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Bringing together churches of West Yorkshire and the Dales in common witness and mission.
IN THE FOREFRONT OF CHRISTIAN UNITY @wyec1
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WYEC HOSTS NATIONAL CATHOLIC ECUMENISM CELEBRATIONS
WYEC is working in partnership with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales to stage the national celebration of the 50th anniversary of Unitatis Redintegratio, the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism.
On Tuesday 11 November 2014, there will be a service of Ecumenical Vespers at St Anne's Cathedral, Leeds, at 5.30pm. The preacher will be The Most Revd. Sir David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Holy See, and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.
Preceding the service, at 2 for 2.30pm, at Wheeler Hall, St Anne's Cathedral, there will be a seminar on Ecumenism: the Past 50 Years and the Next 50 Years. Participants include: David Cornick (General Secretary of Churches Together in England); Cally Hammond (Dean, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge), Ken Howcroft (President, Methodist Conference, 2014-5) and Paul Murray (ARCIC III and editor: Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning). The seminar will cost £10 and will end in time for the service. Bookings via email@example.com.
FOR REVIVING THE FAINT-HEARTED
JUSTICE WEDNESDAY - CHURCH LEADERS STAND TOGETHER
Senior Church Leaders from across West Yorkshire have come together to express their shared concern for food justice. In the context of public Ash Wednesday prayer together in the shopping precinct outside Wakefield Cathedral, they expressed their commitment to a society without hunger.
There was encouragement for each of us to look at our own lives and our own use of food. Can we waste less, help local farmers, give food to others? See ten tips for food.
There were demands for a change of national policy which seems to use hunger as a political tactic. It is not acceptable for families to be forced into hunger and to have to resort to foodbanks. (In one local foodbank, 55% of the people fed are children under 16.) We are a rich country; it is not acceptable for the Government to make children go hungry.
GENEROSITY TUESDAY - WHAT DID YOU GIVE AWAY?
Churches across West Yorkshire have been giving away food: Bradford Cathedral used the occasion to have a meal with people from other faiths; Wakefield Cathedral gave out free pancakes to passing shoppers (queue pictured below) - visited by a Catholic church leader; Christchurch Ilkley cafe gave out free Fairtrade chocolate; Leeds Church Institute gave butterscotch to local charity shop workers; St Martin's Potternewton gave fruit and biscuits to passers-by, staff and clients at Chapeltown Road One Stop Shop and Health Centre (pictured); Touchstone gave out 299 biscuits in central Bradford, and there were collections for foodbanks in Saltaire and Cleckheaton, and for Christians Against Poverty in Ossett.
And, of course, churches fed the hungry. Food banks were open in South Leeds (Middleton Methodist - pictured left) and Lupset (St George's - pictured centre) - visited by a Baptist church leader - and Keighley (Salvation Army). There were drop-in meals for the homeless and others at Huddersfield Methodist Mission and Keighley Salvation Army (served by Airedale Church, pictured right) - visited by a Methodist church leader. Destitute asylum seekers were fed at New North Road Baptist Church, Huddersfield. So much freely given generosity. Thank God for the generosity and love of Christian people.
FOOD GENEROSITY AND JUSTICE - Read the Advance Press Release
Senior Church Leaders from West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council invite you to create and join in action on Shrove Tuesday (4 March) and Ash Wednesday (5 March) to highlight the Generosity of Christian support for foodbanks and the need for Justice in the way we deal with food.
Practical suggestions for generously giving away food are here.
LATEST: The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd. Stephen Platten, is one of 43 church leaders from across four denominations who have signed a letter stating that there is 'an acute moral imperative to act' on hunger. The letter prepares for the launch of an End Hunger Fast campaign, which also begins on 5 March.
ECUMENICAL WELCOME FOR NEW BISHOP
The first bishop of the new Anglican Diocese of Leeds (West Yorkshire and the Dales) has been announced. He is the Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, who, as the current bishop of Bradford, is already a member of West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council. He chairs the Meissen Commission and is a Consultant to the Church of England Council for Christian Unity. The new Bishop of Leeds, third left, was welcomed by other WYEC Church Leaders.
POPPING UP FOR PUBLIC PRAYER
Churches Together in Huddersfield Town Centre took over a pop-up shop in the Packhorse Shopping Centre for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. They gave away chocolates and fruit, had Lego to build and a sofa for passers-by to sit and chat. There was also a much-used prayer space.
GARFORTH CHURCHES RENEW COMMITMENT
Churches Together in Garforth renewed their commitment to each other and to their joint witness in Garforth by signing a new constitution during a special service in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Lego bricks were among the symbols depicting the distinctive contribution of each church!
DIVERSITY AND UNITY
A diverse range of leaders from a range of Leeds churches came to pray together for unity and for the city. The event, in Leeds Minster, marked the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
2014 - A NEW YEAR FOR PROCLAIMING... AND PRAYING
UNITY POST 2014 is now available! This year in a new format and easy to read online. Open UNITY POST 2014 to discover all that the Christian churches are doing together in our region.
£6.99 or 10 for £50 (post free)
For a deeper understanding of Christian Unity you need to read UNITY IN PROCESS.
"Probably the most helpful introductory book on Christian unity to have appeared for years... informative, wide-ranging fresh and practical... clear, accessible and imaginative..." (Prof. Paul Avis, Church Times)
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity brings churches together for shared worship and teaching across the region
24 hour Prayer for Leeds. From 7pm Friday 17th January. Inside at Holy Trinity Boar Lane and outside around the city. Including prayer with Street Angels, and Saturday dedicated to prayer with children and young people. Find out more and book in at www.facebook.com/prayerforleeds.
Unity Services, January.
19th. 10.30 Otley URC; 3pm St John, Cleckheaton; 6pm Wakefield Cathedral.
22nd. 7.30pm Wetherby Methodist.
To get hold of Leeds Churches Together in Mission prayer diaries for 2014, send (at least) 75p per copy to LCTiM, POBox 803, LS1 9NG.
FROM TINY ACORNS, MIGHTY CHURCHES GROW... Welcome Oakwood Church!
The latest ecumenical partnership in our region has taken root.
Oakwood Church in north Leeds is the coming together in a single congregation of Roundhay Methodist Church and St John's Church, Roundhay (Anglican). A formal Covenant was signed at the end of November and Oakwood Church was inaugurated in the presence of the Lord Mayor on Advent Sunday, 2013.
CONNECT - Networking for Christians in Leeds
Connect together around a common vision of seeing Leeds transformed.
Living Hope, Saxton Lane, LS9 8HE. 6-9.30pm, 22 October.
Over twenty people from around the region came to St Matthew's Rastrick for a WYEC training session on Local Ecumenical Partnerships. There were presentations from Methodist, Anglican, URC and Baptist perspectives as we teased out the differences in theology, culture and practice of partner denominations. One question that arose: are LEPs the destination or the journey? Discuss!
Christians Learning Across Yorkshire (CLAY)
Winter programme until March 2014. www.claycourses.org.uk
Public Spaces. Lectures and Talks in the Region include:
17th October, 6pm, Halifax Minster. Professor Ted Cantle, "Culture and Diversity"
23rd, 1pm, Wakefield Cathedral. Mark Burns-Williamson, "Policing Our Region"
30th, 1pm, Wakefield Cathedral. Councillor Peter Box, "The Cuts"
7th November, 7pm, Ripon Cathedral, Professor Ted Cantle, "Making Neighbours of the Peoples of the World: from Multiculturalism to Interculturalism"
13th, 7pm, Wakefield Cathedral, Geoff Tansey, "Food: Whose Power to Control?"
14th, 7.30pm, Leeds Minster, Giles Fraser, "Original Helplessness"
29th, 6.30pm, Halifax Minster, Lord Adonis, "The Future of Education"
17th February 2014, 6pm, Halifax Minster, David Nicholson, "Banking and the Economy"
PESHAWAR TRAGEDY: JOINT APPEAL
Anglican, Catholic and Methodist Church Leaders have met at the invitation of the President of the Bradford Council of Mosques and expressed their shared horror at the terrorist attack on the church in Peshawar (Pakistan) on Sunday 22 September.
"Unfortunately, attacks on places of worship of both Muslims and Christians alike are becoming more frequent. In recognition of this, Christian and Muslim leaders are encouraging all to join in prayer and supporting a joint appeal through mosques and churches across the city to raise funds to support the victims of this most recent atrocity.
We invite faith leaders of Mosques and Churches to support this worthwhile initiative through prayers and by raising funds for the appeal."
Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal, President of Council for Mosques; Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford; Monsignor John Wilson, Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds; Revd. Dr. Roger Walton, Chair of West Yorkshire Methodist District.
Donations to Bradford DBF Pakistan Appeal, Kadugli House, Elmsley Street, Steeton, BD20 6SE.
Further information: Mohammed Saleem Khan (CFM), 01274 521792; Denise Poole (for Bishop of Bradford) 012274 545414; West Yorks Methodists, 01484 719993.
Sunday 29 September.
Special Service of Prayer for Christians in Pakistan. Support local Asian Christians. 4pm. Huddersfield Parish Church
Vigil, Bradford Cathedral, 6.30-8.30pm.
UNITY IN PROCESS!
"Probably the most helpful introductory book on Christian unity to have appeared for years... informative, wide-ranging fresh and practical... an excellent antidote to the ecumenical doldrums... clear, accessible and imaginative..." (Prof. Paul Avis, Church Times)
£6.99 per copy - order 10 for £50 (free postage)
People Before Profit
Anglican and Methodist Church Leaders in Leeds mark International Credit Union Day at Oxford Place Methodist Church, 1.45pm, 17 October. Join them and find out more about affordable credit unions. Details.
New Chair for Universities Chaplaincy Trust
The Universities Chaplaincy in Leeds Trust, working across both the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University is the largest ecumenical collaboration in the region, formally involving 8 denominations.
AROUND WEST YORKSHIRE CHURCHES
Common Ground for Christians and Muslims
Between naivety and hostility... Explore the best Christian responses to Islam in Britain.
10am - 3pm, 16 November, St Paul's Church, Manningham.
Organised by BCDD and Churches Together in England. £10.
Book via 01274 668312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bradford Faith Trail is walked on the first Saturday of every month (April to November), 10.30am at St Peter's Catholic Church, 651 Leeds Road, BD3 8EL via a mosque, Hindu temple and Sikh temple and ending at Bradford Cathedral. Booking not essential.
Partnership Church Marks 650 Years
The Anglican and Methodist Church of St Matthew, Rastrick is celebrating 650 years (the partnership has not been that long, though!) Services, school choirs, concert, schools' displays, floral arrangements, historical papers and Bibles... All are part of the celebration.
New Signatory of Church Leaders' Covenant
Lt Col Michael Highton, the new Yorkshire Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army, is the latest person to sign the WYEC Church Leaders' Covenant. We welcome Michael to WYEC.
Michael, left, is pictured with other WYEC leaders and the Church Leaders' Covenant.
Hope for the Nations, 2013
This annual international Christian festival has taken place in Briggate, Leeds. There were stalls from Christians from African, Asian, Caribbean, Chinese speaking, Iranian and Farsi speaking, Filipino, Korean Mauritian, and Polish countries. The Arabic stall was visited by Arabs from 14 countries.
There was Korean dance, and a flash mob dance for over 40 people. Nearly 200 performed on stage, from Azerbaijan to the Caribbean, "reflecting God's love for diversity" said the organisers.
They added, "we work together because we care about Leeds; as different nationalities, each has something unique to offer the city."
'Walk united ... the way of Jesus'
Pope Francis has spoken of Christian Unity as the way of Jesus. In a recent interview he said, 'In ecumenical relations it is important not only to know each other better, but also to recognise what the Spirit has sown in the other as a gift for us... We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus.'
VACANCY - Community Organiser, Castleford. 51 weeks, 35 hours p.w., £8.55. Details.
Ecumenical Officers' Residential
Denominational Ecumenical Officers are a vital part of the local unity scene. They not only bring the perspective of their own traditions, but are also the advocates for unity within their own denominations.
Some of the WYEC DEOs (pictured) have been on a short residential at Holy Rood House, Thirsk, the Centre for Health and Pastoral Care. Our churches, too, need healing... For part of the residential, they were joined by colleagues from North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, and by Roger Paul, the Church of England's National Ecumenical Officer.
A 40 year old partnership
The single congregation Local Ecumenical Partnership at Rodley, West Leeds, is 40 years old. The Anglican Methodist partnership was a positive local reaction to dashed hopes of a national unity scheme at the time, and was one of the first "ecumenical experiments" of its kind in the country. The opening service and part of the original constitution are pictured. A WYEC review of the LEP will be published in 2013.
WYEC's latest online newsletter
SANCTUARY SUNDAY - 14th July. Prayer for and with people seeking asylum; helpful and informative resources to download.
MORE VACANCIES: When times are hard for retail workers, the listening ear of Huddersfield Town Centre Chaplaincy (read their report) is more vital than ever - here is your chance to join their team; also, Oakes Community Cafe Supervisor, 8 hours @ £7.50.
Rock Solid - An Initiation Initiative
Rock Solid is a joint youth club in Huddersfield, backed by four churches. What to do when several of the young people are ready to make a Christian commitment? Bring all the churches together for a single service, including a Baptist baptism, Methodist baptism and confirmation, and Anglican confirmation. It was the idea of youth worker Dan Wood, who said "It was great to see the young people setting an example of unity."
The young people came from New North Road Baptist Church - where the service took place - Gledholt Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Church and Kirkheaton Parish Church. Read more.
WYEC Church Leaders Lobby Government Over Fair Taxation
A delegation on West Yorkshire church leaders has met with a Cabinet Minister in Parliament to press the Government to take action on tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. The Rt. Revd. John Packer (Bishop of Ripon and Leeds), Pastor Gloria Hanley (Wesleyan Holiness Church), and the Rt. Revd Tony Robinson (Bishop of Pontefract and Chair of WYEC) met with Baron Richard Newby of Rothwell, the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Lords.
The WYEC delegation pressed for amendments to the Finance Bill, strengthening of the General Anti-Abuse Rules (GAAR), and greater support for HMRC in pursuing tax-dodgers. They pressed for specific UK action around the forthcoming G8 summit: deal with those tax havens that are UK Dependencies or overseas territories; and introduce treaties to make international financial dealings transparent, so it is possible to trace the ultimate 'beneficial owners' of all transactions.
These changes, called for by Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty, would raise more money in UK tax (and so reduce the pressure to make cuts), assist developing countries, and counter international crime.
Pilgrimage of Peace
A group of senior West Yorkshire church leaders have together been on a pilgrimage to Corrymeela, a Christian centre of reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The visit included engagement with a church in one of the most polarised areas of Belfast, and meeting with the Revd. Harold Good, a Methodist Minister who oversaw the decommisioning of IRA weapons (top picture, back row, centre). The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract and Chair of WYEC said that, “Not only has this visit strengthened relations between Christian leaders, it will also help the churches in West Yorkshire to engage more constructively with people of other faiths,” adding, “I would recommend Corrymeela to church groups across Britain”. Read the Press Release.
WYEC issues an open letter to city councillors in Leeds backing a resolution calling for support for destitute people who are seeking sanctuary .
Passion on the Streets
Churches Together groups across West and North Yorkshire took to the streets on Good Friday to proclaim the story of Jesus. See the videos and photos from Bradford, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Headingley, Huddersfield, Ilkley, Middleton, Rothwell, Settle, Wakefield, Wetherby, West Halifax...