I was in Yorkshire on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April

 First, on Saturday I attended a service of celebration for the opening of a new church building at Meersbrook Park in Sheffield. This was the happy ending of a story which began some years ago when the church discovered that the building they inhabited was unsafe. Many plans (all too expensive) and many meetings (with experts of all sorts), much deliberation (with District and Synod representatives) and an ongoing vision on the part of elders and church members culminated in this day of celebration in a new building which , because of careful management and planning, had been completed without the church owing a single penny. This was actually part of a week of celebration and the church was filled with beautiful flower arrangements from the Flower Festival which had been going on in previous days. There was art work from a local school and from the newly formed Toddler Group – an indication of the way in which the church is now working to reach out to the local community. In her sermon Rev Roberta Rominger reminded the church that the building was only the beginning, the real heart of the church was its people and their witness to the community. It could be said that the hard work begins now!

 

On Sunday I went to Dewsbury to lead worship in this town centre joint United Reformed and Methodist church. It was Ladies Weekend and there had been a fund raising activity the previous day. The women in the church meet monthly but also raise considerable amounts for charity each year and 2011 was obviously going to be no exception if the amount raised on this weekend was any indication. It was, of course, Palm Sunday and at the end of the service the whole congregation moved out of the building onto the pavement outside where a plain wooden cross had been placed. Each member of the congregation planted a stick in the surrounding sand. The cross would stand in this very public place during Holy Week to be decorated with flowers on Easter morning a wonderful reminder to the people of Dewsbury as they go about their daily lives.

One week later this is what the cross looked like – what a joyful sight for the people of Dewsbury!

Easter morning in Dewsbury

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