Newsletter May 2023

laburnum walk
The Laburnum walk, Newby Hall

‘There is no time like Spring,
When life’s alive in everything,
Before new nestlings sing,
Before cleft swallows speed
their journey back
Along the trackless track –
God guides their wing . . .’

From ‘Spring’, by Christina Rosetti

May 2023

This month, I’ve been thinking a lot about community. What does the word community mean to you? For me, it is about togetherness and support through the highs and lows (and everything in between!) of life. And being a faith community, we do all this in the name of Jesus, and we also look and reach out beyond our church building – both locally and globally.

As part of the long weekend for the Coronation of King Charles III, we are being encouraged to think about the local. Whatever our views on the monarchy, it is interesting to note that the weekend has a big focus on community – coming together with our neighbours and recognising the importance of volunteering.

May is also the month we mark Christian Aid Week. A week that reminds us of the importance of recognising and reaching out to our global community. This year it takes place: 14-20 May. Their appeal this year involves supporting families struggling with the effects of the cost of living as well as the climate crisis. I was reading a story from about a family in Malawi where it is increasingly difficult to grow many of the foods used to eat and sell. Esther and her family (like many friends and family) are in need of support in order to grow pigeon peas – a very resilient crop. Esther says: ‘We are a community that helps one another a lot . . . if people face a problem, we do not allow them to suffer alone.’

Christian Aid invite us to support their work this May as we can, in prayer and raising awareness and through financial giving. One of our Partnership churches – Stainbeck Church – are also hosting an event on Saturday 20th May from 11.00am to 1.30pm – with bacon sandwiches, homemade soup and cake, tea and coffee plus book and card stalls. All very welcome!



IN MEMORIAM: It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Phil McShane, much loved husband of Joan. Phil died very suddenly on the evening of Thursday, 13th April, after a long, debilitating illness. Despite the difficulties of everyday life, Phil continued to pursue what activities he could and joined us most Sundays for Morning Worship.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, 17th May at 12.30pm.

Joan would like to express our thanks to all her friends who have expressed their love and support at this sad and difficult time.



The sales tables in the corridor have been continuing to raise money for the five charities we support but the Book Cases need refreshing with new stock. If any of you have any books you no longer wish to keep then please consider donating them to the Church. It takes about 120 books to fill the two cases so that’s a challenge for us!!

Thanks once again to all donors and buyers.

Margaret Madill


Sorry, no Guild Lunch this month, but we hope you will be able to come to our Coronation Celebration Lunch on Sunday, 7th May. We have accumulated a small amount in our ‘kitty’ since we last gave a donation of £300 to ‘Jacob’s Well’ – courtesy of a Musical Fundraiser and our small monthly savings. Liz Lyle continues to visit Ghana to support the charity, training people to make individualised chairs and standing frames from recycled materials.

It has been our practice to give to smaller charities to which, we hope, it will make a difference. If you have any ideas, please let us know at our next lunch in June.


christian aid envelopeThis Lent it was decided to support Christian Aid and in particular their work in supporting the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
In total, £1,328.21 was raised (of which £765) has been Gift Aided.

St Chad’s Garage continues to keep a donation tin on the counter and that had collected £68.21. We are most grateful to them for supporting the Charity in this way and we are, yet again, surprised by the generosity of their customers in this almost ‘cash-free’ society.

Joan McShane was reminded by the garage that Christian Aid approaches and that they are willing for us to collect on their premises during that week. If you are able to help, please bear the dates in mind. Collections will be limited but we shall attempt to make a time-table to cover a few, what we hope, are busy periods.

Envelopes for personal donations will also be available in church.

Christian Aid Week: 14-20 May 2023

This year Christian Aid is focusing on its work in Malawi. We are aware of the difficulties many families (and indeed single people) are facing here, but in so many countries where life was already a day-to-day existence, the aftermath of Covid and Climate Change are making life even more precarious.


malawi‘Families in Malawi are paying the price of this global crisis.

Food, fuel, fertiliser and school fees have doubled in price in the last 12 months. And hard-working farmers are seeing their harvests fail as the climate crisis brings increasingly erratic weather.

Cyclone Freddy – in February to March – the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record (lasting 34 days), has hit Malawi and Mozambique. This cyclone is the equivalent of a full North Atlantic hurricane season.

Malawi experienced a year’s worth of rain during the 4-week cyclone. The number of people affected by the Tropical Cyclone in Malawi continues to rise. Over 508,000 people are displaced and hundreds have lost their lives. There’s also an increased risk of malaria and cholera in the immediate aftermath.’

For some positive news of the support Christian Aid is giving in Malawi, search for the Christian Week 2023 website.


Prayer from Christian Aid
God, gardener of Eden, who flung stars into space
and nurtures the tiniest plant,
lift our hopes and dreams
above the loss and damage of our suffering planet,
that we might share
your long-dreamed vision
which values the pea as much as the plant,
fill us with your life-giving hope
and inspire us with your creative Spirit
now, and in the age to come.


7th SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship led by Rev Phil Chilvers
12noon Celebration Lunch
14th SUNDAY NO MORNING WORSHIP, owing to the Leeds Marathon
20th Saturday 11am – 1.30pm CHRISTIAN AID WEEK—light lunches at Stainbeck URC
21st SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship, including the Sacrament of Holy Communion, led by Rev Phil Chilvers
28th SUNDAY 9.30am PENTECOST Morning Worship at Headingley Methodist Church
4th SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship led by Rev Phil Chilvers
Headingley Methodist Church will join us

easter coffee morning
Entries for this year’s Easter Coffee Morning Competition.

We had guests from our Partnership churches and Churches Together.

It was a most enjoyable morning and out thanks, yet again, to Sue and her helpers for arranging the catering, the egg hunt and judging the wonderful creations.

Another Partnership event – Stainbeck is hosting a Lunch time Fund Raiser to support Christian Aid Week on Saturday, 20th May from 11.00am to 1.30pm. Details in Nicola’s letter.