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Showing posts from April, 2017

Tong Park Viaduct

Tong Park Viaduct by Roy Lorrain-Smith
Tong Park Viaduct carries the Guiseley to Baildon railway line, and is visible from the lower end of Hollins Hill behind the Tong Park industrial estate (though this view is from the other side). The line opened in 1876. Peter Kerr (husband of the Ruth) has just written a booklet on the line to mark the launch of Friends of Baildon Station in collaboration with John Anderson. As Peter notes, engineering experts came from all over the world to see this remarkable engineering achievement, with its cuttings, tunnels and viaducts.

Lullaby Africa – bringing life back to people

Depression, war, rape and aggression have stifled the natural bonds between parents and children in Kenya and Uganda. Mothers neither sing nor play with their children. Children are silent and unaffectionate.

Lullaby Africa uses qualified play therapists and professionals, who work with children to help parents and carers regrow that attachment, so that homes are full of noise, laughter and love.

Lullaby Africa helps traumatised and disadvantaged mothers, fathers and carers in Kenya and Uganda to bond and form a healthy, natural attachment with their babies and toddlers.

It is a Christian charity, at present working with local community leaders in nine slums around Kisumu, Kenya, and Kisoro in Uganda.

The work is bearing fruit in hundreds of lives, but many more communities are still silent. Lullabies and the workshops that Lullaby Africa delivers are a route into those communities. But they need our help.

The charity grows love through songs. At the workshops, mothers and carers lear…

Remembering Shanti Nagar, Pakistan

On 5 February, St Andrew's hosted a service to honour the memory of those killed when Shanti Nagar was attacked and set on fire by militant extremists on February 6, 1997. The church has since established the Shanti Nagar St Andrew's Trust, a charitable trust providing financial, material, and moral support to the current residents of the village.

The annual commemoration is organised by Martin Bashforth and Saleem Dutt.

Martin Bashforth led the event. Special guests included the three Bradford MPs Imran Hussain, Naz Shah, and Judith Cummins; Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal, president of the Bradford Council for Mosques and community activist Asif Khan. Naz Shah and Judith Cummins lit candles as prayers were said for the community of Shanti Nagar and also for all people of persecuted minority faiths.

Mr Hussain MP, who delivered a speech as part of the service, said: "Religious minorities, both Christians and Muslims, are still being persecuted for their beliefs. The international…

‘The Light of the World’ at Allerton

Through our links to the Roots syllabus, the children and young people of Allerton celebrate the light of the world, our Lord Jesus, as he calls us all as modern disciples to follow him as our Lord and Saviour.

We are indeed truly blessed here at Allerton, with an average of 15 young people meeting every Sunday Morning.

Helen H, Allerton

Communion at Home

Perhaps you are ill, or less able than you were. It may be that you cannot get to Church, either for a while or permanently. You may feel that you miss communion. John Wesley wanted his Methodist people to receive communion every day if they could.
Within our circuit, we have several teams of wonderful people who can bring communion to you in your home. This opportunity is open to anyone within our circuit who would like to take it.

If you think that you would appreciate this ministry, then please contact John Wilson (my details are below) and we can have a chat.

Our communion takers are ordinary members who wish to share communion with others, whether on a one-to-one basis or as a group in a care home. You can arrange to receive communion at a time and frequency convenient to you.

Perhaps you would care to talk to your pastoral visitor or Pastoral secretaries if you know of anyone who might be interested, please let me know.

We also hold circuit communion services once a month. These…

Christian Unity in Action

On Sunday morning, 22 January, along with a number of other churches at the city end of our Circuit, we closed our own church doors and almost 30 members of our congregation joined many others from across the Girlington, Heaton and Manningham area in a packed Little Lane Church. This was to mark the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The service this year was led by a group of young people from the different churches, many of them from the Unite Youth Group. The theme for the service had been devised by a group of Christians in Germany but our Bradford youngsters added their own very personal interpretation and thoughts, to present what turned out to be a very challenging, thought- provoking and uplifting service. There was a real element of relevance to our theme of unity, when we saw in a very practical way how barriers are created and then how they can be effectively broken down.

Many different denominations were represented but theological differences were not in a…

Thornton Fundraiser for the Lord Mayor

On Saturday 4th March at Thornton, we enjoyed an evening of musical entertainment by ‘The Masters of Nonne’. This is a local band with two of the members being stewards at our church. One of the stewards, Alun, is the Deputy Lord Mayor.

The evening was a great success and we enjoyed a delicious supper organised by Sharon Mason and her team. It was well attended by the community and all proceeds went to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal ‘Young Minds’.

Elaine B, Thornton

Green Grows Baildon 

People in various churches say to me how they feel isolated, if they wish their church to act to reduce the damage that climate change is doing to God’s creation. Here is how we dealt with such feelings at Baildon.

In 2006, I drew up a job description for a church Eco-officer and asked for applications. No one applied. So I applied and, amazingly, was appointed! That gave me a platform to measure all our usage of utilities, and set up a Green Fund whereby folk paid a certain sum for their flights, car journeys and domestic gas usage to compensate for their CO2 emissions. With this money we built, on Wesley’s café, a porch which materially reduced the draughts. By getting grants, we were able to insulate some ceilings and all the doors – which were sometimes ornate Victorian draft generators - halve the wattage of some lights, and install weather compensation equipment on the gas boilers.  We were thus able to save in five years one third of the church's consumption of gas and one …

New Local Preacher

On Sunday 26th February, Teresa Jones was leading worship at Thornton, her own church. We are very proud of what she has achieved and all the hard work that needs to be completed to become a Local Preacher. Her Church Family presented Teresa with The Methodist Worship Book.

At a packed Recognition Service at Haworth Road on Sunday 5 March, members of Bradford North and South circuits joined to support Teresa and Suzanne Allsop, as they became fully accredited local preachers.

Elaine B, Thornton

Congratulations, Teresa and Suzanne on your appointment! We look forward to sharing worship under Teresa’s leadership. God bless you both.

The editors

Holiday at Home - Wednesday 11th January 2017

We pick our days! The morning started out very windy and our wonderful, determined guests arrived very windswept at St. Andrew’ s. However the atmosphere was warm & welcoming inside.
After refreshments, we were royally entertained by Geoff Twentyman who had us casting our minds back to the 1940s, 50s and 60’ s, in the days of steam-driven radio. This involved a lot of head-scratching about who said what. Everyone was soon transported into another era.

Lunch followed. Which everyone enjoyed.

After lunch, everyone was entertained with the delightful voice of Cathy Ryan. She led a delightful time of excellent songs.

We finished the day with communion, to give thanks to God for this wonderful time we had had.

The chauffeurs arrived and everyone was escorted back to their homes.

(By this time the wind had given up!!!!!!!!!)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the most wonderful team of helpers for all that they did, in transporting guests, feeding and watering everyone, an…

Methodism has been in Haiti for 200 years!

The following article appeared in the recent newsletter of ‘World Church News’, produced by the Methodist Church. Since Haiti is now the chosen beneficiary of the Circuit’s Second Mile project, we felt that we should share the news.

“In a letter dated 18 July 1815, President Alexander Pétion invited the Methodist Church to “bring teaching of Christian doctrine” to Haiti. The country only had primary schools at the time, so President Pétion also asked the Methodists to help establish secondary education. The Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society in London responded positively and John Brown and James Catts arrived in Haiti on 7 February 1817.

Eglise Méthodiste d’Haiti (EMH) leads the eight districts of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) in terms of church growth, and has been a leading contributor to development in Haiti. EMH has provided elementary education in over 100 communities, teacher training, professional schools, agricultural and rural skills traini…

Quiet day at Thackley

On 25th February I attended the Quiet Day at Thackley organized by Rev Christine Crabtree. It was a lovely experience. I gave a lift to Rev Naeem Javaid, a Methodist minister visiting from Pakistan who is working with Barbara Glasson and the team at Touchstone. His church in Pakistan has four hundred members and a junior church of over one hundred.

The day began with a variety of quiet activities. One of them, Impressions of Christ, was to look at eight different images of Jesus as represented by artists from around the world. They gave much food for thought. At another activity I made a “prayer bracelet” for the 23rd Psalm, complete with coloured beads for each verse and a small silver sheep. There were also texts from the Bible to illustrate and colour, as well as a “Welsh” themed table, as it was St David’ s day on 1st March and Christine is Welsh. There were also pictures of dragons. We had previously decided that there were good and not so good dragons and that these were expe…

Easter message from the Ministry Team

Dear friends,

We recently celebrated Mothering Sunday – a day to consider the mothering care of the church. Sadly, life in the church does not always leave people feeling cared for – there are those who feel let down or even rejected by the church. When that happens, the church does not honour the God who is the source of all care. For others, however, the church is a picture of care - a place that has played an important role in our upbringing, perhaps, or that has been a provider of support in a time of great need.

Soon it will be Holy Week, and in the events of that week we are presented with the story of the suffering and death of Jesus. Stripped of his clothing, arms spread wide, hands painfully open, the crucified Christ is an image of human vulnerability. Open to the hurt and pain of human living, the Christian claim is that it is God himself who suffers with us. Even on the cross, Jesus never stopped showing care in the offer of forgiveness, and a deep concern for those who lo…

April Prayer Column

When I behold the wondrous cross
All through his ministry, in all he said and did, as well as in his person, Jesus revealed Emmanuel : God with us; God one of us.  He came to earth from heaven, and opened the way to heaven for us, following his death and resurrection.  Behold, see, wonder!

In his parables he took the things of earth and showed how they pointed also to heavenly truths.  In his miracles he demonstrated the kingdom of God – His will being done on earth as it is in heaven.  In his person he combined the heavenly Son and the earthly human, as his disciples found (by sight, touch, and hearing), and as they told, that we too might have eternal life with him, open fellowship with other believers, and full joy within.
And he bequeathed to us the gift of prayer: the liberty to speak with God the Father.  In prayer we can lift up the needs of ourselves and others for help, and from him bestow blessings in return, living out his kingdom on earth, proclaiming in spirit and in truth H…