Newsletter – December 2018 & January 2019


CHRISTMAS hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Christina Georgina Rossetti


‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.’ Micah 5:2

Dear friends,
Although I have not been able to attend them, I have heard that we have had some memorable services in the last few weeks, with the Songs of Praise at the end of October and Remembrance Sunday, this year marking the centenary of the end of WW1 and remembering especially those from this Church who gave their lives in that war, young men who had their whole lives ahead of them.

As we head through the seasons of Advent and Christmas, beginning with our Toy Service on 25th November, the Sunday before Advent this year, it is also about remembering. It is about remembering what God has done for us in Christ.

We have our usual activities, ones we look forward to joining together for every year: our Advent Service and Liturgy, the Children’s Christmas Party, Carol Singing with Churches Together, our Carol Service, Christingle Service and the climax as we celebrate Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem on Christmas morning.

This year the young people’s group have been planning the Christingle service, and they will mostly be presenting the meaning behind the various parts of the Christingle. It is good to know we have such talented young people in our Church.

In my letter last year, I told of a comedy about a mother who decided to go on strike at Christmas. I wondered as I watched it that maybe I should do the same! Well I didn’t, although I did threaten it! Maybe my family were a little more helpful than usual.

But that makes me wonder what if God decided to cancel the first Christmas?

No vision of Mary or dreams of Joseph. No angels bringing messages. No baby in a manger. No showing the love of God to the outcast and the sinner. No Christ on the cross.

What would that mean for us and humanity? How would we be before God and how would we live our lives?…
For me, I can’t help thinking we would still be slaves to the Law, uncertain of our worth in God’s eyes and not accepted as children of God as we are.

Praise God, who did come among us! We are of worth because Christ died for us. He is our ruler through all generations, the one we can turn to follow and to bring our sorrows, burdens and times of celebration to.

Wishing you all the joy and peace of the Christ child,
and a happy and holy new year

Clare <><

We are taking a break from Holy Habits for the lead up to Christmas with all our usual services. However, the 9th December is traditionally Bible Sunday, so we will continue to explore the theme of Biblical Teaching then. We will also celebrate Holy Communion that Sunday.

In January, we will begin to explore the Holy Habit of Fellowship. The planning group are meeting early December to think about how we will present this in worship and other groups.

Another big ‘Thank you’ to Brenda and David and all the family for arranging such a fun party. It was lovely to see so many children enjoying the bonfire and fireworks, and we all enjoyed the hearty supper and good company, too.

2nd December Elissa Grant
9th December Ian Henderson
16th December Joan McShane
23rd December Pat van Lemmen
30th December Susan Bollon

Please advise the relevant Elder of any notice you wish to have given on a particular Sunday morning. It would be helpful to send it to them by the previous Wednesday.


The arrangements for December will remain for the whole month. If anyone knows or needs flowers to be given for comfort, please tell me. There is money for this purpose in the fund.

6th January Dr E Cameron
13th January Mr and Mrs N Madill
20th January Mrs A Seaton
27th January Mrs M Koi

The list for the above will be displayed in the corridor.
At the time of writing, I have just put the 2019 calendar in the vestibule. I have no names for January at the moment. Please put your name down for the Sunday of your choice in 2019. Thank you for all your support in this part of our outreach.


Please may I have all articles for the next edition by Sunday, 13th January, either by hand or to Thank you.

The city of Leeds is a ‘Sanctuary City’.
This means it is welcoming to strangers, outcasts, refugees and handicapped people in need of a helping hand, shelter, food and hope.

During my twenty four years at Leeds University Chaplaincy I was sent by my Minister to Unity Square off Devon Road. This was a secure housing place for a group from Southern Sudan where fighting had forced them to seek refuge. The housing contained families with children and two leaders, Betty and Ben. Many were devout Catholics and went to Notre Dame to worship, forming a Youth Choir and rehearsing under Clement’s guidance. They all spoke English and were well educated.

Over the years I saw their loving community spirit which enabled them to keep calm when they were mocked, told to ‘Go home!’, bullied in schools etc.

Many went to colleges and universities. Very few were given a visit by locals. My Sekina, who many of you have met and is a ‘daughter’ to me was a Masters Student at Leeds University. When tragedy struck their flat, I was sent to help and so met her. What a blessing she is.

Mavis Freeman

In Memoriam
It is with sadness we record the passing of Dr Sheila Hamilton on 13th November after a long illness. She had been a faithful member of the church for many years until ill health kept her at home. She will be deeply missed by her husband, John, and their family.
After many years of ill-health, David Bollon, much loved husband of Susan, father of Daniel and Clare and grand-father of Henry, passed away in St. James’s Hospital. He had become acutely ill over the past couple of weeks and despite intensive treatment died in the early hours of Saturday, 17th November.

Andrew McMurray 1922-2018
Extract from the eulogy given by Ailsa Jarvis at his funeral service on 11th October 2018.

Dad was born in Mollinsburn near Glasgow in 1922. He was a bright pupil and did well at school. But his main love was football at which he excelled. He was a centre forward. He played professionally for Kilsyth Rangers. Then later for Third Lanark and Clyde..both teams then in the Scottish First Division.

Later he obtained a Diploma in Civil & Mining Engineering , paying his way through with the help of scholarship funds and his wages from playing football.

During the war years, as well as working in a reserved occupation and playing football, he found time to meet and court our mother Isabel and they married in 1949.

Anne and David and I were all born in Scotland in various mining villages but in the early 1960s we left and crossed the border never to return to live in Scotland again.

He obtained employment as a Mines Inspector in England eventually ending up in Wakefield. It must have seemed a big step at the time as all other family members were in Scotland but he had already lived and worked in Africa and he was never afraid of an adventure. This can be seen in our family holidays. After several summers of dire weather in St Anne’s on Sea he came home one day with a caravan and announced that we were off to the south of France this year for our holidays for 3 weeks. He had never towed a caravan before but we continued these holidays for years with many adventures along the way. Our mother Isabel’s early death in 1990 meant the end of caravanning for Dad as he discovered that it was no fun on your own.

Anne and David and I will remember a warm intelligent and very kind Dad who always put his family first and supported us in everything we did.. but was happy for us to make our own decisions and our own way in life. He gave unstinting help and support to David in particular. Meeting often for lunch, helping with his car and just doing what he could to make his life easier. He always enjoyed his family and was very, very helpful when our children came along.

Throughout his life Dad was always involved with the Church. He attended and so did we. In Alloa we walked to Church every Sunday. In Chesterfield we attended the Presbyterian Church where he was an elder and since the late 1960s we have been coming here to Headingley St Columba where he was also an elder for many years. The Church was a big part of his life. He had strong opinions but also very strong faith. It was just part of his life and was evident in the way that he lived it.

So also were the masons. He was a mason for over 60 years joining the Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle in 1957 and Howley Lodge in 1973. He contributed much to them. So therefore it seemed right that when he needed help at the end of his life it was they who helped him. He spent the last 6 years at Connaught Court a Masonic home in York where the love and care he received was second to none.

So we say goodbye to a wonderful man whom David, Anne and I are proud to call our father. We will all miss him dearly . . . . . . but are confident that his spirit lives on in us and in our children too. We are all blessed to have known him and if we can try and live up to his example we will do very well. . .


Revd Dr Douglas Brebner MacAdam MB CHB LRCP MA BD FRCGP FRAGP

The Revd Dr Douglas Macadam (born 5th February, 1934) passed away peacefully on 17th October, 2018.

After Harrow, he qualified in Medicine at Cambridge in 1958 and subsequently took a degree in Divinity at London University in 1959 and was ordained in July that year with the intention of becoming a medical missionary in Papua New Guinea, but was prevented from doing so by ill health.

He became an Associate Minister at Headingley Hill Congregational Church and later Headingley St Columba URC. He worked as a GP in Meanwood Health Centre, also holding an academic appointment as Lecturer in the Dept. of Community Medicine at Leeds University, where developed an interest in Palliative Care. He chaired the Steering Committee that led to the foundation of Wheatfields Hospice and was the Founding Chair of Wheatfields from 1978 to 1980, when he emigrated to Western Australia.

He continued to pioneer Palliative Care services and was the first director of the Cottage Hospice in Shenton Park. In 1992, he was named Western Australian Citizen of the Year in recognition of his pathfinding work. He was said to be an inspiring teacher, a clever diagnostician, a lateral thinker and a politically astute administrator. He was predeceased by his wife Ruth, who staunchly supported him in his calling and medical career. He will be sadly missed by Bruce, Hugh and Clare and his family.

Prayer Meeting
We are invited to this month’s prayer meeting on Wednesday 12th December. It’s a busy time of the year, but do join us if you can or set aside the time to pray at home.
In January, it will be on Wednesday 9th.


We shall be holding our Christmas Lunch on Tuesday, 11th December, meeting at 12.30pm for lunch at 1o’clock.
All are welcome, just let us know if you would like to come. The cost is £5.

In January we shall share our usual monthly lunch on Tuesday, 8th meeting at 12.30pm. Again, all are welcome – and so are your friends.

Our meeting on 22nd January will be a Games Afternoon. We meet, as usual, at 2.30pm and will share tea at the end of the afternoon. We hope you will join us – the more the merrier!


If you are looking for books on the Christian faith, or cards and gifts, then you could try a new business venture that has started in Morley and being run by a member of the URC in Leeds.
It is called, ‘The Book Shelf’, Morley Market.
Morley Market is open Monday to Saturday and has a wide range of outlets; we wish them well in this new business.


Reminders re CTH events taking place during December & January.
Carol Singing at the Arndale Centre, Headingley on Saturday, 8th. December between 10.45am and 12noon approx. (all the Churches together). Please note slightly later start time than usual. Collection is for Wheatfields Hospice. Cards with details of Christmas Services in Headingley will also be distributed that morning.

January 2019
18th – 25th January Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – the theme is “Justice, and only Justice, you shall pursue”
Coffee morning: Saturday 19th. January in St. Michael’s Church Hall between 10am & 12 noon – proceeds for Wheatfields Hospice.
Ecumenical Get-Togethers:
Tuesday 22nd Jan at, St. Chad’s Church Parish Centre in the evening.
Wednesday 23rd Jan at South Parade, Baptist Church in the morning.
Thursday 24th Jan at Headingley St. Columba in the afternoon.
Specific times for the meetings will be given through the Church Notices and also on the Notice Board when known.
The Joint Service on Sunday, 27th. Jan will be held at St. Urban’s RC Church at 3pm.
Please do come along and support these different events if you can. They provide opportunities for conversation, fellowship and worship, and getting to know one another better in the Headingley group of Churches.

Christine Tweedie and Joan McShane

Children’s Christmas Party – a Reminder
Once again we are hosting a Christmas party for our own children and their special guests with entertainment, food and hopefully a visit from Santa. The date is Sunday 9th December from 3pm – 5pm. As usual your help is needed, by donations towards presents and food and also, if you have time to spare, please join us either to help with the children or talk to any parents.
Many thanks.

Susan Bollon

Coffee & Conversation
We will not be meeting in December.
Our next meetings will be exploring the Holy Habit of Fellowship:
Tuesday January 15th at 2pm, Iona Room
Wednesday January 23rd at 7.30pm, Iona Room (- please note 4th Wednesday as Clare has a meeting on the usual Wednesday that month)

Pop-up Event – Saturday 1st December, 6pm

Following the success of our pop-up event in Freshers’ Week we are planning another one for 1st December to give our good wishes to students over the Christmas period and invite them to Carol Services before they disappear home for Christmas.

By the time you read this it may well have taken place, but if not, we’d value prayers as we engage with the young people and anyone else passing by.