Bringing together churches of West Yorkshire and west North Yorkshire in common witness and mission. 


  • Read our Autumn 2014 Unity Post newsletter, with  news, events and vacancies across West Yorkshire and western North Yorkshire.
  • What do Christians believe? Find out from the Christian Enquiry Agency. And what about Jesus?
  • Are you planning election hustings or lobbying? Check legal advice for churches and how to keep electoral rules.


In partnership with the Department for Dialogue and Unity of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, WYEC has published a 32 page booklet containing the full text of the sermon and seminar at the 50th anniversary commemoration in Leeds of Unitatis Redintegratio, the Vatican II decree on ecumenism. (See below.) To download the booklet, click here.


We are sorry to report the death of the Revd. Dr. Lewis Burton, the first County Ecumenical Officer for WYEC from 1987. The author of a doctoral thesis on ecumenism in Leeds, he helped to mould ecumenism in West Yorkshire. Pictured here (far left) at the launch of WYEC in 1987, he attended WYEC's 25th anniversary celebrations in 2012. His funeral will take place in Keighley Shared Church, 1pm, 23 December.


Dozens of national and international church leaders including the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the President of the Methodist Conference, and an Anglican archbishop, gathered in Leeds to mark a ground breaking decree made 50 years ago which paved the way for better ecumenical relations between churches.  

To mark the signing, fifty years ago, of the "Unitatis Redintegratio", by the second Vatican Council, an ecumenical service of Vespers took place at St Anne’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Leeds. The Bishop for West Yorkshire & the Dales, Nick Baines, along with the Bishop of Pontefract, Tony Robinson, and the Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows represented the Anglican church, while thirty Catholic bishops were also in attendance at the service jointly organised by WYEC, Leeds Cathedral, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference for England and Wales.

The impressive service of Ecumenical Vespers, led by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Liverpool, was also attended by His Eminence Vincent Nichols, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Lay Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, John Ellis, the President and Vice President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd. Ken Howcroft and Mrs. Gillian Dascombe, and the Revd. Dr. David Cornick, General Secretary of Churches Together in England.

The preacher was an Anglican Archbishop, the Most Revd. Sir David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative in Rome and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. Prayers of intercession were led by Pastor Gloria Hanley, a pastor of the Wesleyan Holiness Church and former Chair of WYEC.

Sir David Moxon said that efforts towards unity would have an effect on those outside the church. “I have discovered the surprise and the reassessment in the minds of people who do not take the church particularly seriously when they see us reaching out to each other in the face of injustice, because we are able to walk our talk – trusting each other to work together in the cause of righteousness.”

WYEC seminar

Preceding the service, in Wheeler Hall, St Anne's Cathedral, there was a seminar on Ecumenism: the Past 50 Years and the Next 50 Years. Participants included: David Cornick, Cally Hammond (Dean, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge), Ken Howcroft, and Paul Murray (ARCIC III and editor: Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning). See a seminar report.


Read David Moxon's inspiring sermon.

Read David Cornick's paper; read Paul Murray's paper; read Cally Hammond's paper; read Ken Howcroft's paper.

See the poster as webpage or as pdf. See the advance press release. See the post-event press release.


Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Chair of WYEC, Bishop Tony Robinson, have lit a candle in Leeds Cathedral in memory of the Christian couple burned to death in Pakistan.


Churches Together in Rothwell constructed a prayer space at Rothwell Carnival. More pictures on their Facebook page.



The Churches of West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire celebrated Le Tour in style: Community, Hospitality, Velocité! Photos above are from St Philip's Birchencliffe, also Holy Trinity Skipton, Christ Church Harrogate and Moortown St John. Photos below from joint work by Hall Bower Sunday School, Holy Trinity South Crosland, Newsome South Methodist Church, Netherton Methodist Church, St Paul Armitage Bridge and St John Newsome - working together with amazing effect, from bacon-butties to clearing up. They handed out over 1500 free 'Water of life' bottles. Local Methodist minister John Hayes said, "as local church communities we are delighted to offer this as a refreshing gift. We are all followers of Jesus, who was once treated to refreshing water when he was tired and thirsty in a strange land."


And finally, le Tour provided inspiration for prayer (as at Christchurch Ilkley) and for some superb artwork, even for churches not on the main route. My favourite, from Dewsbury Minster:


Flanked by Roger Walton (Chair, West Yorkshire Methodist District) and Tony Robinson (Bishop of Ponterfract), Marion Robinson has been licensed as Vicar of Rastrick, including the Anglican-Methodist local ecumenical partnership at St Matthew's. In her previous role, Marion was heavily involved in the work of Churches Together in Huddersfield Town Centre.


Get your copy here to find out all the news that is bringing churches together in West and western North Yorkshire



Love Calderdale is probably the largest annual cross-denominational event in the region. This year it brought to the streets of Halifax an array of music, singing, children's rides, sandpits, donkey rides, crafts, badge-making, balloons, foot-washing, massages, chocolate, drumming, face-painting, jewellery painting and a labyrinth, with an outdoor service of Christian praise to finish.


In a service at a packed York Minster, one of the WYEC Church Leaders, the Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, officially became the first Anglican Bishop of Leeds in the new diocese known as West Yorkshire and the Dales. The lesson was read by Friedrich Weber, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick, (pictured) and Co-Chair, with Bishop Nick, of the Messen Commission which seeks to develop relationships between the Church of England and the Evangelical Church in Germany.


For Churches Together in Settle and District, potentially very messy indeed. Their Messy Church is heading for Malham Tarn Nature Reserve. Lots of slugs and bugs and mucky stuff! Email for details.


Following WYEC Church Leaders' stand (see below) on foodbanks which reveal Christian generosity but leave us asking justice questions about poverty in a rich society - news comes of a superb resource published by the Joint Public Issues Team (Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches, with Church Action on Poverty). Read or download "Faith in Foodbanks?" here.


Senior Church Leaders have united to express their friendship with Bradford mosques, noting the good relationship between Christians and Muslims locally and regionally. See their letter here. UPDATE: there has been a warm response to the letter from many Muslim friends. We appreciate this response and the friendship it reflects.


The national Joint Implementation Committee of the Anglican Methodist Covenant has produced a draft report for debate at the July 2014 meetings of both General Synod and the Methodist Conference. It accompanies the full J.I.C. report, The Challenge of the Covenant: Uniting in Mission and Holiness, which identifies the Covenant Partnership in an Extended Area, which exists in Leeds, as providing "a much needed impetus for further progress."


Christians in Leeds and around the country have joined together to pray for the Corpus Christi community after the tragic death of Spanish and RE teacher, Ann Maguire, who died after being stabbed in her classroom. Details


Details and order form to pay by cheque (£6.99)Or via Paypal:  

The latest review of UNITY IN PROCESS, submitted to the Baptist Times, has appeared in Together, the Ecumenical Newsletter for Sussex Churches. Alec Gilmore describes UNITY IN PROCESS as "a book for those who see themselves as ecumenists, for those who have given up on ecumenism and for those who know nothing about ecumenism". He notes "a clear message that today there is much more ecumenical activity than we ever admit, and many new expressions of ecumenism. We need to tell these ecumenical stories, listen to ecumenical stories, and open our eyes 'to see the Other in the other'". His conclusion: that the book is "ideal to revive the faint-hearted, energise the disappointed and stimulate the new girls and boys on the block".



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.


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.
Can your church or Churches Together group give away free food, on 4 March, Generosity Day? And will you then join Church Leaders in prayer in Wakefield Cathedral shopping precinct, 1pm, 5 March, Justice Day, in penitence for our misuse of food and in commitment to work for change in a world where many have a surfeit and many go hungry?

See who is being generous on 4 March.

Practical suggestions for generously giving away food are here.

And download a leaflet (side 1side 2) to hand out too.

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.



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.



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.



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!


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.


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.

Click on the front page to read it now!


Click here to download your own copy (less than 1Mb)



£6.99 or 10 for £50 (post free)

More details and order form if you want to pay by cheque (£6.99)

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

WPCU 2014 English pamphlet

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.



For an overview of all WYEC's activities and interests in previous years, please see our News Archive.