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



In the presence of other senior Church Leaders from West Yorkshire, the Rt. Rev. Marcus Stock, Catholic Bishop of Leeds, has signed the West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC) Church Leaders' Covenant. In this agreement, Church Leaders recognise that they face similar responsibilities and hopes, that they can receive from each other, and that the Holy Spirit is leading them to a deeper unity.

The group: Lutheran bishop, Walter Jagucki; Anglican bishop, Nick Baines; Quaker representative, Eva Pinthus; URC Moderator, Kevin Watson; Bishop Marcus; and Anglican bishop, Tony Robinson.


Churches Together groups around the region have been publicly celebrating Pentecost. Churches Together in Marsden had evidence of the Spirit's wind. In Keighley the spirit rushed to the sound of strings. In Headingley they had both!



Churches and Churches Together groups throughout the region have been supporting Christian Aid Week. West Yorkshire Church Leaders responded to a Christian Aid story about a woman walking miles for firewood by posing for a photograph carrying bundles of wood. Churches Together in Lower Colne Valley went on a sponsored walk.


Touchstone, Bradford has presented the results of an inter-denominational, inter-faith and international weaving project bringing together women from diverse backgrounds in the UK and in Pakistan. The weavers explored wise women in their own backgrounds, learnt about each other's traditions and grew in friendship. These are some of the groups and their results:


Batley Inter Faith Book Group


Sharakat Group, Bradford

And from Wensleydale: 




Regulars in one packed Bradford hostelry celebrated Easter in style with a Beer and Hymns event led by the Revd. Graeme Dutton, who starts a St Arnold's Pub Church ministry with a "Vicar's Inn" session every Monday evening at Bradford Brewery. And Ossett Christians were up early for an Easter SONrise service.



Churches Together in Settle and District have held their seventh Good Friday Passion Play on the streets of the town. It begins with the footwashing and Last Supper and continues through the Passion narrative. Each video follows directly from the one before. Other pictures from Settle and from Churches Together around the region are on the WYEC Facebook site.



Young and old, by day and by night, followed the way of the cross in West Yorkshire. Pictures are from Churches Together groups in Clayton, Garforth, Meltham, Todmorden, Keighley, Ossett, Wakefield, Wetherby and Halifax.





They came from Hipperholme, Halifax, Huddersfield, Horbury and Horsforth...

Broadcast and print media have reported positively on the WYEC Church Leaders' inspired demonstration for diversity in our churches, cities and region. With reports of large numbers of people considering voting for UKIP in the General Election, the WYEC action was not only an act of witness of Christian faith, and a sign of the essential unity of Christians of different traditions, it was also a timely reminder of the need for us all to support each other and to rejoice in the diversity of society.


The demonstration was reported on BBC Television, various local radio stations, the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, with a video uploaded on to the Yorkshire Post website. WYEC partners have their own website write ups, including the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, and the Diocese of Leeds. See an amazing slide show of the whole event here.




Mindful, in the run-up to the General Election

·         of the climate in society of hostility to people of different races and nations,

·         of the tendency to blame people from other countries for long-standing problems at home

·         and of the need for an outlook of hope to triumph over the negativity of fear

regional church leaders came together in Leeds today (Ash Wednesday) to lead a colourful procession in celebration of diversity – of cultures, nations, traditions – in the churches, the city and the region.

Hundreds of people were engaged by a procession along Briggate and by the opening of an amazing banner of the flags of the nations in the Trinity Leeds shopping centre.

The Chair of West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (the organisation behind the event), the Revd. Kevin Watson, Moderator of the Yorkshire Synod of the United Reformed Church, said that

"In the approach to the General Election, we must not seek to scapegoat people of different cultures. In unity, as Christians, we rejoice in the rich diversity of God's people in our churches, city and region."

He added,

We are united in our faith in Christ and we are also diverse in our backgrounds and cultures; and we are all the better for it. Our society is also richer because of its diversity.”

Download higher resolution photographs here: 1. Preparing to process.    2. Church Leaders on “Celebrate Diversity” march.    3. Front of procession in Trinity Leeds. 4. Leeds Minster Choir leads Trinity Leeds singing

More pics to come!



Senior Church Leaders invite Christians from around the region to join in a procession through Leeds City Centre on 18th February (Ash Wednesday). CONVENE AT 1PM AT ST JOHN, NEW BRIGGATE.

We will process along Briggate and into the Trinity Shopping Centre, where we will open a Banner of Flags. The procession ends at 2pm after prayer in Holy Trinity Church, Boar Lane.


There is a lot of negativity at the moment - especially from our politicians - towards different groups of people in society. But Christians see EVERYONE made in God's image. Christians have a message of hope ... for ALL people.

Let's witness to our own unity in Christ.

Let's show we are ENRICHED by people of many nations.

Let's rejoice in the diversity of our society.

JOIN US. Leeds. 18 February. 1pm. St John, New Briggate. [Download the poster; spread the word!]


UNITY POST, 2015 no.1

WYEC's latest newsletter is now available, with a review of 2014 and looking ahead into 2015. Get yours here!


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.

UNITY POST for Autumn 2014 is out now. Get your copy here


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.


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".

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