Newsletter – February 2020

‘Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.’
Acts 2.46-47 (NIVUK)
Dear friends,

Worship is one of the central things we do as Church, and whatever else we do, comes out of our worship of God. In the next couple of months, which leads us up to Easter, we’ll be exploring the Holy Habit of Worship.

Sometimes we can think of worship as just what we do on a Sunday, worshipping God together. It takes up an hour of our time, plus getting to and from Church and the time of fellowship over coffee of course. Yet for us, it’s a special time, when we draw away from the hustle and bustle of the world and come into a peaceful space. We come maybe to be transported by the music and all we see and hear, into the very presence of God. It’s a hallowed hour, one which many of us wouldn’t miss for the world, and which helps us to get ready for the week ahead.

The word worship in the dictionary means just that, hallowing God, or reverence for God. Dictionary definitions include words like deep respect, adoration, admiration, showing love, honour, ascribing worth, homage, bowing down. These are all to a deity, someone or something higher than us. That is what we do on a Sunday. In our worship service we sing hymns and say prayers of adoration, we show God we love Him by being there, we ascribe worth to God, we pay homage. We may not literally bow down, but that is our sense of coming before God, because of who He is and how great He is.

Worship of course isn’t just an hour on a Sunday. We worship in many other ways during the week. That could be in our own daily devotions, in the monthly prayer meeting, at worship@4 which is a different style of worship. In fact, any way we connect with God in our daily lives is worship. One dictionary definition describes the main way of worshipping being in prayer.

There are a number of words in Hebrew for worship, most of which have the same meaning as we think of today, one being about prostrating ourselves before God in reverence, humility and adoration. There is one word however, ‘avodah’, which equates worship and service. That means that whatever we do, we are worshipping God.

In Colossians 3.23, in his instructions for Christian households, the writer tells slaves that in whatever they do, they should work at it with all their hearts, as if they’re working for the Lord, not for their masters. However we condemn slavery, the point is taken as something we can all do in whatever walk of life, and at whatever stage of life. All we do, in other words, is dedicated to God, and it becomes worship.

As we explore the Holy Habit of Worship, I hope and pray we will each grow in a deeper sense of worship, in how we worship and how our lives can be worship of God.

Love in Christ,
Clare <><

Prayer Before Church, Sundays 10.20-10.30am
We now have a prayer table set up at the back of Church to pray on a Sunday morning. Now it is more visible, please do come and join us for just 10mins. The table is set up with a card with some prayer suggestions each week, along with the ‘Leading your Church into Growth’ prayer. This prayer time is specifically to pray for our worship and our outreach. You can pray in the quiet or our loud, as you feel comfortable.



Following the very successful outreach event organised through Churches Together in Headingley on Palm Sunday last year, another one is planned for 2020. The New Headingley Gospel Choir had members from the majority of the churches in the area (and beyond) and we are hoping to make this even more of a shared occasion this year. After last year’s event a number of people showed an interest in joining when the choir next meets.
This year we shall be singing on Sunday, 3rd May at South Parade Baptist Church and rehearsals will take place on different days of the week from February onwards. It is fully understood that people lead busy lives so will not be able to attend every rehearsal, but music files are provided to allow singers to do a bit of homework!
For a full list of rehearsal dates contact, but if you are at all interested then come along to South Parade from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Sunday 9th February and give it a go.


Please may I have all contributions for the next edition by Sunday 16th February, either directly to me or by email to Thank you. Margaret Brownjohn


Christmas started early this year with our Gift Service in November when bagfuls of toys and gifts were collected for the Salvation Army to distribute to local families – and in addition £300 in cash and £40 in cinema vouchers. £115.81 was given to the Children’s Society at our Christingle Service and a further £250 was collected for Christian Aid during the Christmas period.
The children’s party was a joyful occasion; as ever the number of children able to attend, and who they were, was a mystery until the last moment ie when they came through the door! (They are all welcome, it is just important because Sue does all she can to help Father Christmas give the best gifts to each child by name). We entertained about 30 children this year and their mothers, too; we just hope to give them a happy afternoon and, perhaps, a warm memory in difficult family times. We thank Sue for all she does throughout the year to make this a happy event, to Malcolm and Gilly Proctor for the games and entertainment, Janet Clarke for the ‘Quiet Corner’ , F.C. – you know who you are – the helpers in the Hall and kitchen and to you all for your financial support.
Everywhere looked very ‘Christmassy’, so a big ‘Thank You’ again to Brenda, David and Richard for the splendid tree (collected and erected on the wettest of days) and the festive decorations throughout the church buildings.

(A Women-Led, Global, Ecumenical Movement)

A reminder that the World Day of Prayer Service is to be held on Friday, 6th. March 2020, in HEADINGLEY METHODIST CHURCH at 2pm.
Christian women of Zimbabwe have prepared the Service and the theme is

“Rise! Take your mat and walk”.

Please see Christine Tweedie, and visit, for further details.


Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation about Worship:
    Tuesday 18th Feb, 2pm
    Wednesday 26th Feb, 7.30pm

LENT – some simple facts

Why 40 days? 40 is a significant number in Jewish-Christian scripture:

  • In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth was brought about by 40 days and nights of rain.
  • The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God.
  • Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.
  • Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry. Most Christians regard Jesus’ time in the wilderness as the key event for the duration of Lent.

Why is it called Lent? Lent is an old English word meaning ‘lengthen’. Lent is observed in spring, when the days begin to get longer.

Penitence: Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving that Christians used to undergo in the past. In shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution for them.

The mark of ashes: In Ash Wednesday services churchgoers (both in the Catholic and Anglican church) are often marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes as a sign of penitence and mortality.

The use of ashes, made by burning palm crosses from the previous Palm Sunday, is very symbolic.



That’s the question John Bell is putting to the 2020 Holiday Forum.
What were we told as children about God, the Bible, and heaven? Are these the right things to be passing on to our own children? We’ll focus, too, on some of the big issues they face, growing up in the 21st century. What should we tell them about money, technology, and dealing with people who are different?

John Bell is the theme and worship leader at the forthcoming Holiday Forum – a week of faith, fun and fellowship for individuals and families of all ages and walks of life. Many Forumites come back, year after year. Then they grow up, and bring their own children!

This next Forum, we meet at The Hayes Christian Conference, Swanwick, Saturday 22 to Friday 28th August, 2020.

Come yourself. Bring your friends and family. And if there’s someone in your church who desperately needs what Forum offers, how about getting your church to sponsor them? But book soon – places are going quickly!

Go to

2nd February Aleck Brownjohn
9th February Susan Bollon
16th February Elissa Grant
23rd February Ian Henderson

Please let the relevant Elder know if you have a notice you wish to be read out in church that Sunday; if possible, by the previous Wednesday.

2nd February Women’s Guild Mrs J McShane
9th February Flower Fund Mrs E Grant
16th February Dr and Mrs Brownjohn Mrs B Mackintosh
23rd February Mrs J McShane Mrs R Reid

Thank you for all your help with the flowers. They are very much appreciated, both in church and by those who receive them. There are still a number of blank dates on the calendar in the vestibule!



Very often Shrove Tuesday coincides with our monthly lunch date; however, a late Easter means that this year it will fall on our meeting afternoon. After a brief consultation with friends, we have decided to retain the usual pattern, so do join us for lunch on Tuesday 11th February when pancakes may put in an early appearance!
Our meeting on 25th February will be a Games Afternoon when we shall have a fun session of ‘Church Beetle’ when success is all down to speed and luck. If you have other suggestions, do let Joan know – all are welcome.


Receive this cross of ash upon your brow,
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s cross.
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands
The very stones themselves would shout and sing
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognise in Christ their Lord and king.
He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please,
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But Hope could rise from ashes even now
Beginning with this sign upon your brow.


Malcolm Guite is Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge. He often uses the sonnet form for his poetry. He is happy for his work to be reproduced with acknowledgement but free from copyright.
I found this poem in his Lent works for 2012; sadly, the terrible fires in Australia make it even more relevant than ever.


Look now and see where specks of green are showing,
On tattered branch, and winter passive land.
Look now, and see the early flowers growing
On distant hills and pastures close to hand.
Look close, for life starts small and closely guarded.
Takes time to ripen, and needs space to grow.
Look now, you’ll see what winter has retarded
Spring wakes and makes a stunning nature show.
Look here, the earth is waking, time is flying.
Then we must savour every lovely day.
How wonderful, for there is no denying,
Look now, you’ll see, the Lord has walked this way.


Wednesday Prayer Meeting
Don’t forget our monthly prayer meeting, on Wednesday 12th February, 10.30-11am, a time to draw aside for a short time in God’s presence to pray in the quiet together. If you can’t come to the Church, how about setting that time aside at home to pray.


LENT LUNCHES will commence on Friday, 6th. March for 5 weeks, at Headingley Methodist Church as usual. We shall gather at 12.15pm for 12.30 start and finish around 1.30pm.
It has been agreed that the pattern this year will be different. Hot drinks will be available on arrival, the talk will come first and then we shall eat together. This will provide us with an opportunity for discussion and reflection on the theme and the talks. It has also been agreed that a simple meal will be provided:- rolls/bread, cheese & fruit. Small teams from each of the Churches will be required for preparing and serving. We shall be responsible for the lunch on Friday 3rd April and six volunteers will be needed. Clare has kindly agreed to chair the session that day.
More details should be available for the March Newsletter including events during Holy Week and on Good Friday.



The Rev Ashley Evans, Synod Evangelist, will be speaking at a taster meeting on Saturday, 7th March from 2pm – 4pm at Headingley St Columba. All are welcome, please try to attend this important session which will help us become sensitive to the opportunities around us.

Messy Church LogoMessy Church logo © The Bible Reading Fellowship 2019

Meeting, Thurs 6th February, 3.30pm

Calling all those interested in volunteering in whatever way for a Headingley Churches Together Messy Church. The Messy Church is likely to take place monthly on a Thursday after school, 3.30-5.30pm.

We are holding a meeting for anyone interested to find out more. Volunteers, of whatever age, are needed to sit at craft tables, prepare and serve food, help with worship, and clear up afterwards. You can volunteer once a month, once a year, or anything in between. This is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to families who don’t usually go to Church in Headingley. Please think and pray about volunteering.



We have received a kind offer from Harrogate Male Voice Choir asking if we would like to host a concert, so we are grateful to them that we can once again support Wheatfields Hospice with a musical event.
The concert will be held on Sunday 15th March at 3pm.
This will not be a ticketed concert, so please invite your friends and neighbours to join us for the concert and light refreshments afterwards.

We shall need help welcoming visitors and serving refreshments, and most of all bringing guests. We shall be collecting donations for Wheatfields and hope to be able to give them a generous amount as in the past.