Ministry & Mission

We are the Diocese of Leeds...celebrating our love of music

This latest film in our campaign to tell our story here in the Diocese of Leeds, takes us behind the scenes at St Paul’s, Birkenshaw as they prepare for the latest concert in their month long Music Festival.It was the first of its kind for St Paul's, and the vicar, the Revd Danny Walker, wanted to create something to appeal to all tastes and bring people in to church to hear some fantastic music. And that’s exactly what he did. His rich and varied programme included a Reggae Mass, an evening of Opera North,  jazz, a film night; a Good Old Days event performed by the congregation; a Swing Band; Choral Evensong from the Men and Boys choir of Bradford Cathedral, and a Songs of Praise. It proved to be a huge success with well over 2,000 people attending, most of the events sold out, and the church even made a healthy profit. Said Danny: “It just built and built as the month went on. It brought out some real talent and gave people the chance to experience something special right here in Birkenshaw." And one year on - its legacy continues with numbers well up on most events. Plans are already in the pipeline for a similar event next year themed around the end of the anniversary of the First World War with local Big Band Artist, Paul Stone already signed up! “But more than that, “ said Danny. “ It has created a buzz in the community and buoyed up the congregation. They are much more confident now. "And it’s put the church at the heart of the community. That’s worth much more to me than what we raised,’ he added.  

We are the Diocese of Leeds...connecting our communities

For this week’s film, we travelled to Nidderdale in the Ripon Episcopal Area to find out about ministry in some of our more rural areas as part of our year long campaign to tell the story of all that we are and all that we do here in the Diocese of Leeds. In the unspoilt rural cobbled village of Middlesmoor, eight miles out of Pateley Bridge, it was nothing short of a miracle when they were given the funds to erect an internet transmitter on top of their local church of St Chad’s as part of a wider project of connectivity across the Nidderdale Valley. And for farmer and church warden, Stuart Ramsden, it has truly changed his life allowing him to check the weather, prices, sales and do his banking online. He now does email - which he was never able to do before. And he is not the only one who benefits from broadband connectivity. But rural ministry is more than looking at how best to serve your community, it’s the personal touch for some of those living in the more isolated villages as the vicar of Upper Nidderdale, Darryl Hall, now Area Dean of Ripon Deanery, tells us.    

We are the Diocese of Leeds....serving our communities

For this week’s film, we spent a day at St Catherine’s Church Centre in Wakefield as part of our year long campaign to celebrate all that we are and all that we do here in the Diocese of Leeds. It has been running an emergency food store for those in the city and beyond for over five years – and has regular arrangements with a variety of local supermarkets and other businesses and organisations. Since the start of this year up to October 20, it had given out 1,852 food parcels. And with winter just around the corner, St Catherine’s Church and Centre is asking for donations to boost its emergency food store.(see main story on news for shopping list) But St Catherine’s is much more than just a food bank. It has its own café which runs five days a week;  it offers holiday clubs to stop the hunger gap some families might experience during the schools holidays; a day centre offering arts, crafts and a meeting place for the elderly; a community choir which is open to anyone for free choir and music singing every Thursday; a gardening club; creative writing sessions and a Recovery Café every Thursday for anyone aged over 18 with mental health issues where they meet and share a meal together. And every Christmas it opens its doors for a Christmas dinner for those on their own and more vulnerable families which includes a visit from Father Christmas and presents for all the children.
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