Newsletter – March 2018

‘Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.’

Psalm 127 (NIV)

Dear friends,

You’ll be familiar with the parable Jesus told about the 2 men building a house. One built on sand, and when the floods came, the house was all but washed away. The other built on solid rock, and when the floods came the house stood firm. Jesus is teaching there that we are to build ourselves a firm foundation for our faith, following His way, learning about our faith and putting it into practice. Then when the storms of life come our faith remains strong. It is so good to see that firm faith among us in Church.

The focus for our denomination is on following Jesus, on ‘Walking the Way’, the phrase coined by our General Assembly Moderators and those who work to run the United Reformed Church, keeping it on a steady path. To me this puts the idea that it is not about following Jesus in an haphazard way, but in a deliberate way, putting each foot forward. It is about choosing to follow, choosing to go deeper in our faith and service in our world. It’s about digging those foundations deeper still.

It also reflects other thoughts. One to me is that we are all on a journey ourselves. We each start from a different place and move at different paces. It doesn’t matter where we are on that journey. What matters is that we are on it, walking the Jesus way as best we can.

The other thought is that we are all also on a journey together as a Church, worshipping, praying, learning, talking about our faith, and so on. Part of that is our current thinking is about how we go in to the future as a Church, working out our vision for the future, and for our response to the Synod document, ‘A Crisis and an Opportunity..’ and how the Lord would have us work out His purposes for his Church at Headingley St Columba’s.

Those words quoted from Psalm 127 remind us who the head of the Church is – Jesus Christ. We’re here to do His will not our own or what we think we’d like to do or is in our comfort zone. We have the picture from the parables of building on solid rock with deep foundations. If we think of this verse from the Psalm in that context of building a house with strong foundations, there’s something that strikes us here. It is not us who builds the house, but the Lord.

The Church belongs to the Lord, and the Lord builds it, and the Lord watches over it. I’m sure that was true of the past, and it is true as we go into the future. If we think we’re going to grow in numbers or reach out to our community ourselves, it will all fall flat. We need constantly to remind ourselves that it’s the Lord’s work, to seek His will at every step and to offer all we do to Him in every way.

There’s a prayer for Church growth, produced by the ‘Leading Your Church Into Growth’ team, a conference I went on in Nov 2016. It makes the point and is a good prayer for us to use:

God of Mission, Who alone brings growth to your Church,
Send your Holy Spirit to give Vision to our planning,
Wisdom to our actions, And power to our witness.
Help our church to grow in numbers,
In spiritual commitment to you,
And in service to our local community,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Christ’s love,
Clare Davison <><

And talking of prayer: Prayer Meeting

This month’s prayer meeting will be on Wednesday 14th March, a time to draw aside for a short time in God’s presence to pray in the quiet together, for those in need and for our Church. If you can’t come to the Church, how about setting that time aside at home to pray.

7 FOR 7.30 pm


Everyone is warmly invited to attend the dinner. Please see Margaret Madill if you have not told me you would like to attend and also choose from the menu what you would like to eat. I have to tell the Chef our choices on March 9th so need to know very quickly now. The cost is £25 per head, in cash, on the night when Jim Throssell will collect it from you.

Margaret Madill


Why not join us for lunch on Tuesday, 13th March? All are welcome to share a 2 course meal and friendly conversation. We meet at 12.30 for 1 o’clock and the cost is £3 – just let Elissa, Joan, Rosemary or Margaret know if you are interested – no need for a regular commitment. Last year we spent an enjoyable afternoon of slides and music produced by Peter and Pam Rhodes; they have compiled another programme which they will show on Tuesday, 28th March at 2.30pm. Do come.

Our thanks to all who supported our ‘Scottish Fund-raiser’ – we raised £115 and are now pleased to donate £315 to Martin House Hospice for Children.

Ministry and Mission Enabler Role

As you all know my time is divided 50% as your Minister at Headingley St Columba, and 50% working in a role within the Leeds Mission and Care Partnership. I really appreciate the interest everyone has shown in this role from our Church, and as quite a few people have asked me more about it I thought it might help to write a little bit on what I am doing when I’m not with you.

My first task has been to get to know the other Churches in the Partnership. There are 12 Churches; 2 of whom are not so fully involved in the Mission & Care meetings, but are included in my work; 5 of the Churches joint Churches with different denominations.  I’ve been to worship in all the congregations now, and from March have a number of preaching engagements booked. I’ve also been to the Churches for other events to get more of a feel for them – coffee mornings, lunches, community outreach activities, Christmas fayres, and Messy Churches. This has also given me the chance to talk to people and get to know them a little better.

I have met with all the Ministers from within the Partnership, and with most of the Methodist Ministers involved in oversight of Partnership Churches. As part of my role is to help a way of team working, I felt it important to involve the Methodists early on as part of our discussions. I have also now met with most Church Secretaries of the Churches to gauge how they see the Partnership and feel their Churches fit in, and am currently invited to attend Elders’ meetings in various Churches. This has been very valuable so far, with lots of useful discussions.

With the ‘Crisis and an Opportunity…’ document from Synod, as part of my role is to enable mission, I have offered my time to Churches who may find it helpful for me to facilitate discussions, and am focussing on this for part of my 50% time over the next 3 months.

When I started last July, I had planned to spend Tues and Weds for our Church and Thurs and Fridays on my Partnership role. This hasn’t quite worked out either way, fitting in with when people are available to meet, or for pastoral visits. Some weeks see more of my time on the Partnership work, and some weeks more time with our Church. It seems overall to balance out though.

I am busy, but please be assured I’m not too busy. So please don’t hesitate to phone if you would like a visit or wish to talk. Clare x


As mentioned at the last Church Meeting, I am now acting as Health and Safety Officer for Headingley St Columba. If you have any concerns that you would like to bring to my attention, please speak to me after Morning Worship, or send me an email at My contact information can also be found in the Church Directory.


Saturday 31st March 10.30 – 12 noon
Time to search the cupboards
for little bits and bobs
to decorate those bonnets
or some eggstra special eggs.
Tea and coffee, hot cross buns,
a prize for everyone,
please come and join us, have some fun,
we’ll be pleased to see just everyone.



4th March Ian Henderson
11th March Joan McShane
18th March Pat van Lemmen
25th March Sue Bollon

Please advise the relevant Elder if you have a notice to be announced in church, preferably by the previous Wednesday.


MMMMMARRANGEMENT                                DISTRIBUTION

44th March             Mrs P Hood                   Mrs P van Lemmen
11th March             Mrs E Grant                   Mrs J McShane
18th March             Flower Fund                  Miss C Tweedie
25th March             Flower Fund                  Miss G Strawbridge

As well as reminding us of the beauty of God’s word in church, the flowers then go to friends ill or housebound. Please will you tell Rosemary Reid if you know anyone in need. There are still spaces on the calendar in the vestibule. Please could you enter your name if you have a Sunday.



Please may I have contributions for the next edition by Sunday, 12th March by hand or by Monday, 19th March via email to Your contributions are always most welcome.


LENT & HOLY WEEK: Lent Lunches commence on Friday, 23rd February and finish on Friday, 23rd March and will be held, as usual, in Headingley Methodist Church Hall. The cost is £3.
The theme this year is ‘Community Matters’ and full details of the speakers are on the board and on a flyer.
The Good Friday Walk of Witness will follow a similar pattern to last year, with readings, prayers and drama at the Rose Garden, North Lane and concluding with Tea/Coffee and Hot Cross buns at Headingley Methodist Church. Meeting times will be announced in church.
The Coffee Morning during the ‘Week of Prayer’ at Headingley Methodist Church raised over £200 for Wheatfields – an enjoyable and successful morning.


A REMINDER that this year it has been decided to support research into Macular Degeneration – a condition which causes loss to central vision, usually in both eyes – as our Lent project. Our Collecting Bags are available and there are also forms if you are a tax payer and would like to add Gift Aid to your donation.
So, we shall be asking you to remember the Macular Society throughout Lent so that they can continue to support research into this condition which is so limiting for so many older people.


Press Release

The Women’s World Day of Prayer Service takes place this year on Friday, 2nd March at 2.15pm at St Chad’s Church, Far Headingley.
The interdenominational movement of the Women’s World Day of Prayer invites everyone to attend one of over 5,000 services being held on Friday, 2nd March with the title ‘All God’s Creation is Very Good!’ We will join an estimated 3 million people around the world that day in a service which has been written this year by the women of Suriname in South America.
Starting in Samoa as the sun rises, and ending as the sun sets off the coast of American Samoa, the service will have been translated into more than 95 languages and 1000 dialects as we are reminded that we have responsibilities in caring for this wonderful world we live in. With its vast rainforest and wealth of resources, Suriname asks us to pray for conservation and the protection of wildlife, through an awareness of pollution, misuse and abuse, as well as for the situation in Suriname and concerns for the future.
This is not simply a day of prayer for women, but for everyone who cares about our world and those who live in it. For further information, please visit the WWDP website:

You were a man of suffering
acquainted with grief,
loved and despised in equal measure.
You understand humanity,
know our failings,
love us despite the people that we are.
When we, like Peter, deny you
by word or action,
forgive us.
When we, like Judas, are tempted
to follow a different path,
forgive us.
When we, like those in the crowd
allow you to be crucified,
forgive us.
Bring us to the foot of the Cross
to stand next to the one who,
looking into your eyes declared
‘Surely this is the Son of God’

Read more at:
Under Creative Commons Licence