Please see the link below about one of our new projects from Active Calderdale and Staying Well which is now live.
Welcome to our NEWS
We were proud to welcome so many people to our services over the Christmas period. There was such a lovely, warm atmosphere with the children and the build up to Christmas. It was wonderful to celebrate together on Christmas Day with a cuppa and a mince pie. Along with carols there was the Glow Service, A Quiet Space for Christmas and Christmas Day.
Message from the Minister
Nobody seems to like February. It is a month when the weather always seems to be damp and depressing, and it never really gets light. Christmas and New Year celebrations are over and done with, summer is both a distant memory and a faint promise, and Lent usually starts in February, so when we are feeling particularly grumpy, we cannot turn to the comfort foods that usually cheer us up. It is a month when everyone seems to suffer from the same disease. You will all be familiar with it. The symptoms are general bad temper and snappiness and a tendency to disagree with everyone and everything, and our Christian calling to love our neighbours is tested to the limit. Everyone suffers from it, except of course ourselves. It’s called February-itis. It gets blown away in the winds of March, thank goodness!
But I find that the real problem at this time of year is not the general dreariness and atmosphere of self-denial, nor the concentration on the negatives of human and Christian life such as betrayal and temptation and conflict, they simply serve to heighten our appreciation of Easter. No, the problem is that we know that it is going to end. We know that the time of self-denial will finish on Easter Sunday, that the negative will be swept away in a glorious resurrection and we will celebrate the very positive love of God. Even the Gospel writers are guilty of colouring everything with a resurrection light and interpreting Jesus’ life through his death and resurrection. It is easier to give something up, to tolerate the difficult times if we know that they will come to an end. The disciples on that first Easter had no idea how it would end. You see, they had not heard the story so many times before, they did not know the ending.
I would not normally complain that the problem is too much good news, after all, that is why we are here - to tell the good news of God’s love to a world in desperate need of hearing it. But to really fully understand the completeness of Christ’s sacrifice for us, the totality of his love for us, we need to go down into the depths of that first Easter and stand where his disciples stood. You see, they had not heard the story so many times before that they could be complacent. They did not know the ending. It is too easy to go from Palm Sunday where cries of “Hosanna” ring in our ears, to Easter Day where we shout “He is risen!” without stopping and considering the events in between. We need to know about Judas’ bitterness and anguish at the betrayal, we need to stand with the crowds who shouted to Pilate and realise how often we shout “Crucify!” to fully know the love and forgiveness of God. If we walk through Lent and Holy Week in their shoes, yes we will find ourselves in difficult places, but we will also find, as they did, that God is there too.
Travelling through Lent with the disciples helps us on our journey towards Good Friday. Then the Easter message will strike home with more force and our worship and wonder will be deeper. Our eyes will be opened to the fact that the resurrection still happens and still has the power to turn lives around. That is why Lent should not be dreary or depressing, because it is not about proving our holiness in denial, but about preparing for the amazing, generous grace of God that is revealed in the resurrection, and spills over into our lives everyday. Digging deep in Lent to find God in the difficult places creates a more meaningful Easter.
May God be with you in this time of preparation,
Mission and Development projects update
The following events have raised a further £547 in December - Keep Fit £66.
Sale of Honey (last 2 Jars) - £10.
Saturday Coffee Morning with Santa - £128.
Ripponden Christmas Fair Stall - £93.
Donation of £250 from New Providence United Reformed Church in Ovenden, Halifax from their Bequest Charity Fund.
Interest - £278
Total Funding Raised from All Sources - £490,721
Raise The Roof Appeal - Total Donated so far is £270 (inc Gift Aid ).
Please help with this appeal - our target is £5000 by the end of March.
The next fundraising event, apart from the regular weekly Keep Fit & monthly Saturday Coffee Mornings, is the Pie & Peas Criss-Cross Quiz Night on Wednesday 6th March 7.30pm at Stones. Tickets priced at £6.50.
General Church Funds
HALIFAX CONCERT BAND - CHRISTMAS CONCERT
A bumper audience of 84 were wonderfully entertained by the performances of the above band with Christmas themed items, Carols to singalong to, along with variety of other pieces. This event raised £528 for Church Funds.
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT EVENING SERVICE
A choir of 25 and over 150 people were in attendance at the above very popular Christmas Service covering traditional carols, bible readings, poems and a variety of items by the Choir, soloists and a terrific dance performance from Eve with her mum Lauren singing. Thanks to Lauren Rosborough for conducting the choir and Graham Cockcroft as the organist, all creating a very special Christmas service experience. The collection at this service was split 50/50 between the Church and Shelter and raised £572 in total so each received £286.
CHRISTMAS EVE & CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICES
The benevolent collection at the Christmas Eve Communion service and 50% of the Christmas Eve Glow Service & Christmas Day Family Service collections were raising funds for All We Can Extraordinary Gifts Programme. The collections were as follows:
Benevolent Collection - (100%) - £134 Glow Service (50%) - £91
Christmas Day Service - (50%) - £102 TOTAL RAISED £327
This enabled us to buy the following Extraordinary Gifts for the Methodist Relief Development :
All We Can List of Projects
15 Busy Bees @£9 each to help 15 families in Malawi set up their own honey business AND 12 Super Spuds @£16 each to provide 12 families in Ethiopia with potato seeds to ensure a healthy harvest of good quality potatoes.
Keep Fit Sessions
Our Keep Fit sessions have been a real success so far. All ladies are welcome to join in – an ideal way to keep any new year resolutions relating to fitness. The Monday session is from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, and there is some floor work. The Friday session is from 2.00pm to 3.00pm with no floor work. Everyone enjoys the sessions which are led by Julia in a really encouraging way, and the ladies are a really friendly bunch.
Do come along if you haven’t been yet. A warm welcome awaits. We enjoyed a night out at The Bridge in the run up to Christmas which was great fun, and a chance to chat with friends – both those we’ve known for a while and new friends we’ve made through Stones Keep Fit. There wasn’t an item of lycra in sight, but lots of sparkles, lots of laughs and Secret Santa presents to open on Christmas Day.
Sue and Katharine
Revd. Kathie Heathcoat
I'm Kathie, I'm married to Val who is a retired Secondary Maths Teacher.
Before beginning training for the ministry in 1993, I worked as an insurance claims handler in Bristol, where I grew up.
When I left college I was stationed in Driffield, East Yorkshire before moving to Hull, to Brough, East Yorkshire and then up to Thirsk in North Yorkshire. After 21 years of ministry, I decided it was time to complete the set and was delighted to be asked to come to work in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.
I am passionate about equality for every member of society, and support Fair Trade wherever I can. I enjoy leading worship, particularly using images, poetry and music to bring people closer to God; going out into the community to meet people; engaging in schools work; sharing in Bible Study; and encouraging all people to explore the spiritual side of being human.
I also enjoy making music; walking Pippa, my over-excitable springer spaniel; reading; writing; and photography. We have a OO gauge model railway that Val and I have built together, and we have a canoe in which we explore the rivers and lakes when on holiday.
contact me on 01422 320856 or email
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