Category Archives: Church Building

Next Work Morning – 2nd February

Sorry for all the confusion but we can now confirm that we are planning another work morning on Saturday 2nd February starting at 8am or as soon after as you want to join us, we will be having a cooked breakfast together about 9am.

Christmas is over, the decorations are down but the cold weather hasn’t gone so one of the jobs we are planning is to track down the major drafts and see if we can deal with them. We still have the window grills to finish and there are lots of minor repair jobs to do. Steve is aiming to try and tidy the vestry. And if anyone fancies polishing the piano ……!

So, as always, if you would like to join us for an action packed morning full of fun and new discoveries, join us then. If you plan to come it would be appreciated if you could let us know (Steve, Jan or myself) then we can make sure there is enough food! Children and adults welcome.

All Hallows Church – where next?

If you are part of the All Hallows’ community please come to our meeting to discuss:

All Hallows Church – where next?
Sunday 27th January
Morning service 10:30am – 11:15am
Prayer 11:30am – 11:45am
Meeting 11:45am – 1:30pm

The PCC will shortly be meeting to decide on our next steps as a church community. As many of you are aware, we have some major decisions to make about how we continue as a church which will have serious implications on our future.

The overall question is:-
“How do we, as a church community, best fulfill our mission to be God’s presence in this neighbourhood, this city and the world?” Our Mission Statement, amended last year, aims to address this and guide us in what we do, taking as our lead the five marks of mission: to tell, teach, tend, transform and treasure.

To help the PCC in it’s decision making we are having a meeting of the All Hallows’ community on 27th January after a shortened morning service

The morning service is at 10:30am, the meeting will start about 11:30am. There will be discussion over food. Please bring sandwiches or snacks if you would like to, to eat as we talk. We plan to finish by 1.30 at the latest (in time to get to the Holocaust Memorial Day event if you wish). There will also be a film and popcorn for the children who don’t want to take part in the discussion (sorry, this doesn’t really apply to the adults!)

If you would like a copy of the discussion document it is available on Announce or please email the Churchwardens

Next Work Morning – NOT January 19th

Ooops, it appears that we are double booked and the church is being used for a recording session so we won’t be able to do any work that morning! Sorry! Watch this space for  a new date.

We are planning another work morning on Saturday 19th January starting at 8am or as soon after as you want to join us. Hopefully we will have breakfast together about 9am.

Christmas is over, the decorations are down but the cold weather hasn’t gone so one of the jobs we are planning is to track down the major drafts and see if we can deal with them. We still have the window grills to finish and there are lots of minor repair jobs to do. If Steve is available we also aim to try and tidy the vestry. And if anyone fancies polishing the piano ……!

So, as always, if you would like to join us for an action packed morning full of fun and new discoveries, join us then. If you plan to come it would be appreciated if you could let us know (Steve, or myself) then we can make sure there is enough food! Children and adults welcome.

Work morning 3

A huge “THANK YOU” to all of you who turned up on Saturday to help with the work morning, and a special thank you to Jan who stepped in as chef at the last minute when the chef, Rev Steve, was unable to attend. We were greatly encouraged when on Sunday morning a lot of people noticed the difference to the worship area which now looks so much tidier. The plants also look a lot healthier thanks to some TLC from green-fingered Catherine.

The biggest difference though is probably not going to get noticed by many people and that it is because it happened down in the basement where we managed to make a major start on tidying things up and cleaning the floor. Over the next few months we will be sorting through a lot of the stuff down there and putting surplus items for re-use or recycling.

Some of the more interesting things we found were:
– a Mother’s Union banner from St Margaret’s;
– Jesus praying in a cupboard (a statue, probably also from St Margaret’s);
– a small Christmas tree down the back of the cupboard which reminded us that we were preparing the church for Advent!

I think we all felt encouraged by what we achieved and we will be organising another work morning in January.

Next Work morning – November 10th

We are planning another work morning on Saturday 10th November starting at 8am or as soon after as you want to join us. Rev Steve has kindly offered to cook breakfast again for about 9am.
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The main job will be a big tidy up ready for advent and Christmas. If the weather is fine I plan to remove some of the window grills, clean behind them and then replace them with new screws. We will also be have a spring clean (!) of the basement in readiness for new shelving which we hope to get in the new year.

So, if you would like to join us for an action packed morning full of fun and new discoveries, join us then. If you plan to come it would be appreciated if you could let us know (Steve, Jan or myself) then we can make sure there is enough food!

Mission, the building and process… your thoughts:

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All hallows’ thoughts and feelings arising out of the all-church day in June looking at mission, the building & process, in order of ‘Questions, Ideas and Comments

QUESTIONS:

The people at the margins and those not at the margins- these are who we are here for Can we hire other buildings to help us serve them?

I think we should act like there’s not much time left. How important is it to us that others hear the message about Jesus Christ?

Does the local community want/need this building to be here? If not can we share another church’s building?

If talking to each other is difficult about faith, then how do we do it to outsiders?

Why don’t we join with Left Bank and put our ‘tent’ up there?

If mission is about creative energy, what feeds this energy? What drains this energy?

Mission: We need a café to share hospitality in. We need a room to meet and share worship in. Does this have to be in this building?

Jesus sent the disciples out travelling light – with the minimum of possessions. Is a building a heavy burden to carry?

The stats on poverty tell us:we have high child poverty, high social housing, high lone parenthood (ish), high ethnic diversity (ish). What might these lead us to?

Is it possible that there are some dissident voices not being heard because their opinion is seen as “ye of little faith” or the opinion is seen as negative e.g. we don’t have the people or energy for a big building campaign

What are our responsibilities to those who use the building?

What about social enterprise?

Remember others use the building. Can we link to the Methodists?

What is our priority in mission – then where locate? E.g. to gay people, to marginalised people, to local people. How can we listen to shopkeepers and also to those in the congregation?

Can we do more outside church on Sunday to help the community?

What do the local community think the church space could be used for?

Can we make this building sustainable?

Are there the people here who will use this building – does the community want this building?

What has been decided so far by the PCC and how does our contribution today relate to this?

Join Left Bank?

What used to go on all the time – so many things raising money used to happen – why not now?

What were people’s experiences of worshiping in the café? Could we worship in a school hall?

IDEAS

We need some teaching on basics of faith

Religious literacy Resourcing people to be confident talking about faith

Noticing & Naming. Opening up and revealing where my energy is going. How to capture this and pour energy into AH

Mission is about being and doing with and for other people

Mission is celebration and large events: e.g. from our past – with Turkish Muslims, Arch dancing, Pat’s funeral, weddings (eg Clare’s) … civil partnership(s). We need large space (like pubs used to be when people had small homes)

Children: Need to reach out better to our own children and to children in the parish. Most adults who come to church had some connection as a child

My thoughts condensed: 1) no one is ready to think in terms of losing the building
2) business as usual will lose the building maybe with a few years delay but we have nothing currently to attract funders, church giving is high per person and for church growth to solve anything we’d need be looking at a tripling of the congregation (nice idea but not realistic)
3) the building as it is actually underused but we lack resources to either find new users or put on our own events (NB most folks looking to use venue like ours will be looking for a freebie or at best covering heating/lighting costs,  for  business users a caretaker to open up/someone to take tea and coffee in mid meeting would make the great difference ) 4) funders generally want something new/exciting and short term. Maintaining a status quo doesn’t attract funding. Proposal: we set up group to look at spaces like 7 arts centre, otley courthouse , left bank etc. to see how their use of space can be a model for us. The courthouse is the example I know best – 90% volunteer run, community feel, regular cafe, arts events, craft fairs, gigs, youth events, even a church meeting there on a Sunday (or was until recently), there is a distinctive all hallows flavour we would need to add. (I’d suggest to that group that the way forward would involve appointing community worker/funding bid organiser/caretaker/community project worker/events co-ordinator – a complex many hat role or one the group may wish to narrow down somewhat)   this isn’t just suggesting bait for funders rather something that is a consistent expansion of the all hallows vision and would need to be developed with care.


Perhaps no building to maintain could release more energy to focus on those we seek to serve and build community with each other.

Pray for God’s leading and direction

Ring the bell & people will come

Building – mutual attention needed, not servant/master analogy. Something sad about neglecting the building.

‘Incredible edibles’ in Hyde Park led by AH

What might be the financial and emotional cost/benefit of demolish and rebuild instead of patch up?

Compare with looking at a shed/house/garden – the building speaks to area about VALUE

History of All Hallows – one of first churches in Leeds – building is important historically.

Let’s help each other by: asking what we do that we think is ‘mission’ away from All Hallows; affirming that mission; talking to each other about that mission. Thinking about the balance of our individual ‘missions’ in and out of the All Hallows space

Telling the story to those who haven’t heard it yet. Could we improve our ‘religious literacy’ by talking to each other about key issues? Perhaps this could be a Lent course? Example: “Why does God allow suffering in the world?” is quite a common comment from the secular world. Might it be a good idea to ‘rehearse’ our answer to this? What resources would we use? What skills would be needed? What would be a good approach?

COMMENTS:

Mission is hospitality for local gatherings

Mission is often about: listening sensing guessing feeling what God is doing / where God is going, and being there. NAMING what is happening, interpreting what is going on and connecting this up with the story.

Mission is outreach and inclusive openings to the spirit’s leadings

Communication methods: email, web, personal experience – not constrained but open and responsive

As a parish church might we be better listening to those who live in the parish

We don’t need a building to fulfil the marks of mission, we need to engage with people

Mission has to be also willing to fail and learn from that failure and move on

Knowing no divisions of race or sexuality. Embracing all.

As a result of a recent conversation with a friend I got thinking about YOUNG PEOPLE. When I first came to AH 10 years ago I was a YOUNG PERSON. Now in my 30s I don’t feel like a YOUNG PERSON yet I am one of the youngest members of the congregation (excl Kids Church of course!) and I wonder where are the next generation of YOUNG PEOPLE in our church? I worry about us becoming a typical aging congregation. With age there is wisdom thank God but we also need YOUTH. I wonder if this starts with the dreaded STUDENT, not necessarily doing stuff for students but providing a space for them to be welcome as part of our church; providing a space for those who need it.

Steve’s thoughts about the future…

As we at All Hallows look to a new phase in the life and ministry of the church in this part of Leeds I want to put some thoughts together to help us in our thinking, praying and discussing.

Our use of the church building has for some time been a moot point, with some of the worshipping congregation expressing feelings about having to be responsible for maintaining the place – and some feeling that if we weren’t so focused on the building we might have more freedom to focus on people. Some talk of the importance of the community cafe to local people and our responsibility as the parish church to the deprived community around the church. Others point to the stunning location and its potential for enhancing worship and (importantly) attracting paying users of the multi-use space. There are those who see the church as deserving investment to make it financially and environmentally sustainable. Again, we are not the only group who use the church – in the week there are many people for whom the building is an important focal point in their lives. And there are issues like our ministry to LGBT people and others who are marginalised, excluded or damaged by life.

ALL HALLOWS A

At present the feeling in the leadership of the church is that our way forward under God is to try our best to stay in this building and we are slowly exploring all that needs to be done to achieve that. At the same time there is an awareness that we have big task in front of us and we need to be open to all God’s guiding on this as the exploring continues. So recently we held an all-church afternoon to look at these things and our views, mixed as they are, are all displayed in church for everyone to see and add to. We shall shortly be summarising the outcomes of this process.

It seems to me that it is absolutely essential that whatever we do in terms of the building – and in fact all of our resources – we must be led by our vision of what God is asking us to do and be, both here in the parish and in the places where we live, work, study etc…

The model of how the Christian Church operates is changing and we here need to be able to minister to a rapidly-changing world. Perhaps one of the things we need to be open to is not just changing the externals but allowing the Spirit of God to change our view of the needs in the world around us… the 43% of the children in this parish who live in poverty… the many students who are our parishioners… what are we doing about them? Do they matter to us? What else is God calling us to?

What is at stake is not just what happens to ‘our church’ but the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in as well as beyond the parish. Please spend time in your daily prayers earnestly asking God for guidance in these matters and for grace as we continue to discuss and listen to each other’s views.

With love,

Steve