Our plan for resuming worship at St Gabriel’s, St James’ and St Michael’s

During July and August, we will to do four things.

1.  We will continue to provide a fresh Sunday Worship video each week in partnership with West Lane Baptist Church

Now accessible from the front page of our churches’ websites by a single click, and with the audio of the most recent service also accessible by a normal rate phone call 01535 286387.

2.  We will continue to provide set times when the churches are open for private prayer at present:

Sundays – 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mondays – 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wednesdays – 9.00 am to 11.00 am – St James’, Cross Roads

Fridays – 11.00 am to 1.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

3.  We will begin to celebrate Communion for small congregations prayerfully and safely, initially as the last half hour of the weekly prayer times

Sundays – 3.30 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury – beginning 12th July

Mondays – 7.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth – beginning 13th July

Wednesdays – 10.30 am – St James’, Cross Roads – beginning 15th July

Fridays – 12.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth – beginning 17th July

4.  We will work hard to plan a major re-launch of 9.30 and 11.00 Sunday worship, probably for the beginning of September when larger numbers may feel safe returning to social gatherings

We will try to involve those who have newly attended our worship over the last couple of years or who have recently engaged with our on-line worship (whether individuals or families) to help plan and take part in this, and hope we have some greater freedom with things like music by then.   

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Online services for week commencing 12th July 2020

During the Coronavirus pandemic we are providing various services and reflections online. We are also adding regular material to our Bronte Virtual Church blog. Please visit our blog for the latest updates.

Our churches are also taking the first steps out of lockdown, see this post for our plans for resuming worship.

Please note that our Sunday Services are released at 10:00am on Sundays and our Midweek Reflections are released at 8:00am on Wednesdays. The links below won’t work (they’ll say ‘Video unavailable’) until those times. At 10:30am on Sundays, watch the Sunday Service together with our friends from West Lane Baptist Church at a Watch Party on their Facebook Page.

Sunday Service – 12th July 2020

Our inclusive Sunday Service from churches across the Worth Valley.

Midweek Reflection – 15th July 2020

This week we are publishing a video message from
The Right Reverend Nick Baines,
Bishop of Leeds,

recorded to accompany the letter below,
which has been sent to all parishes in the Diocese of Leeds.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are living through challenging and extraordinary times. The church, committed to the real world and the communities in which we are set, has continued to worship and serve despite the restrictions. Given the nature of the virus, it will be some time before we emerge into something resembling ‘normality’. We have to be clear and honest about that.

Thank you for both the remarkable ways you have continued to be the church … in the world … even if the buildings had to be closed for a long time. I want to say one or two things to encourage you, building on material you might have seen on the diocesan website or had passed to you from letters I have written to the clergy.

Inhabiting the Scriptures

Lockdown and our attempts to innovate ways of worshipping together have been experienced by many as a sort of ‘exile’. In the Old Testament prophets (such as Isaiah) we see people exiled to a strange land where nothing is familiar. All that shaped their life and worship had been stripped away. They lamented the loss of their familiar life (and what this said about God and them); they tried to come to terms with the present realities; and they then began to look forward to shaping a different future.

This time in our life enables us to re-read the biblical experience afresh – so much of the Bible was written by and for people whose normality was uncertainty and fragility. This also accords with the daily experience of most Christians around the world, including those in our link dioceses in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania and Pakistan. Let’s not waste the opportunity to learn anew how to live with uncertainty, aware of our own limitations and fragility.

Being the church

The Church of England has a unique vocation in and for England: we are committed to particular places. We are called to pray for those in our parishes, to be the answer to our prayers when appropriate, to love and serve those in need, to care for the sick and to support those who mourn, and reach out with the good news of God’s grace. We have been doing all this – and will continue to do so into the future. We know we are not always strong, but God is and we trust in him … whatever comes our way.

Emergence

We don’t know what the future church might look like in every place, but we do have a role in shaping it. There will be things we need to let go of and new ways of being that are being discovered or yet to be discovered. We will emerge at different paces over the coming months and care needs to be taken over how and when we open our buildings and hold onto the new forms we have learned recently. Church House is providing detailed and digested guidance at every step, but your archdeacon and area bishop are there to be consulted for any support as we move forward.

Encouragement and challenge

I mainly want to thank and encourage you. We will face big questions – nationally as well as in our diocese – about finance and buildings, threats and opportunities. But, as a diocese we are confident and well set up to face these. Indeed, we have been doing just this since our creation in April 2014; so, this isn’t a new challenge. You can be confident that we will deal with the challenges of the months ahead with confidence in God, confidence in the Gospel, confidence in our clergy and lay leaders, confidence in our unique vocation as a church to worship and serve God together.

So, be encouraged. Use the resources available to you in the diocese and parish. Pray simply and hopefully, knowing that God is never surprised.

And please be assured of the prayers of your bishops and archdeacons, the deans and area deans, our lay staff at Church House and all who are committed to you. May God bless you in all you are and do. I look forward to the time when we can be together again, physically and in person.

In Christ.

Rt Revd Nick Baines

Bishop of Leeds

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Online services for week commencing 5th July 2020

Sunday Service – 5th July 2020

Participation, the arts, quantum mechanics, nature, God…. that’s all!
Our inclusive Sunday Service from churches across the Worth Valley.

Midweek Reflection – 8th July 2020

This week we will be streaming morning prayer live from St James’ Church on Wednesday 8th July at 8:00 for 8:10am. To follow the service, use the Daily Prayer app (select ‘contemporary’ option) or visit this web page: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-in-daily-prayer/morning-prayer-contemporary-wednesday-8-july-2020

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Beginning to open up?

The Government had said that we could open for private prayer but not for tourism, and it issued the necessary guidance after a bit of a delay, so we had the following opportunities for private prayer last week, and will continue to offer them next week as well (with our sincere thanks to those who have made this possible by stewarding these opening times):

Sundays – 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mondays – 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wednesdays – 9.00 am to 11.00 am – St James’, Cross Roads

Fridays – 11.00 am to 1.00 pm  – St Michael’s, Haworth

The Government has now said we can prepare to open for public worship, and that museums can also prepare to open.  However, the phraseology was ambiguous about how many might attend public worship, there was no indication whether we will be able to open for tourists as if we were a museum, and the necessary guidance had simply not been published by the end of the week, so we are a bit in the dark.

Things may not turn out to be as straight forward as people might think.  The public worship experience (with social distancing, no singing, and many regulars possibly feeling it is better to stay away from social gatherings at the moment) might feel quite different.  The likely requirements for infection control means it is also very unlikely that we could simply leave St Michael’s open all day without the sort of hosting supervision which would be a very heavy demand on a village congregation.

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Online services for week commencing 28th June 2020

Sunday Service – 28th June 2020

Our inclusive Sunday Service from churches across the Worth Valley.

Midweek Reflection – 1st July 2020

For this week’s Midweek Reflection Rev Julie Roberts reflects on a passage from Ezekiel. If you would like to read the passage in advance or follow it in the video, you can view it at this link: Ezekiel 37:1-10

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