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United Service for Girlington, Heaton and Manningham Churches Together.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.”

This was the theme of our one-church, all-age service which, as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was held this year at St Phillip’s Church in Girlington on Sunday 21st January. The service had been designed by churches in the Caribbean for united services held by churches throughout the Christian world and was but one of the events organised during this designated special week.

The church was full to overflowing and the tempo was lively. Participation by a congregation of all ages and all branches of Christianity from most of the churches in Girlington, Heaton and Manningham was enthusiastic. The young people of the churches played a significant part by establishing areas of oppression through the creation of links of a chain and then, by using their own words and ideas, showed how the chain could be broken in ways that led to freedom - of both mind and spirit. The younger children in their own, sometimes noisy but always lively, way at the back of church created their own lengthy (and colourful) paper chains and then later wove them into the congregation – to show how chains can be used in a good way to bind people together.

As a church, Haworth Road Methodists were very well represented. Once again it snowed – but this did not dampen the spirit or the energy although, sadly, it meant that not everyone was able to get to St Phillip’s. As a Council of Churches we are looking at the possibility of organising a future similar event at a time of the year not quite so vulnerable to difficult weather conditions.

The service was followed by a joyous bring and share faith lunch where everyone was able give and share not only good food but good fellowship too. It had been a most uplifting event that gave great reassurance in these difficult times and just showed how well we really could be one church.

John P, Haworth Road

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