Newsletter – October 2019

I really love my new chair!
apt image


‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.’ Matthew 25.13
Dear friends,

Having had a busy time as a Church in September, this month seems much quieter for most of us, still with our regular activities, as we prepare for November’s bonfire night and Remembrance Sunday. That will then lead a couple of weeks later into Advent and, dare I say it at the beginning of October, Christmas.

As in our own lives, our Church year has its busy times and its times to sit back, its times maybe to take stock, and times to be refreshed. This month may be for us a time to be refreshed, to take stock of all that we’ve been doing, and to think ahead and plan ahead as we get into the busy months again. Two of us who are going on the ‘Leading your Church into Growth’ conference, have a chance to do just that. We will be thinking about steps our Church can take to grow in different areas of Church life, coming back from that to encourage planning for the future.

In our secular world, we don’t know what this month is going to bring. Brexit at the end of the month, maybe; the promised chaos, or not. Some say there will be food shortages, and other shortages as well. Until we get there, we won’t know. This month becomes a time of preparation for the unknown, for us, always knowing that God who is Lord of all.

The verse at the top of the page is at the end of the parable Jesus told about the ten maidens waiting for the bridegroom to arrive at the wedding feast. Five of them were wise and carried extra oil for their lamps, whereas five of them were foolish and didn’t. You may remember in the story that the bridegroom took a long time in coming, and when his arrival was finally announced, the five without oil had to go off to buy some more. When they arrived back at the wedding banquet, the door was shut and they weren’t allowed in.

There are all sorts we could think of in that about welcome and sharing, both of which seem to be out of the picture. But of course, we’re not meant to look at what the story throws up on the side – it is just an illustration – rather, at what Jesus was saying through the story. It’s a parable about the Kingdom of heaven. The Kingdom of heaven is like…

The point of the parable, as we know, is about being prepared for whenever Jesus returns, because we don’t know when that will be, or how long we each have on earth. It’s about preparing ourselves, keeping prepared, keeping up our faith in Jesus, and that relationship with Him. As a Church it is also in encouraging each other in our faith, sharing stories of what God is doing in our lives, and helping each other through the more difficult times, so that we can all be ready for the Lord’s return.

With our current theme of Eating Together, we could have those conversations over food, and invite others in too, to hear those stories, or just simply to offer the love and grace of God to others. I pray we will be open to others, so that we can build relationships with others, and somehow connect them to that all embracing faith relationship. I don’t know about you, but I would enjoy doing that over food!

Love in Christ, Clare

Clare’s Service themes and readings
13th October Luke 19.1-9 Jesus transforming Zacchaeus over a meal
20th October Communion Acts 10.9-28 Table fellowship

NEARLY NEW – 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.


Pat van Lemmen 21st May 1945 – 11th August 2019

Pat became a Member of this Church in 1974. She was an Elder, (whose wise counsel we greatly respected) and our Lay Preacher, leading our worship, when our Minister was preaching elsewhere. She was a very gifted preacher, reflecting her steadfast belief in the Christian message. One could say that Pat was truly what we used to call ‘a pillar of the Church’; she was our Yorkshire Synod Representative, my predecessor as Church secretary, our Safeguarding Officer, hosted our Bible Study Groups and Alpha Courses and was involved in many other activities.


A Service of Thanksgiving was held for our much loved and faithful friend on Tuesday, 27th August.

Her daughters, Johanna and Miranda, gave the following eulogy at the service:

Patricia, also known as Patsy or Pat, was a woman of many talents and interests. She spoke 3 foreign languages, was a keen and mostly successful gardener with her vegetable plot and was extremely well read. Dick Francis, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling being a few of her favourite authors.
She enjoyed knitting jumpers, scarves and bed socks – especially while watching television – as she could never just sit still and do nothing.
She was a woman with strong academic interests and a love for learning. Having gained a degree in History from St. Andrews University – she later went on to gain a Master’s degree in Education from Leeds University. She was a qualified history teacher and always enjoyed her work, but she particularly valued her time at Guiseley High school, where she worked for many years and became Head of History.
Her love of teaching and strong Christian belief led to her becoming a Lay Preacher. She enjoyed preparing and leading worship on Sunday mornings at many churches in Leeds and appreciated the support and friendship shown to her by these congregations.

She was a keen Radio 4 listener and enjoyed listening to plays, history programmes and was a big fan of the Archers.
Alongside her work and raising a family, she always gave a lot of time to help others and was a Guide Leader, a Samaritan and an Elder at this church. Even when she retired, she volunteered at Oxfam, Caring for Life and the Food Bank.
She was a devoted wife, mum and granny who saw her Scottish and Dutch families as an inherent part of her life. She spent most of her holidays in Fife with her family and learnt Dutch so she could communicate with her Dutch in-laws. Although she never did grasp the art of cycling!
At the end of her life she bore her illness with fortitude and courage, showing her great strength of character to the end, as well as her continuous endeavour to protect and look after her family.
For so many reasons her death will leave a huge hole in our lives and the lives of so many others.
We are thankful to have known her and are grateful to her, that she has helped make us the people we are today.

– o – O – o –

The Lord who brought me this far on the stormy path of life
Will surely guide my loved ones when they’re facing greater strife.
For such a gracious Lord He is, I know that He will be
Close by with arms stretched out to hold, and watchful eye to see.
And when there’s need for courage and the fountain spring runs dry
When all the earth is shaking and the heavens seem too high,
May they have strength to trust Him, for it is the only way.
Dear Lord who brought me this far, guard the ones I love, I pray.



It is planned to hold a book sale in the Large Hall during tea-time on the morning of October 6th. This is to raise money for the Church Charities. If anyone has any books they would like to donate or other goods for the sales table then please bring them to church at any time for such items are always welcome to help with the year round fund-raising. Thank you.

Margaret Madill

APT (Appropriate Paper Based Technology) in Ghana

As many of you know I visit Ghana to help with training people to make equipment for disabled children.
This all started when my friend Helen retired from working as a Paediatric Physiotherapist in 2015 and wanted to volunteer abroad. I’ve long been connected with a Beverley based charity, Jacob’s Well Appeal, which sends medical, educational and agricultural aid to some of the world’s poorest places, and had recently taken a more active role in supporting their compliance with medicines legislation. At that time Jacob’s Well had a project worker in Northern Ghana who arranged a placement for Helen at Tamale Teaching Hospital.
Helen was shocked by the historic treatments offered to patients and especially by the lack of facilities and equipment for children. Cerebral Palsy is the leading cause of disability in Ghanaian children. Helen found out about Cerebral Palsy Africa, a Scottish based charity that runs training courses in using APT to make equipment for disabled children from cardboard boxes, newspaper and flour and water paste. Helen arranged for the first Tamale APT training course in February 2017 with Marian, a Dutch Occupational Therapist who regularly volunteers for CPA as the Course Lead and also persuaded me to come along as the helper.
Our first group of students were a mixture of parents, nurses, physiotherapists, teachers, a Pastor, social workers, two students from Ghana’s first Occupational Therapy training course in Accra, and a medical student sponsored for his course by a former VSO teacher now back in the UK. The interpreter for the local language failed to show up, the chairs, tables and projector were whisked back to the medical education centre for a Ministerial visit, the electricity went off for long periods and the hospital ran out of water. Despite the challenges the students proudly received their certificates and four children got made to measure individualised supportive chairs, allowing them to feed more easily and develop faster because they can see the world around them instead of just the ceiling or sky.
Since then the group has continued to make more chairs and learnt to make frames. Earlier this year Helen and I successfully ran a course in Wa. We are going out again on 17th October to run the second part of the course in Wa and another course in Tamale for new staff and more parents.
I am immensely grateful that the Guild have chosen to support our work this year and look forward to telling you more about it at their meeting in November.

Elizabeth Lyle

Prayer Meeting
This month it is on Wednesday 9th. 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.

Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation about eating together over a cuppa and a Bible passage. We will continue to explore Eating Together – biscuits and cake will be on offer as usual!
Tuesday 15th, 2pm
Wednesday 30th, 7.30pm
both in the McKay room.

Sunday 27th October, 4pm, followed by food. Please let Clare or Aleck know if you can help with food, welcoming or the sound desk. Thanks

6th October Elissa Grant
13th October Ian Henderson
20th October Joan McShane
27th October At Headingley Methodist Church

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.

6th October Flower Fund Mrs E Grant
13th October Flower Fund Mrs B Mackintosh
20th October Mrs J McShane Mrs M Koi
27th October At Headingley Methodist Church

Thank you, everyone for all your help with the flowers.


NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER: please may I have all contributions for the next edition by Sunday 13th October, either directly to me or by email to I understand this date is very early in the month; this is because we shall be worshipping at Headingley Methodist Church on the last Sunday in the month. Thank you.

TO DEVELOP – Church Library
Elders have been batting around the idea of having a small library of Christian books once more. 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 and read. More details of where the Library will be located to be announced soon.


Soon I shall be sending in our annual order for ‘Reform’, the official magazine of the United Reformed Church. Subscriptions are now due for 2019/20.

If you would like to subscribe to a stimulating and varied collection of articles, latest concerns and affairs of the country and news of other
U. R. Churches’ activities and items of interest – they make for a satisfying read.

Samples are to be found on a table in the vestibule.

Further information from Pauline Hood


Our monthly lunch will be held on Tuesday, 8th October, meeting as usual at about 12.30pm for lunch at 1 o’clock. You must know by now that all are welcome to join us! Just let us know if you would like to come.
We are holding a Fund raising concert for our annual charity on Tuesday, 22nd October at 2.30pm and we would welcome your support. This year we shall be supporting the charity work Elizabeth Lyle does in Ghana; please join us. It is a blessing to be able to support a charity where basic training and commodities make such a difference to vulnerable children.