October 2008


Pastoral Letter Heritage weekend District Children's Holiday Thanks
Requests Soup & sweet lunches Mission & outreach Leprosy Mission
1812 Group  News from Pool Methodist  NCH report   


A pastoral letter from our District Chair

We should raise a monument to The Bicycle!
I came across that sentiment this summer, not as a verdict upon the success of ‘Team GB’ in the Olympic Cycle events, but in the final room of a museum dedicated to the French Resistance movement in the 1939-45 War. In celebrating the courage and heroism of ordinary citizens during that period of history, and acknowledging the deep divisions in loyalty that existed in the communities most affected, the conclusion was that the work of the resistance movement would have been impossible without the humble and readily available bicycle. It was the bicycle that made quick and unobtrusive communication possible between towns and villages in the French countryside.

Some theologians encourage us to see ‘church’ as a ‘community of resistance’. Just as the French resistance movement drew its strength from a shared sense of identity, anger at the actions of the aggressors, and a refusal to acquiesce in the enemy occupation, so as ‘church’ we are called to draw upon our reserves of a shared faith, anger at injustice, and a common sense of purpose, in being a counter-cultural sign in the world.

Bicycle technology has progressed considerably since the 1940s – as the Olympic teams reminded us! So has every other kind of technology upon which we are so dependent, and Christians need to move with the times. However, we also need to discern what might be our path of resistance in refusing to compromise on the Gospel of love, hope, and good news for all, whilst remaining in touch with the prevailing culture and customs of our time.

Amidst all the technology we are reminded that it is person power, if not pedal power, upon which the church depends. How do we make the best use in our churches and communities of the energy at our disposal? How do we continue to dream dreams, but at the same time be realistic, and even strategic about our mission and presence? These are some of the questions that we will continue to wrestle with during this church year. It is a task for which we all need to undertake fitness training – not to win a gold medal, but to fulfil our calling to discipleship.

In peace and solidarity, Liz.

Heritage weekend

A comprehensive history of the church can be found on the church heritage pages

The second weekend in September saw our church taking part in the national Heritage Open Days scheme for the first time. An exhibition was held throughout the church premises over the weekend taking visitors on a journey through the history of Methodism in the town, starting with the first chapel on Green Lane, through to the 2005 redevelopment.

The exhibition was opened to the public on Friday morning with local schools visiting in the afternoon. Saturday saw several talks in the church sanctuary and Joyce Calverley’s enlightening ‘Wesley Walks’, as well as several musical performances. Saturday evening was my personal highlight of the weekend, the visit of Mark Topping and his ‘Evening with John Wesley’. His performance was stunning and was an amazing example of bringing history to life. For our family parade service on Sunday morning all were encouraged to come dressed in Victorian clothing and it was great to see so many people get into the spirit of the event. During the afternoon more talks and walks were held.

I was very pleased with how the weekend went and to see so many people visiting the church was brilliant, especially for the Mark Topping event! There are of course things we can improve upon for next time – yes, there will definitely be a next time – and any thoughts on improvements we could make would be most welcome. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who helped during the weekend, especially those involved in stewarding and catering, the Scouts for helping put the exhibitions up on Thursday evening, Christine Pratt for organising the event, and Joyce Calverley for all her work over the years in compiling all the photographs and memorabilia.

Thinking forward to next year we would like to expand our exhibitions and to do this we need your help. I would like to encourage you all to have a good rummage through your cupboards and see if you have any photographs of church or any other memorabilia that you would like to entrust into our care to preserve for future generations.

The idea behind Heritage Weekend was to focus our minds on the history of our Church and of Methodism in the town. But we must be careful not to spend our days looking back over our shoulders, in rose tinted reminiscences, telling ourselves that the days gone by were surely better than what is or what is to come. Although we may not get as large a congregation on a Sunday morning as perhaps we used to, there is much to be positive about: we have several new families coming to church, Discoverers is expanding, and the church premises are used by more and more community groups. Neither should we live our whole lives in the future, constantly preparing for tomorrow. God wants us to be people of today, of this moment; planning for the future, grateful for what was good in yesteryear, but determined to know him and hear him today.

Leeds District Children's Holiday

Thank you very much to everybody who supported this year’s holiday at Ashville College, whether it was through contributing baking and toiletries, collecting clothing and toys or making a financial contribution. There was a wonderful level of support this year, which ensured that the twenty-two children involved had a unique holiday experience.

The programme for the holiday week followed a well-established pattern, with the children enjoying visits to Scarborough, Lightwater Valley, Harewood House and Monk Park Farm. They also experienced activities such as swimming, outdoor games and art and craft back on site at Ashville College and visited a local riding school to try out their horse riding skills.

This year’s holiday will probably be remembered as one of the wettest ones for many years, but the weather did not dampen our spirits! The children were a lively, cheerful bunch who made the most of every activity, including paddling in the sea at Scarborough in the rain!


Tom, Joyce, Tom, Rachel & Sam, would like to thank everyone for the cards, flowers, messages and prayers and for the practical help given after Tom’s death. We have been uplifted by your love. God Bless you all.

The Focus Team wish to acknowledge with grateful thanks the kind donations amounting to £20, which we have received to help with the production costs of FOCUS. Please share the good news of our little magazine among your friends and neighbours. Use it to invite them to any of our services or events.


Please kindly note all items for inclusion in the November issue should be handed in to Mrs Joan Monte by Sunday 16th November. Thank You.

SATURDAY COFFEE ROTA: A new Rota is on the Notice Board. Please add your name if you can help – it will be much appreciated.

Church Dairies for 2009 are now available. A donation of £1 per diary would be gratefully received. See Howard Chaplin if you require one or two!!

Thursday soup and sweet lunches

The Soup & Sweet Lunches are again to be held, commencing on Thursday 9th October at 12noon and running for nine weeks. A list will be posted in the Welcome Room for signing on the preceding Sundays. Your support will be appreciated.

Mission and Outreach

Martin & Pauline Wright (Yeadon) are again visiting Romania in October, and on their return Pauline will be leading our World Mission service on Sunday October 26th . Please join us for an enthusiastic and up to date account of their visit. A Bread & Cheese Poverty Lunch will follow the service.

KAZZ (Kids Ashfield Activity Zone) recommenced on Saturday 13th September at the start of its third year. We were unsure what response we would have with the children just starting a new school year and having lost those who moved up to secondary school. In fact we had a great response with fifty-two children, probably a reflection of the success of the summer holiday Bible Club. Unfortunately we were a bit thin on the ground with helpers and if our success is to continue we will struggle without additional support, if you feel you might be able to help, even on an occasional basis please have a word with one of the existing team.

There will be a Coffee Morning for Missions on Friday 17th October.

THE WRIGHTS IN NEPAL. The media gave considerable coverage to the devastation caused by the Koshi River in Nepal bursting its banks, but the larger international aid agencies were responding to it, so Paul with NCRS was not involved. However NCRS would be responding to other smaller Relief Needs. Sarah has done some more teaching at the Bible School; on a recent course was a Maoist who had come to faith. It transpired that as a Maoist he had been at both Dailekh and Jumla where Paul and Sarah served in their early years in Nepal. Sarah is hoping to get details of his testimony to send to be included in a future Focus.

The Leprosy Mission

The Leprosy Christmas Catalogues will soon be here and available in the Reception area for you to borrow and look through for ideas for Christmas.

There is plenty of time but the earlier we order the better so please let me have your order before the end of November – and thank you.

1812 Group

Our December meeting with the 1812 Group is a visit to West Yorkshire Playhouse to see J M Barrie’s classic “Peter Pan”. This Christmas leave Leeds behind and journey to Neverland with the boy who never grew up. The legend of Peter Pan has been delighting children for over 100 years and this faithful new version is a festive adventure perfect for the whole family.

Featuring music and lyrics by the award-winning duo George stiles and Anthony Drewe, join Peter and the Darling family as they are whisked away to the famous land full of colourful characters including the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and, of course, the dastardly Captain Hook.

Tickets for our night out are £15.00 each and the event is open to other Church members and friends in addition to existing 1812 Group members. There are only 18 tickets available out of 42. If you want to join us, we need your payment before the end of October to reserve your places. If you require any further details please contact me on this number, Vivienne Burland 01943 466884.

News from Pool Methodist Church

As usual this month we look backwards, but then we concentrate on future events and outreach. On the evening of Sunday 14th September Rev Julian Pursehouse conducted our first Circuit Service to be held at Pool for over 6 years. It was good to share with the Circuit in worship, and then in fellowship afterwards. We were certainly challenged by Julian to think of our Mission, Outreach and Discipleship in the coming months as we at Pool look forward to celebrating our 100th Anniversary of our present Church building at Easter 2009.

In the near future we look forward to hosting the village Civic Service on Sunday 5th October when Julian will again be the preacher. At this service we share with our friends from St. Wilfrids, along with local Council dignitaries, and afterwards share in fellowship and refreshments in our church hall.

Our monthly Family Services and Family Communion Services continue this time on successive weeks the 12th and 19th of October, and at the end of the month our Network (Women’s Fellowship) group celebrate their Anniversary with a service led by Rev Fiona Spandler of Menston.

We at Pool thank the members of the other Circuit churches for their support at our Evening Circuit service and look forward to our coming months of Mission and Outreach and Service.

Action for Children

As I write these notes in mid-September, we wait for new publicity material, and new logo to be unveiled. This will happen on September 18th. As soon as possible the new material will be displayed and handed out to our many supporters through the church and the Circuit. Meanwhile our work continues the same and this month, a very heavy and very useful bag of old British Coins was given to me for the continued work of Action for Children. Also as usual old mobile phones and used computer ink jet cartridges, continue to arrive, to be taken by me on my monthly trips to Regional Office in Harrogate.

Thank you everyone for your support.