firstharm

Film Club – August 2017

‘First Do No Harm’ (2006)

Meryl Streep stars as Laura Reimuller, whose son Robbie begins     suffering from epileptic fits.  As the fits worsen, doctors test various dangerous drugs on Robbie, who becomes disruptive and mentally   retarded.  Laura conducts her own research, and discovers a special diet which may cure her son.  She has to take on the medical establishment and battle for Robbie’s right to try out the miracle cure.  There are some excellent performances—not least from Seth Adkins who plays Robbie—in this thought-provoking film which raises questions about the inadequacies and dangers of some medical treatments.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm

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

firstharm

billsletter-featured

Bill’s Letter for Summer 2017

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make our Summer Gala such a success, and thank you to all who came to support us. It is really encouraging to see the community coming together and to catch up with friends and neighbours .

People keep telling me how time goes quicker as one gets older. This year seems to be disappearing at an astonishing pace. It is already a year since the country voted to leave Europe, but the future is even less clear than it was then. We have had another election that has confounded the pollsters. There have been a number of disturbing terror attacks in our country as well as a tragic fire. The follow up investigations to the fire at Grenfell are showing that many more buildings have unsafe cladding. In fact to date, not one tower block tested has had cladding that meets the required government standard. If we look around the world we see even more difficult and disturbing events.

Sometimes the bible is criticised for all the stories of suffering. Actually it only seems to reflect the world as it is, a place where many people find life difficult.

How can faith help us? First of all it is to note that there has never been the promise of an easy life. In fact Jesus talks about the opposite, taking up our cross to follow him. But he is with us to help and guide. As I wrote last month after the Manchester bomb; As is often the case some hope comes out of the senseless violence. People of all faiths and none came out to stand together, to support each other and say that ‘love wins’.  The only effective solution to hatred is love. After the fire at Grenfell fire our bishop Nick wrote “it comes after a weekend of remarkable events that demonstrate the unity of diverse communities. Not only the deeply compassionate response of ordinary people to the plight of those caught up in the Grenfell Tower fire, but also the Great Get Together. Thousands of people have got together in local communities not just to remember and honour Jo Cox, the MP killed a year ago here in West Yorkshire, but to demonstrate that difference does not necessarily mean division.” Let us work to build our relationships grow together in love and respect our differences.

Rev Bill Henderson

bigeyes

Film Club – June 2017

Friday evening, 9th June 7:30pm

‘Big Eyes’ (2015)

Tim Burton directs this biographical drama starring Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams. The film follows the story of American artist Margaret Keane (Adams), who, in the 1960s, allowed her husband Walter (Waltz) to claim credit for her artwork, believing that a female artist could not find success through painting. The Keanes acquired huge amounts of wealth through Margaret’s work and the paintings were in high demand throughout their time living together as husband and wife. However, when they later separated, Margaret announced to the world that she was in fact the true author of the paintings, sparking a long-drawn-out legal battle between her and her estranged husband… Adams won a Golden Globe Award for her performance.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm

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

bigeyes

billsletter-featured

Bill’s Letter for June 2017

One of the great inevitabilities of life is that we all die; we just don’t know how or when. This aspect of our experience has been brought home in a number of ways.

Brian Kirkham who was a much loved and respected member of our community died suddenly recently. He was well known in the village from his time doing a milk round and for playing the organ or piano at many funerals. He was always willing to help and brought his own distinctive sense of humour to whatever he was involved with. There was a wonderful celebration of his life at Sandal Methodist church that was packed with family and friends. We continue to pray for Marion and his family and friends. It was a personal loss to our community as Brian was known by so many.

Then we had the appalling tragedy of the   suicide bombing in Manchester. It was particularly shocking as it was targeted at young people and their parents. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected. It is very depressing that this senseless act can happen here and salutary to think that in many countries it is a weekly occurrence.

As is often the case some hope comes out of the senseless violence. People of all faiths and none have come out to stand together, to support each other and say that ‘love wins’. The only effective solution to hatred is love. There can never be any justification for this type of murder but it is important to try and understand it. The uncomfortable truth is that innocent families and children are being killed all over the world, and in some instances by Western Forces, albeit unintentionally. If young people are fed the biased story of children being killed in Libya; that can breed the kind of extreme reaction we are seeing. I believe this is far more significant than say immigration.

Our prayer is that our loving God will reach out to comfort those affected by loss and change the hearts of those filled with hatred to love.

Rev Bill Henderson

 

me_before_you_xlg

Film Club – April 2017

Friday evening, 15th April 7:30pm

‘Me before You’ (2016)

Young and quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. However, her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined. Based on the best-selling book by Jojo Moyes, the film also stars Janet McTeer and Charles Dance and retains much of the quirky emotion of the book. Touching, funny and with excellent performances and a great soundtrack, this is a wonderfully moving film. Maybe bring a couple of hankies just in case….

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm

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

me_before_you_xlg

billsletter-featured

Bill’s Letter for April 2017

We approach Easter this year with the sadness of having lost one of our most faithful members of the congregation, Don Somerville.

Don was born in Paddington, London, and brought up there. As a child in the war he was evacuated to Crowcombe, a little village in Somerset, which he remembered as a happy time. He was a good rugby player who played for Wasps in their B team; though he did damage his knee. He continued to follow rugby, especially the 6 Nations and the World Cup.

As an adventurous young man he travelled to Ceylon—Sri Lanka as it is now—to work as a manager on a tea plantation. It was there that he acquired the taste of drinking his tea black, a habit he continued throughout his life

After returning from Sri Lanka he went on holiday to visit his sister in Newport. It happened that Nan worked with his sister and they needed an extra girl to make up numbers. With a decision that would change her life forever, Nan chose to give up her original plans and join the party. Nan was involved with guides and Don was into scouts. They never stopped talking, Don stayed the full 2 weeks, and they ended up spending the rest of his life together. They set up home in London where Don worked making jigsaws. Then Waddington’s bought out the company he worked for and he was asked to move North, where he was a factory foreman.

As newcomers in the village they thought coming to church would be a good way of getting to know people. They soon got involved. John Crabb, the vicar at time, could see a good man and in 1971 asked Don to carry the cross. He has done so faithfully ever since for the last 46 years. He helped Laurie set up the scouts. His service to the church has been amazing. Mostly in the background; not making a fuss. He was efficient ,thoughtful and very supportive. We are still discovering all the background jobs he did, getting the church ready for services.

He will be greatly missed and the church will never be the same without him.. We give him into God’s love with our Easter hope of resurrection and new life.

Rev Bill Henderson

billsletter-featured

Bill’s Letter for March 2017

As is often the case, the March magazine is published as we begin Lent. Once again we have an opportunity to use this month as a   preparation for the great festival of Easter, with the powerful themes of death and resurrection; themes that we see all around us.

Death and resurrection are themes that we see in nature, partly through the changing seasons, but also through cultivation. Cutting back plants is a way of encouraging growth, as is digging out weeds and spreading fertiliser. In our spiritual life there are many ways of applying these principles. Cutting back can give us a positive reason for giving things up. Jesus was particularly good at spending time in prayer so he knew what to say ‘no’ to.

The digging up of weeds can also represent the cutting out of things in our lives that are not helpful; whilst sowing new plants or seeds can be a picture of something that will lead to growth.

It is helpful if we take time to discern the areas of our lives that leave us more desolate or diminished so are good things to stop. It could also lead to the whole area of confession as we face up to areas in our lives that need to change. Confession then becomes a positive experience as the fault is faced up to and dealt with by decisively   turning away from it. By God’s grace we are then set free from the consequences.

So maybe giving up a TV programme could be helpful if we used the time to enrich ourselves in other ways. This can take a number of forms: taking time to read the Bible and pray; deciding to spend time with neighbours or friends; perhaps joining one of our Lent Groups to build relationships and encourage faith to grow; choosing to care for someone perhaps with a phone call or writing a letter.

This year there are opportunities to join other churches in   Wakefield for a service each Sunday evening during Lent. The times and places can be found on page 15 of this magazine, along with the details of our small groups. Let this Lent be a time for growth, as we ask the Holy Spirit to make us restless till we change, and prepare for the glorious celebration of Easter.      

Rev Bill Henderson