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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Lord of the dance - June prayer column

If you’re a dancer you may want to kick at the use of this analogy, but we’re reading a book (King’s Cross by Timothy Keller) which likens Christian faith to a dance.  His point is that, whoever we are, we can’t always be at the centre of a dance: we must also circle round others.   And that’s the nature of relationship.  It’s also the nature of God – in three persons, in relationship, like a dance.  A dance into which we are invited, and for which we were created, and in which alone we shall find full joy.  Rebellion, which began in Eden, is insisting on God dancing round us:  I must understand, or have, or do, or be – anything but walk in faith, or trip to the divine.
It made me wonder about prayer.  In prayer we relate to God as we speak, and even more as we listen, and most of all if we trust and obey.  But is our prayer like that – mine or yours?  How much dancing with the Lord is there in our prayers, alone, or in church, or in our prayer meetings?  Are we ever guilty of using …

Thornton 30th anniversary

We started off our 30th Anniversary celebrations in style with the Rev. Christine Crabtree welcoming the Lord Mayor of Bradford to open the celebrations. Cllr Joanne Dodds said she was very happy to be here and spoke about how wonderful it was to attend local events. She then duly pronounced the event open.

There was lots information about how the church came to be here on this site. Plans of the original building were displayed and how the building of our present church took place. There were lots of photographs which brought back memories of times gone by. The Art Group which uses the church during the week displayed some of their painting and artefacts. Also the Antiquarian Society had a most interesting display about Thornton and the surrounding area.
The Flower Festival was a great success and all the arrangements were beautifully done. The cake decorating competition was great fun and we had some marvellous cakes on display. It was a very difficult job for Rev. Keith Hunt who wa…

Thank you for your Fair Trade support

Thank you to everyone who supported the Fair Trade Big Brew at Calverley on 12th March.  We took £400 in fair trade sales and £200 in donations for refreshments and on the tasting tables.  The £200 was sent to Traidcraft’s ‘Let It Grow’ Appeal, which is supporting smallholder farmers in India, Kenya and Bangladesh. 
The thank you letter from Traidcraft tells us that our donation is helping Traidcraft to continue their life changing work with tea farmers like Jakaria in Bangladesh.  Since becoming part of Traidcraft’s tea project, life has been transformed for Jakaria and his family.  Previously, he and his family lived in a flimsy shack and he earned barely enough to buy oil for their lamp, let alone provide nutritious food or medical care. 
On joining the tea project, he received training and credit from Traidcraft and, as a result of his increased income, he has been able to buy livestock, more land and build a new house.  Tea bushes can grow for between 80 – 100 years and so Jak…

An invitation for the Bank Holiday!

Many of you will know Malham, with its tarn and cove, indeed will have walked up there for many years. Malham Methodist Chapel is right next to the National Parks Visitor Centre, a really strategic setting.  The local congregation is faithful but small, and for the mission there to be developed they need help.
The late May Bank Holiday weekend sees the ‘Malham Safari’, an annual event where the whole village works together, putting on all sorts of activities and raising lots of money for local charities (the Chapel being a significant beneficiary).  With their small numbers, the chapel folk have concentrated in recent years on contributing to the catering rota and baking, but last year, with Deacon Maggie Patchett’s and my support, they opened up the chapel itself with some storytelling. This year we would like to build on this with more activity and more hours open. The theme of the safari this year is a ‘Children’s books themed animal trail’, so there’s plenty of scope…So to the invi…

Baildon Sew Together Group

This group began 3 years ago and has involved more than 40 people either knitting 6” blanket squares, sewing together, crocheting edges or transporting 200 patchwork blankets.  These blankets are for babies safely delivered by one of the new midwives trained by the Hamlin College of Midwifery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

The college was set up in 2007 to offer a 4-year professional training to successful Ethiopian school leavers, in order to begin to prevent pregnant women being injured in child birth, suffering obstetric fistulae and giving birth to dead babies. The blankets are our way of celebrating the joy of uninjured Ethiopian mothers with their new live babies and the success of the young midwives practising their newly acquired skills.

We meet twice a month for 2 hours of busy needle work, lively chatter and a cup of tea from Wesley’s Café.
Ruth A, Baildon

A week in ministerial life

I have been asked to give a flavour of the minister’s week.
Last week was untypical, so I am looking back to the previous week, which began with leading Sunday morning worship at Thornbury (in the South Circuit). Unfortunately, one of the church stewards had eaten the last of the fig rolls, so it was a disappointing end to what had been a good time of worship, including sharing around the Lord’s Table. On Monday, I led Bible Study at Cornerstone (Great Horton), a part of a regular commitment, but during Lent we offered open sessions across the circuit, studying a series on the Psalms, with about 15-16 people attending each session. From there, I went to join with staff colleagues from the North and South circuits and two of the Touchstone staff, for lunch at the Bradford Brewery, from which Rev. Graeme Dutton has been building up new relationships in his work in the city centre. I led a conversation reflecting on my time working across the two circuits. In the evening, I attended and…

‘Eco Church’

To my dismay, Baildon is still the only Eco-congregation in the Bradford North Circuit. 
The global temperature rise of more than .75 degrees C in the last forty years, and the increasing violence of storms and floods are due to the rise in carbon-dioxide (CO2) which we humans cause to be emitted.  They are leading to suffering and death to God’s children and God’s creatures.
Christians need to act immediately to reduce our own and our country’s CO2 emissions. And help is at hand. A new scheme has been launched called ‘Eco Church’.  St Paul’s Cathedral London has joined; York Minster is about to do so. Go to to see the details.
I hope we may soon be an ‘Eco circuit’, a cluster of Eco churches, to show our deep concern for God’s creation. And to act.

John A, Baildon

Suffering Christians

Recent events in Pakistan, which included a suicide attack on Easter Day on a fairground used by Christians, in which 70 people were killed, is a cause of grave concern for Pakistani Christians who live in West Yorkshire. We have received the following report from Saleem and Joyce D:
We had a Good Friday prayer meeting, and it was celebrated in an Asian way. We had lots of praying and bible reading. The prayer meeting was blessed with the Holy Spirit.
We also had Holy Communion and finally, we also prayed for the world's peace and especially for Brussels and UK.
Two days later, we heard of the unfortunate incident in Lahore, Pakistan. There was a bomb blast in the park where lots of people died and around 300 were injured. Both Muslims and Christians were killed and injured in this incident.
Please continue praying for Pakistan.

God bless

Baildon’s Care for the World

As is common with all churches in the circuit, Baildon Methodist Church supports a number of external charities each year. 
In 2012, the Managing Trustees decided to make this giving more transparent, by arranging a focus on a different appeal each month. Under the tag-name ‘GIFO’ (Giving to Funds for Others) we invite folk to make a contribution if they feel moved and are able to do so.  Since 2012, we have raised over £30,000 in this way for good causes.
Each month, information is provided in the church weekly magazine ‘Pews News’ about the “GIFO Appeal” for the month.  Special donation envelopes are made available and these are placed in the collection plate during the offering. 
Each month's focus charity is nominated by a chosen group of people from the church community.  In February 2016, the GIFO Appeal was for Water-Aid.
Ashley F, Baildon

Fortyfold Gratitude

A ‘big 0’ birthday demands a celebration, and on April 5th at Baildon, we reached a 40th anniversary. Since 1976 we’ve had a weekly prayer meeting, running continuously, and we want to thank and praise the Lord for keeping us going. Initially, we met every eight days, to give everyone with other commitments a chance to come, but that didn’t suit the regulars, so we soon fixed on Mondays.  A format developed: share concerns; look at a Bible text; and then free prayer.  Meetings last just one hour, and we don’t stop early if a silence develops (silence can be full and deep).  During this time, we have worked through the Bible, considering every mention of prayer we could find, including requests made to Jesus while on earth.  We now have a little booklet listing all those Bible references.  Numbers started quite well but then dropped off, for many reasons, and eventually we got down to three.  But we resolved to continue however few and persevered, even if only one of us was able to co…

Believe in Shipley

Believe in Shipley’ is a festival of Christian life celebrating what God is doing in the Shipley communities, letting people know that Jesus loves them and inviting people to learn more about the Christian faith.  We are working across the Christian community to engage people with things to see, do and participate in.  The festival has particular focus on 24 September to 2 October 2016 but very much builds upon what God is already doing in the area and has a momentum which will continue to build over the coming months.
Believe in Shipley will have several main events, but the encouragement is to the churches, individually and collectively to get involved.  Main events will include an evening with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu (26th), Youth Event in Roberts Park (28th), a Big Picnic (2nd), ‘Live at Costa’ events and John Froud as the resident musician with friends at the Lloyds Bar in Shipley.  As Methodist churches, we have Rev. Dr Martyn Atkins, Team Leader and Superintenden…

All We Can (Methodist Relief and Development)

I recently led worship at St Andrew's with some resources provided by "All We Can" (MRDF). This was such a blessing. The resources were for the "Inspirational Women Appeal" and focused on women of Jharkhand, India who struggle to access education, have limited control over their lives and potentially experience discrimination and domestic violence.
Dr Jill Barber, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, presented a BBC Radio 4 Appeal recently in support of “All We Can’s” work. She is a keen supporter of “All We Can” and was inspired to support this appeal after visiting one of MRDF’s projects in India in November 2015. If you wish to listen to the appeal, you can catch it again on Radio 4 i-player.
"All We Can" partners organisations in eight of the world's poorest countries. Through effective partnerships, they help people in some of the world's poorest communities find solutions to poverty and become all that they can.

March of the Penguins

At Wilsden Trinity, our Soupermums Group has celebrated its third Christmas and we are bursting at the seams. It seems incredible, but only just over two years ago we were sitting in our side room, soup ready, bread warming in the oven, baby blankets on the floor, eagerly awaiting our first ‘’customers’’ and none came. This situation continued for some weeks and we were beginning to wonder if we had got the message right. Was this really what the Lord wanted us to do? I suppose Noah must have felt very much like that when he built the Ark on dry land. Now our numbers are regularly in the high twenties or low thirties. You have no idea how much noise 33 crying babies and chatting mums can make. Another experience Noah might have identified with!
We have settled into a pattern: Official start 11.00 am. Tea or coffee on arrival, time to chat and then soup from about noon, ending with an action song ‘Our God is a Great Big God’ which we now understand is top of the Baby Hit Parade. We volu…

Message from the Ministry Team

Dear friends,
Somewhere, from someone, sometime, you heard the story of light.
Somewhere might have been home, or church, or a concert, or walking with a friend.
Someone may have been single or plural; family, friend or stranger; teacher or preacher.
Sometime might have been years, a week, an hour, a moment. Decades or days ago.
If you belong to a church, live by the Christian faith, seek to follow Jesus, somewhere, from someone, sometime, you heard the story of light that set you on the way.
Having heard, you continue to listen, as Sunday by Sunday we rehearse the story, praising God for each new day, reminding ourselves of the call to follow Jesus, seeking the guidance and power of God’s Holy Spirit.
And listening, we hear God wants the story to be told.  We hear God’s Spirit at work in the world calling us to join in.  We recognise our responsibility and seek to respond.
‘The Story of Light’ is a response by the Methodists of West Yorkshire to God’s invitation to join in. You’re goin…