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Showing posts from March, 2016

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service in BD9

“Wow !!!     How surprising!!!  The forecasted snow came and all the work put in to arranging this special service would be wasted.  Would we have to cancel and how on earth could we do that?  How many would be able to come?”
These were my thoughts as I looked through the window on Sunday 17th January.
The service was arranged at Haworth Road for the Girlington, Heaton & Manningham Council of Churches, which is made up of so many different denominations, to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
We went ahead and what a wonderful surprise: we had a congregation of more than 90 people who came, in spite of the weather, to enjoy the arranged service.  SALT and LIGHT was the theme.  This went along entirely as planned during which we sang and prayed together and heard of all the wonderful work being done by the Christians in our area   – so surprising and so good to hear.

Parade Service at Haworth Road

On Sunday 31st January, our morning service was an Own Arrangement led by the leaders and children of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. 
Their theme was ‘Promises’ and the children dramatized the story of Noah’s Ark and God’s promise.  I hope you can spot the Ark, the Animals (2x2) and the Rainbow in the photograph.

Four members of the congregation told of promises they had made -  Baby’s Christening, Proposal of Marriage, Marriage and Adult Baptism in a Baptist Church.
During the service the Bradford West Division Commissioner, presented Girl Guiding Long Service
Awards to Karen (Guides) for 20 years, Christine  (Guide Leader) for 40 years and Janice (Brownies)
for 50 years’ service.
We congratulate them all and thank them for the amazing amount of time and dedication given to
the many children who have passed through our Uniformed Organisations.       

Brenda D, Haworth Road 

Moorland Gate

Moorland Gate – from Baildon Moor across Birch Close and the Harvey Smith Gallops by Roy LS
Taken from ‘The Salt Market Walk’, a self-guided Baildon Heritage Trail
Knowing of Roy’s wonderful artistic gifts, the editors invited him to offer one of his pen and ink drawings for publication in The Link.
We chose this picture for its general appeal, and because it is a scene with which many in the circuit may be familiar.
All of Roy’s pictures display an amazing attention to detail and demonstrate a great deal of patience, whilst every blade of grass is faithfully drawn. They are a joy to behold and a gift to be celebrated. Thank you, Roy!

We hope you enjoy looking at this picture…..

Shanti Nagar remembered

On Sunday 7 February, candles were lit during morning worship at St Andrew’s, to remember the vicious attack, 19 years ago, on the Christian village of Shanti Nagar in Pakistan. The village was devastated in the attack, but has been rebuilt and is supported, through prayer and gifts of money, by the congregation of St Andrew’s. Thank you to local preacher, Jackie M, for accommodating this ceremony in her service.
Prayers were offered by Alan S, Treasurer of the Shanti Nagar St Andrew’s Trust (a registered charity) and by Joyce D, wife of Saleem D, who is also a trustee. One candle was lit, especially to remember our friends in Shanti Nagar and another one for people of all faiths who suffer persecution for being in a minority in the country where they live.
The villagers of Shanti Nagar are still harassed by extremists, but they are encouraged by our support and prayers, and they continue their Christian worship and witness.
Martin B, St Andrew’s

Journey through Lent

Where does time go? It only seems 2 minutes since we were celebrating Christmas. Well - 9 weeks ago in reality. Now we have begun Lent and looking towards Easter. But what does Lent mean in reality to you? A passing attempt at giving up sweets or chocolate? Perhaps looking at doing a Lenten course of Bible study?
In my church, St. Christopher’s C of E, on Shrove Tuesday we remove all flowers and banners and empty the church of all brightness. This is to remember that Lent is a time of reflection on the seriousness of what Jesus faced for the human race. On Maundy Thursday, we have a service of stripping the church, in which all the altar frontals, pulpit falls, and candles are removed, so we can remember the bareness of that Good Friday, when Jesus gave up his life for everyone. Only on Easter Sunday does the church burst into life again. We also keep our Christmas tree and make it into a cross. On Easter Sunday everyone is given a daffodil to place into the wire surround on the cros…

Traidcraft - An update

A few months ago I wrote an article, “Traidcraft Needs Our Help”, which explained that Traidcraft had been running at a trading loss for four consecutive years and was appealing to the Church and wider community for urgent support.  I am now writing with some good news: Traidcraft reports that December sales were almost £1 million, which was a 24% increase on December 2014, and that December 2015 was the fourth consecutive month of growth.   Let’s hope that this growth in sales can be sustained throughout 2016.  Ideas for promoting sales of Traidcraft goods in the circuit are always welcome.  
Traidcraft have now launched the ‘Let it Grow’ Appeal to support their pioneering, life-changing work to fight poverty through trade and help families, social enterprises and entire communities to grow.  Traidcraft has a particular mission to help smallholder farmers around the world.  Smallholder farmers are responsible for over 70% of the world’s food.  Yet they make up 50% of the world’s hun…

My new Guide Dog

My pet dog Millie has been a big part of my life for the last 10 years.  She was instrumental in getting me back on my feet when I was really down, after the first eye surgery in 2008 when I was convinced that I would never leave the house again.
With Millie getting older and having increasing health problems, I decided to ask to adopt a retired or withdrawn  guide dog. I was persuaded to take a working guide dog.
In September last year, I heard from Guide Dogs about a possible match. We had to be sure that Colin and I would get along, Millie and Colin get along and that he is ok around my grandchildren.  We passed with flying colours and so Colin came to live with me on 15th October. 
Colin is very bright and has a brilliant memory.  We go to a place once and he knows the way the next time, even if it is weeks or months later.  He loves to work, his tail is always wagging.
Guide dogs are trained to stop at every kerb or step down; it is then my job to say when to cross the road.  …

A book full of stories - March prayer column

If history is the stories we tell about ourselves, as someone once said, could prayer be the stories we would like to be part of, with the Lord?

I praise God because I need reminding (repeatedly, till it’s part of me) that God is praiseworthy: great, good, glorious and gracious. That’s why I want to be in his story.

I ask God for help with problems because I’d rather not be in that particular episode, or if I have to be, please can it help bring about a wonderful denouement that nothing else could.

I pray for others for much the same reasons – to straighten out their bio or enrich them in ways beyond imagining (God’s stories are so astonishing in their twists, turns, and endings).

But then there’s pondering prayers, when I have to ask God what the plot actually is, because it’s sometimes easy to lose, isn’t it? What are you doing, Lord? Which way now, and with whom?

Worship can also include hindsight prayers, when I see and marvel at the narrative God is writing as he leads me, al…

Reflections on the Isaiah Tent

At the Circuit Meeting on 15 March 2016 Rev Nick opened the meeting with reflections on the Isaiah Tent:

30 months ago we started on a journey as, at an away day, the CLT explored Isaiah 54:2-3 and the idea of a circuit gazebo was born.

Since then we have purchased, equipped, erected and dismantled countless times, and in all kinds of ways reflected on the text, on what it means to make the tent larger, to lengthen the ropes and sink the pegs deeper.

Some of that reflection is seen in the banners which now adorn the tent, gathered on its journey round the circuit churches, some in the scrapbook which accompanies it.

And some is present in us, as we have sought to increase and improve the welcome we offer, to strengthen the bonds, both between us, and with those who use our buildings, to deepen our sense of God being present to us as we enter those places and times where we seek to be present to God.

I invite you now to take a moment to share with your neighbour your experience of,…