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Showing posts from November, 2014

December Prayer Column

Beyond our ken
With Christmas and the turn of the year there always seems to come a fresh sense of hope.  The old, with all its flaws, failings and frustrations is about to fade away into mere memory, and newness is around the corner, offering hopeful potential.  Like a newborn baby, or like a green shoot, or like a dawn – of a new day, or year, or age.
Or indeed like a prayer.  For prayer is offered to the Father, the Creator God, who is even now and all the time making everything new in his world.  And it happens through Jesus.  He is our hope, as the Christmas child, as the shoot from old David’s stump, as the startling encounter at dawn beyond the grave: himself our never-fading promise for evermore.
In the name of Jesus we pray, and because of all he has done for us – dying in our place, rising from the dead and ascending to the Father – we have access to God in prayer, to his very throne room on high.  And from God come answers to our prayers:
·answers that circle the globe and …

Hospital Chaplaincy - volunteering opportunity

Have you ever been in hospital and been visited by the Hospital Chaplain? As a Circuit, we are trying to engage with the team of Chaplains who work within the BRI. They do a wonderful work. However there are only 7 Chaplains in the whole hospital. They rely heavily on the work of lay volunteers to help with visiting.  They are seeking new visitors. Training will begin next September, so people who are interested have plenty of time to think about this.  I know that there are people within our Circuit who are already engaged in this most rewarding ministry.  
In the Spring, I will be arranging a taster evening to find out more about this calling.  If you are interested in this work then please have a word with me and I will be happy to give you more details.
In the meantime, the Chaplaincy team are holding an evening of carol singing round the wards, on Thursday 18th December from 6pm till 8pm with nibbles.
If you would like to go carol singing, then please tell me and I can arrange …

Mosquito Nets for Kenya

West Yorkshire District MWiB   Mosquito Nets for Kenya
I decided in the Spring of 2012, my project for the 2 years of my Presidency of West Yorkshire District MWiB would be Mosquito Nets for Kenya.
Miriam and Joshua were delighted that Kathonzweni was to be one of the areas chosen to receive nets. They run Neema, a home for children with AIDS in Eldoret. Kathonzweni is Joshua’s place of birth.
In June 2012, Miriam and Joshua came to stay with Diana and Ian (our contacts with Kenya) and presented me with a mosquito net. The net has been with me to meetings and talks over these last 2 years. It is identical to the ones distributed in Kenya.
The project has now come to a close with the magnificent sum raised of £14,355.50.   On Sunday the 28th September, on a visit to Diana and Ian’s, Joshua spoke at Lindley Methodist Church on the work that he and Miriam do with children with AIDS.   At the conclusion of his talk, I presented back to them the net to take to Kenya when they return home, th…

Government match funding for Christian Aid

The Government has offered to match any funds raised for Christian Aid, between 7th November 2014 and 6th February 2015. Every pound raised will be matched by a donation from the Government, up to a total of £5 million. Resources to help fundraising, through worship, a Christmas appeal and other efforts, are available at . If your church is wondering where to send funds to charity this Christmas, here is one way to ‘double your money’!

Andrew to stay!

We are delighted to report that the Circuit Meeting, on 16 September, voted unanimously to appoint Rev Andrew Taylor as a full-time member of the Bradford North ministerial team, from 1 September 2015 for a period of 5 years. This ends the uncertainty over the future staffing of the circuit, following the unsuccessful search for a minister from the United Reformed Church.
Andrew has been working with the team in a temporary, reduced-hours, capacity over the past 12 months and his ministry has been greatly appreciated. The unanimous vote by the Circuit Meeting is a ringing endorsement of the way all our churches feel about Andrew.

Sponsored walk for "Raise the Roof" fund at Calverley

On 6th September, a group of friends walked or cycled a distance of 27 miles from Skipton to Calverley! This was to raise funds for Calverley Methodist “Raise the Roof” fund. A total of £1500 was raised.
It was an all-age group ranging from children aged 5 to adults 80 plus years young.  Sadly it rained all day long and most people were really soaked through, when they ended their journey at Calverley Methodist Church. 
Some of the children had cycled the whole of the journey.  However, arriving back at church, one would have thought they had just cycled around the park - they seemed to still have lots of energy! Yes, they were wet through and were looking forward to their bacon butties and hotdogs, but they seemed very happy. I didn’t hear any of them complaining!   The more mature friends on arriving back, well…. there were conversations of aching legs, backs and shoulders and very blistered feet – ouch!  Oh to be young and fit enough for a mega walk not to cause anything to ache!
A …

Traidcraft Chairty Christmas Card Week 15-24 November 2014 & Festive Fair Trade Fair

Did you know that Traidcraft are launching November 15th to 24th as ‘Buy a Charity Christmas Card Week’?  This is a campaign to encourage churches and their members to show they care this festive season and send a personal Christmas greeting to marginalised members of their community. 
Margaret Sentamu, Traidcraft board member, summarises what this is all about by saying, “The hustle and bustle of the lead-up to Christmas can be both a blessing and a burden for many of us.  But for lots of people, even those who are part of a loving church community, there is no one to share the joy of this time of year, and they simply can’t help feeling lonely.  So when it comes to a Christmas greeting, there really is no substitute for a knock at the door, a friendly chat, and the reminder of the card on the mantelpiece that tells us we are remembered, we are loved.  The extra Christmas card I shall give this year will be a proper card, a charity card, delivered through the letterbox, to show that…

Changes at the top!

The Methodist Church has chosen Rev Gareth Powell to succeed Rev Martyn Atkins in September 2015, as Secretary of Conference. The appointment is subject to ratification by the Conference of 2015.
Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Marcus Stock to be the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds, in succession to Archbishop Arthur Roche, who has moved to a post in Rome.
The new Anglican Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales is now in operation, under the charge of Rt Rev Nick Baines, who is also Bishop of Leeds. He is supported by four other ‘area bishops’ who are as follows:- Bishop of Bradford: Toby Howarth.Bishop of Wakefield: Tony Robinson.Bishop of Huddersfield: Jonathan Gibbs.Bishop of Ripon: James Bell.
Bishops Toby and Jonathan were consecrated at York Minster on 17 October by the Archbishop of York.

HOST UK - Welcoming International Students

HOST is once again looking for kind, friendly, hospitable people who are inspired by the idea of welcoming an international student at university here, far from his or her own family, into their home.
This could be for a day, a weekend or Christmas, and you don’t need to live near a university, as students will travel for the privilege of meeting you, learning about real life in this country, and sharing their own culture.
HOST is a voluntary activity which makes ambassadors for international goodwill of us all.

Calverley and the Time Warp Band

When we started fund-raising, the Lighthouse team got their heads together to think of ideas of what we could do. We have made bacon butties for the brass band concerts in the park; we had a fantastic sponsored walk from Skipton to the church on what turned out to be one of the wettest Saturdays of the year but raised £1500!

Then we thought of a pop concert: Were Calverley Methodists ready for a pop concert? After much thought we booked the band, Time Warp, who play music of the 50s, 60s and 70s.

After I met up with David, their leader, and told him of my concerns – “Did they expect their audiences to dance?” - he said they sometimes play at concerts and they dance, and sometimes they play at dances and no one dances. My worry was - would the Methodists of Calverley dance? Could the Methodists of Calverley dance?


Why did I worry? The hall was packed with the young and the more mature, and people from the community, who don't normally come to events at the church. And what a g…

Christian action – are you an active clicker?

Throughout the circuit, friends have been interested in various websites that I have recommended.   Anyone can look at them and act, sometimes with millions of others, to press for justice. That is what we should, as Jesus-shaped people, be doing.  www.avaaz.org obtains millions of signatures for world-important actions.www.350.orgis active against the human-induced changes in our climate that are destroying Gods creation which we have in trust for our children.www.38degrees.org.uk is so named since 38 degrees is the angle at which an avalanche occurs on a mountain.  This organisation lobbies for an avalanche of support for the NHS etc.
Please do have a look. Christians need to be active clickers too.

John A, Baildon 

Leeds in Bloom success for Calverley Methodist Church

What a surprise when we got the invitation to attend the awards presentation at the Banqueting Suite of the Leeds Civic Hall for the ‘Leeds in Bloom’ competition.

The hall was packed with people from the various organisations in Leeds - churches, offices, hotels, retail parks, small shops, large shop, pubs, St Gemma’s Hospice  and several schools with garden projects.



We shared a table with our friends at St Wilfrid’s parish church, who were also up for an award. We both got Gold Medals for our efforts!It was good to witness for the church at such an event, when we were amongst people from industry and commerce, and we were representing Bradford North Circuit, even though we are in Leeds! The morning ended with an excellent lunch too.
Rodney Calverley Methodist Church

November message from the Ministry Team

Dear Friends, At the Saltaire Quiz in aid of ZEM in October there was a pie and pea supper half-way through the evening.  I was waiting to be asked to say grace, at which point I would have pointed out that I cannot and will not thank God for mushy peas, which are clearly a crime against nature. J We didn’t have a grace, and I was able to have a slice of pie without peas, and finish the evening happily.
Paul writes that we should “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess 5:18).  Elsewhere, too, he reminds us to be thankful.  But for mushy peas, or for anything else we are not grateful for? Really?
Corrie ten Boom writes in her book “The Hiding Place” of the time she and her sister Betsie were moved to a different concentration camp.  Where they had been before was bad enough, but in the new place they had to share beds and they soon found out there were fleas in the hut.  Betsie suggested that they pray, and went on to give thanks for the women in the hut, and for the fleas.  Corrie…

Pity Poor Bradford - November Prayer Column

What is your mode of prayer: the snatched moment?  the regular slot?  And where: a private corner?  a seat on a bus?  a dog walk?  And how do you comport yourself: eyes closed?  meditating on a text?  letting the passing scene stimulate your reflections and requests?  Well, now we have the opportunity for a new take.  Through a willing landlord (and Bradford Met), access has been provided for Christians in the city to a prayer platform right in the centre of Bradford on the 8th floor of Arndale House just off Market Street (entrance in Charles Street, behind Bright House facing the new Westfield Centre – BD1 1EJ).  Sign in and summon the lift. The 8th floor is an open plan office space with chairs, tables, prayer resources and windows – what windows!  You can walk round the floor  and gaze contemplatively and compassionately over the once proud and prosperous city of Bradford, above rooftop level at all points of the compass across to the horizon hills; and down on the streets, and w…