This week we launch two films in our year-long campaign to tell our story here in this new Diocese of Leeds.
We are the Diocese of Leeds Starting the Day paints a picture of our everyday. For the second film, Making Bread Together, we visited Masham in the Ripon Area and a special project that introduces children to Holy Communion.
Starting the Day....It seemed appropriate in this season of Lent to remind everyone that prayer is at the heart of all that we do.
The Morning Office reminds us there is no such thing as private prayer because when we pray we are caught up in something much bigger than ourselves.
When we pray, there are millions of Christian people all around the world also praying; daily in churches, in their own homes, in their cars, at work and those prayers are joined to the prayers of the saints and angels in heaven.
You might not hear them. You might feel very alone in your prayer; but you are not alone.
There is no “my” prayer. It is, as the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer states, “our”.
In this short clip, we see the vicar of St Mary’s, in the town centre of Barnsley, Revd Stephen Race and his curate, the Revd Craig Tomlinson say the Morning Office together as they do five or six days every week.
In the second part of this film, we see those unsung heroes of the bell tower callingworshippers to church every Sunday. This group from Christ the King, Meltham, Huddersfield, practice once a week together and while they may not always go to church regularly, they believe they are doing the job they are called to do.
There are around 1,000 bellringers in our diocese – most ring for more than one church – and they are always looking for new members. If you are interested, contact your local church to find your nearest bellringing group.
Making Bread Together - [video:https://youtu.be/VLuKzHg3pTI]
This is a special project to prepare children from Masham CE Primary School for midweek Holy Communion Service in the nearby church. Year 6 of Masham CE Primary School attend the weekly Wednesday service and start coming in the second half of the summer term when in Year 5. Making Bread Togeher is the brainchild of the vicar, the Revd David Cleeves who starts to introduce Year 5 to the stories of Holy Week and Easter and the Last Supper and its links with Communion. To make it more memorable, he makes a loaf of bread with them and links it with the last hours of Jesus’ life. For example, you are rough with the mixture when you knead the bread, like people were rough with Jesus and you have to wait for the yeast to do its job, just like waiting for Jesus to rise again. They then take that loaf of bread they have made together and use it in their first service together.
Confirmation classes are offered during Y6, so part way through the year some of the children join the adults at the altar rail. The classes take place in Masham School as an after-school club and this year have included children from three other church schools in the benefice.
And this Sunday the Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd James Bell will confirm children from the Masham Group of Parishes - including two of them who star in this film - plus two from Kell Bank C.E. School in Healey, one from St Nicholas C.E. West Tanfield, and one from North Stainley C.E.
This work in schools is an important part of a wider pattern of work with young people across the benefice which includes Pram Praise, Junior Choir, Youth Group, community plays and musicals and seasonal activity sessions (such as Holy Week and Easter-themed crafts on the morning of Good Friday).
What is lovely is that everyone shares the peace at the Midweek Communion - there is a faithful congregation of local parishioners worshipping side by side with the pupils from the church school.