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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2013

What does God require of us?

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2013 comes to us from an ecumenical group in South India. They have reflected upon their own context and offer to us a theme that calls us to respond to the obligations to act justly in the world.
The text is taken from Micah 6.6-8.
The materials have been adapted by the Britain and Ireland writers group and they have written additional material, including meditations for each of the 8 days, and two versions of the worship service. 
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18th to the 25th January - the octave of St. Peter and St. Paul. 
Full details

Prayer column - January 2013

When the light goes Lord, where are you in this cold, dark, dank graveyard of a time? When I look up there is only darkness, like a thicket shutting out the sun. I’m shivering! There’s none of the warmth you’ve blessed me with before.

Why do I have to suffer like this? Why is everything so dark and hopeless? Why do I have to cope on my own? What’s the point of it all? Why haven’t you answered my prayers and taken away the pain like you promised?

And yet – promise: when I think, perhaps your promise is after all the key to the way out of this dungeon of despair. Perhaps I have to hold on to your promise that you are never absent, even in the scary shadow times, merely invisible, for reasons of your own: it’s a trial, not a life sentence. I have to endure and win through, torture though it feels like. Didn’t James say trials were a training programme building us up; didn’t Peter see them as a refining process, producing faith of pure gold? A crucible isn’t meant to be comfor…

Now for something really simple ...

Under the guidance of a baker of 52 years experience, John  Anderson,  whose record is 76 000 rolls made in one night, and who has been making bread, on and off, (mostly  off) since 1959, join us in making your own loaf.  After all the jollities, fripperies and trimmings of Christmas, I am inviting anyone in the Circuit  to come and take part in a simple and fulfilling act of worship – making bread.  For the evening worship at Baildon Methodist Church Hall on Sunday 30 December we shall handle and discuss, mix and meditate on, all the ingredients of bread: for example, the oil will come from Palestine, the yeast and salt will remind us of the words of Jesus. We shall make and bake bread; then eat it with some delicious home-made jam. This cannot be done in less than three hours and so the service will start at four o'clock.
When I last took such a service, many people said what a good idea it was and they were very interested in coming. A dark December afternoon should be an idea…

Supporting the Circuit through Prayer

I have begun to set up a network of intercessors to pray steadily for the Circuit.  I believe prayer makes a difference, and it's a way of supporting the Circuit and all its Churches, and also the Leadership Team.  What I have been doing is sending out a letter approximately each week, with a bit of comment on prayer plus a short list of points for prayer for the week.
If you would like to join in with this, please let me know and I will add you to the mailing list.

Crag Road Drop-in-Centre

Our 'open invitation party' Christmas was not as well attended as the previous year but no doubt some of this was down to the extremely adverse weather conditions.  We were fortunate to have Nick Blundell among our visitors who were very surprised to discover that we had two Mormon young men call in for a cup of tea.  We will be holding another Christmas event on 14 December at 2.00 pm.

Training:  We held a one-day training session with Project 6 who held a workshop on alcohol and drug awareness.  most of our leaders were able to attend and found the session informative.

Publicity:  We have continued to produce new leaflets, bookmarks and newsletters to hand out to the nearby homes.

Signs of Hope:  We are delighted to record that one of the men that started to attend the Drop-in-Centre has been frequently to church and has expressed a desire to be considered for membership.  Others have worshipped with us on several occasions.  We are also happy that two of our members are trying…

Message from the Link

Dear Friends
Once again we will be rehearsing the Christmas Story, we shall be remembering a troubled land, remembering how occupying forces demanded a census for tax purposes.  And once more there is conflict in Israel and Gaza.  The 'Holy Land' once again seems to be less than Holy and more about political and military power struggles.
Somehow it begs the question, 'Does anything ever change?' And then, we remember the Christmas Story, of how God became human in Jesus - quietly, almost unnoticed by many, born as he was, in a stable bare.  And with his birth the world changed.  Without huge fanfare, unless you could hear the choirs of angels.  without grand gesture but with the fragility and love of a new born child to a family, and with that intimacy of relationship we see so often on our Christmas Cards of the Holy family gathered there together.
Here is perhaps the greatest hint we have that things can change, even nations can change, but it starts, it begins with …

Circuit NWiB Advent Service

Circuit NWiB (Network)
Advent Service at
Eccleshill Methodist Church
Friday 30 November 2012
2.30 pm
Address given by Rev Sarah Jemison
Tea & mince pies
B&B stall
Everyone welcome

Reflection & Prayers for December

Keeping the Peace
That hassled feeling.  When it comes, how do we get back to that calm centre where peace rules?  Eugene Peterson (who wrote ‘The Message’ bible) offers a good insight.  He says that in worship we put God at the centre of our lives, whereas our normal sinful tendency is to arrange the world around ourselves, each striving to be the centre.  And when the world refuses – how dare things not work out the way I want!  But God is the only true Centre.  And we only get right with ourselves and the world when we arrange our lives around him, as in worship (at least, when we’re focussing on God).  So, if feeling hassled indicates that God is not currently our Centre, what can we do about it? 
We can resolutely remind ourselves that God is Creator and Ruler of all, and that when we put ourselves in his care, accepting his forgiveness through Jesus, we promise to obey his leading in the Spirit – that’s worship.  It puts the Lord back at the Centre: we can look to him for guida…

Christmas Services 2012

Below is the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Preaching Plan.
We are appreciative of those Local Preachers and Supernumerary Ministers who have expressed a willingness to take services this Christmas.    We find ourselves in a difficult place with the reduced number of Presbyters, and their help is invaluable.
Could stewards be in touch with preachers in good time, especially if the service has particular characteristics or expectations (e.g lessons & carols, all-age, etc).
We have almost been able to meet the requests of the churches, and we hope that where this has not been possible, they will take the opportunity offered to be ‘@Elsewhere’. @Elsewhere means that when there isn’t a service at your church, you might consider joining another congregation.In addition to the circuit churches, churches of other denominations may also be pleased to see you! Church Christmas Eve Christmas Day Allerton @Elsewhere 10.00am Greenwood Baildon 11.00am CafĂ© style…

HOPE Together & HOPE Revolution

Dear friends,

You are personally invited to attend an exciting evening at Bradford Academy that we hope will bring people together from Bradford and Leeds to see how further Unity, Prayerful Worship and Missional Transformation can develop between the two cities.

Back in July 2012, we saw over 50 young people, 12 leaders and several churches from across Bradford and Leeds join together in a 2 day pilot mission. We partnered with a local church in Bradford to share and witness to Christ's love in word and deed. In addition to this, we included young people in the conversation of ways in which to help connect both cities in the future.

There are many people interested in exploring the potential of developing something on a larger scale, culminating in a week of mission across the two cities in 2014.
Your attendances and input will help shape the way forward:
We would like to invite you to an exciting evening of information about HOPE Together and the youth strand HOPE Revolution. There …

Understanding & Transforming Conflict - 17 November 2012

Understanding & Transforming Conflict:
a day to raise awareness of conflict in churches … and how it can be transformed.
Saturday 17 November 2012
Little Lane Church, (Little Lane, Bradford BD9 5HD)

Conflict happens everywhere ... ... so why not equip yourself and your church with an awareness of what may be happening and some skills to help transform conflict when it occurs?
A conflict awareness day ... ... is designed to help you explore conflict in an interesting, thoughtful and safe way - and have fun at the same time! The day will be particularly appropriate for churches not experiencing difficult conflict, but who want to develop and maintain good relationships

Jointly led by: Revd Dr James Coleman, Synod Development Officer, Revd Kevin Watson, Synod Moderator, Mr Alastair Forsyth, Elder, Knaresborough URC

Further details: Revd Dr James F Coleman, Synod Development Officer, The United Reformed Church, Yorkshire Synod Office, Somerset House, St Paul’s Street, Morley, Leeds LS27 9…

The JB Big Band - 24 November 2012

Enjoy an evening of your favourite music when The JB Big Band Weaves its incredible magic! At Wrose Methodist Church Thornacre Road, Wrose, Shipley, BD18 1JY On Saturday 24th November 2012 At 7.30 p.m. Tickets £7 [includes a buffet supper] Raffle on the night For tickets or more information Ring 588875 / 587734

Table Top Sale - 10 November 2012

Saturday 10th November 2012 10 a.m. to 12 noon At Wrose Methodist Church Hall Thornacre Road, Wrose, Shipley, BD18 1JY Come in and share in the warmth and friendship, whilst, of course, enjoying a drink and bacon butties! Stalls will include cake & bric-a-brac To book a table please ring: 01274 588875 or 587734

Scarecrow Festival

When we first mooted the idea of having a Scarecrow Festival it seemed months away – it was!  But the months passed so swiftly it was upon us before we realised.  Thank goodness for the Internet as September saw a flurry of emails from which materialised volunteer signup sheets, posters, flyers, leaflets and a most amazing weekend!
A few of us went to church on Friday afternoon not sure who would turn up, whether there’d be any scarecrows and with no specific plans; they did, there were and gradually it all started to come together.  Having seen the work that our groups had put into making their scarecrows, we left praying that people would turn up on the Saturday to see them.
We needn’t have worried as there was a steady stream of people both morning and afternoon and we were thrilled by the length of time our visitors stayed with us.  They offered prayers on sheaves of wheat, and the children’s table was a constant hive of activity as young and not so young made paper plate scarecr…

Encountering Depression - Autumn Author Event

Cornerstone Bookshop welcomes Rev Andrew & Dr Elizabeth Procter For the 2012 Autumn Author Event Encountering Depression What is depression? Christians and Depression Recovering from Depression
Thursday 1st November 7.30pm

Saturday 3rd November 9.30am
at Trinity Methodist Church Westmoreland Street, Skipton, BD23 2EA.

(access from Duckett Street) Tickets £5 available from: Cornerstone, 17 Newmarket Street, Skipton
Tel 01756 793673 email:

Disciples Together

Disciples Together 13 October 2012 from 10am-4pm at Woodhouse Grove School Led by Revd Dr Roger Walton
The morning will be an exploration of discipleship and the role of small groups. The afternoon will provide a chance to encounter and experience resources and group materials.
Disciple – Bible study for discipleshipCell Groups – how are they different from house group and what impact can they have on a church?Know and Grow – a supported mission programme for local churchesGirl Friend Theology - connecting with God everydayLiving the Questions - an open minded alternative to the studies that attempt to give you all the answersTable-talk – a game of conversationsEncounter - exploring where God might be leading nextLyfe – a conversation between friends seeking a richer relationship with God This is a unique opportunity to explore resources for your church. Bring a car load. To book a place contact the District Office 01484 719993 or email:

Amendment to Circuit Plan

Please note that the evening service at Baildon on 4 November will commence at 4.30 and continue until 6pm.  This service for all ages will be led by David and Elaine Lee based on information and activities provided by “Open Doors UK”.

Festive Fair Trade 13 October

Festive Fair TradeSaturday 13 October 2012 10.00 am to 12.00 noon
Calverley Methodist Church
There will be a large selection of fair trade food, gifts and also Christmas cards available as well as refreshments, entry is free but donations for refreshments will be gratefully received for Traidcraft Exchange.

Blenheim Brunch 20 October 2012

Blenheim Brunch
Saturday 20 October 2012 at
Haworth Road Methodist Church
12.00 noon - 2.00 pm
Why not pop in for Soup & Sandwiches followed by Dessert Tea/Coffee

Message from the Link

D ISSUE 16 OCTOBER 2012 ear Friends
How many times have you heard people say in your church ‘Well, I didn’t know about that!’  Quickly followed by, ‘Well, if you read the notices …’
Communication within churches can be wonderful, it can be a little frustrating and it can be never quite what we had hoped.  The same is true across the Circuit, and very soon we will be reviewing methods and means of communication.  Part of this review may include looking at ‘The Link’ and ‘Outlook’ in the light of our focus upon Mission.  For example, it may be that we move more towards what has happened and how it worked to encourage churches to think about the stories that they have to share, rather than being a notice sheet of things to come.
Which leads me to ask, have we ever wondered about who it is we are trying to communicate to, and about what?  For example, there have been many adverts in ‘The Link’ about coffee mornings and cake.  Indeed, it has sometimes read as though that is all we do!  So, w…

Worship Leader Training

The dates for the worship leaders course are as follows.  Every session will be held at EccleshillMethodist Church from 7.30 to 9.30pm
1st October 22nd October 12th November 26th November 10th December
For further information about this please contact a Minister on 0845 6060820
Further information from the Methodist Church about being a Worship Leader.

Prayer Column: October 2012

Dear Lord, ...

I can’t send you a letter, nor email; I can’t phone you or text you. But we can still get through to one another. This prayer thing: I do praise you for devising it in the first place, and teaching us all down the generations how to use it. It grows on you (and with you). So simple: Dear Lord, ... No machinery to go wrong or forget how to use, no one needing paid, no fear of power cuts.

Does it work? people ask. Depends what you mean, I suppose. I can get through to you: I know you’re there. A lot of the time I can feel you, and even hear you whispering, or feel you prompting and teaching
through your word (is that your texting after all?). And even without the electric charge of your presence, I have your promise – you are there.

But then requests: does praying for things work? Again it depends. If I imagined you a Christmas tree, with presents all around just for the asking, I doubt if that would do. But when I see Christmas as part of you
(not the other way round), …

Tax Justice Bus Tour - 11 October

Greetings from Christian Aid in Yorkshire!
Hopefully you will have picked up through various ways that Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty are bringing their Tax Justice Bus Tour to Saltaire United Reformed Church on Thursday 11th October.
The bus will be outside Saltaire URC between 2.30 – 3.30pm and will be open for everyone to come and hear how tax dodging is harming the poor.
We hope to be joined by:
·You ·Rev Roger Walton (Chair of West Yorkshire Methodist District) ·Rev Kevin Watson (United Reformed Church Moderator of Yorkshire Synod) ·Dr Dereje Alemayehu (Chair of the Tax Justice Network Africa) ·Your MP ·And the local press
According to Church Action on Poverty ‘tax avoidance of all kinds…steals £35 billion from the UK every year’. Meanwhile Christian Aid estimates that tax dodging costs developing countries $160 billion dollars every year; that’s more than one and a half times the global aid budget. Church ActiononPoverty’s National Coordinator, Niall Cooper, speaks for all…

MWiB "Gifts of Promise" Quiet Day 28 November

QUIET DAY FOR ADVENT "GIFTS OF PROMISE" Leaders: Rev Peter and Mrs Jean Bedford, of Skipton Wednesday 28 November 2012 10.00am – 3.30pm at The Briery Retreat Centre 38 Victoria Avenue  ILKLEY LS29 9BW
The Briery is set in spacious grounds on the outskirts of Ilkley, and is described as ‘a place of spiritual renewal where those who come can find God in an atmosphere of love, prayer, healing and peace.’
Travel to Ilkley is by bus from Bradford, Keighley and Skipton and by train from Bradford. A taxi rank is close by the station. Cars following the A65 take the turning up Victoria Avenue (the Skipton side of the town centre) to the Briery.
Cost for the day is £24 including morning coffee, full lunch and afternoon tea.  We do not want anyone to feel excluded because of the cost, and there will be financial assistance available.