet Southgate for further details. 

Sunday 19th April

10.45am; Morning Worship led by Rev Maggie Herbert. The service will be followed by a Bring-and-Share Lunch.

6.30pm; Local Arrangement – Gathering.

Sunday 26th April

10.45am; Morning Worship led by Rev Alan Sproson. 

 6.30pm; Local Arrangement – Gathering.

Information correct as at 20 February 2020.  Some events are subject to change. 

There is also a Calendar on the noticeboards in Church which is updated approx. every two weeks.


Ben’s centre


As many of you are aware Bryan and Shirley Coates were supporters of Ben’s Centre over quite a long period. You may also be aware that they both chose Ben’s as the charity for donations at their Service of Thanksgiving.

I thought you would like to know that including the donations left at the church, donations sent directly to Ben’s and donations sent to the funeral directors, Ben’s received just over £900, which is a fantastic amount and shows the high regard and respect in which they were both held.

The way and manner in which Bryan and Shirley donated to Ben’s by insisting that the donations should never be publicly acknowledged, to me illustrates true Christian outreach. In other words,

giving to some of the most needy and vulnerable members of our society without asking for anything in return.

I knew Bryan as my very first boss way back in 1964 and have, as I am sure all you will have, always had the greatest respect for him. Both he and Shirley always showed true love and devotion.

They will be very much missed by so many people. Thank you, Bryan and Shirley for just being you.

Alan Brailey


The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’

But…the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

Martin Luther King Jr.



Do borrow a copy of the recent Winter edition of Connexions, which is all about choices.

The first story, about setting up a cafe for young people, is amazing and shows how dreams can become reality.

Another article tells of how seven congregations are coping with eight church buildings.

Dotted throughout the magazine are thought-provoking questions:  “How will you guard against missing the moment?”  “What uncomfortable truths is God inviting you to address with hope and courage?”  “What brave choices are you yearning to make in your church and circuit?”                                                                                       

You can’t miss the bright yellow copies sitting on the Coffee Lounge shelves.


‘I, Daniel Blake’

the Award-Winning and Critically Acclaimed Film will be shown at Banner Cross


As part of our Holy Habits Programme, we shall be showing the film ‘I, Daniel Blake’, on the evening of Thursday 26th March in Room 2. The editors of the resource booklet for the Holy Habit ‘Sharing Resources’ have recommended it. The evening will start at 6.30 pm with a simple meal of hearty soup, prepared by Rachel Tomlinson,

This film has a ‘15’ classification for very strong language. Its duration is 1 hour 40 minutes.  It was made in 2016 and directed by the acclaimed director, Ken Loach, of ‘Kes’ fame.

Synopsis: Daniel Blake is a 59 year-old widower and has worked as a highly skilled carpenter for most of his life in Newcastle. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. Having recently suffered a major heart attack at work, he has been ordered by his doctors to stay out of any vigorous action and rest. However, after a negative employment support assessment, he is deemed ineligible for compensation, not scoring enough points to obtain benefits. Without any income or a pension, desperate and frustrated from endless dead-end conversations over the phone with impersonal government health-care agents, Daniel will visit the welfare office and make an appeal. He crosses paths with young, single mother, Katie, who is battling to keep her two young children fed. Daniel is determined that Katie will not end up on the same situation as him. [source = IMDb]  Daniel and Katie find themselves in a no-man’s land, striving to pull themselves out of the welfare bureaucracy of the British benefits system. This is a vital film for our time.  

The editors of the ‘Sharing Resources’ booklet asks viewers to consider two questions posed by this hard-hitting film:

How does this film challenge our beliefs and/or prejudices about the benefits system?

How can we share what we have learnt?

Alison Russell


Holy Habits Planning Group

Notes from the Meeting held on 12th February 2020


Review of Recent Activities and Progress on Action Points

Reading the Bible (or Old or New Testament) in a Year [‘Biblical Teaching’]  This challenge began on 1st January. Rachel has spoken individually to people to encourage them.  We hope to set a date in March when a group could meet.

On 29th January, Rev. Tim led a small gathering to consider more questions relating to the book ‘The Great Spiritual Migration’ by Brian D McLaren which some had previously discussed. He also mentioned ‘the Seven Approaches to Using the Bible’ and gave out a handout. The discussion was preceded by a simple meal. It was agreed that it would be interesting to have another gathering to look more closely at ‘the Seven Approaches to Using the Bible’ in particular the question, “Where Are You on the Spectrum?”

Post-Service Lunches [‘Eating Together’] We are committed for six months up to19th April when there will be a Bring-and-Share Lunch. The lunches have proven to be popular and so it was agreed that they should continue to take place every third Sunday, as long as volunteers come forward to cook or coordinate. If someone would like to volunteer for the task of coordinating these meals, that would be great. 

Another Ethiopian meal had been enjoyed at Fresh Habesha. The next meal together (outside church) will be at The Crown Inn, Totley, on Wednesday 15th April at 1pm. Janet has booked a table for 12 (in the first instance) and will publicise it.

Margaret reported that, because there was a problem with funding, it had not been possible to open-up churches in Sheffield for the homeless last Christmas.

Sharing the Grass Frontage with the Community It had been agreed that this issue would be discussed at both Property Committee and Leadership Team meetings. 

Away Weekend (Retreat) [‘Making More Disciples’]  This matter to be discussed at meetings of the Leadership Team. Suggestions include: Mirfield Community of the Resurrection, Swanwick Conference Centre, and Whirlow Spirituality Centre. 

Forthcoming Activities for Sharing Resources

Share 40 Challenge for Lent The explanatory article with examples of ‘sharing’ challenges from the Birmingham Circuit, and a form on which to write your own 40 challenges for Lent, have been put out for collection.

Lent Boxes Contributions for this year’s Lent boxes will be for the food bank part of the Parson Cross Initiative. 

United Service- Sunday1st March at Millhouses Church We have been asked to contribute to a bring-and-share lunch after the service so the event may not finish until approx.1pm. The Singing Group should arrive by 10am for a practice.  There will be pre-service singing from 10.30am. The layout will be informal around tables. Rev Graham Wassell will lead the taking of Holy Communion. Our church will provide gluten-free bread. It has been suggested that everyone considers sitting with people from another church. There will be an opportunity for the three churches (Banner Cross, Millhouses and Carterknowle) to share their experiences of the Holy Habits Programme to date. Paula agreed to coordinate the preparation of, and then lead, a presentation using PowerPoint.  There will be a retiring collection for the Parson Cross Initiative. 

‘Seeking Aliveness’ by Brian D McLaren. We are due to discuss this book of daily reflections, led by Rev Tim, after the morning service on Sunday 22nd March. 


The film, ‘I, Daniel Blake’ will be shown on Thursday 26th March.

Board Games Café This suggestion will be discussed at a Leadership Team meeting.

Plans for the Holy Habit of ‘Worship’ – May and June 2020

Different Forms of Worship  We agreed that this is an issue for the Worship Group to discuss at their meeting on Monday 6th April. 

The Holy Habits Planning Group will lead a Service on ‘Worship’ on the morning of Sunday 24th May.

Singing at ‘The Banner Cross’ Some of us sang Christmas carols at this pub on 22nd December.  The Manager invited us back to sing ‘at Easter’ and will contact Paula with a date, either Tuesday 7th or Wednesday 8th April, probably from 6.30pm.The programme will be a mixture of worship songs and secular sing-a-long pieces. 

What Shall We Do When the Current Holy Habits Programme Finishes at the End of August?  We agreed that we thought a Holy Habits Planning Group should continue to meet.  We would like to include more people in the planning of events. We suggest that we would re-visit the habits but would not state a specified period of time for each. We might follow the same order, but in future also try to show how all the habits connect with each other. We wish to continue to discuss Christian and secular books and ask people to suggest suitable films. 

Date of Next Meeting- Wednesday 11th March from 7.30pm in Room 5.  All are welcome.



At the start of March, it won’t be too late to take-up the Lent Challenge for this year. That is, the Share 40 Challenge, inspired by the Holy Habits Programme, to complete 40 sharing activities during Lent. The explanatory article and form on which to write your own challenges are still available in Church. 

Church Council Meeting – Wednesday 4 March

There will be a meeting of the Church Council on Wednesday 4th March from 7.30pm in Room 2. All are welcome to come along, but only Church Council members can vote. 


The discussion of the Report by the Marriage and Relationships Task Group 2019, ‘God In Love Unites Us’ will take place, after the Lunch together, on Sunday 15 March. Please read the report, copies of which are still available in Church, before you come to the discussion. 

Holy Habits Book Club Meeting

Sunday 22 March

The book, chosen by Rev Tim Crome, for discussion after Morning Worship on 22 March is ‘Seeking Aliveness: Daily Reflections on a New Way to Experience & Practise the Christian Faith’ by Brian D McLaren. This is a 52-week devotional to inspire and activate you in your spiritual journey. Through weekly thoughtful readings and interactive learning, you’ll get an overview of the message of the whole Bible.  This book links very well to the challenge many at Banner Cross started at the beginning of the year, to read the whole Bible (or Old or New Testament) in a year. 

Help !!

We are desperate for helpers in our Little Fish Toddlers Group. We have a rota and need four people weekly to help. We need help from 9.00am to 12-noon, every Monday morning during term time.

If anyone feels they can help, can you please contact Hazel on 07788 053343. Thank you.

Day Trip to Bodnant Gardens Wednesday 13th May.

Would anyone like to join us on this excursion with Andrew’s ? Some of us would like to see the amazing laburnum arch, as well as the lovely gardens generally.

If you are interested please see Janet as soon as possible.


“God does watch over us and does notice us, but it is usually through someone else that he meets our needs.”

Spencer W. Kimball




The only thing better than singing, is more singing.       Ella Fitzgerald

Mothering Sunday

Sunday, 22ndMarch


In addition to Mothering Sunday or Laetare Sunday is also known as Refreshment Sunday, Rose Sunday, and the Sunday of the Five Loaves. Refreshment Sunday expresses the break from Lent which the Church takes, opening mass, allowing weddings, and waiting for Easter, as it is now closer in sight. There are two interpretations to the meaning of Rose Sunday – on the one hand, priests are allowed to wear rose-coloured liturgical garments instead of the traditional violet ones, and the fourth Sunday of Lent was also when the golden rose sent by popes to Catholic sovereigns was blessed. Sunday of the Five Loaves, as you can easily guess, refers to the feeding of the multitude and the miracle of the five loaves and two fish.

Things have changed a lot since the Mothering Sunday of the 17th century when children working away from home were allowed to visit their mothers, usually bringing flowers, and families got together for celebrations. The Industrial Revolution changed drastically the lifestyle in England and Mothering Day was one of the traditions lost to the new ways of society.

 Or the1920 Mothering Sunday Revival of Constance Smith when many mothers were mourning the loss of their sons in the First World War. Nowadays, the way we honour Mothering Sunday in the UK is similar to Mother’s Day celebrations around the world – with flowers, cards, and gifts.

The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift doesn’t Cost Money!

It turns out, however, that the presents British mums would most appreciate for their special day are not available in stores. According to a survey, mums get an average of 17 minutes “me-time” a day. That’s right, seventeen minutes. So, the best thing you can do this Mothering Sunday for your mother or wife, is to let her not be the mum for a day. Here’s what you can do:

Mum’s the word in the morning – if a mother tells you she really doesn’t mind getting up earlier than anybody else, she probably has some other secrets such as store-bought biscuit dough. Every busy mum would relish the chance to sleep in on a Sunday and this doesn’t really cost you anything, does it?

Take the cleaning off her hands – find her chore list and get the whole family together to tick each one off, so she can really enjoy a special day. Yellow rubber gloves have never been a number-one choice accessory for special occasions.

No mums allowed in the kitchen – trust us, your mum wouldn’t really like to spend her special day slaving over the hot stove, regardless of what she says. She’s a mum, it’s what they do – making us feel like it’s all okay even if it’s not. But not one or two mums have shared that they would really like to go for a picnic or a brunch outside for mother’s Day. So, you better hurry up with the reservations.

It’s her special day, let her enjoy it. Sometimes, the best you can do is nothing. Simply take the chores and errands off her hands and allow her to indulge in some quality alone time, whether it’s a hobby, a book and her favourite drink, or just a nice long bubble bath.

See, it doesn’t really take that much to make something special for the person who gave you life, taught you how to use a spoon, and still thinks you’re pretty no matter how bad hair day you’re having.


Saint David’s Day


Saint David, or Dewi Sant as he's called in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales. His day is 1st March.

His influence is shown in the number of churches dedicated to him in Wales and the celebrations each Saint David's Day.

Saint David fact file

There aren't many facts about St David; but here are the only undisputed ones.

  • He really existed
  • He was at the heart of the Welsh church in the 6th century
  • He came from an aristocratic family in West Wales
  • His mother was a saint, Saint Non
  • His teacher was also a saint, St Paulinus
  • He founded a large monastery in West Wales
  • He was one of the early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of Western Britain
  • He became Archbishop of Wales, but remained in his community at Menevia (now called St Davids)
  • He was active in suppressing the Pelagian heresy
  • His shrine became a great place of pilgrimage; four visits to the shrine at St David's were considered the equivalent of two to Rome, and one to Jerusalem!
  • The most famous story about Saint David tells how he was preaching to a huge crowd and the ground is said to have risen up, so that he was standing on a hill and everyone had a better chance of hearing him.

Saint David and the spin doctor

Most information about the Saint comes from a biography written by Rhygyfarch in the eleventh century. But because it was written so long after the Saint's death, it isn't likely to be very reliable.

Anyway, Rhygyfarch was a bit of a spin-doctor, and slanted his book to make the case for the Welsh church being independent of Canterbury. One writer describes Rhygyfarch's book as "chiefly a tissue of inventions".

So most of what we know about Saint David is really legend; and none the less inspiring for it.

Before his birth

The first legend is set 30 years before David was born when an angel foretold his birth to Saint Patrick.

The legend of his birth

Saint David's father was a prince called Sant, son of the King of Cardigan.

His mother, Non, was the daughter of a local chieftain (and possibly the niece of King Arthur).

But David wasn't the child of a love-filled marriage. He was born after his father either seduced or raped Non, who went on to become a nun.

Non left her family and gave birth by the sea. So intense was the birth that her fingers left marks where she grasped the rocks.

As David was born a bolt of lightning from heaven struck the rock and split it in two.

The legend of his baptism

St David was baptised by Saint Elvis of Munster, and it is said that a blind man was cured by the water used for the baptism.

David's early life, and another legend

David was schooled at the local monastery, Hen Fynyw, which is

south of present day Aberaeron, and was taught by Paulinus, a blind monk.

David cured Paulinus of his blindness by making the sign of the cross. Realising that David was a special and holy person, Paulinus sent him off as a missionary to convert the pagan people of Britain.

David the monk

In the course of his travels, David is said to have founded twelve monasteries.

David escapes poison

At one of his monasteries David became so unpopular with his monks for the life of austerity he made them live, that they tried to poison him.

David was warned about this by St Scuthyn, who travelled from Ireland on the back of a sea-monster for the purpose.

David blessed the poisoned bread and ate it; and came to no harm.


Items for the April 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 March please. Thank you,



The Sheffield Circuit Newsletter


To find out what is happening in and around the Sheffield Circuit a weekly newsletter is produced. This can be found at


If you want regular updates you can subscribe to the newsletter there.













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