Bills Letter Christmas

Bill’s Letter for December 2017/January 2018

As we enter into the Christmas season we also move into a time of shorter days and longer dark nights. It is a time when the symbol of Jesus, the Light of the World is particularly powerful. We experience the darkness of the world in many different ways and the news highlights some for us especially in the darkness of the way we can behave to each other. We have seen the extreme example mass killings in Churches and Mosques. People are struggling with the financial situation as shown by the many people resorting to food banks as a source for food for their families. There are many more examples too numerous to mention. We need the light of Christ to help us transform this darkness to light.

As we reflect on the wonderful story of Jesus coming as a baby to be our Saviour we know we are not alone. There is an amazing truth in the fact that the creator of the universe chose to be born as a human being and identified completely with the human condition.

Emmanuel, God with us. He came with the vulnerability of a child who went on to allow himself to be cruelly killed, but also with the power to call things into being with a word, to bring healing and change our hearts from being selfish to being caring.

This makes the Way of Christ to be the hope for the world, and gives us his followers a real challenge. Many times in scripture we read God speaking to us, ”Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” As we are aware of the darkness around us, let us in Christ’s strength seek to transform it with his light.

Do come to one of the services or events we are putting on; you would be most welcome, the details can be found in the magazine. There are some for all different ages and at different times so that at least one should be convenient. Coming together at this time helps us think about not only receiving the gift of Christ’s light afresh for ourselves, but also being willing to share it with others.

Do come and join us.

Rev Bill Henderson


Film Club – January 2018

Friday evening, 12th January 7:30pm

The Shack” (2017)

After a loving father (Sam Worthington) endures a family tragedy that rocks him to his core, he receives a mysterious invitation to “The Shack,” a decrepit shelter where an unimaginable horror once took place. But, much to his surprise, his visit prompts a divine intervention from a series of strangers (Octavia Spencer, Graham Greene, Avraham Aviv Alush, and Sumire Matsubara), and the group soon lead him on a theological inquiry in the hope of getting him unstuck from his grief by reminding him of the all-encompassing love of God. Based on the best-selling allegorical novel by William Paul Young.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm

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



Bill’s Letter for November 2017

I would like to start with a big thank you for the best wishes and prayers for me after my unexpected visit to hospital.

For those who have not heard, Viv and I were down in London to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Our children had booked 3 nights in a nice hotel for us and we had planned a family meal on the Saturday night. I had a morning session in the hotel gym and pool and then we headed off to meet the girls for our meal. Not far from the hotel I began to have chest pains and tingling down my left arm. At first we turned back to the hotel, but when the pain eased carried on for our rendezvous. However it was soon made clear to me by my family that I had to go to A&E, which I did.

There it was discovered that I had had a heart attack and ended up being blue-lighted to Barts hospital, which happens to be the main heart hospital in the country. There I was seen by a decisive consultant who said I would need an angiogram and as they were quiet, “Let’s do it now”. So I found myself in the operating theatre watching pictures of the arteries supplying my heart. It was a bit disconcerting to see that one of them was nearly blocked in three places. It was obvious that something needed to be done urgently, so they put in 3 stents there and then. We later found out that one of Becca’s friends had been waiting 5 days for a slot for a similar operation.

It has obviously been a great shock but combined with a sense of ‘being looked after’ as I was in the right place at the right time and a potentially fatal condition was discovered in time.

As I write this I am acutely aware of those for whom such an attack was fatal. So as well as being thankful for God’s help we also remember those who are separated by death. At our memorial service will be bringing God into a situation that is painful. We show respect for and how we value the lives of those who have died. We say thank you for what they have given us.

At the heart of our Christian worship is another service of remembrance, our service of Holy Communion. We remember with thanks the death of Jesus, a death that was not in vain as we show each time we respond to Him.

Rev Bill Henderson


Film Club – November 2017

Friday evening, 10th November 7:30pm

A Matter of Life and Death” (1946)

Briefed by the Ministry of Information to make a film that would foster Anglo-American relations in the post-war period, innovative filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, came up with “A Matter Of Life And Death”, an extravagant and extraordinary fantasy in which David Niven stars as a downed pilot who must justify his continuing existence to a heavenly panel of judges, because he made the mistake of falling in love with an American girl (Kim Hunter) when he really should have been dead. National stereotypes are lampooned as the angelic judges squabble over his fate. In a neat reversal of expectations, the Heaven sequences are black and white, while Earth is in techni-colour. Roger Livesey and Raymond Massey lead the fine supporting cast, in what is one of the undoubted jewels of British cinema.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm

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



Pantomime 2017 – Cinderella

The well-known pantomime story is given the typical St Peter’s church makeover! The wicked Baroness and her three extremely ugly daughters make Cinderella’s life a misery, but they can’t stop her dreaming about meeting her prince and being rescued from drudgery. “Cinderella” includes the usual terrible jokes, silly songs, great costumes and props that you’ve come to expect. We hope you can join us for another successful and hilarious pantomime.

Click here for full details


Bill’s Letter for October 2017

On 27th September this year the United Benefice of Outwood, Stanley and Wrenthorpe officially came into being.  The Revd Dr Joanne Kershaw was licenced as assistant priest at St Anne’s, Wrenthorpe and Revd. Jonathan Bish was licenced as priest in charge at St Mary Magdalene Outwood.  As Incumbent of Stanley, I then became the Priest in charge of the Benefice.
This means that we have greater opportunities to work together across the parishes and we have the chance now to work out what this means in practice.  So far our discussions have come up with some clear desires.  We value the different styles of worship in each church and would like each one to maintain its distinctiveness especially on Sunday mornings.  We are inviting people from each parish to join in with some joint services.  On the third Sunday of each month there is a reflection service at Wrenthorpe starting at 6:30pm; this has been going for some time and will continue.  On the first Sunday of October and each alternate month following there will be a prayer and praise service at Stanley.  On the first Sunday of November and alternate months there will be a service at Outwood using music and images to help our worship.  So far these have included the music of Simon and Garfunkel and Leonard Cohen. All the services will start at 6:30pm and I would like to invite you to come and see.
We also want to work together and encourage each other in other areas; working with children and young people, men’s groups and many others.  We would also like to share more in our social events: there has been much interest in our wine tasting evenings and Ceilidh, to say nothing of the pantomime.  You will see elsewhere that tickets will be available soon.  There is a rumour that Cinderella’s step sisters are particularly ugly this year!  We are also planning a joint confirmation service at Outwood in December; if you might be interested or know anyone who might be, please let me know.
Last month I wrote about the mystery of finding God in the midst of suffering. The natural disasters and man-made conflicts continue to shake the world in which we live.  As we celebrate Harvest and the bounty that the earth provides when properly cared for, let us continue to give thanks to our loving God and be generous to our neighbours.
Rev Bill Henderson