Newsletter – November 2019

‘The greatest glory of a free-born people
is to transmit that freedom to their children’
‘The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example’ ‘Valour grows by daring, fear by holding back’
‘They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.’

‘For death is no more than a turning over from time to eternity’
‘Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valour of the brave.’


‘Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts’ Acts 2.46

Dear friends,

As we go into November, we begin exploring the next Holy Habit, which follows on from what we have been exploring in the habit of Eating Together. The verse above in Acts says they did so with glad and generous hearts.

The habit is called, Gladness and Generosity. The two are interlinked. As we come into winter, and of course have our important Remembrance service, it is good to explore something joyful.

It has actually deliberately been chosen as we come into the joy of our Christmas celebrations. In conversations at the Mission & Care Group a few months ago, Rev Geoff Ellis suggested all the Churches in the Partnership explore this habit at the same time. While this didn’t quite get taken up, and we were not able with the various preaching plans to help each other as Churches, we may be exploring this at the same time as West Park and Stainbeck.

The resource book says this habit is both joyous and challenging. It says the ‘Church was born in gladness . . . for what God had done through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus . . . at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost . . .’ This gladness, this joy, continued as the early Church met together in their homes, in the Temple, and wherever they were.

Gladness, or joy, isn’t about putting on a false smile, but about a deep thankfulness to God that is always on our hearts. It’s a gladness despite and in spite of what is going on in our lives in general.

It is linked with Generosity. That is because a glad heart reaches out to others, generously forgiving as we have been forgiven, generously giving as we have been given. It is not in holding back, not in putting ourselves first, but overflowing with the generosity of God, because God is generous to us, God is generous with His grace and mercy. There’s a children’s chorus with two verses, which begin:

  1. Grace is when God gives us the things we don’t deserve
  2. Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve

There’s a simplicity in those words. Underlying them is the reality that God is generous to us, and that in the Christian life, generosity is to flow over to others.

In other Bible translations of the word generous, we have a number of different ideas: simplicity of heart, humble hearts, sincere hearts, singleness of heart. It is apparently a word only used once in the New Testament, hence not a certainty over its meaning. In a sense, those other words convey the thought of devotion to God, generous in our devotion to God. In that, we can still have the sense of that generosity overflowing to others.

As we explore this habit of gladness and generosity as being a Christian way of life, there are themes of hospitality, giving, the fruit of the Spirit, self-sacrifice, persecution, thanksgiving – the list could go on. But I pray through whatever themes we explore, we will be rooted more firmly in the grace of God.

Love in Christ, Clare


Clare’s Service themes and readings
10th November Remembrance Sunday
    Matthew 18.21-35 & Ephesians 4.17-32 – Forgiveness

17th November Communion
    Luke 15.11-32 – Joy in heaven

Sunday 24th November, 4pm, followed by food. Please let Clare or Aleck know if you can help with food, welcoming or the sound desk.

3rd November Aleck Brownjohn
10th November Susan Bollon
17th November Aleck Brownjohn
24th November Elissa Grant

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.

3rd November Miss C Tweedie Mrs J McShane
10th November Remembrance Sunday Miss C Tweedie
17th November Mrs S Bollon Miss G Strawbridge
24th November The Guild Mrs K Henderson

Our gratitude goes to all who help with the flowers. I shall be putting the 2020 calendar up soon. Please add your name if you would like a particular Sunday.
The church will be decorated for Christmas in December. There will be no distribution. However, if you know of anyone in need of comfort, please ask me for the money from the Flower Fund.


Prayer before Church, in the Iona room
Come and pray on Sunday’s 10.20-10.30am every week. Our focus will be to pray specifically for the work and worship of our Church. There is a little table with some prayers on it and suggestions of what to pray for. You will not be expected to pray out loud, but can if you like.

DECEMBER/JANUARY NEWSLETTER: please may I have all contributions for the next edition by Sunday, 17th November, either directly to me or by email to


Brenda and David and all the Stephenson family invite you to a Bonfire Party on Saturday, 2nd November. All are welcome to supper starting at about 5.30pm with Bonfire festivities to follow.

Wrap up warm if you want to enjoy the party outdoors, but you can still enjoy the fun from the warmth of the Small Hall.


We are holding our Advent Lunch on 1st December, the first Sunday in advent, at midday, straight after Morning Worship.
As usual it will be a simple lunch of soup and a roll, followed by pudding. We shall be putting up a list for names nearer the date.


This year we shall be collecting gifts for children of families supported by the Salvation Army at our Morning Service on Sunday, 24th November.



Clare and I attended the conference which was attended by people from Church of England; Methodists; Baptists & members of the URC.

The first session helped the participants come to a point where they have a shared vision to see their church grow. We all agreed, that recently, numbers in congregations are dropping in all Churches.

Mission ran through the complete course.

Our Mission is to Lead our Church into Growth.
Our mission is so see that our Churches CAN grow.
There are 3 types of growth:- Numerical, Missional, and Spiritual

The change equation describes the conditions needed in a Church for CHANGE to happen:

d x v x hs > c
discontent x vision x Holy Spirit > cost of change

Archbishop Rowan Williams says:- ‘The church exists to pass on the promise of Jesus- “You can live in the presence of God without fear, you can receive from his fullness and set others free from fear and guilt.” ‘

We discussed Going for growth; focused on creating a plan; our culture, our calling, our journey, praying and worship. We were given so much to think about BUT we have support if we require it.

The following are 12 Basic Steps for growth:-

  1. Establish a desire/ culture of growth
  2. Pray explicitly for growth as a church
  3. Develop a leadership team
  4. Create an eighteen month / two year plan for growth
  5. Get into the habit of inviting people
  6. Ensure you are a welcoming church
  7. Set aside proclamation/festival events every year
  8. Run an enquirer’s group each year
  9. Develop an ‘evangelism into discipleship’ stepping stone journey
  10. Establish a family culture with a commitment to work with children and young people
  11. Improve the feel and accessibility of your worship
  12. Find ongoing support and help.

I think we all want our Church to grow but we need to pray and support each other.

Below is the Leading your Church into Growth (LyCiG) prayer, which we can all pray at home and we will be praying at various times in Church:-

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

Joan McShane



Recently I visited Hoar Cross Parish Church in Staffordshire which was commissioned by the Hon. Emily Meynell Ingram (owner of Temple Newsam estate) and designed by George Frederick Bodley who had been trained in the office of Sir George Gilbert Scott.


The church was built in 1872 as a memorial to her husband who had died suddenly and it is a very good example of High Victorian Gothic architecture. It has a set of the Stations of the Cross which were carved by Flemish woodcarvers, Boeg and De Wint.

The Stations of the Cross originated in the Middle Ages as a way of teaching the events of Christ’s trial, execution and burial and as an aid to meditation. At first the number of events portrayed varied but by the end of the Middle Ages it came to be fourteen. They are now found in all Catholic churches and many High Anglican ones. St. Benedict’s at Garforth has a beautiful modern carved set, (sometimes they are painted panels) and in the woods above Ilkley there is an outdoor set leading to a shrine.

The shields round our church are reminiscent of the custom and it is possible that other Nonconformist churches have something similar.
Emily Meynell Ingram was also responsible for the building of churches at Altofts and Holbeck, the improvement of the one at Whitkirk and the creating of a chapel at Temple Newsam.



Our Harvest Appeal this year was in support of WaterAid.
A total of £794.00 was donated of which £405.00 was gift aided meaning the charity will be able to collect an additional £101.25 from the Treasury.


Our lunch in November will be held on Tuesday, 12th, meeting at about 12.30pm for lunch at 1 o’clock. All are welcome.
Elizabeth Lyle will be joining us at 2.30pm on Tuesday, 26th November to tell us more about her voluntary work on Ghana.
She wrote a little about her work in last month’s newsletter, but it will be intriguing to discover how Elizabeth and her fellow volunteers turn cardboard and paste into tailor-made furniture for children with disabilities. You are all welcome to join us.


We are hosting a Christmas party for our own children and their special guests on Sunday 8th December from 3pm – 5pm. Once again we need your help – donations towards presents and food, and, if you have time to spare, your presence on the day to help look after the children and socialise with any parents. Many thanks.

Susan Bollon


Further to the CTH Report for the Church Meeting on the 13th October, please see below reminders re dates and events taking place in December 2019 and January 2020.

Carol Singing: Saturday, 14th December from 10.30am to 11.45 (approx.) at the Arndale Centre in Headingley. The collection is for Wheatfields . Please do come along and join in the singing – all the Churches together.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th. to 25th, January 2020.
The theme is ‘Unusual Kindness’ based on Acts 28:2 and has been prepared by the people of Malta. The Coffee morning will be held in St. Michael’s Church Hall on Saturday, 18th. January between 10am & 12noon. Proceeds to Wheatfields.
The United Service is to be held in South Parade Baptist Church at 3pm on Sunday,19th. January.
Details of dates, times & venues for ‘ Ecumenical Get-Togethers ‘ to be held during Unity Week are still to be confirmed and should be available for the December Newsletter.

Details of events during Lent and Holy Week should be available for the December Newsletter – the next CTH Committee Meeting is to be held on the 18th. November, at 7.30pm in Vineyard House, Bennett Road, Headingley.

Christine Tweedie

Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation about Gladness and Generosity over a cuppa and a Bible passage. This month on Tuesday 19th, 2pm or Wednesday 27th, 7.30pm, both in the McKay room.


An open book, the pages edged with gold
Lies on the table, close enough to read:
I have no time to spare, but tempted by
A need for knowledge, and a deeper need
I turn the page, and see the words of hope,
The Lord my God is always by my side.
If I can live like Him no harm will come
To those I love. His arms are open wide,
And I believe those words were meant for me.
My bible fills a void, I understand
That God is good, as He is, I must be.
I turn the pages, and I take His hand.



At last the Church Library is up and available for you to borrow from, thanks to Margaret Madill moving things around in the cellar! It is now located in the vestibule (Church foyer), with a small supply of books already in place, left over, from Ann Woodhouse’s former bookstall, with thanks to her as well.

Please do have a look at what is there, and borrow as you wish. There will be a notebook to write down what has been borrowed.

And if you have read a Christian book recently that has had an impact on your faith journey, please bring it along for others to borrow.


(A Women Led, Global, Ecumenical Movement)

The World Day of Prayer Preparation Conference is to be held on Friday, 8th. November, 2019 at St. Andrew’s Roundhay URC, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leeds LS8 1DS commencing at 10am. Please see Notice Board for further details of the programme for the day. A packed lunch is required – tea, coffee & biscuits are provided.

Christian women of Zimbabwe have prepared the Service which will take place on Friday, 6th. March, 2020 and the theme is “Rise! Take your mat and walk”.
If possible, please do come to the preparation day at St. Andrew’s on the 8th. November. It will be a very informative and enjoyable day.
Cost – £4 per person if paid in advance or £5 payable at the door on the day. Please see Christine Tweedie for further details.


Prayer Meeting
This month it is on Wednesday 13th. Do join us for this short time in God’s presence to pray in the quiet for those in need and for our Church, or put aside the time to pray at home.