Bill’s Letter for November 2013

One of the themes this month is ‘remembering’.  We held a Memorial Service recently on 27th October for those who have died recently, and the Remembrance service for those who were killed in wars is at 10am on Sunday 10th November.  We are also planning what to do to remember the old church after it is dismantled.  There are a number of interesting ideas already, including a prayer garden and maintaining the war memorial

Each of these events are different, and at each we do more than just remember. We are bringing God into a situation that is painful. We show respect and show how we value the lives of those who have died.  We say thank you for what they have given us.

In the case of the Remembrance service, there is also the element of doing what we can to ensure that the ultimate sacrifice that has been made has not been in vain.  There is a sense in which victory in both the World Wars is enough in itself, as we still live in a free country.

But there is still a real challenge: have we learned the lessons about the horrors of war? This is a complicated question, but the prospects for world peace do not appear to be very good, as we look around today.  It is truly shocking as we observe what human beings do to each other.  The terrible killings going on in Syria, and terrorist    attacks continuing to spread death and fear.  Cycles of violence that only seem to escalate.  What to do?

At the heart of our Christian worship is another service of remembrance and thanksgiving; 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.  Jesus was also the great peacemaker, and lays down a challenge for us: love your enemies; do not keep a record of wrongs; forgive one another.

We may not be able to effect world peace, but we can be peacemakers in our families and community.

Rev Bill Henderson



Film Club details for November 2013

Friday evening, 8th November, 7:30pm

‘Twelve in a Box’  (2007)  12 Rating

Twelve In A Box is the laugh-out-loud story (with a cameo appearance by the wonderful Miranda Hart) of 12 former school friends who get together for a reunion they will never forget.  Each are given the chance to win £1 million, the catch being that they cannot leave the estate for 96 hours.  Plus, anyone who enters the grounds must also stay for the duration!  With time ticking, the mismatched dozen are forced to work together to keep the peace and work toward their payday.  But, when they have to deal with an untimely death, a kidnapping plot, another corpse, burglars, and then even a visit from the boys in blue, will this hapless clan be able to hold it together or will their dreams of riches be buried with the bodies?

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

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

Twelve in a Box













Harvest Events at St Peter’s in October

Harvest Ceilidh

With dancing to ‘The Huntsman’s Chorus’

Saturday 12th October, 7:30pm, in St Peter’s School hall

Tickets £8, concessions £6, family ticket £22. Tickets include a pie & peas supper.

Please bring your own drinks!

See Jill Temple or Val McCarthy for tickets or contact the Church Centre office, tel 01924 835746


Parade and Harvest Festival Service

Parade and Harvest Festival Service at the church centre, with the uniformed groups.

St Peter’s Church Centre, Sunday 13th October at 10am.


Harvest Lunch at St Peter’s Church

Tuesday 15th October, 12pm—1:30pm

Everyone, young and old, is warmly invited to the Church Centre on Tuesday 15th October for a Harvest Lunch prepared by St Peter’s Community Café.  The meal will include homemade soup, a chicken dinner, fresh fruit salad and tea and coffee.  As in previous years, the tables will be set our very nicely in the hall and there will be some musical accompaniment during the lunch.  The lunch is free of charge, although donations can be made if wished.  St Peter’s Church and Café look forward to welcoming you.


Bill’s Letter for October 2013

This is the time of year when we celebrate our harvest festival. As our lives are moving away from being involved in the production of food, it is even more important to reflect on what we eat and where it comes from.  A recent survey showed that a third of primary school children thought cheese came from plants and 1 in 5 thought chicken was the principal ingredient in fish fingers.

Food can become a commodity, something we mindlessly consume on our way to doing other things.  It’s very easy to go to the shops, buy what we want as cheaply as possible, but without any real thought of where our food is coming from.  The principles of Fairtrade are important to help each person in the supply chain get a just reward. Our choices of where we shop and what we buy can make a difference

For Christians, food is not a commodity, rather it is God’s way of providing for the life of the world.  I came across the phrase, “Food is God’s love made delectable”. The story of creation celebrates the  wonder of plants and animals that provide food for each other.  A simple way to avoid taking food for granted is to say grace before meals.  This was the normal thing to do with the people I stayed with in Africa, and I believe it used to be more usual here. Simply to pause and reflect on the gift of food, to give thanks to our creator and for those who have helped bring the food to the table, gives the right perspective.

As we meditate on our food, we are taken into a deeper mystery. The story of food is one of life and death, whether of plant or animal. This opens up the idea of sacrifice, sacrifice that brings life out of death.  As we accept this building block of creation then we are able to move closer to an understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus, who gave his life that we might have life.

We would like to invite you to join in these celebrations of God’s good gifts at Harvest.  There will be a Ceilidh with a live band on    Saturday 12th October at St Peter’s School (please see page 10 for details and ring 835746 for tickets), then our Harvest Festival service at 10am on Sunday 13th October.  On Tuesday 15th October there will be a harvest lunch open to all in the village but especially aimed at the more mature members of the community.


Film Club details for October 2013

Friday evening, 11th October, 7:30pm 

‘Nights in Rodanthe’  (2009)  PG Rating

Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, this film is unapologetically              sentimental, and enjoyable completely on its own terms; a small gem of an escape, complete with storm-tossed coastline.  Diane Lane stars as Adrienne, a wronged wife whose husband (Christopher Meloni) begs for another chance.  She goes to clear her head at a remote North Carolina inn, where the sole occupant is Paul, a doctor, played by Richard Gere, who is battling his own demons.  Gere and Lane both give superb performances as people of a certain age, who haven’t yet given up on love.  The cinematography is     stunning too: the foamy seas, desolate sand dunes and bleached skies adding to the feelings of loneliness and desolation.  This is a beautifully told love story; heartbreaking and captivating.

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 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