Sunday, 7 August 2016

Wilsden Trinity Somme Tribute – souvenir

I suppose it started with the Tower of London poppies. Somewhere in the dim recesses of my mind, I lodged a thought; “You could do that on a small scale with knitted poppies”.

It surfaced again at the beginning of this year in which we would see the Somme centenary. The first day of the Battle of the Somme was a critical event in Bradford’s history. In 1916 everybody knew someone who was there. An estimated 2,000 Bradford men, mainly in the ‘Bradford Pals’, were thrown into the big push that day. 1,770 of them were killed or wounded, that was nine out of every ten men.

“1,770 poppies” I thought, “that’s achievable”. So I went to the Stewards and Elders and said “I’ve been thinking”. This tended to make them roll their eyes a bit, but they agreed we could go ahead.

The first call for poppy knitters went out to Wilsden residents in the Easter edition of “Village Voice” magazine. Not much happened. I needed help, someone as organised as I am disorganised. Sharon! Thankfully she said “Yes” and the call for poppies went circuit-wide and there was definitely some interest but so far only about 100 poppies. Then they suddenly began to appear – left under my seat on Sundays, in buckets at Wilsden Pharmacy and the Village Hall, and in bags delivered to my work.

Sharon suggested a WW1 post-Sunday-service lunch to enrol volunteers for the event. We put on a lovely spread of jam, dripping, sardine and corned beef sandwiches. It went down a storm.

I must have been a great trial to Sharon, but she kept me sane. I had so much of this in my head and knew how it would vaguely look, but articulating it into a vision she could share must have been like getting blood out of a stone. She was incredibly patient even when I was still making magic lantern slides with just three hours to go before a paying public arrived. I do like a deadline.

Poppies kept on coming. With about ten days to go we reached our target. Now there was another problem – it was like trying to stop a super-tanker!
It didn’t matter though, as the British Legion said they’d be delighted to take as many poppies as we knitted.

On the day before the centenary, Thursday, we set up the display inside the church. We had hired a box of WW1 items, usually used in schools, from a company which Sharon had found, in Leeds. It included a Mills bomb and replica rifle. Was it appropriate to display them in church? The Leadership Team said “Yes, it’s all part of the horror of war”, and it felt right.

Friday morning, July 1st, seven of us arrived in the churchyard at 6am. It took us an hour to plant the poppies. It was very emotional process;  “This was a man, and this, and this….” Then at 7.30am, zero hour, I blew a blast on the whistle and we held two minutes silence. The century’s span seemed to contract to an instant in the hush.

In the prayer of remembrance which broke the silence we thought of all soldiers who have died in the cause of upholding our rights and freedom and we made that solemn promise  “We will remember them”.

And the doors opened, and people came. And they said kind things about what we had done. And they gave generously to the British Legion.

To everyone involved in any way, knitters of poppies, visitors, helpers, every single one of you, thank you so much for being part of this Somme tribute.

“When you go home tell them of us and say
For your tomorrows we gave our today.”
We will remember them.

Jane C, Wilsden Trinity

Celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday

St Andrew’s Luncheon Club received an invitation from Peel Park Primary School to attend their celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday. We were advised that Steve would come to collect and return all who wished to attend. There was to be tea and cakes, followed by entertainment from the children, and then flag-waving and cheers for the Queen, outside in the playground, weather permitting!

We accepted the kind invitation and so had a slightly earlier lunch. We were collected by Steve at 1.00 pm and driven down the hill to school, where we were received by our very courteous designated staff. They were really caring and helpful. We were treated like royalty!

The school hall was decorated with an abundance of red, white and blue. The student ‘king’ and ‘queen’, complete with crown, robes and throne, sat at the head of the top table, alongside the Lord Mayor, Cllr Rev Geoff Reid and the Lady Mayoress, the headteacher and other dignitaries.

We were seated in front of the top table and the staff waited on us, producing a delicious array of sandwiches, cakes, trifles, yoghurts and other wonderful fancies, which we enjoyed in small amounts. We could not do justice, as we had just eaten a two-course hot lunch! But we tried, so as not to appear ungrateful.

Next came the entertainment, so off we went to the other end of the vast hall. We were escorted to our seats, and then in came 700 – yes, 700! – children, class by class, Each child carried their own Union Jack, to be waved at the appropriate time. They did extremely well to sit patiently for the time it took for the whole school to assemble for the concert; we were impressed by their good behaviour.

Each singing group, choir and glee club was introduced and sang so tunefully and expressively. A visiting choir from Greengates Primary School also performed for us. All the choirs performed so well in front of a large audience. I am sure the staff were very proud of them all.

The afternoon’s festivities ended with a whole-school rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Happy Birthday, your Majesty’, followed by flag-waving. Can you imagine 700 flags waving? It was a very impressive, and a quite moving sight.
Last but not least, our very own Vera W was also celebrating her 90th birthday, and the children and staff sang to her too. What a joyous moment and one to treasure, especially having her photograph taken with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.

We had a lovely afternoon and enjoyed great hospitality from all at Peel Park Primary. Steve, our trusty driver, delivered us back to St Andrew’s after a busy, eventful, different and super Friday afternoon.

Thank you, Peel Park Primary School!

Jean B, St Andrew’s

Christian Aid at Thornton Methodist Church

On Sunday 15th May, our service was an own arrangement conducted by Geoff B. His service was about Christian Aid and he gave a very interesting talk about the work that they carry out, which gave us all an insight into the work of Christian Aid.

This was followed by a delicious lunch organised by Patricia Francis and Margaret Allan with the proceeds going to Christian Aid.

Elaine B, Thornton

Wilsden Somme Commemoration

On the weekend of 1 – 3 July, Wilsden Trinity Church presented a wonderful display to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

All the churches in the circuit were invited to knit 1,770 poppies, equivalent to the number of Bradford Pals who died on the first day of battle. There was a marvellous response, and more than the required number of poppies were produced. Members of Trinity, guided by instigator Jane C, got up early on 1 July (before 6.00 am!) and planted the poppies in the church grounds. They stopped at 7.30 am, for two minutes silence to coincide with the exact time the battle started.

Inside the church, an amazing exhibition of mementos, artefacts, books, articles and pictures had been assembled, which brought home the horrors of that awful event, in many cases bearing testimony to the experiences of local men, from letters and personal accounts.

On the Friday evening, Gordon B read extracts from the memoirs of a Wilsden soldier, to the accompaniment of a picture show put together by Jane C.

Thank you, Wilsden Trinity, for teaching us so much about our history.

A roving reporter

Holiday at Home 2016

July the 4th is Independence Day in the USA. It was also Independence day for the people of Bradford North Circuit. Holiday at Home descended once again on St. Andrew’s Church. This year, we had more guests than ever before.

We had new guests from Baildon, Saltaire and St. Andrew’s.

Monday 4th July

The day began with everyone getting to know one another. The Agape area was soon buzzing with conversation. Vast amounts of cakes, buns etc. along with gallons of tea were consumed.

Shortly after we moved into the church for lunch. Once again our food providers at St Christopher's did us proud. The word DIET was banned for these three days. The fresh cream trifle was to die for. We also care for our helpers!

After Lunch we enjoyed games. Believe it or not, Snakes & Ladders was popular.

Tuesday 5th July

This was the day of the adventure. Off we went to Helmsley. Were we interested in this historic town? No. What we wanted were Fish & Chips!
After Lunch we headed to the North Yorkshire Moors for a ride on a steam train.

Wednesday 6th July

We were entertained in the morning by Carol W, who took us through an adventure in poetry, which involved humour, caving and other events. We were challenged, as she asked us to shout out words about how we felt. Over lunchtime, she made up a poem about Holiday at Home, using our words.

After lunch Ken Romano entertained us wonderfully. Then we finished Holiday at Home for another year with a short communion service.

Throughout the day Jenny H and her daughter brought much needed relief to the guests with their pampering (massage).

I would especially like to thank all the wonderful helpers and drivers without whose help Holiday at Home could not take place. This year was our largest year for numbers and new guests, for which I am truly thankful.

There will be a celebration day in January 2017, and the full Holiday at Home will be in July 2017 (both dates are to be advised later). We are still looking for new guests and drivers to bring the guests. So if you can help, please contact me.

Thank you for coming and making this Holiday at Home so special. See you next Year.

John W
Circuit Pastoral Co-ordinator

Understanding Dementia

(A study day held by
Methodist Women in Britain
on 27th April 2016)

I went to this meeting thinking that I should learn more about this subject, as our churches need to be aware of the problem, in order to do what they can to support members with this condition, and their carers.   As we were having coffee before the meeting started, my neighbour said that one of the speakers had been to her church and congratulated her on being a dementia friendly church; the reason being that the toilet seats were the right colour. I was intrigued.

All of us will know someone, who either has dementia or who cares for someone who does. With our ageing population, both outside and inside the church, this will be something that we shall have to cope with for many years to come. The love that we have one for another will continue as usual, but there may come a time when more and different help is needed, and we must be ready to offer this. 

Do we all belong to a dementia friendly church?   Do we know how Alzheimer’s patients are affected by different colours?   Are the lavatory seats the right colour?   And the mats on the floor?   Have we thought about how we can best support dementia sufferers and their carers when it is no longer possible for them to attend church?  

The time may come when we will need this vital information and also have a plan in place to cope with the problems that may arise.   

If your church already has a plan and you would like to share your experience with others, or would like to talk about the possibilities and problems that might arise in the future, please get in touch with me.   

Chris T, Thackley

Welcome to Caroline, the new Host Evangelist at Northcliffe Church

Caroline introduces herself:-

I was born and brought up in a devout Christian family, in a small town of North India. Since childhood, family devotions and Sunday school were of prime importance. Although, I belonged to a Christian family, I, like many young people, did not have a deep understanding and personal relationship with Jesus. In my understanding, salvation was my birth right, since I was born into a Christian family. I was wrong. I had a personal encounter with Jesus whilst hearing the message at a youth conference on Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” At this point, I knew that my parents’ salvation had led me to Christ, but I had to confess Him to be saved and begin my journey with him. God has been faithful in all his promise ever since.

I am married to Rev Ramesh Pathak and God has blessed us with our son Vinay. They are serving God with the Methodist Church in India – in Delhi and Rajasthan. 

I have always been passionate about sharing the love of Jesus and the good news of salvation by telling my story and teaching from the Word of God. I was an introvert by nature. God’s enabling and empowering Holy Spirit, in His grace helped me with my passion of sharing Jesus. I don’t claim to be someone who knows everything but I do believe in the One who does and enables his children for his mission. Being an overseas trained teacher, I had the privilege of working in Christian schools in India. Being the warden over 80 teenage girls gave me ample opportunities to reach out to students of all backgrounds, both national and international.

The passion of evangelism led me to apply for theological training. I came to the UK and, against all the odds, God allowed that to happen. It was not an easy road, being away from my family. However, by their prayerful support, encouragement and sacrifices and by God’s grace, I was able to complete my Ministerial Theology (B.Th.) from the University of Roehampton in 2013. During the last two years of my studies, I did my placement for a year and then further one more year as Pastoral Assistant at Fulham United Reformed Church. Then I left for India to be with my family.

Currently, I am in the role of Lay Pastoral Worker alongside the Urban Missioner on the Alton Estate at Roehampton Ecumenical Parish and Church Family Worker at Barnes Methodist Church. Working in these two places and caring pastorally for both the churched and the unchurched, running parenting course (Parent Talk), being intentionally present within the community has been a blessing. Both the roles are mainly to engage with the community, families, visiting people, pastorally care for both the young and the elderly.

I have recently been appointed as Host Evangelist at Northcliffe Church and I am excited and looking forward to be involved in Christ’s mission and vision of Northcliffe Church. 

My hobbies and interests are singing, listening to music, playing chess, badminton and table tennis. 

The time is soon approaching to move up North. I am praying for you all and will appreciate your prayers for us as family and as I begin to pack.

Thank you and God bless you.

Looking forward to see you all soon.


PLEASE NOTE  A Service of Commissioning and Welcome will take place at Northcliffe Church at 2.30 pm on Sunday 4 September, led by Rev Andrew, to which all the circuit is invited. Please come along to support and welcome Caroline. The appointment of a Host Evangelist is a new venture in outreach and it deserves the full support of the circuit.
Please pray for Caroline and for the venture.