Virtual Service 20 September

Sunday 20 September Virtual Service Hello everyone.

Thank you to Bryan for leading our intercessions, to Laura for reading the Gospel, to Gill for our virtual resource for our young people, and to Lesley for the band’s song choice for this week.

Bob Baker our organist is playing in Church this morning – for the first time in six months since the confirmation service on 15 March. I asked Bob to choose a celebratory hymn and Bob has chosen, “Awake, awake fling off the night”. The words are based on Ephesians chapter 5 verse 14: “Awake O sleeper and rise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light”. It is a splendid morning hymn encouraging us “to walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5. 8).

It would appear that most of our regular congregation are choosing not return to “live worship” in the Church building at this stage. It has been a quiet start attendance-wise in September. We will of course keep going with our virtual worship as our main way of worshipping as a Church family for a good while yet. 

If you are planning to return to worship in Church in the coming weeks please allow a little extra time for arriving in Church as everything takes that bit longer with filling in the form for Test and Trace, sanitising hands, and so on. The provision is for up to around 35 people in church observing physical distancing, and a further 25 people in the Church Hall (with video link and sound relayed through) making space for 60 people in total. 

Next week our service in Church will be an All Age act of worship: morning prayer with musical contributions from the band – but no singing just yet – and readings, a short reflection and prayers. 
In October we will resume services of holy communion on Sundays.

For the rest of the month our services will revert to the pattern we had before the pandemic – so we give thanks for a certain resumption of normality next month.  

For the first three Sundays in October the Church will be decorated for Harvest and you are welcome to bring non-perishable items for our Harvest collection if you wish. On Sunday 4 October the Guest preacher at the start of our Harvest Festival ‘season’ will be Reverend Bridget Hawkins. 

Our blessing this week reflects the theme of our sermon today, based on a prayer by Oliver Cromwell:

Strengthen us, O God, to relieve the oppressed
And to reform the abuses of all professions;
that many be not made poor to make a few rich
For Jesus Christ’s sake

Thank you for all your gifts to the asylum seekers at the Mercure.  They have run out of storage space at the moment, so can accept no more for the time being.  They will be looking for other kinds of support in the future, in particular help with acquiring English.  If you feel called to this kind of work, watch this space for future information.

The Diocese has just published details of lay training.  If you are interested in courses on ‘The World of Jesus’, ‘Pastoral Conversations’ or a new Discovery Course please click on

Church services are held at 9.30am every Sunday.  There is also a Holy Communion service on Thursdays at 10.30am.  Due to social distancing regulations, numbers may be limited at these services.  This weekly Virtual Service will continue for the time being as well.

Virtual Service 13 September

Sunday 13 September Virtual Service Hello everyone.

The theme of our service this week is forgiveness. Peter asks Jesus how many times we are to forgive. Peter suggests seven times which he thinks is on the generous side. Jesus responds that we are to forgive seventy times seven, meaning we are to forgive without limit. 

This week I am drawing upon inspirational words by an Anglican priest, Stephen Cherry, who writes in an accessible way about how forgiveness is both demanding and yet possible.
We can pray for forgiving hearts – and that we might be a forgiving Church – promoting a culture of forgiveness in response to God’s wonderful forgiveness of us:

Lord, give me grace to forgive others
Give me courage to unconditionally forgive
those who have done me wrong
Give me strength to let go of ill-will
And to forgive myself of my own failings
Knowing that you have already forgiven me



Church services are held at 9.30am every Sunday.  There is also a Holy Communion service on Thursdays at 10.30am.  Due to social distancing regulations, numbers may be limited at these services.  This weekly Virtual Service will continue for the time being as well.

Virtual Service 6 September

Sunday 6 September Virtual Service Hello everyone.

This week is the Sunday when we go back into our Church building for the first time since the middle of March. We give thanks to God for this restoration of freedom to worship and to relate to one another, for the opportunity to be able to see one another face to face.

Thank you to Gill for reading our Epistle and Gospel, to Val for leading our prayers, and to Julie and Alan for their musical contribution.

Our virtual worship continues for the time being. This month we have a mixed economy of virtual worship alongside an act of worship in the Church. There is an exciting possibility that we will have WiFi in the Church later on this year which will mean that we can live stream our worship in the future.  

Our Gospel reading today raises the challenge of how we handle disputes within the Church. Jesus’s words are appropriate at the launch of the Leeds Festival of Kindness, a week long festival which begins today. There are some varied and interesting events each day and the link to the festival programme can be found here:

I chose a choral piece of music entitled “Alleluia” by the modern American composer Eric Whitacre to conclude our virtual worship today. It expresses how I feel, singing and saying not a few Alleluias giving thanks for our ‘return from exile’ back into a building designed for one specific purpose – to God be the glory.


  Church services are held at 9.30am every Sunday.  There is also a Holy Communion service on Thursdays at 10.30am.  Due to social distancing regulations, numbers may be limited at these services.  This weekly Virtual Service will continue for the time being as well.

Virtual Service 30 August

Sunday 30 August Virtual Service Hello everyone.

Today is the Sunday nearest 1 September, St Giles Day. Last year St Giles Day fell on a Sunday so we really had to do something. We were outside for the second half of our worship. You might remember the strong headwind coming at us from across the fields or the blinder of a sermon from Ben Rhodes, the head of chaplaincy in the Leeds Teaching Hospitals. 

This Sunday according to my Church diary is the first Sunday on which we can celebrate Harvest. You may remember what we got up to last year. We had a magnificent Harvest lunch in our Church hall. As documented by our photographer in residence Bill Cunliffe. I managed to make room for three different kind of fruit pie before going into the Church to take a private baptism. The lengths I go to to get out of the washing up.

The Harvest festival and the patronal festival are some of the things that this village Church is really good at. Both tried and tested things and new things. Normally we can play to our strengths, the things which celebrate community which this Church does well. This year we can’t play to our strengths: both our patronal festival and our harvest festival celebrations will be subdued and muted affairs this year. 

Normally a patronal festival and a harvest festival make for great mission opportunities, when we get a full Church and we try to be at our best, to invite people in and say “this is us”. Usually a festival celebration is an opportunity to say “Why not join the family”. We aren’t a perfect family, which family is? But we are outgoing, we are interested in people. And we are here for you whenever you need us. But this year we can do none of that. Its frustrating. 

Our virtual service for the past four months, or 125 days if like me you are still counting, has been our celebration of being a community, week by week. It is our shop window as a Church. At Easter and Pentecost you may recall we pulled out a few stops, even if these were only virtual stops. Again we say, “This is us. Come and join in”. And so thank you for clicking on the link, thank you for watching, and being with us.

I will use the collect for St Giles’s Day as our opening prayer.
O Lord, by whose grace the blessed abbot Giles, enkindled with the fire of your love, became a burning and shining light in your Church: grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

We continue our service with our opening hymn “Fill your hearts with joy and gladness”

        St Giles of Tours, c650-c710, was a hermit and Abbot.  He is the patron saint of cripples, lepers and outcasts.        

Last Wednesday we took down our first collection of clothes and other goods to the Mercure Hotel for our asylum seeking neighbours.  Thank you so much for all you have donated.  We are still collecting!  The need is still there, so please continue to support us and them.

Virtual Service 23 August

Sunday 23 August Virtual Service Hello everyone.

It was good to have a bit of a family break recently and now it is good to be back. I am really looking forward to the Church being open for acts of worship in September and to welcoming you back to Church in the weeks and months ahead.

This week we are remembering the families of Dr Anne Low and Judith Hodgetts, whose funerals took place last week. Also the family of Peggy Grisdale whose funeral will be here in Church on Wednesday.

I would wish to express my gratitude on behalf of the whole Church family for a substantial anonymous donation which is greatly appreciated at a time like this.

It is wonderful that so many are supporting the recent appeal for winter clothing for the men residing at the Parkway Hotel. Please go through the channels we have set up for receiving these goods rather than turning up at the hotel with them! Nevertheless it is good that there is so much goodwill in the village to our new neighbours.

This week a lot of young people across this country received their GCSE results, we pray for a blessing on them as they look to the future. The following slightly adapted prayer seems an appropriate prayer at a time of exam results:

Watch thou, dear Lord,
with those who wake, or watch, or weep this day,
and give thine angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend thy sick ones, Lord Christ. Rest thy weary ones.
Bless thy dying ones. Soothe thy suffering ones.
Pity thine afflicted ones. Shield thy joyous ones.
And all, for thy love’s sake.  Amen.


Virtual Service 16 August

Hello and Welcome to the Virtual Service

As we write this, Tom is travelling home from his family staycation. We hope he has had a relaxing and enjoyable break. 

Thank you to Jonathan for this week’s sermon, which explores how ‘our faith journey is for everyone’. He has also chosen some splendid music and beautiful blessing from Rydal Hall.

Thank you to Peter for the readings and for leading our prayers, to Gill for our all-age reflection and to Julie and Alan for their playing and singing of ‘Jesus Stand Among Us’ 

Once again, thank you to our technical team, Jenni and Gill who have been working tirelessly in the background putting everything together and publishing it.

We have an appeal this week from the Refugee Council for warm clothing, toiletries and food vouchers for the refugees living at the Mercure Parkway Hotel. Please do have a look at the video and think about how you can help these young men, many of whom have had hard and long journeys to get here. 

At the end of the service, there is a chance to catch up with Revd Roger Smith’s concluding midweek reflection on the theme of kindness. There is also the monthly virtual service that Jonathan has prepared for the residents and staff of Ashcroft House. Sadly, we still cannot visit them due to COVID restrictions, but we keep them and their carers in our prayers.  

Finally, we are delighted to say that the church is open for the first time since lockdown this morning between 9.30 am and 11.30 am. This is for private prayer only at this stage. Social distancing will of course be observed, which means we are limited to around 24 people in the church at once (depending on social bubbling). You will also have to wear a face mask unless you are exempt.  If it is busy you may be asked to wait outside until space is available.

Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you. 

All the best

Angela and Nick

‘Locus Iste’ by Anton Bruckner followed by First Hymn

Click on Jonathan’s photo to read his thoughts on today’s bible lessons. 

Alan and Julie sing ‘Jesus stand among us’
Hear From The Gang!
Jonathan leads our service sent to the staff and residents of Ashcroft House.

Sunday Service 9 August

Hello everyone.

Tom is away this week, enjoying a staycation with Helen and the family. We hope they’re having a relaxing time and that the sun is shining for them. 

Thank you to Revd John Binks for leading our worship today and to everyone else who has contributed to the service –  Lisa for her reading, Lesley and Charlotte for the music, Jonathan for leading our prayers, Gill for the all-age reflection and technical support and Jenni for coordinating and publishing. 

At the end of the service we have our 50:50 draw – congratulations to this month’s lucky winners!

The Mothers’ Union have kindly shared their Mary Sumner’s Day virtual service, a celebration of the inspiration of their founder. There is also the chance to catch up with the midweek reflection, in case you missed it on Facebook earlier in the week. Revd Roger Smith reflects on the theme of ‘Kindness’. 

We’ve included a copy of the Bramhope Village Summer Newsletter too, so you can keep up to date with local events. 

Tom will be back next Sunday, when in addition to the virtual service, the church will be open for private prayer between 9.30 am 11.30 am.

All the best

Angela and Nick

Lesley and Charlotte are playing ‘Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father’.
Another miracle from The Gang!
Mother’s Union Summer Service
Well done to our August Winners!

Sunday Service 2 August

Hello everyone.

As you read this, Helen and I and the family will be away on holiday, hopefully enjoying some peace and tranquillity, and good weather!  I hope some of you will be able to get away on holiday this month as well.  I will be back by 16 August to welcome you back into church for private prayer.

You will have received the August SGR by now, ably and imaginatively produced by Gill this month.  There are full details in there of our progress towards opening the church again for prayer and worship.

Thank you to all those who have contributed to today’s Virtual Service, especially to Bridget.  My thanks also to all who will be producing the services in my absence.


All the best

‘Jesus Christ is waiting’ was written by John Bell and Graham Maule of the Iona Community.
Our Bible Readings and Sermon
Andrew plays ‘Guide me, O thou great redeemer’
Click on the picture to find something truly miraculous!
The Diocese of Leeds Special Appeal

Here is the Diocesan Enews for 30 July