Newsletter October 2022


Autumn at Parcevall Hall

My favourite season of the year is Autumn. The glorious colours of the changing leaves on the trees. The crisp mornings and blue skies. The conkers and acorns and harvest. The start of a new series of Strictly Come Dancing . . .

But then I also think that each season has something to be grateful for. The freshly fallen snow of winter. The green buds emerging in spring. The longer, lighter days of summer.

And it’s the same with life. Each season of our life is different, but in each one there is something or someone to be grateful for.

I wonder, what or who are you grateful about for the season of life you are in right now?

In the third chapter from the Book of Ecclesiastes, we are reminded that

For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die,
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance . . .

A passage which highlights to us that whatever season of life we are in, whatever we are going through, whether we identify with one of the opposites listed above, or something in between: God is there. God is right there in the midst of all of it. Sometimes we are just not aware of it.

Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest and writer, in her book An Altar in the World, speaks of her time with Brother David who taught her the difference between prayer and prayers. Prayers are important but prayer is deeper than that. According to Brother David, prayer “is waking up to the presence of God no matter where I am or what I am doing. When I am fully alert to whatever or whoever is right in front of me; when I am electrically aware of the tremendous gift of being alive; when I am able to give myself wholly to the moment I am in, then I am in prayer. Prayer is happening, and it is not necessarily something that I am doing. God is happening, and I am lucky enough to know that I am in The Midst.”

So, I invite us to open our ears and eyes to the presence of God in our lives and our world today. And perhaps take a moment each day to recognise that presence—expressing to God what is challenging and what and who we are grateful for.


A wee prayer:
God of all seasons, you know each one of us intimately. You know the challenges we face, the joys we experience as well as the questions and doubts we express. Empower us to recognise You in our midst each and every day.

2nd SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship, including a Celebration of the URC 50th Anniversary, led by Rev Phil Chilvers
5th Wednesday Committee of Management
8th Saturday Synod meets in Harrogate
9th SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship led by Mrs Sheila Telfer of St Andrew’s Roundhay
11th Tuesday 12.30pm Guild Lunch
16th SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship, including the Sacrament of Holy Communion, led by Rev Phil Chilvers
19th Wednesday Elders’ Meeting
23rd SUNDAY 9.30am Morning Worship at Headingley Methodist Church
30th SUNDAY 10.45am Morning Worship led by Rev Nicola Robinson

Robinson Induction

By now, I hope you will have met our new member of the Leeds Partnership team, Rev. Dr. Nicola Robinson, who was both ordained into the ministry and inducted into the Leeds URC Partnership on Saturday, 3rd September. She will be leading our worship regularly and is keen to play as full a part in our church life as she is able, given her other responsibilities in the partnership.

If you were unable to attend the service, I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that it was a joyful occasion, although it is both sobering and uplifting to hear a young woman make the solemn promises on her ordination. The photograph above shows Nicola with the Yorkshire Moderator, Revd. Jamie Kissack and Revd. Dr. Adam Scott, Tutor in Ministerial Foundation at Northern College who gave the sermon, and Maisie, Nicola’s cockapoo, who you may well meet in the near future!



We are pleased to invite you to a Guild Lunch on Tuesday, 11th October. We apologise for the long wait; we discovered in the Spring that we had to have some serious renovations in the kitchen, but we now have a new oven and hob and further improvements are on the way later in the year.

We have gone from ‘all gas’ to ‘all electric’ so things may be a little experimental at first but, with a bit of luck, the results will be acceptable. So, we plan to meet as usual at about 12.30pm with lunch at 1pm. Sadly, we may have to review our pricing as the cost of food really has gone up. As you know, it has never been our aim to make a profit—some months we just break even and others we are able to add to our charity fund. Over the years we have been able to donate to a number of smaller charities and hope it has made a difference to them.

The more the merrier—do join us if you can; it is an opportunity to chat over lunch as well as a day you don’t have to cook! The price, for now, £3.


Davison Induction

To the pastorate of South Lincolnshire Resource Area Churches comprising St Andrew’s Peterborough, Eastgate Bourne, Spalding and Castle Square Wisbech

Clare sends her greetings to you all as she commences her ministry in Peterborough and to URC churches in the surrounding area. Again, it was a joyful Service, led by the Synod Moderator, Revd. Geoffrey Clarke and the Prayers of Intercession were led by Revd. Robin Hine who served as a Minister here with the Revd. Robert Way in the 1980’s. Not surprisingly, there were some of Clare’s favourite hymns, including some she introduced to us.

If you wish to have an insight into the nature of the churches Clare will be serving perhaps Desmond, who joined us recently, will be able to enlighten you.

Although it was hoped that a small party of members and friends would be able to support Clare’s Induction Service, travel arrangements proved difficult and, in the event, only Aleck Brownjohn and Sandra Barry and two members of St. Andrew’s braved the journey to Peterborough. Signalling failures on the main line brought chaos to their journeys down but they were met with warmth and friendship and enough sustenance to support them through even worse return travel. As Brian is to continue his ministry in Lancashire for a couple of years and Stuart will continue his training in Leeds, I am sure will shall have news of Clare in the near future.


Friends will be sad to learn of the passing of Evelyn Sarvant on 7th August at the age of 97 years. Evelyn and her sister, Margaret, were both Head Teachers, living together for many years in The Turnways. They often attended our Coffee Mornings or events at the Victoria Home and were great companions. They travelled widely and ‘bravely’ and had interesting lives from another era. They were friends with Kath Cooper and when her sister predeceased her, Evelyn attended the Guild Lunches regularly and was always an interesting conversationalist. She moved to Headingley Hall when she became too frail to cope alone, and Joan kept in touch with her although, of course, recent events had made this difficult.

falling leaves

I love the fitful gust that shakes
The casement all the day,
And from the glossy elm tree takes
The faded leaves away,
Twirling them by the window pane
With thousand others down the lane.

From ‘AUTUMN’ by John Clare


We are all aware that the NHS is under constant pressure. Whether you need an appointment with your GP, advice from a Specialist or, most concerning of all, an ambulance, it is possible you may have a worrying wait. However, you may be able to help yourself over less serious issues and perhaps save yourself from something more serious. So, a little advice . . .

COLD IN THE HEAD: a feverish cold in the head, attended with running at the nose and watering of the eyes, should be checked as soon as it is felt by frequent doses of camphor in solution, dropped on lump sugar, and by putting the feet in hot water before going to bed. A cold will soon yield if taken in time, to simple treatment, and any return of the ailment or predisposition to take cold may be checked and counteracted by taking GOODALL’S QUININE WINE.

INDIGESTION: this painful complaint, otherwise known as dyspepsia, commonly shows itself in those of sedentary habits, whether compulsory through necessity, or adopted through inclination. To effect a complete cure plenty of outdoor exercise, attention to diet, and sponging with cold water in the morning, are absolutely necessary, and a dose of GOODALL’S QUININE WINE should be taken an hour before each meal.

There seems to be a pattern developing here, but if Ague is your problem;

AGUE: this painful disorder is occasioned by exhalations arising from low marshy ground, and frequently attacks persons who are living in such localities, or who are travelling through countries intersected by swamps and marshes. A tendency to ague shows that the system requires strengthening by a tonic such as GOODALL’S QUININE WINE.

From ‘GOOD THINGS made, said and done for every HOME & HOUSEHOLD’ published by Goodall, Backhouse & Co., White Horse Street, Leeds, 1882.

Also included is ‘A Song of Gratitude’ to Eno’s Fruit Salts – Dear Doreen, can you match that?