Creationtide, a month-long celebration of God’s wonderful natural world runs throughout the month of September until 4th October. Churches across the diocese are preparing a variety of special services, exciting events and prayers to celebrate Creationtide, otherwise known as the ‘Season of Creation’. It is a period in the official Church of England calendar dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. The season is taking place to encourage Christians throughout the Anglican community to give thanks for the God’s creation and put practices in place to help improve the environment. Planned church events in the diocese include a thanksgiving service dedicated to animals, green communion and one church in Wakefield, St John’s, has created prayer bags which contain different natural objects to promote prayer and which will be handed out to the congregations. The Rt Revd Paul Slater, Bishop of Kirkstall and chair of the Diocesan Environment Group offers his thoughts on this special time of the year. If your church wants to get involved in this years ‘Creationtide’ then find some useful resources here on the national Creationtide website, including an actions and reflection sheet. Other useful ideas and resources can be found here on the Diocese of Leeds Environment page. Jemima Parker the Diocesan Environment Officer is also available to be contacted for advice and support.
Dawn Savidge, a Children, Young People and Families Team Member for the Diocese of Leeds has produced a video to make churches in the diocese aware of the Higher Tour coming to Yorkshire in Spring 2019. The Higher Tour is an initiative of The Message Trust, who have been working in schools and communities for more than 25 years, sharing the good news of Jesus to young people. The Higher Tour’s big dream is to partner with local churches and other youth agencies to bring the good news to thousands of young people. The Higher Tour is coming to Yorkshire during March 2019. They will come to West Yorkshire from Monday 18th March to Saturday 29th March. The first two weeks will be focused on schools in the Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford areas.This will be followed by concerts, one in Wakefield on Saturday 23rd March and the other in Leeds on 30th March. Dawn said, "We are so excited that the Higher Tour is coming to West Yorkshire. The Higher Tour are extremely good at what they do best, giving the good news of Jesus to young people in schools in a creative and impactful way. The Higher Tour are wanting to partner with local churches to ensure that the discipleship of young people continues in their local context and that excites me too. I would really recommend getting along to their church launch on October 27th." If you wish to find out more, the Higher Tour is running a church launch night. This will be on Saturday 27th October from 7.30pm and the location is to be confirmed. The launch night is for church leaders and youth workers to come, find out and experience what the Higher Tour is all about. Information can also be found on their website www.highertour.com or send an email to Dawn on email@example.com.
On Thursday 13th September from 10am to 3pm, Leeds Diocese are running a special training day at St George's Church, Leeds called 'Talking about the 'E' Word'. By 'E' word we actually mean evangelism word. For so many in the church today, evangelism can be a scary concept and difficult to apply to our everyday lives. Therefore, this day aims to inspire and equip clergy, lay leaders, youth workers and others involved in evangelism within the church. It will be lead by the Revd Canon Robin Gamble (Bishop's Adviser for Church Growth), Revd Canon Sophie Jelley (Diocese of Durham) and Revd Matt Woodcock (Diocese of York). Five key evangelistic skills or areas will be covered throughout the day, including: communicating with lots of people, one to one evangelism, giving a good evangelistic talk, running an enquirers course and healing and evangelism working together. If you wish to book a place or for more information please contact Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org
During this special year, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, Bishop Nick Baines brings a message celebrating the great achievements of the world famous British Institution. A special service will be held on 29th July at Ripon Cathedral to mark the founding of the National Health Service. Organisers are inviting anyone with a ‘good news’ story about the NHS which they are willing to share to get in touch. Canon Barry Pyke from Ripon Cathedral, says, “Often we hear negative stories about the NHS which often overshadow the great work done daily in transforming people’s lives. As part of the service we would really like to include ‘good news’ stories about the NHS. If you know anyone in your congregations whose lives have been changed by the NHS for the good and would be willing to tell their story then please contact me." Canon Barry also said, “It would be great to include as many as we can across our large and diverse Diocese to participate in this celebration.”
Bradford Cathedral’s bells are once again ringing out across the city after being rededicated by the Dean of Bradford and the Lord Mayor of Bradford. Guided tours were given by local schoolchildren, there was, a special choral evensong, and a presentation on the project. Thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding of £79,100, the peal of First World War memorial bells have been repaired and restored as part of a wider heritage project which includes the exhibition, guided tours and a special booklet launched at the rededication event. Find out more in our news report here
Here is footage from the first ever Diocese of Leeds Lay Conference, Together in Faith, that took place at the Harrogate Convention Centre on Saturday 9 June. The day was packed with inspirational talks and workshops with a team of national speakers travelling to Harrogate to lead around 24 different seminars. Some 40 stalls filled the vast ‘Market Place’ hall where refreshments were served and delegates could find out about the work of the diocese. Leading the main sessions were inspiring key-note speakers, Mark Russell, CEO of the Church Army, and the Bishop of Dorking, the Rt Revd Jo Bailey Wells.
Hard work in the heart of the community has earned St Luke's church, Holbeck, £500,000 from the National Lottery. The grant, for St Luke’s Church in Holbeck, will go towards a complete renovation and extension of the Malvern Road building. This will include a new kitchen area, extra rooms and opening a community cafe which will be drop-in centre for young people living nearby. Here is a video capturing the community where St. Lukes is located, all filmed using a drone that managed to take breathtaking views from high above this part of South Leeds.
The new Dean of Wakefield, The Revd Canon Simon Cowling, was announced at the cathedral on Friday 18th May. Simon is currently the Rector of Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales, where he has helped enhance its reputation as a place of worship and as a visitor destination. In the year to September 2017, 162,000 visitors and worshippers came through the doors – an increase of more than 50 per cent on previous numbers. And now Simon is to take charge at Wakefield Cathedral – a move he relishes: “It is a huge privilege to have been invited to become the next Dean of Wakefield and to join colleagues on Chapter in the next phase of the cathedral’s journey under God,” Simon said. “Wakefield Cathedral describes itself on its website as ‘a place of conversation for all faiths and none’. “I am looking forward immensely to joining the conversation, to learning more about the many good things that are going on in the cathedral, the city and the district, and to engaging with them.”
Across the Diocese of Leeds, churches in towns and cities are coming together to celebrate with Thy Kingdom Come events in 2018. Thy Kingdom Come began as a simple invitation to prayer by the Archbishops of York and Canterbury in 2016 and has since blossomed into a global movement, bringing together thousands of Christians across the globe to pray for more people to come to know the love of Jesus Christ during the period from Ascension to Pentecost. Christians from churches across the Anglican Diocese of Leeds are being invited to take part in the diocesan ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ beacon event at Bradford Cathedral on Sunday 13th May, 3pm-6pm. The Archbishop of York himself will be in Leeds on May 16th for a special under-30s service at Holy Trinity Boar Lane - more about this event here. His visit is part of a series of events taking place in Leeds city centre.
Ever wondered how decisions are made regarding the future of our young Diocese? Ever wondered who makes those decisions and why? Ever wanted to have your say and be part of the process that builds our shared vision of Loving, Living, Learning? Diocesan Synod is where it all happens and where you can help in that vital task – and Synod needs you....... and your voice will count! Watch this video to hear the thoughts and experiences of those who are already apart of Diocesan Synod. For more information on the elections please click here.