Our News

Christmas Lunch
One of the photographs taken at the Christmas Lunch held on 8th December 2016 at St. Andrew's, Liversedge for supernumerary presbyters & deacons, ministers’ widow/ers and retired returned mission partners. More photographs are available on the District Facebook page.
National Award Shortlist for Calderdale Schools Work
A Christian group working in schools across Calderdale is shortlisted in a national awards ceremony which will take place at the Palace of Westminster later this month.

The 2016 Inspire Awards aim to celebrate the work of Christian based organisations and individuals as they carry out social action and aim to bring change to the wider community. Christian Initiative in Calderdale Schools (CICS) is shortlisted in the Children and Youth Initiative category, with the winner announced at an event in the Houses of Parliament on Thursday 24th November.

CICS was launched in 2003 as a millennium project of Churches Together in Halifax. It works in around 80 Primary and Secondary schools across Calderdale with a team of 5 workers and over 40 volunteers. As well as taking assemblies the team participate in lessons such as alcohol and safety, budgeting, asylum and human trafficking, fairtrade, coping with bereavement and discussions on faith and spirituality. The group also distribute Its Your Move books to most of Calderdale's school leavers as they make the transition from Primary to Secondary school.

Russ Bravo, editor of Inspire Magazine who sponsor the awards, comments, "The Inspire Awards are all about celebrating the great work done by unsung local heroes, making life better for their communities, and motivated by their Christian faith. It’s a joy to discover all the amazing stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and CICS thoroughly deserve placement in the top two in their category. We look forward to hearing more at our event in Parliament!”

Neil Harris, one of the CICS Secondary School workers, said, "It is a real privilege to serve the local schools of Calderdale in so many diverse ways and this nomination honours the long term contribution by our supporters, volunteers and staff in this region. It also reflects the the good partnerships we have with these schools."

The awards event will be attended by several Members of Parliament and national church leaders.

More information on the work of CICS can be found at www.cicscalderdale.org.uk.
Win Wins First Prize!
Win Walters of Giggleswick, and of Settle Methodist Church, won the first prize in the Local Section in the hymn writing competition organised by Settle Methodist Church on the theme 'The God of Creation'.

Three events were held for the Seventeenth Annual Hymn Festival (4th-6th November 2016) at Burton in Lonsdale Chapel (Friday), Bentham Chapel (Saturday) and Settle Chapel (Sunday). Win received her prize from the organiser, Mrs Jane Mansergh, at the Settle evening event of the festival on Sunday 6th November. That evening the hymns selected were all from America and at this event the Music Group from Westhouse Chapel led the section on African American Spiritual songs.

The fill list of winners were:
Local Class
1st: Mrs Win Walters of Giggleswick, with the hymn "O Lord we know that you made everything", set to the tune "Peel Castle".
2nd: Mr Bryan Fawcett of Burton in Lonsdale.
Open Class
1st: Rev Sister Rosemary CHN of the Community of the Holy Name, Derby, with the hymn "God be praised for all his glory", set to the tune "Blaenwern".
2nd: Martin Leckebusch of Gloucester.

Mrs Mansergh said that "there has been a scintillating selection of entries in the Open Class".

Win Walters' hymn has now been put in the hymn section of Green Christian's website.
The Wesley Singers
“The best amateur choir we’ve ever heard!” The Leeds District chamber choir, the Wesley Singers, is currently available for bookings in 2017. Perhaps you are planning a fund raising or anniversary event and would like a Saturday afternoon or evening concert, or perhaps you are looking for something different for a Sunday evening service. The Wesley Singers have given concerts and led services in over 100 churches and chapels during their 30 year history. If the Wesley Singers have been to your chapel before they would be very happy to return. If you have never heard the Wesley Singers before you can be sure of a memorable and uplifting experience.
For information about the choir please visit www.wesleysingers.org.uk
To enquire about bookings and available dates call Beryl Chadwick on 0113 267 4507 or the choir’s musical director Barry Jordan on 0113 255 5426.
Belize - A request for prayers
On the night of 3rd August Hurricane Earl hit Belize, coming ashore at Belize City, the worst hit area being just near where I used to live. While it was only a Category 1 Hurricane (which means sustained winds of 80mph+) it was a large system and so took a long time to pass ... and covered most of this small country.

Praise God that no lives were lost, but there is extensive damage both from the winds and from the up to 5ft storm surge which hit Belize city ... a city which is at or below sea level, and much of Belize City and surrounding area is still flooded. The rivers are now also rising so further flooding is expected as this water from the mountains makes its way down to the coast. Power has been restored to most places, although the water is still off in many areas, and many people have parts or all of their roofs torn away with subsequent water damage to the inside. Roosevelt's manse ground floor was totally under water, but he has an upstairs (something many houses don't have in Belize), and was able to move everything but the heavy furniture up out of the way. Part of the roof of Belama church came off, and a section of the roof of the library of the new school in Belmopan - the only part of the school which is a wooden building. But, praise God, the ceiling didn't give way, and NONE of the books were damaged!!!

The tourist industry (the main industry in Belize) has been hit ... (the Cayes (islands) where most tourists go took a major hit) as has the agricultural sector. The Bay Islands of Honduras (Roatan and Utila), also part of the Belize/Honduras Methodist District, were probably affected too, but I've not heard details from there.

From pictures on Facebook, and information from friends, it is obvious that it will take much time to clear up and rebuild. The Belize government has promised to give what assistance they can but have emphasised that they do not have resources to rebuild everything. Very few people have any sort of insurance.

Please keep our friends and the whole country of Belize in your prayers as they set about the recovery work. They are a resilient people, and things will get back to normal, but it will take time, effort, money and prayer!
Deacon Maggie Patchett (Former Mission Partner in Belize / Honduras, now at West Yorkshire Rural Outreach Project)
Jo Cox MP
Jo was a friend of all faith communities and had developed good relationships with local Methodist churches. The last time I met her was at the local Friends Meeting House where she’d been invited to speak about her experiences in Palestine working for Oxfam. When she arrived she’d just been joining in games with the Beavers at Birstall Methodist Church and was going on to speak at a fundraising event for a local refugee support group. For me that snapshot of her busy itinerary sums up the wonderful person she was. When I heard her talk about the security involved in going into Gaza – and her persistent hope that one day there will be a peaceful settlement in Israel/Palestine – it was unimaginable that a few weeks later she would lose her life on the streets of an ordinary place like Birstall. She will be deeply missed in and beyond this community.
The Revd Roger Smith - Minister of Birstall Methodist Church

The community of Batley is in a state of shock today, following the tragic events of yesterday in Birstall which led to the untimely death of Jo Cox MP. Last evening Batley Parish Church was full with people of all faiths and none - such was the effect that Jo has had on our community. She was making it her business to support the people of her constituency of Batley and Spenborough and took the time to get alongside people in order to do so. In advance of her becoming MP, she held meetings of town leaders to discuss her vision for our town. I was present and met her on several occasions, once being our annual Daffodil Rally last year. Only last Thursday, 9th June she attended the Batley Care and Drop-In run by all of our town churches, but hosted at Batley Central. She chatted with clients for whom life is difficult and pledged to try and help them. Such was her personality that people of all faiths and none, including many of the Muslim community and Christians alike, had embraced her as "their MP". At our church coffee morning today people from all over the town were shocked at her tragic loss.

Following last evening's vigil, Batley Parish Church was open for prayer and reflection today with a Book of Condolence available, representative of the whole community. We decided that today was about us being part of and supporting the community.
Therefore, rather than opening our church up for prayer, we decided that we ought to join the rest of our community at Batley Parish Church. Having attended after our coffee morning, it was clear to see the effect Jo Cox has had on our community, as we were joined by people, including Muslims, a class of school children, and members of our own church. She will be sadly missed and our prayers extend to her husband, children and parents at this time.
The Revd Deborah Wainwright - Minister of Batley Central Methodist Church

You can read more reflections on the situation from different perspectives by clicking here.

The West Yorkshire Methodist District extends its sympathy to Jo Cox’s family and friends and will hold them in our prayers over the coming weeks. We have lost a great champion of justice and an outstanding local MP.

The Secretary of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Gareth Powell, has written to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, to express his condolences on behalf of the Methodist Church following the murder of Jo Cox MP. Click here to see the letters from The Secretary of the Methodist Conference.

Rural Church Day and Ecumenical Lambing Service
Please click here to read a report from Deacon Maggie Patchett on the Rural Church Day and Ecumenical Lambing Service held on Sunday, 22nd May 2016.
New Lord Mayor of Bradford
The Revd Geoff Reid, supernumerary minister in Bradford North circuit and former Team Leader of Touchstone, was installed as Lord Mayor of Bradford at City Hall on 17th May 2016. The picture shows the Lord Mayor with the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Chris Reid, and the Chair of District, Revd Dr Roger Walton.
Spring Synod & Ordinands' Testimony Service 2016
Please click here to see a selection of photographs, taken by Howard Pickles, at the Spring Synod and Ordinands' Testimony Service at Southgate Methodist Church, Elland on 7th May 2016.
New Members Received in a Special Service
Four new members were received at a special combined service of the Chinese Fellowship and the New Life Church, both based at Huddersfield Mission, on Sunday, 10th April 2016. (From left to right: John, Wei, Janus and Bev). Each person spoke of their desire to follow Jesus and what membership would mean to them. The two hour joy-filled service was conducted in English and Chinese. The Revd Dr Roger Walton, the Chair of District, preached and welcomed the new members. The service was led by Marina Woodhead and Deacon Gill Atkinson-Heck. There were also great refreshments before and afterwards.
Help tackle climate change with ‘The Big Church Switch’
Launched on Ash Wednesday, the Big Church Switch calls on all churches and individual Christians to switch their energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The joint initiative from Christian Aid and Tearfund, is supported by Parish Buying and church energy experts 2Buy2. The aim is to switch collectively, giving the Church significant buying power to secure the best renewable tariffs.

Climate change remains an ongoing concern. By using clean, renewable energy, churches will reduce their carbon footprint, sending out the message that the Church is committed to caring for our neighbours and the earth.

Churches and individuals can simply register their interest online. Church energy experts 2Buy2 begin negotiations with suppliers to find the most competitive prices before sending out a quote. For more information or to register your interest please visit www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk and also watch this short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15rNzWRnK4E
Busoasis Project - Calderdale Circuit
We wish to announce that we have been richly blessed by God by being gifted a bus from South Lakes Youth For Christ (SLYFC). Praise God! The SLYFC bus has fulfilled its ministry up in the Lakes. Under God's guidance, they wanted to bless someone else with their amazing bus, currently called 'The Light Bus Experience' which is equipped to a very high spec!

United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) conducted an interview with Tim and other trustees of SLYFC recently, whereby, they invited charities to put forward a letter of intent for use to secure their bus in the next phase of its ministry. Our project, Busoasis, owned by Calderdale Methodist Circuit, was successful in its application out of many other proposals. As you can imagine we are delighted, amazed and humbled. It is great affirmation from God of the work that we are doing alongside churches and many partners, including Calderdale Youth for Christ, West Yorkshire Police and Calderdale Council. The bus will be an amazing resource for the circuit, and the people of Calderdale and we pray that God will continue to guide us in our continuing ministry. In the short term (until we rebrand) we will still use our current amazing bus which has served us wonderfully for the last two years, that is, until we discern where God directs us on its new destination.
Sharon Lawrance, Busoasis Lead Worker
Finding a Way
Copies of the Revd Dr Barbara Glasson’s new Songbook and CD, 'Finding a Way', are now available from the Kevin Mayhew website or directly from Touchstone (Phone: 01274 721626), priced at £15.99 (plus p&p) for the Songbook and £9.99 (plus p&p) for the CD.
Ice Bucket Challenge
After Synod on Saturday, 6th September 2014, the Chair of District, Revd Dr Roger Walton bravely accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge and raised £226 for humanitarian aid to Syria and Iraq via Christian Aid in the process. He has nominated all the superintendent ministers of the West Yorkshire Methodist District who have not already completed this challenge. How many of them will accept? To see Roger's challenge please click here.
Disciples Together
The Chair of District's new book, 'Disciples Together' is now available to purchase from the District Office for £15.00 plus £1.50 p&p.

Discipleship is one of the key words used in the churches today, and there are many initiatives in the mainstream churches to enable people to grow as disciples of Christ. Much of this happens in small groups, yet there has hitherto been very little written about this phenomenon. Roger Walton seeks to speak from research and theological reflection into the growing small group movement in the churches. In the midst of a cluster of recent 'how to' books on Christian small groups this book attempts to set the phenomenon in the broader context of research and theological reflection. It can be conceived as a critical friend to the movement rather than cheering it on, encouraging people to think and engage more deeply with theological, sociological and ecclesiological issues.

Please contact the District Office if you would like to purchase a copy.
Imagining Abundance
We commend to you the website which has been created in memory of and as a vehicle for accessing much of the writing of the Revd Julie Hulme, who served in our District until her death in January of this year. It is still being developed but it is already a valuable resource to visit and use. Please click here to visit the website.
Irene's Garden
Please click here to see a video of the story of the creation of 'Irene's Garden' at Mount Zion Methodist Chapel, Halifax
Food, Generosity and Justice
Please visit the WYEC website for a report of 'Generosity Day' (Shrove Tuesday) and the Church Leaders' witness on Ash Wednesday.
The Pen and Camera Club of Methodism
Founded in 1904, the club has existed for over 100 years and is countrywide. The Pen stands for art drawings and paintings and the Camera for photography. We circulate work by post and our circles are both competitive and non-competitive, covering art, colour prints, mono prints, slides, digital and projected images. Our Annual General Meeting is held each year at Willersley Castle, Guild Holiday Home, with annual Northern & Southern Reunions held in other similar venues. If you are interested in painting or photography, why not join in our wonderful Fellowship? Further information can be obtained from our website or from Bob Winter on 0191 386 5872 or by email.
District Vision Day - Disciples Together
On Saturday, 13th October 2012 the District held a Vision Day at Woodhouse Grove School. The Chair of District's Powerpoint Presentation is now available for download, as is the Abstract of his Small Groups Article. A pdf version of the full Article can be purchased here.

Website links or contact details for the Vision Day Workshops are available here.

If you are considering starting or developing small groups in your church or circuit, Caroline Riley, the District Training Officer, is willing to run sessions to train group leaders. Caroline can be contacted on 0114 281 2733 or by email.
The Reflective Disciple
The Chair of District's book, 'The Reflective Disciple' is now available to purchase from the District Office for £16.50 plus £1.50 p&p.

The Reflective Disciple explores what it means to be a disciple today and how to follow Jesus in a world which is populated and shaped by issues, ideas and dilemmas not encountered before. In the face of globalization, postmodern culture and the end of Christendom, Christians and would-be Christians have to tackle choices and questions for which many feel ill-equipped and for which there are no easy, ready-make answers. The way forward is in undertanding the dynamics of Christian discipleship, grasping a fresh vision of God and learning the art of faithful reflection.

Please contact the District Office if you would like to purchase a copy.
Community Starter
My Community Starter is a free information resource for people who want to get involved in organising smaller, straightforward community activities. Get some guidance on how to set up and plan your community group's activities. Get a free personalised Community Toolkit Pack to help get your activity started. See more at http://www.mycommunitystarter.co.uk/
For past news stories please click here.