News

Updates from Whirlow

Community Bible Study starting soon!

Friday September 15 will be the first Community Bible Study at Whirlow Spirituality Centre.

CBS aims to provide participants with an opportunity to engage in in-depth, life-changing study of the bible. It is non-denominational, community-based and inclusive to all. See the website for more details

Sessions here will run weekly from 0945 to 1130, with refreshments to begin.

Please email Ali Woodman if you're interested in attending, or phone her on 07985 931289.

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Praying with Asylum Seekers

We were delighted and moved on Thursday to hear stories from Rodrigo Edema and Pride Mbi, representing City of Sanctuary Sheffield.

Part of our Praying With... series, the event gave us opportunity to hear personal stories from and ask questions of those with experience of seeking refuge.

 

Anna Potts appointed as Events Co-ordinator

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Anna Potts as our Events Co-ordinator from Monday June 5th. Anna comes with much experience in events management. Anna writes:

"Hi! I'm Anna.

I live with my family in north Sheffield. I've been a stay-at-home mum of twins for the last few years with a background working in local journalism, events management and community development. This work has often been done with churches and Christian organisations. 

I'm very interested in Christian spirituality and was delighted to see this role advertised. It will be great to join you all!

In other news, I play the 'cello and write a blog .... as often as the toddlers and my penchant for relaxation allow!"

Welcome, Anna, we look forward to getting to know you and working with you.

Holy Week Reflection 5 - Waiting and Grieving

Luke 23: 55-56

As the body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw it carried to the tomb. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to embalm him; but by the time they were finished it was the Sabbath, so they rested all that day as required by the Jewish law.  (The Living Bible)

Lord, where are you now?

 So there it is, the ugly shape of beautiful wood, rough hewn by human hands.

LORD, WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

 And there it is, a tight-shut tomb, a borrowed grave, sealed with stone and silence.

LORD, WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

And there it is, your broken body, shrouded in linen, clothed in darkness.

LORD, WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

And somewhere stand your people, crying though tired of crying, their eyes sore and bloodshot, they will not sleep tonight.

LORD, WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

 And out in the streets, the children have stopped their playing, the sound of music has gone sour, even the unlikely folk fidget and wonder.

LORD, WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

 And here we are, saying, ‘If only,’    murmuring, ‘Surely not,’    counting the cost for once of our carelessness and our lovelessness and our sin.

 Trying so vainly to gain all, we’ve bartered you away in the transaction. We have lost the one who found us.

 With the Peters and Marys of all time we wait, for only you can tell whether we are worth rising for.          Amen

1998 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, G51 3UU, Scotland

 

Holy Week Reflection 4 - The Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus

Jesus is condemned to death

Pilate asked what crime Jesus has committed. It was a good question. Jesus had annoyed the religious leaders, of that there was no doubt. He had been critical of social and religious structures. He had healed the villagers;he had told stories to the crowds; he had probably been a threat to public law and order; but was that enough to condemn him, to end his life?

But he would not defend himself – the story teller was silent now and the crowds was noisy and Pilate handed him over to be crucified.           

Jesus is nailed on the cross

We look on from a distance: a distance of time and space and culture, a distance of a Friday evening in Sheffield in Lent. And for us it hurts to watch Jesus dying, even at a distance. It hurts to know we are being shown a better way. It hurts to know how much we are valued and loved.

For the depth of your love for us, we thank you.

God in your mercy,

HEAR OUR PRAYER

(From Stations of the Cross in Eggs and Ashes. Wild Goose Publications

Holy Week Reflection 3 - The Last Supper

Mark 14: 17-26

 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me – 0ne who is eating with me.’  They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, ‘Surely not I?’  ‘It is one of the Twelve,’ he replied, ‘one who dips bread into the bowl with me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.  But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man!  It would be better for him if he had not been born.’

 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’  Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.  ‘This is my blood of the covenant[1], which is poured out for many,’ he said to them.  ‘I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.’

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

 (See also: Matthew 26: 20-30, Luke 22: 13-38)

Reflection

 

 

Imagine yourself as one whom Jesus has invited to share in this Last Supper.  What is it that Jesus longs for you to understand about the meaning of his life?  What do you long for in your relationship with God?

 

 

 

 

We use some (but not all) of the elements of the Passover meal to focus our thoughts:

The picture of the sacrificial lamb; ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John the Baptist on Jesus.)

The sweet paste, charoseth, was a reminder of the clay from which the Israelites had made bricks in Egypt -reflect on what you have been saved from by Jesus.

Salt water represented the tears of the Israelite slaves in Egypt.  It also reminded them of the cost of salvation (the tears of the Egyptians for their first-born) and of the waters of the Red Sea through which they passed into freedom -  reflect on the cost of your freedom (the suffering and death Jesus embraced for you).

 

 

Meditate on the picture of The Last Supper by Sieger Koeder.

Holy Week Reflection 2 - The Anointing of Jesus

John 12: 2-8

Anointing of Jesus 2.jpg

Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 

 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 

Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

 Reflection

 ‘And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume’ 

  The different fragrances are a reminder of our offering of love and worship.  Perhaps you could take some perfumed lotion and rub it onto your hands as you reflect on this story.

 Ask yourself - How can I, in my situation and within my own personality, be like this woman?  Her life had been so deeply touched by Jesus that she wanted to do something precious for him.  Is that true for me?

 ‘She has done what she could.’

What could you bring as an offering of love, gratitude and worship?  Hold it in your mind and mark it in some way by writing it down or by lighting  a candle and placing it somewhere significant.

 

 

Holy Week Reflection 1 - Cleansing The Temple

Mark 11:12-18

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there.

 He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.

 And as he taught them, he said,” Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of robbers’.”

 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the crowd was amazed at his teaching.          

                           (See also Matthew 21:12-15; Luke 19:45-48)

 The temple area was always crowded during Passover with thousands of out-of-town visitors. The religious leaders crowded it further by allowing money changers and merchants to set up booths in the court of the Gentiles.

The temple tax had to be paid in local currency but the money changers would charge exorbitant exchange rates. As they had travelled vast distances many people had to buy their animals for sacrifices in the temple area where prices were higher than elsewhere.

Jesus was angry at the dishonest, greedy practices of the money changers and merchants who exploited those who had come to God’s house to worship.

 They were making a mockery of God’s house of worship.

Reflection

 He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves …

  •  Is there anything you do or say that might prevent others from coming to worship God?
  •  Is there anything you do or think that prevents you from worshipping wholeheartedly?
  • Is there anything about which you are angry about, that you need to give to Jesus rather than harbouring it?
  •  Is there anything else which needs liberating from your life?

‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’

  •  Pray for The Chapel of The Holy Spirit (and/or your own church) to be a house of prayer for all.
  • Pray for injustices that you are aware of in your community, city, nation, other nations.

 

 

 

Event Co-ordinator needed

Our Spirituality Programme developed and managed by our Chaplain, along with volunteers, has become so full and so successful, we are now looking to recruit an Events Co-ordinator -  advert below. Please pray that the right person is chosen and appointed.

Click here for the link to the advert

Music for the Spirit

Music for the Spirit                                              

Whirlow has been home to the highly successful ‘We who sing pray twice’ events for over six years, but other musical activity has largely consisted of recordings and occasional hymns and songs in the monthly reflective worship and weekly communion services.

The Chaplain at Whirlow Spirituality Centre, Joy Adams and David Quinney have been working for almost a year to arrange a series of recitals and concerts in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Whirlow.

The programme will introduce chamber-style classical music events recognising the spiritual dimension of music, to use it to celebrate the unique atmosphere and ideal setting of the Chapel. The series will also seek to increase the attraction of local residents to the Spirituality Centre that was originally built to be their place of worship.

The series is intended to offer musical performances resonating with the reflective, meditative and affirmative style of this special place. Invitations have been made to five performers and ensembles, as follows:

·         Friday 19 May 7.30pm: Hallam Sinfonia String Quartet

·         Saturday 3 June 7.30pm: Lucy Phillips (Violin) and David Hammond (Piano)

·         Friday 30 June 7.30pm: Chloe Saywell (Soprano), Stephanie Pitts (Piano) and Matthew Redfearn (Trumpet and Flugelhorn)

·         Saturday 23 September 7.30pm: Wind Quintet under the direction of Martin Lightowler

·         Saturday 28 October 7.30pm: Simeon Wood (Flute and other wind instruments including NHS walking stick!)

Bookings can be made online - including a saving of £5 if you book all 5 concerts together.

Lent at Whirlow

Lent

Our plans for Lent and Easter are in progress, beginning with a reflective Ash Wednesday Service on 1st March at 7.00pm in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Rev Sheila Walters and Rev Joy Adams (Chaplain) will be leading us in a reflection on God's loving-kindness -and our response to it,  culminating in ashing and sharing bread & wine for those who wish.

We would love you to join us as we prepare to enter Lent.

 

During Lent, from March 11th - 31st, we shall be exhibiting the 7 Holiness & Justice paintings of Ric Stott. These were commissioned by the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference. All details can be found here

Ric will also be leading an evening on Praying with Art on March 16th and a Lent Quiet Day on March 25th.

Flame of Hope Prayer Vigil 31st August 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
7:00pm  9:00pm

Join us for a quiet vigil with the Flame of Hope - drop in any time between 7pm and 9pm.

  • to be quiet or light candles 
  • to bring your concerns to God about what is happening in the world and in this country post-Referendum and Chilcot Report etc.,
  • to pray with and for Hope for friendship and good connections between peoples and communities across S. Yorkshire.

The Flame of Hope (a Miner's lamp) was lit at the Your Kingdom Come prayer event outside Sheffield Cathedral on 6th August and since then has been taken on a prayer walk around Wisewood outer estate, a family fun day at Winn Gardens inner city estate, a city-wide youth event quiet space in Sheffield; and due in Warmsworth, nr Doncaster, Parson Cross and will be at Whirlow Spirituality Centre on 31st August, before being passed onto other locations in South Yorkshire.

It is so right that the Chapel of the Holy Spirit hosts this Prayer Vigil. The Chapel has been a place of reflective and contemplative prayer for well over 50 years, and its role in prayerfully supporting South Yorkshire and surrounding communities continues in many different ways.

To make sure it comes to your area - contact Kinder Kalsi on kinderatwork@hotmail.co.uk  (except 1st to 14th Sept when the contact is Joy Adams on chaplain@whirlowgrange.co.uk )

Visit: http://flameofhopeontour.yolasite.com/  
The Tour is organised by a S Yorkshire Quiet Prayer Group and supported by the Church Army, and CTSY. The Flame comes with a set of resources and a display.
 

 

Taken, Blessed, Broken, Shared

Many of you reading this will be aware of our weekly Reflective Eucharist held each Tuesday, 9.45am - 10.00am.

Yesterday's worship contained a contribution by Jacky Stride, a Whirlow volunteer and regular contributor to Quiet Days etc. Jacky read her own composition as Rev Di Williams broke the bread and poured the wine - a beautiful and moving Eucharistic Prayer:

Preface – Gospel of Thomas: Logion 108

Whoever drinks what flows from my mouth Will come to be as I am

And I also will come to be as they are So that what is hidden will become manifest.

Taken, blessed, broken, shared

Bread, taken with faltering hands

and held with unworthy gratitude;

offered again and again

in an endless stream of love.

 

Bread, blessed by ancient words

of promise never broken.

Made holy by your eternal presence

freely given in all realms of existence.

 

Bread, crumbled between the

fingers of the Father, for me.

Broken again by my inability

to love as you have bidden me.

 

Bread, shared in corporate recognition

of a common hunger,

a unity which cannot be corrupted

or spoiled by a world of duality and fear.

 

Bread, enfolded into my body,

your “thou” coursing through

the essence of my “I”.

You in me and I in you.

 

Wine, drinking in your mystery

sip by glorious sip,

revealing the God within each one.

Taken, blessed, broken, shared.

Jacky Stride   February 2016

Holy Week Reflections at Whirlow

We pray that your Lent is proving to be a time of spiritual refreshment and preparation for Holy Week and the Easter celebrations. There have been reflective services in Holy Week at Whirlow for many years and this year is no exception. Stations of the Cross (Seiger Koder) will be set up all week and the The Chapel will be open on Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday for individual reflection, 7-8.30pm. On Holy Wednesday, Jane Johnston will lead reflections from Isaiah 53 - 'By his stripes we are healed'. Our Chaplain Joy Adams will lead 'From the Table to the Garden - a Maundy Journey' on Maundy Thursday. Both begin at 7pm.

The Good Friday service will be framed around Seiger Koder's Stations of the Cross, again starting at 7pm.. Then on Holy Saturday we meet at 8pm to hear the Story of Salvation led by Di Williams and Jeremy Timm, both of Contemplative Fire. At 10pm we'll share in soup and fellowship before beginning an Easter Vigil at 11pm, which will go through to 5am to a reflection on Darkness Yielding led by Joy again.

We finish with celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ with communion and renewal of baptismal vows on Easter Morning, followed by croissantsand coffee.

You are welcome to join us at any of the above events, no need to book although it would be helpful for us to know if you wish to join us for soup on Holy Saturday or croissants and coffee on Easter Sunday, phone 0114 235 3704 or sign up at Whirlow.

We pray you meet the resurrected Christ in a fresh and inspiring way this Easter.

 

Exploring Traditions series

The first of our Exploring Traditions series begin on 1st March with Exploring New Monasticism

This first evening will be led by members of Contemplative Fire North, some of whom are regulars at Whirlow. Contemplative Fire was founded by Philip Roderick, our previous chaplain, and CF North use the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. So there are many reasons to look forward to this event.

Each evening we shall explore a different Christian tradition by hearing from those from that tradition. There will also be an opportunity to reflect and experience prayer in that particular tradition/spirituality.

Other events in the series are as follows:

April 6th: Exploring the Benedictine Tradition led by members  of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield

May 16th : Exploring The Wesleyan Tradition led by Joy Adams, Methodist Minister & Chaplain to Whirlow Spirituality Centre at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit

June 13th : Exploring Quakerism led by Linda Hoy, Sheffield Central Quaker Meeting

July 6th : Exploring Orthodoxy led by Father Edwin Hunt, parish Priest of the Parish of St Cuthbert; Sheffield, Scunthorpe & Chesterfield

Happy New Year from the team at Whirlow

As we look back over 2015, we are so grateful to God for the way the Whirlow spirituality programme has not only been maintained since the closure of the Conference Centre in 2014, but has also grown - in numbers attending, and depth of spirituality offered and enjoyed. We look forward to welcoming you in 2016.

We trust you have enjoyed a happy and peaceful Christmas - as we move into the New Year and possibly make New Year Resolutions, perhaps one of them may be to set specific time aside to 'be' with God in 2016.

The January events planned at Whirlow are designed just for that purpose:

 

 

January 3rd 7pm Reflective Covenant Service with Communion, in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit

 

 

January 9th
Day of Retreat
, 9.30am - 5pm (£15)
details here

January 14th
Praying with The Jesus Prayer
8pm - 9.30pm (£5) details here
 

January 19th
Simple Quiet Day
9.45am - 3.45pm (£12) details here 

 
Keep an eye on the website  as our 2016 programme takes shape.

With our prayers and best wishes for the New Year
The Whirlow Spirituality Centre team

Come, Now is the time to Worship

Jackie Thackray has painted 3 wonderful depictions of the Magi and allowed us to display them at Whirlow. This is show she describes them: 

The 3 paintings together are called 'Extravagant Worship '.The series are based on Matthew 2:11.   ‘On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. ‘

 The first is called 'Come' and is an open invitation to anybody and everybody. 

Extravagant Worship - Come 2.jpg

 

The second one is called 'Now is the time' - All their seeking and journeying has ended and the magi are pausing on the threshold of the house which marks the end of the journey and the beginning of worship, to look into the eyes of God before bowing down to worship. 

 The third is called ' Worship' - bowing down and stepping into the presence of God to worship him. 

Extravagant Worship - Worship.jpg

 They reflect the worship song 'Now is the time to worship' by Philips, Craig and Dean

Advent Quiet Day - Benedictus: Blessed be God

The first of our Advent Quiet Days led by Graham Pigott has just ended. It was obviously appreciated by those attending:
'Just want I needed'
'A safe place in which to come close to God. The right balance between thought provoking input and time to respond'
'A very illuminating day - gently led and which enthused us.'
'A peaceful venue and a great day, well led ...'

Please note the 2nd Advent Quiet Day on Saturday 5th December is fully booked, but why not look on the website for other Quiet Days in 2016.

In quiet and in trust shall be your strength... Isaiah 30:15

As I write this, our second Day of Retreat is under way, timed to coincide with Ascension Day and the beginning of Diocesan 10 Days of Prayer.
These Days of Retreat (including Simple Quiet Days) are proving very popular, it is recommended that booking is made early and online  to ensure a place.

These times of quiet are also spiritually refreshing and inspiring, here is a poem written on a previous day based on Ezekiel 47, by Judith Jessop, a Methodist Minister on Parson Cross and leader of a planned event in July - Spirituality on the Edge

River of Life - flowing of God's love
Be part of it - shaped and refreshed
Roots drawing from it through the earthiness of Parson Cross

To be healthy - flourishing and green
A supple tree - sign of God's presence
Providing leafy shade for rest and healing in Parson Cross

Sharing love - hospitable welcome
Nourishing fruit - taste and see ...
Invitation to sit on the riverbank at Parson Cross

And encounter the Source of life