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Showing posts from January, 2018

St Arnold’s

St Arnold is known as the patron saint of brewers and hop pickers. Often depicted holding a mashing rake, many of the miracles attributed to St Arnold involved him encouraging people to drink beer, due to its ‘gift of health’. Certainly during his time as The Abbot of St Peter’s monastery in Oudenburg, beer would have been far safer to drink than water, due to the boiling of the water during the beer-making process. It seemed natural then, that a Mission and chaplaincy project working primarily in breweries, public houses and licensed premises should bear the name of that revered Abbot.
Over the next year, we are expecting the work of the St Arnold’s project to continue to grow in our city. We already partner with several businesses based around the North Parade area of the city, to run a number of events such as ‘Beer and Hymns’ and ‘Film and Faith’. There are also regular chaplaincy sessions on Monday evenings and Friday mornings amongst the bars on North Parade, where bar staff and …

Allerton Friday Fellowship

In March last year, we started a conversation with the young people at Allerton about whether they wanted a chance to meet up together during the week, and what sort of group they might like.
They had a think and came up with some suggestions, and so in June we launched the ‘First Friday Fellowship’, a group which meets monthly on the first Friday evening of the month. We had a month off in August, but otherwise have met every month since.

The young people come together for a mixture of food, fellowship, fun and games and faith conversations. The young people involved are regular attenders and there is a good atmosphere amongst the group. As we go into the new year, we are looking at different activities to get involved with, including encouraging links with other groups in the local area and across the circuit.

If you have any young people in your churches, who might like to get involved, in either this group or the Thursday evening group at St Andrew’s, please get in touch.

Laura T, …

Asian Christmas Party

The Asian Christian community arranged a Christmas party on 9th December at Ebenezer Methodist Church, Dudley Hill. This party was attended by people of different backgrounds, including Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Christmas carols were sung and a message was given regarding Jesus’ birth. Also we prayed for world peace at this time of the year.

Saleem thanked everyone for attending the party, also gifts were given to the people who work within the community. Pastor Joel organised a raffle and Aneeq M and Arsala A organised gifts for all the children.

Asian food was also served which was enjoyed by everyone. This programme was covered by Asian TV media. The whole purpose of this party was to promote peace and unity.

Foot note:-
On 17th December, there was a terrorist attack on a Christian church in Quetta, Pakistan, during a special Christmas carol service. More than 400 people were present in the church at the time. Firstly, there were some gun shots. One man killed himself with a suicid…

Trinity Methodist Watchnight Service

Trinity Methodist Church on Lilycroft Road, Bradford held their annual Watchnight service at 11.30 on New Year’s Eve, led by Rev. Albert Gayle, minister of the Church.

These services (as in past years) are of an ecumenical nature and we are able to welcome folks from other local churches in the area and not purely from the Methodist persuasion.

Following the service, fireworks and refreshments were enjoyed by all. A lovely way to celebrate both the end of the old and the beginning of the new year.

Ian B Trinity 

Christmas Wreaths at Aldersgate

The practice of attaching a wreath of evergreens to the outside of the front door is an indication of welcome during the festive season. The Christmas theme for 2017 at Aldersgate was ‘Christmas Wreaths’ and the church was decorated with over 50 Christmas wreaths.

The wreaths had been made by church members, groups within the church, organisations who hire the premises, the local Hill Top Primary School, Messy Church and the Brigade. Whilst some wreaths were made with evergreens, others showed wonderful creativity, with dog biscuits, paper craft, brussels sprouts, baubles, Christmas crackers, feather boa and knitting. The originality was amazing, and the decorated walls were a wonderful sight, saying: “Welcome - let’s celebrate Christmas”.

We already have the theme for 2018. You will learn more nearer the time and please come along during Advent 2018 to see the display.

Jenny H Aldersgate

Life for Christians in Iraq

I have spent the last three years in Iraq, working with Christians in that war-torn country. Some of that time was spent with Father Aram, a priest in the Catholic Chaldean Church. He guided me round the Christian communities, particularly on the Nineveh plain about 30 miles north of Mosul. Aram introduced me to many beautiful Christians, including Yusuf, an orphaned boy, five years old.

Yusuf’s parents were killed when ISIS (the so-called Islamic State) invaded Iraq in June 2014 and captured his home, the Christian town of Batnaya. Yusuf was taken byneighbours to the relative safety of nearby Kurdistan, northern Iraq. In all the towns and cities captured by ISIS, Christians were given three options: convert to Islam; pay jizya, a “protection tax,” or be killed.

Although Batnaya was liberated from ISIS in 2016, only a few Christians have returned. It is nothing but a ghost town empty and derelict.  Father Aram drove me through the town. We saw buildings – homes, shops, workplaces - red…

Asians share the spirit of Christmas

On Christmas day, we went to the Khidmat Centre in Spencer Road, where several groups had joined together to give gifts to homeless people and to provide Christmas dinner for the elderly. 

Present at the event were: Rafiq Sehgal ( Ex-President of Bradford Council for Mosques, and currently, Chairman of Bradford Independent Advisory Group, which advises the Police); Amjad Bashir (Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber)), and the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Abid Hussian. This was a very uplifting occasion, and we have added a few photographs.

Saleem & Joyce D, St Andrew’s 

Sharing Christmas with others at Haworth Road

Once again Christmas started on 10th November when, in our Sunday service, we were able to dedicate 36 Shoeboxes before their long journey to children & families in Eastern Europe, who otherwise would receive nothing. We held a Coffee evening for Action for Children, an event shared with Trinity Church, Wilsden. The first Saturday in December was our Christmas Market when so many people from the area enjoyed looking at various stalls and fellowship during refreshments.
The next event was to sing carols with the Stroke Group who used to meet at Church but now meet at Café West in Allerton. They were so delighted to share with us once again.

Our annual Senior Citizens’ Party for the local community, organised by Church and Sports Club members, took place with entertainment following an excellent meal, as always.

The annual Ecumenical Community Carol Service led by Rev. Christine felt special.

We once again prepared an evening meal for the homeless, through the Inn Churches Project. …

3Generate 2017

This was by far my favourite 3 Generate. There were so many good memories made, fun had, and a lot learnt. The new festival feel to the layout of the weekend and how laid back it was helped people to have a rest when needed, and allowed us to wander and make new friends – as I and my friends did on the Saturday night. It also allowed us to wander into sessions that we didn't even think we'd be interested in.

The TED talks were a great addition this year. They are very popular with teenagers and these talks were very informative, relaxed, fun and engaging for everyone.

The accommodation was great, although in a way I'd like it to go back to the old system, where we'd share a room with people from other areas of Britain, so that it's easier to make friends. The worship sessions and activities were better this year, although some would have been better indoors, because of the cold and rain. The food wasn't the best (because it wasn't cooked, just cold), but th…

Bradford Youth Fellowship Group

The fellowship group is a great way for the youth of the church to get together, share what they believe and discuss what Christianity as a whole teaches us. It's a place where we are all fully comfortable to be ourselves, share our opinions and know we won't be judged by others.

The fact that the fellowship group is currently running as a combination of both North and South Bradford has allowed us to meet new people, make new friends, have a good laugh, all at the same time as learning from each other. It's also a good place to go to when things are getting tough in life as we're likely to talk about matters and issues that are personal and relevant to our age group. 

There's been numerous times when I have walked in with an issue on my mind and leave with an action plan or new perspective on how to tackle the issue. I feel the way that we ease into every session rather than diving straight into the deep end is extremely beneficial for us and the "Table talk&q…

Ping Bradford at Clayton Methodist Church

I was contacted by Ping Bradford, in the summer of 2017, to be part of the national launch for Table Tennis. They would provide us with free table tennis tables and all the equipment we needed.
This has been a good opportunity to draw people into the church building to strengthen and encourage people in the life of the community. There are people in the community who feel isolated and lonely and providing the space to help people to know that the church cares would be a good thing.

We have been really blessed in having about twenty people who belong to the table tennis group, which started in September 2017. The group is going so well, that we have had to request another table, which Sport England readily provided. We now have three tables, which are in use all the time from 10.00 am to 12.00 Noon.

Because of the success of this venture, we are now in a position to extend the times when we meet, so that we can accommodate more people and extend the hand of pastoral care to people who s…

Christmas at Thackley

Our Christmas activities started in early November collecting donations for Christmas hampers for Bradford North Foodbank. Our Christmas Fair swiftly followed on a very chilly late November morning with the first snow of winter! The Fair raised over £600 and we are grateful to Monday Mums for serving refreshments, to the Ladies Group for their yummy cake stall, to the Brownies for their chocolate tombola, the Guides for their tombola and for making lip balm and to everyone else at Team TMC for the many varied ways in which they contributed to the success of the morning.

For several years we have shared one big Christmas card and given the money we would usually spend on cards to charity. The charity is Caring for Life which changes lives by sharing Jesus' love with the vulnerable; if you've not visited their wonderful coffee shop, make it a New Year's resolution to do so - This year's fabulous Christmas card was made for us by Junior Chu…

BEACON – Bradford Ecumenical Asylum Concern

Did you know?
The British asylum system is extremely tough. Just 34% of initial decisions made in the year to June 2017 have been grants of protection (asylum or humanitarian protection). The proportion of asylum appeals allowed over that time was 36%.
Around 800 asylum seekers find themselves living in Bradford. They have no choice over their accommodation, and are usually placed in ‘hard to let’ properties, existing on around £5.00 a day. (Source:
BEACON’s small HOSTING Project

It’s in the context of these statistics that BEACON tries to ‘welcome the stranger’. The people who find their way to BEACON have had traumatic journeys. They are seeking safety amongst us to rebuild their lives and make their contribution to the UK. The process to being given ‘status’ or ‘leave to remain’, usually for five years, is often long and stressful. Over two thirds of applications are initially turned down and people have to make appeals to the courts in order to have that …

Sorted goes to Sneaton Castle 2018

Sorted Youth Church, a fresh expression of church run by Rev Tracy Milne, of the Church Army, meets each week at Thackley Methodist Church.

In their latest newsletter, they write:

“Sorted will take up to 36 young people on their annual residential next year to Sneaton Castle. This will be a life changing experience for some of our local young people, as they struggle with a lack of self-esteem and confidence. Talking to a young person recently, Tracy mentioned the opportunity of going away next year with Sorted. The response is incredible: “I have not even been to Ilkley Moor or Baildon Moor ... never mind Whitby. I have never seen the sea.” The young person is nearly fifteen years old. “My dad says if it costs more than £20 then it’s too much.” The overall cost for each person is £168 excluding transport.

Please, if you are able to help us achieve the impossible by raising funds for young people to discover their potential, please use the donate button or contact us using the email add…

Christmas at Thornton Methodist Church

We got into the spirit of Christmas early here at Thornton by holding a Frost Fair on 18th November. It was a great success; people from other churches and the community called in to see what was on offer. There were lots of opportunities to buy that special Christmas present and also stalls to win a prize every time. The cake stall was a hive of activity and the café was very busy with snacks and lunches. The children’s colouring competition was also in full swing. A great day was had by everyone and a big thank you to Sharon Pilkington for all her hard work.

Our ‘Jingle Jamboree’ of entertainment weekend was a great success with fun and laughter all the way. There was a variety of acts which included our own Fairy Godmother, performed by Irene who kept us entertained. Win sang ‘There was an Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly’ and got the audience to join in with the verses. Sharon and her elves were up to mischief and persuaded certain people to decorate a cake blind folded; ‘Very messy…

Tea and Talk at Allerton

On the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 12pm – 2pm, a group of unique and wonderful people meet for ‘Tea & Talk’. Both men and women. We enjoy a home cooked meal and tea (or coffee), followed by a speaker.

There is lots of chatting, fun and laughter and meeting good friends. The premises are now as warm as the fellowship.

Lately numbers have shrunk. We are looking to see if there are any people in your church congregations or groups, who might enjoy a very sociable lunchtime of companionship? If you have anyone, then we would ask your church to provide transport for that person to be taken to Allerton and then taken home.

If you would like any further information, please contact me.

Thank you from Tea & Talk.
John W, Bradford North Circuit Pastoral Co-ordinator 

Open the Book in Low Moor

It’s a new year: time to try out something different and so Geoff and I have gone back to school! We’ve got be up early and make sure we’ve read the correct chapter in the book. We have to be down there in all weathers. But most importantly we’ll make some new friends and be able to share our interests.

What am I talking about? “Open the Book” – whose strap line is “Bringing the Bible to life for every child in every primary school.”

A couple of years ago Revs Lyn and Graeme asked the members at Aldersgate if we could sponsor the buying of a set of books for use in assemblies at our local Low Moor C.E. Primary School. We agreed straight away and understood that they would be used to introduce the children to characters and passages from the Bible. They would hear the stories read and get a chance to dress up and act them out. In addition to the books a team would be needed to lead the “Open the Book” assembly each Monday and perhaps take part in the acting. It sounded a good idea and G…

Message from the Ministry Team

Dear friends

By the time you read this, we will already be a month through this new year. Where does the time go? It really does seem to go by ever more quickly, as each year passes.

For children who have returned to school after the Christmas and New Year break, next Christmas will seem an age away. When I started secondary school, I couldn’t imagine getting to the end of school at 18. I worked out that I would be 35 at the turn of the century, but that seemed impossibly far away. So what makes time seem to pass quickly? After all, each week is made up of seven days and each day has 24 hours, whatever our age or stage in life.

Responsibilities play a part: there are things we need to do at certain times, and any deadline always makes us aware of time ticking away as we approach it. We accrue responsibilities as we grow older and take on more senior positions at work, or have a family to look after. At church, we take on roles that seem to grow in complexity as we are affected by grea…