Newsletter October 2021

churchpic‘Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain.’

Psalm 127: 1

Dear friends,
I’m writing this a couple of days after our decision at the Special Church Meeting on Sunday to go with the Proposals for the Leeds URCs to form the Leeds URC Partnership enabled by a ministry team. On Sunday afternoon, the eight churches who are faithful at Mission & Care meetings were represented at the commissioning of Alex Walker as Elder in Local Leadership at the URC in South Leeds, and news spread that seven of them have now voted. All those have agreed to the Proposals, one yet to meet. The one is our friends at St Andrew’s Roundhay, who we very much hope and pray will be on board too, so that we can move forward as we hope and pray.

Whatever the outcome of that meeting, we still have a lot to do, and some things to resolve, but we are on track for a profile for a new Minister to be called to the Partnership, to be finalised and to be sent to the Synod Pastoral Committee mid-October.

As I was thinking about it further, and my own feelings that we need to continue to bathe this in prayer, the above verse came to mind. I’ve added a picture of a church, not because the verse is talking about actual buildings, but to remind us that the building the psalmist is talking about is the people of God. For us, that is our church, not the building, but all of us who belong as the body of Christ in our part of Headingley. And in the context of the Partnership, it is the URC expression of faith in Leeds.

So this verse reminds us that all we plan must not be our own plans, what we would or wouldn’t like to happen, but they are to be from the Lord. We are to continually seek his will and way, not our own. The second half of the verse refers to us all, as in our expression of faith we believe in the priesthood of all believers: that we are all Christ’s representatives and all have a part to play in bringing about God’s Kingdom. As such, we can all continue to pray, specifically for the way forward to be always seeking God’s will, and to continue to pray for our sister churches.

Another verse keeps coming to mind as I write this from 2 Corinthians 12: 9, the Lord’s answer to Paul about his thorn in the flesh: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ That was a verse I was personally given a number of times, including when I was first ordained, and a friend who was ordained deacon in the Church of England on Saturday, had it on her invitation to pray. I was wondering if it is coming to mind again for myself or for us.

It feels right for us though, that as we go into the future, we need to remember again that it isn’t our own wills, but God’s will we seek to follow. We may feel weak as a church at the moment, we may feel weakness in the Partnership because of the unknowns. This verse reminds us that we can rely on God’s grace, that he is working through us to do what He wants to do. It is God’s strength we go in, not our own. The picture here reminds us that Jesus died in what seemed to be weakness, and yet it was his strength that allowed him to surrender to the cross. It is his strength in us which continues to do God’s will.

May the strength of Christ use us for his glory, Clare <><


Prayer Meeting
This month’s prayer meeting is due to be on Wednesday 13th October, from 10.30 to 11am as usual. Do join us in the comfort of your own home to spend the time in prayer for those in our church and those we know who are unwell, bereaved or need prayer for other issues.

There won’t be one in October as Clare is on annual leave. Our next one will be 28th November, Advent Sunday.


Sunday  3rd Oct Morning Worship celebrating Harvest led by Rev Phil Chilvers
Wed  6th Oct Committee of Management
Sunday 10th Oct Morning Worship led by our Minister
Tues 12th Oct Guild Lunch
Sunday 17th Oct Morning Worship led by our Minister
including the Sacrament of Holy Commumion
Wed 20th Oct Elders’ Meeting
Sunday 24th Oct Morning Worship led by Rev Brian Davison
Sunday 31st Oct 9.30am Morning Worship at Headingley Methodist Church
Kirkwall, Orkney

Church Flowers

Further to my note in the July newsletter, I would like to thank all those who have come forward since then to present the delightful variety of church flowers and plants.

I have now put a basic calendar on the notice board in the vestibule for the remainder of the year and would be happy for anyone with a special occasion, which they would like to mark with flowers, to add their name to one of the available dates.

Gladys Strawbridge


We hope that all those who joined us for our lunch in September enjoyed it – it was a thoroughly wet day so the great outdoors was not very tempting and a hot lunch quite suitable. The ‘staff’ were a little apprehensive after the long break but all was ready by the appointed time and they seem ready to do it all over again on Tuesday, 12th October. Why not join us? We meet at about 12.30pm for lunch at 1 and the cost remains at £3. Just let us know if you would like to come.



A final reminder that our two Harvest charities are ‘WaterAid’ and ‘Help the Persecuted’.

If you wish to support either or both of these charities and have not yet done so, please give your cheques to Susan Bollon as soon as possible.

We shall not be collecting further food donations this year following our gifts to ‘Caring for Life’ at Headingley Methodist Church.


You will recall that we had to cancel a concert in aid of Wheatfields in March 2020 as the country went into ‘lock-down’. The concert was being given by Harrogate Male Voice Choir and, sadly, was due to be the final concert conducted and directed by their choirmaster, Patrick Lee, who had been with the choir since 2014.

The choir has been able to appoint a new Musical Director and has offered to stage a new concert for Wheatfields this winter. We trust the arrangements will now go ahead smoothly and the appointed date is SUNDAY, 21ST NOVEMBER at 2.30pm. Please keep this date free and be prepared to support it, tell your friends about it and perhaps distribute some publicity.

An announcement will be made nearer the time.


Now the church used by Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay

It is also the burial place of Jean de Groot, the ferryman after which John o’Groats is named.

A big ‘Thank you’ to Beth for sending in two of her photographs taken of Scotland during her recent cruise round the British Isles.


The Feast Day for St Luke falls on the 18th October. He is credited with writing both the Gospel of St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. It is thought that he may have been a Greek physician and that his writings were to embrace the Gentile as well as Jewish communities. He was often a companion to Paul on his missions – he is mentioned in Paul’s letters.

The Gospel of Luke is addressed to Theophilus, who may have been a Roman official. It has a universal message, tracing Christ’s ancestry beyond Abraham back to Adam, ‘the son of God’, the common ancestor of us all. His retelling of the Birth of Jesus is the story of wonder we all know. Acts covers the early church from AD 30 – 60’s and both books were written between AD 60 to 80.

Luke, as a physician, is long associated with doctors and healing and many hospital chapels, including that at the Infirmary, are dedicated to his name. He is also credited with being an artist, painting the first icon and schools of religious art also carry his name. Aleck has just circulated details of a course on the gospel of St Luke being held by zoom throughout November, and, no doubt, we may learn a little about this interesting and compassionate man during this study.

His gospel is itself a living creature
A ground and glory round the throne of God,
Where earth and heaven breathe through human nature
And One upon the throne sees it is good.
Luke is the living pillar of our healing,
A lowly ox, the servant of the four,
We turn his page to find his face revealing
The wonder, and the welcome of the poor.
He breathes good news to all who bear a burden
Good news to all who turn and try again,
The meek rejoice and prodigals find pardon,
A lost thief reaches paradise through pain,
The voiceless find their voice in every word
And, with Our Lady, magnify Our Lord.


We thank him for being able to use his poetry freely in our newsletter