St Mary's Mission - 2007

Introduction by The Right Reverend Jack Nicholls
Sixth Bishop of Sheffield (Retd)

"The sermon in eight parts, which forms the contribution to the
Mission at St Mary's Ecclesfield in 2007, is the result of
almost 30 years of preaching similar missions up and down
the country.  The basic content tries to cover my
understanding of the Christian faith and although the stories
have changed, the basic outline has remained the same.

I thank God that some people have found the words helpful in
their own journey into God.  May it be so for all who hear them
now."    +Jack

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Mission Prayer

Father, you have called us

to share in your mission here.
Make us worthy of our calling.
Fill us with the power of your Spirit.
Deepen our faith and direct our prayers,  

so that the light of Christmay shine

in our hearts and minds.
We pray that the warmth of that love

touch the hearts and minds

of those we meet each day.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Covenant Prayer

Most merciful God, I am no longer my own, but yours.

Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low to you;
let me be full, let me be empty;

let me have all things, let me have nothing;
I freely and whole heartedly yield all things

to your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God, Father,

Son and Holy Spirit,you are mine and I am yours

now and for eternity.


Covernant Prayer

The traditional Covenant prayer (shown above) makes it very clear that this affirmation is a serious one that embraces the whole of our life, in all its parts. Most people find it quite tough to say, and really mean it.

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Part 1 - Who am I?

Reading: John 1: 35 - 42

Playing time 29.5 Minutes - Recorded 4th June 2007

Part 2 - What is God like?

Reading: John 13: 1 - 11

Playing time 24.2Minutes - Recorded 5th June 2007

Part 3 - Jesus Calls

Reading: Mark 10: 46 - 52

Playing time 27.6 Minutes Recorded 6th June 2007

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Part 4 - Jesus Heals

Reading: John 9: 1 - 12

Playing time 24.57 Minutes Recorded 7th June 2007

Part 5 - Jesus Dies

Reading: John 19: 17 - 30

Playing time 27.8 Minutes Recorded 8th June 2007

Part 6 - Jesus Lives

Reading: John 20: 11 - 18

Playing time 25.9 Minutes Recorded 11th June 2007

Part 7 - What Use is the Church

Reading: John 5: 2 - 9

Playing time 23.9 Minutes Recorded 12th June 2007

Part 8 - What Next Reading:

Mark 8: 27 – 37

Playing time 30.9 Minutes Recorded 13th June 2007

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Five personal views on the Mission


I approached the Mission not quite knowing what to expect. What I found was exciting. The church looked wonderful every day, the music was both moving and inspiring and I was eager to return every night to listen to the message. I found it very challenging and a time to reflect on the true values of the Christian faith. For me personally it was a great joy to share it with family and friends and also to meet new people. I really appreciated all the work that was put into the Mission by many members of the church — so thank you all very much. Elaine Holland 


I had been quietly excited about the Mission, praying for its success and that I would take something from it on a personal level. I was not disappointed. Each one of the services I attended instilled thought, reaffirming my dedication to following Jesus and allowing God to be central in my life. I feel I'm being pulled from the 'periphery of church life' towards being more involved at its core. I eagerly await the CD of Bishop Jack's talks and am especially looking forward to listening to the last three, for which I was unable to attend. Melanie Siddy



John and I had recently started attending church and were looking forward to the Mission. Everyone in the church seemed to be busy in preparation, planning and visiting local families to invite them to attend. I was wondering what I could do to help when sadly I had an accident and fractured my leg. After discharge from hospital I was unable to offer practical help but prayed for the work of the Mission. Attending the nightly meetings was my first venture out of the house and greatly helped in my recovery. Sharing this time of fellowship, prayer and learning under Bishop Jack's ministry brought me closer to God than I have been for a long time and helped me to get to know other church members better. I feel very blessed by the support and concern shown to me, particularly during the Mission time. Janet Daniels



I left the Methodist church at the age of sixteen feeling somewhat disenchanted with what it seemed to represent. More recently I have become a regular (if somewhat infrequent) attendee at St Mary's and in many ways I'm still finding my way around. The Mission was a real eye opener for me; Bishop Jack's eight part sermon left me with plenty to think about and a very different view of what the established church is about. Sadly the big 'Mission' push is over, where its momentum will take me in the future I do not know, we will just have to wait and see. The mission banner may have come down but the mission continues. Peter Lonsborough



Mission, door knocking, 10 days! Oh dear this is not for me, can I do it, how can I spare the time? I found that it was for me. I did the door knocking and talked to those who answered. I only came across two negative people and I found the time. I am not saying I got everything right but it was well worth the effort. I feel the church (the congregation not the building) have come closer together as a family and I pray we will reap the fruits of our efforts as the Lord wills. Alwyne Hill