Newsletter March 2024

Dear Friends

Treasures in Heaven

This month, we continue to journey through the Season of Lent.
A season when we are encouraged to stop and notice what matters most in life.

One of the readings during Lent comes from the Gospel of Matthew:

“store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6: 19-21

The phrase, “treasures in heaven” was one that Jesus and his listeners would have recognised from their faith tradition. It refers to God’s kingdom of justice. And people’s duty to notice and acknowledge injustice, inequality, hate so they can work together in transforming them into justice, equality and love.

In our Partnership Lent course on poverty, one of speakers we listened to, Stef Benstead, talked about the difference between “charity” and “justice”. She said we, as Christians, sometimes find charity easier – because in helping someone when we didn’t need to, it can make us feel good and like a nice person. While justice is harder – because it is much more challenging and means we have to change how we do things.

So, this Lent, I wonder:

Can we stop and notice where we can see justice in our churches, city and world?
Can we stop and notice where we need justice in our churches, city and world?

And then together, we then look at ways to transform the ways that we pray and act so that God’s kingdom of justice may come.

A Church Action on Poverty prayer
Holy Trinity, you give dignity to all
Remind us that we all are treasured by you
Loving God, you lift up the lowly
Remind us of those among us whose value is not seen
Jesus Christ, you bring good news to the poor
Remind us to reach out for justice for all
Holy Spirit, you free the captives, you challenge and inspire us
Empower us to build a society where everyone belongs. Amen.

Urzula Glienecke


1st Friday 12.15pm Lent Lunch at St. Lukes & St Matthews Lutheran church
3rd SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship led by Rev Phil Chilvers
6th Wednesday 2.00pm Lent Partnership Course
10th SUNDAY 10.45am Mothering Sunday. Morning Worship led Rev Helen Lambert, retired Baptist Minister.
We shall be joined by our friends from West Park URC
12th Tuesday 12.30pm Guild Lunch
13th Wednesday 2.00pm Lent Partnership Course at Headingley St Columba
15th Friday 12.15pm Lent Lunch at Headingley St Columba
17th SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship led by Rev Phil Chilvers
20th Wednesday 2.00pm Lent Partnership Course
22nd Friday 12.15pm Lent Lunch
24th SUNDAY 10.45am PALM SUNDAY. Morning Worship led by our Minister, including the Christening of Maevie Rae Steel.
We shall be joined by our friends from Headingley Methodist Church.
28th Thursday 9.00pm Service of Tenebrae led by our Minister.
29th Friday 10.00am Good Friday Worship at Headingley Methodist Church
30th Saturday 10.30am Easter Coffee Morning
31st SUNDAY 10.45am EASTER DAY. Morning Worship, including the Sacrament of Holy Communion, led by Rev Angela Hughes

We are delighted to announce that:

The christening of Maevie Rae Steel, daughter of Claire Bollon and Dave Steel and sister to Henry, will take place on 24th March.


LENT PARTNERSHIP COURSE – Act on Poverty from Christian Aid

A reminder that the Partnership Lent Course continues not only at our own church on Wednesday afternoons but also at South Leeds on Mondays at 1.30pm and on Zoom on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm.


1st March St Luke’s & St Matthew’s Lutheran Church
Speaker: Rt Rev Walter Jagucki:
9 Alma Road, LS6 2AH
8th March Cornerstone Baptist Church
Speaker: Rev Andy Muckle (St George’s Crypt)
Kirkstall Lane, LS6 3LF
15th March Headingley St Columba URC Church
Speaker: Rev Dr Nicola Robinson
70 Headingley Lane, LS6 2DH
22nd March St Chad’s CofE (Far Headingley)
Speaker: Rev Hannah Lievesley
Otley Road, LS16 5JT

Easter Coffee Morning
Saturday 30th March, 10.30-12noon
easter eggs

Please join us for a cuppa and hot cross bun on Saturday 30th March from 10.30 – 12 noon. If you are feeling creative bring a decorated egg, hat or garden, if not just come along for the chat. A warm welcome awaits.


cfl logo 
This year our charity for Lent is ‘CARING FOR LIFE’ – a charity with which we have supported from its very early days when Peter Parkinson was fund-raising for an adjoining field or a tractor. The charity has far wider support these days but the need is as great and, by its nature, on-going. There have been many charitable demands lately both at home and abroad but the Elders know from past experience that you will still support our Lent Project with your usual generosity.


Our next lunch will be held on Tuesday, 12th March, meeting together at about 12.30pm for lunch at one. We have been pleased to welcome a couple of new guests recently and they seemed to enjoy both the meal and the company – we don’t think they were just being polite! We hope they will come again soon but we do wish to stress to all our church friends that you are welcome any month you are able to join us. Just let Elissa, Rosemary, Sue or me know.

Margaret Brownjohn


red chair gardenA future date for your diary. The Partnership Quiet Day is booked for Saturday 20th April at The Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield. The theme is: ‘How shall we now live in the light of the resurrection?’ The day will be led by the Ministry Team.

We will start there at 10.00am and finish by 4.00pm. We have received a grant for this from the URC Discipleship Development Fund to cover the booking and costs of refreshments including lunch and travel for up to 60 people. This is open to all members and friends. Please let Revd Angela Hughes know (email: if you would like to be included, and if you need or can offer transport. Many thanks for letting her know as soon as you are able so we can plan ahead.

Pictured above: The Red Chair Garden



The shops are full of Easter; perhaps that is as it should be as we approach the most significant days of our Christian year. Their importance is witnessed in the gospels where the story of the last seven days of Jesus’ life takes a third of the gospel of Matthew and Mark, a fifth of St Luke and almost half of the gospel of St John.

From that wretched but triumphant week came the symbol of our faith – the cross. In the early years, the fish was the symbol, a safer sign and apt one as it not only related to the commandment to be fishers of men but the letters of Greek word spelt out ‘Jesus Christ Son of God Saviour’.

But as the centuries passed Christians felt bolder and adopted the ‘cross’ and the suffering of Christ on the cross was depicted in paint, marble and wood in every place of worship. For many the suffering of Christ for our salvation on the cross remains dominant but for us the empty cross reminds us of the loving, triumphant, resurrected Christ.

What of the actual cross? In 313 the Roman Emperor Constantine granted tolerance to the worship of all faiths, including Christianity, to which he, himself had perhaps converted in his youth. His mother, Helena, with the wealth of Rome at her disposal, set out on a religious tour and pilgrimage, including Syria and Palestine, and in Jerusalem she set about finding the ‘True Cross’. She learnt that the emperor Hadrian had built a pagan temple over the site and her workforce were set to excavating it where they found three crosses – the ‘true’ cross being identified by the immediate healing of a woman close to death when she touched it.

Helena had the cross set up on the place she believed to be Calvary where it remained for nearly 300 years until captured by the Persian emperor Khosrau. Rescued again by Rome some 17 years later, it disappeared into obscurity with only fragments of the cross preserved around the world and held in faith by believers to be a material connection to Christ. Perhaps we are more puzzled than moved by the sight of rows of ornate boxes and globes holding the relics of saints in ancient churches and readily believe that if all the fragments of the cross were put together there would be at least a dozen. But it is also recorded that a Cambridge professor, on making a survey of all the pieces claimed to be from the cross, could only account for about a third of a full-sized one.

So, facts and tradition weave themselves into our faith, but the cross and its meaning are indisputable. The Chinese Emperor, Kublai Khan, is reported to have said ‘you Christians have taken an instrument of torture and turned it into a thing of beauty’.

ST. HELEN – a Post Note

st helen's dentonHelen was responsible for the construction or beatification of important Christian sites and is held a saint by the Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican churches and commemorated by the Lutheran. Some claim that Helen was a British princess from around Colchester, very unlikely, but it is true that this probably led, in part, to the dedication of 121 Anglican churches to her in England – over 20 of which are in Yorkshire.

St. Helen’s Denton, near Otley, North Yorkshire



See as they strip the robe from off his back
And spread his arms and nail them to the cross,
The dark nails pierce him and the sky turns black,
And love is firmly fastened on to loss.
But here a pure change happens. On this tree
Loss becomes gain, death opens into birth.
Here wounding heals and fastening make free,
Earth breathes heaven, heaven roots in earth.
And here we see the length, the breadth, the height,
Where love and hatred meet and love stays true,
Where sin meets grace and darkness turns to light,
We see what love can bear and be and do.
And here our saviour calls us to his side,
His love is free, his arms are open wide.

Malcolm Guite
Reproduced with the kind permission of the author


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