In the midst of everything going on at the moment, what’s happening with our plans to plant a new church in Sheffield later this year? Excitingly, things are still moving forward, team is still being gathered, logistics are still coming together, and we’re still really excited for what’s to come! In this blog, Dave May gives a quick update:


In the midst of this challenging and difficult season we are all living in, some of our friends have been asking us if Covid-19 is likely to change the timings of our plans to move and launch the Sheffield Church Plant. In light of this we wanted to give a little bit of an update. We know we will need to remain flexible as the circumstances around Covid-19 develop, but for now we are sticking with our original plan to move in July and launch in September.


The biggest news on this front, which opens up the possibility of us sticking to our original timings is that we have had an offer accepted on a great house in Sheffield, and we have a buyer for our house in Oxford. We sense God is really in the timing of this, as we viewed the house in Sheffield just 2 weeks before the lockdown started. What is more, neither the people buying our house, or the people we are buying from are in a chain. It’s not yet a complete story but we believe that God in his goodness is working in all this – when God calls you to do something, he makes a way for it to happen.


Perhaps the most exciting news of all is that we have a growing number of people who are committed to being part of the initial team. We are so impressed with the courage and character they are showing to press on with their plans to move in the midst of all that is going on. It’s also been hugely encouraging to hear the stories of how clearly God has spoken to them. For example, before they had even met us or heard about the church plant, one person felt God speak to them about Sheffield, church planting and palm trees! As you’ll know if you’ve been following our story so far, palm trees played a big part in our sense of call to Sheffield – this video tells the full story!


We are so delighted to be doing this as part of the Catalyst family of churches. We feel very supported by both the church I currently work for, Emmanuel Oxford, and the wider Catalyst family of churches. The input we are receiving from Matt Partridge and his hub team is so key to us. It’s also been fantastic to connect with other Catalyst church leaders from towns and cities nearby to Sheffield. We’re so grateful to Matt and Pip Hatch from Mosaic Leeds, for helping us make these connections and for their friendship, help, and support. In the middle of all that is now happening in our nation, it’s so good to know that we are not doing this on our own.


It’s incredible to see it all gaining momentum. While we have so much more to learn about Sheffield, God is continuing to grow our heart for the city. We have sensed God speaking to us about:


– Being contributors and not consumers
– To love God’s presence
– To seek the peace and flourishing of Sheffield, alongside all the other great churches already in the city


Please pray for us and for our team. Pray for the house to go through. Pray for all our team as they try to arrange moving and getting jobs, at a time when that is not an easy thing to do. Pray for Sheffield, and that God would grow our hearts for the people there. We are still looking and praying for more people to join us on this adventure, so if you are interested in finding out more, you can get in touch with us at and we’d love to hear from you!


Written by Dave May

By Catalyst

Catalyst is a movement of churches raising world-changers in the UK and around the world