The Bishop of Bradford, Toby Howarth preached in Keighley Town Centre on Good Friday (April 14) as more than two hundred Christians from churches around the town gathered in the Airedale Centre.
Shoppers joined worshippers as Bishop Toby chatted to passers-by. “God really loves Keighley”, he said, “and this year is going to be a special year for the town.
“On Good Friday we remember how Jesus gave up his life for us by dying on the cross and we need to respond to that by letting go of things that hold us back.”
There were hymns, readings and personal testimonies and during the service Keighley Churches Together gave away Easter Eggs and Palm Crosses to those out doing their shopping.
Town Chaplain, Revd Jonathan Pritchard, commented “It was lovely to hear such a crowd singing Easter hymns together and there was a real sense of worship.”
The Revd Mike Cansdale, Team Rector of Keighley, said , “It was great to welcome Bishop Toby to Keighley and to see so many different churches represented to mark this special day.
“There is a real unity across the churches and a sense of something new that God is doing in our town. “
During the rest of the day, Bishop Toby took part in services at each of the four churches in the newly formed Parish of Keighley.
“I’m really encouraged to see all that is going on in this new united parish and to be part of such a positive witness to the community at Easter, “”, said Bishop Toby.
“It was great to hear testimonies of the difference Jesus is making in people’s lives and to see the impact of this on the town.”