Our church was planted out of St Thomas Crookes (an Anglican / Baptist church in Crookes) beginning in 1998, under the leadership of Mike Breen.
The planting out was in response to significant growth and also to a sense of call to the whole city.
From the beginning, we have had a vision for outreach to the whole city, and an emphasis on mission in communities.
We also have a heritage of initiating and supporting discipleship in mission all around the world, and especially in Scandinavia, the United States and Australasia, and, as part of that, of raising and sending out leaders and missionaries around the world.
We want to join with anyone who shares our heart for mission, especially in reaching Sheffield.
For the first few years we met in rented locations, but in 2003 we were able to purchase the Philadelphia campus. The next year we became St Thomas Philadelphia, formally separated from St Thomas Crookes, and Paul Maconochie became senior leader.
In 2009 we were joined by the Kings Centre, a Sheffield house church in Nether Edge, which shared our vision for cross-denominational mission to the whole city. Our family name became Network Church Sheffield. We now have Anglican, Baptist and House Church roots and we continue to honour these ‘parents’ from whom we came.
In 2011 we planted City:Base, with a focus on the city centre. City:Base became St Phillips, and legally independent, in 2015.
Scriptures that have been particularly important in forming our identity include:
- Matthew 28: 16-20 (the Great Commission).
- The letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, especially the letters to Ephesus and Philadelphia, and the challenges and invitations that they give;
- The river coming from the Temple in Ezekiel 47;
In addition to the churches already mentioned, our particular friends and partners are:
Kairos Connexion was established (as CKN) by Paul Maconochie in 2011, and is now led by Nic Harding of Frontline Church in Liverpool.
It is a network of churches and leaders who have committed to travel together on a journey of mission and discipleship. We share a calling to see our nation transformed with the gospel through a movement of missionary disciples, working with individuals, churches and cities.
For more details, see the Kx website.
The Order of Mission
The Order of Mission (TOM) is a covenant community of missional leaders. A family on mission committed to hearing the call of God in our lives and responding in obedience and faith.
TOM began in 2003 from St Thomas Philadelphia. It’s a network of friends that aims to be there for life, not just our current place of calling. We make promises before God to be part of and live according to the values of this community.
There are about 400 members of TOM worldwide. The current senior Guardian is Keld Dahlmann who also leads a Lutheran church in Aarhus, Denmark.
TOM UK is officially recognised by the Church of England. For more details, visit the TOM charity website.