Category Archives: People

Rev Stanley Baxter


We are very sad to announce that Stanley Baxter died yesterday. Stanley was wife of Elizabeth, and vicar of All Hallows in the 19990s. Since then, for the last twenty plus years, they have pioneered and run Holy Rood House www.holyroodhouse.org.uk a centre for theology, health and pastoral care.

Much will be written about Stanley. He last came to us for Heston’s welcome, but I knew him from intermittent visits to the house for retreat, inspiration to start a career in art therapy, and for a radically inclusive vision of the church, healing and mental health. When I visited recently, Stan was still in action, teaching passionately his lifetime convictions from the Bible. These Bible studies have been recorded, and will eventually be available as booklets. As always, he was keen to hear news of All Hallows, and we owe him a debt of huge gratitude and thankfulness for the foundations he laid for us. Last year he was at Greenbelt!Stanley will be sadly missed. Please pray for his family, and all at Holy Rood.

His funeral will be on September 5th, of which details later.

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Santa’s little helper!

Memorial garden December 2015
Santa’s little helper (aka Nick) has been caught decorating the tree in the memorial garden again this year. Thank you Nick for the pleasure you bring and for helping us to remember the loved ones no longer with us.

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All Hallows’ birthday weekend!

The first of November, All Saints, All Souls or All Hallows – and the weekend that we take as our patronal day, or if you like, our birthday!

And what a birthday weekend we had!

It started on Friday with Pumpkin Pie at the cafe. Then on Saturday late afternoon we decorated the church, prepared food and set up all manner of crazy things for us to do in the evening.

The evening consisted of fantastic pizza, more pumpkin pie and other food prepared by Simon and a load of young helpers. In the church we had a “marquee” where apple bobbing and other strange things happened. Loads of giant Lego bricks (otherwise known as cardboard boxes) where used to build castles and trains.

Eventually everyone settled down to watch “The Lego Movie”, an awesome theological treatise on the purpose of life!

Finally to bed. Some softies went home (including the author) but many more adventurous types spent the night in the “marquee” or huddled around cuddly toys and boxes. I understand that some sleep was had but judging by what I saw in the morning, not a lot!

Then Super Simon and his crew rustled up a cooked breakfast which revived us all. Thank you Simon!

So to the service and the sermon. Who knew that the Lego Movie was such a source of awesome theology? Well, obviously, Heston did! And so we discovered that we are all awesome, we are all saints, we are “the most talented, most interesting, most extraordinary” people in the universe and we are “capable of amazing things”. The Lego Movie says so, and so does God! He has called us to join Him in being “Master Builders” of His new kingdom here on Earth.

Communion was a little different in that we all crowded into the “marquee” and we reminded each other that we are all saints.

After the service there was more awesome food and then it was time to clear up. I’ve never seen so many cheerful “clearer uppers”, a huge thank you to all of you who made clearing up such fun.

And then, all the saints, all the master builders went home to catch up on their sleep in readiness for their role in the next week of helping to build God’s Kingdom.

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Church Camping weekend – July 2015

A huge thanks to everyone who came to Kettlewell for a great weekend of river walks, yabby/ crayfish hunting, Thor cuddling and rock and roll dancing!

Personal highlights were playing dizzy sticks with the kids, the communal BBQ, trying to erect our brand new church gazebo in a minor tornado and waking up to our 8 year old and 4 year old playing a coal related adjective game! Randomly wonderful!

Hannah

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Andrew’s Rose

Back in March a rose was planted in the memorial garden in memory of Andrew Shackleton. Here is a photo of the wonderful flowers it is producing.

Andrew's rose

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Mabel’s Funeral

Mabel’s funeral Service will be at 1:00pm on Friday 20th June with Rev David Randolph Horn presiding, possibly accompanied by other clergy who knew Mabel.

There will be a “get together” afterwards at All Hallows’.

Further details will be made available as plans develop. Do please pass on an invitation to others who knew Mabel.

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Mabel Wilson (1922-2014)

Mabel on the swing in her garden April 2014

Mabel on the swing in her garden April 2014

It was with great sadness that we heard that Mabel died on Monday morning. She had a stroke over the weekend and was in hospital. Mabel was one of the most cheerful, lively, saintly people who never let things get her down.

Mabel had a brilliant, positive spirit which was not obviously crushed by her many health problems. She was always cheerful, usually smiling and often laughing.She loved clothes, colour and jewellery and had lovely long hair which she arranged with pretty combs. She adored her garden and was very knowledgeable about plants.

She was the choir at All Hallows’, changing into a choir robe and proud of her choir medallion. She would stand to lead us in singing the Gloria even when her ‘ruddy’ legs (to quote her) were painful.

She may well have been the first ‘green’ person at All Hallows’, making purificators (the cloths used with the chalices) out of shirts and regularly repairing liturgical ‘equipment’. She was creative and was good at tapestry and made us some rainbow vestments.

When I joined her to do the sacristy work, she was definitely the brains of the operation. She was in charge in the vestry and was knowledgeable and unafraid to be critical of clergy, sometimes quite bluntly!

Mabel was a spiritual and very faithful person who always lived in the present and was ready to embrace new ideas.

As well as attending church on a weekly basis, Mabel was also involved with groups associated with All Hallows’. She was a regular at the Tuesday Together group and helped at the St. Margaret’s Playgroup which was based in the Cardigan Centre.

We celebrated Mabel’s 90th. birthday in 2012 in church with cake and beautiful bunting made by the children. We will miss Mabel and give thanks for all that she was to us and for being such a joyful member of the All Hallows’ family.

Mabel helping to make the felt hanging in April 2011

Mabel helping to make the felt hanging in April 2011

Mabel at memorial rose planting for Andrew Shackleton, Spring 2014

Mabel at memorial rose planting for Andrew Shackleton, Spring 2014

Do please share with us your memories of a great lady.

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I’m a bluebell!

After church today we had a shared lunch and then a group of us went for a walk in Gledhow Valley Woods to look at the fantastic bluebells. Here is a photo of some of us trying to be a bluebell!

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Remembering Andrew Shackleton – planting a rose

It is nearly two years since Andrew died (the date was 16 April 2012), and David Randolph-Horn and the PCC decided that we should plant a rose in the Memorial Garden in his memory. Andrew’s mother Marion wanted to commemorate him in this way, and it was lovely that she was able to be there and to take part.

The date set for the planting was Sunday 9 March 2014, and on the previous day Marion and I went to Harlow Carr Gardens near Harrogate to buy the rose. We chose a beautiful red rose called ‘Benjamin Britten’, particularly appropriate as Andrew loved classical music and Britten was also gay.

Preparing the rose

David shakes the rose bush out of its container

Sunday was an amazingly beautiful day, warm and sunny, more like early summer than early spring: so it was no hardship to start the service outside in the Memorial Garden. We all gathered around the corner where the volunteer group had prepared the ground and dug a suitable hole. David was presiding, and he led us in a version of the Gathering responses for Lent, adapted to remind us of some of Andrew’s spiritual fruits and gifts.

Planting the rose

We each took turns to throw some earth around the rose

Then came the planting of the rose bush. After David had placed the rose in its hole, we all took turns to throw some earth in, starting with the children (trowels were provided). It wasn’t hurried; we had time to think of Andrew and to remember with gratitude all he had brought to us as individuals and as a spiritual community. Then we went inside to continue the service.

David helps Marion, Andrew's mother, to come forward

David helps Marion, Andrew’s mother, to come forward

After the service we remembered to give the newly planted rose a good soaking with water, to give it a good chance of settling in and thriving!

Andrew John Shackleton 1954–2012
May he rest in peace and rise in glory

 

 

Photographs © Jan Betts 2014

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Remembering Andrew Shackleton – his TV interviews

Andrew Shackleton appearing on Sunday Live November 1997

Andrew Shackleton appearing on Sunday Live November 1997

After the service last Sunday (9 March) we showed a 6-minute video clip of Andrew Shackleton debating the issues of being gay and Christian with Rev Steve Donnell, a member of ‘Reform’, a fundamentalist group within the Church of England. This was from an edition of the Sunday Live programme transmitted on 20 October 1996; the interviewer was John Stapleton.

If you missed it, or would like to see it again, I’ve now put the video clip up on YouTube at http://youtu.be/kO7IlFDRmp0.

There is also another Sunday Live interview that Andrew did, dated 30 November 1997, in which he debates same-sex parenting with Dr Peggy Norris. I’ve put that one up on YouTube too, at http://youtu.be/jpWNw67x2s8. It’s slightly longer at 7 minutes 39 seconds.

At that time, in the mid- to late 1990s, Sunday Live was produced by Fiona Thompson, and that is how Fiona and Andrew met. Later they were both deeply involved in The Sacred Wing, the lesbian and gay choir (an offshoot of Gay Abandon) whose concerts of choral works and carols have become an annual pre-Christmas tradition at All Hallows. It is Fiona who kindly dug into the archives to provide DVDs of the relevant Sunday Live programmes.

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