Bill’s Letter for September 2013

I am writing this on the day the world marked the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have  a dream” speech, 50 years ago, and have been reminded of the importance of inspirational leadership and action.

The movement for Civil rights took a great leap forward when one woman, Rosa Parks, decided not to give up her seat on a bus.  She was arrested and fined, but the resulting backlash was a bus boycott that resulted in changes in the law.  Simple actions for justice can have remarkable effects. The presence of president Barrack Obama on the platform was a sign of progress, but in the same week, a large firm, Merrill Lynch, settled a race discrimination suit for $160 million. There is clearly a long way to go.  In our own country too, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

We may not be called to make great speeches on a platform like Martin Luther King, but there will be opportunities to make a difference by simple actions like those of Rosa Parks.  It is important that we have our eyes open to what is happening around us and be prepared to act to show the reality of God’s love.

I was encouraged by Archbishop Justin Welby’s comments about pay day loans but even more pleased to see that he proposed alternatives through Credit Unions.  The one in Wakefield is called ‘White Rose’ and information can be found in the church.  We are also looking at how we can   support the work of ‘Christians against Poverty’ (CAP)  that is working in our area to help people in debt.  See below for further information about how CAP works and how it can help.  If you are struggling with bills or know someone who is, do contact me and we will pass on contact details in confidence.

Of course in caring for our community, we have the wonderful resource of prayer. I have been inspired by a number of stories of  answered prayer that show God is reaching out to us with love.  As we encounter the realities of life around us let us not hesitate to pray for one  another in our concerns.

Rev Bill Henderson


Free debt advice from CAP

Did you know that local people struggling with overwhelming debt can get free help?  The acclaimed debt counselling charity,   Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has partnered with St Helen’s Church, Sandal, and is already changing people’s lives through its in-depth service.

Wakefield centre manager Sarah Cutts said: “The Church has always been about offering hope and we’re really pleased to be able to give a tried-and-tested route out of debt alongside other great free debt advice in the area like the Citizens Advice Bureau.

“There is a lot in the Bible about looking after the poorest.  In our society, a lot of poverty is debt-related so our congregation has been working hard to open a CAP centre to help get people back on track.”

CAP offers a uniquely in-depth, caring service to people with spiralling personal debt.  Every client is visited in their own home, the charity does all the negotiating with creditors and local volunteers offer support to each person face-to-face until the day they are debt free.

Sarah added: “Debts can happen when a relationship breaks down, or someone loses their job, or through bereavement – so often when people are least able to cope with a financial headache.  We’re just so pleased to be able to partner the care of our church with the   financial expertise of CAP’s head office in Bradford.” 

The charity has 233 centres around the UK currently supporting £73m of secondary debts for its clients regardless of income, age,    gender, background or faith.  The free debt counselling has won a string of accolades including being described as “unsurpassed” by TV’s Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis.

To find out more or call 0800 328 0006





Film Club details for September 2013

Friday evening, 13th September, 7:30pm 

‘The Boys in Blue’  (1982)  PG Rating

The British comedy team of Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball star in this screwball comedy as Sergeant Cannon and PC Ball: policemen who run the police station in the quiet town of Little Botham.  When the station is threatened with closure owing to the exceptionally low crime rate, the pair fabricate a phony crime wave to make it look as though they’re needed after all.  But when they attempt to steal a      valuable painting from Lloyd (Roy Kinnear), one of the richest men in town, they find that a gang of real art thieves have been at work, and now they have a serious case to crack.  ‘The Boys in Blue’ is a remake of ‘Ask a Policeman’, a 1938 vehicle for British comedy star Will Hay.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at the Church Centre, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm

Boys in Blue


Bill’s Letter for Summer 2013

Life is a roller coaster for many people. It certainly is for our young people taking exams. The stress and hard work of revising and preparing for exams is then followed by relief and celebrations when the tests are over. Then the build-up of stress waiting for results is followed by either the elation of doing well or the disappointment of not doing as well as expected. Then there is the question of what to do next.  Even those who get a good qualification still face the difficulty of finding a job that will be fulfilling, or that will even just provide enough money to live on. Basically life is stressful, and not just for our young people. It pays to think about how our faith can help us.

Summer is a good time to slow down and check out how things are going in our lives.  Firstly we can take rest seriously. The Bible also teaches the importance of taking time to enjoy our surroundings and our relationships with each other.  Part of the creation story shows God stepping back from creation and seeing that it is good.  This principle of the Sabbath; taking time to appreciate the good things in life, is a great antidote to the pressure to fill our lives with work and activity. Each of us will find different things restful and it is helpful when we understand ourselves enough to know what  works for us.

Secondly we can face up to our concerns, but not get into a state of worry that does not give any benefit: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27). We can place our anxieties with God through prayer.  This does not make our problems disappear, but it does give us resources to deal with them.  Importantly we can have faith and trust in God himself.

There will always be things to worry about in life: whether it is exam results, our own health or that of a friend, finances or the future. We are not called to ignore these things but to bring them to God in prayer. At the same time though, we are encouraged to take time to rest and  to enjoy what is good.

Rev Bill Henderson



Film Club details for July 2013

Friday evening, 12th July, 7:30pm 

‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ (2012)  12 Rating

‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ is a quirky, entertaining and original film about Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor), a fisheries expert, who gets involved in a bizarre plan to introduce salmon fishing to the desert land of Yemen on the whim of a rich Arab sheikh.  Fred is recruited by Harriet, the Sheikh’s PA (Emily Blunt) but with Fred’s marriage on the rocks and Harriet’s boyfriend living abroad, they soon find that hope can spring even in the most  unexpected  of places.  Meanwhile, Kristen Scott Thomas almost steals the show as the acerbic Prime Minister’s Press Secretary who jumps on the unlikely project as a feel-good news story to improve Arab-UK relations.  ‘Salmon Fishing’ takes an unusual storyline, and combines a beautifully  written script with stellar performances and superb scenery to make an inspiring, funny and remarkable film.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at the Church Centre, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm



Bill’s Letter for June 2013

Thank you for those who prayed for my journey to Tanzania.  I have returned safely after a very fruitful trip.  I was able to travel      extensively around and learn a lot about the ‘Water for Life’ project.  It was also very encouraging to worship with Christians there.  Prayer is a very important part of peoples lives.  There is prayer before a meal and on arrival after a safe journey.  There is a hunger to know God and learn more about Him, especially among the young people.  This      vibrancy is encouraging and challenging.

June is when we celebrate Fathers’ day and this year it falls on June 16th.  At St Peter’s our morning service at 10am will be a special Fathers’ Day Family and Parade service with the uniformed organisations: you would be very welcome to join us.  Of course, as a father I can take this opportunity to remind everyone who can, to do something special to show their appreciation for their fathers!

The experience of being a father is a very profound one with great potential for being a positive influence in the family.  Whilst most father’s bring blessings to their homes, some bring the opposite. Fathers’ day is about celebrating the positive experiences we have had.

When Jesus was helping us to understand our relationship with God, he told us to call Him father or dad.  It is helpful when we can use our positive experiences of family life to understand our Father God’s love for us.  Our church family seeks to model this and is much more than just a father’s love. It is encouraging to hear people’s stories of how they have felt welcomed and accepted.  When we say ‘our’ father, we are reminded that we are not an ‘only’ child.  We have a great number of brothers and sisters all around the world.  Our friends in Tanzania are praying for us and we can pray for them.

Do come and join the church family on 16th June or at any other time, and be part of the world wide community that seeks to support each other in our daily life and in our worship.
Rev Bill Henderson


Film Club details for June 2013

Friday evening, 14th June, 7:30pm

‘Les Miserables’ (2012)  12 Rating

Multiple award-winning ‘Les Misérables’ has just been released on DVD and is a deeply powerful film, conveying the grittiness of life in 19th-century France.  It tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.  Hugh Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for    decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks  parole.  When Valjean agrees to care for dying factory worker Fantine’s (Ann Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, (Amanda Seyfried) he finds his own life completely changed as a result of that promise.

The stage show has been seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and is still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year.  Take this opportunity to see it on the big screen in the church centre!

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at the Church Centre, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm