Category Archives: Our Parish

Cornershop Capers

Your vicar has just spent an amazing day ‘on duty’ in the local cornershop (Noshi Food Store) next to Leeds Grand Mosque. I was welcomed- and put to work- by the friendly and wonderful Naveed and Arif (whose smile you might recognise in this pic)

arif

Lots of local encounters and conversations, lots of new friends, lots of heavy lifting and lots of mango – what a joy, praise the Lord 🙂

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Marvellous Methodist Morning

Yesterday we were warmly welcomed by the Hyde Park Methodists, for a joint service of Baptism and Holy Communion. We had a great time, singing Wesley hymns, getting the Methodists hooked on Rachel’s wonderful Bread of Life, and sharing the Cup of Blessing shot-glass-style 🙂

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Over coffee and pub lunch afterwards, several folks reminisced about our two churches regularly worshipping and serving the parish together. We all thought more of that would be a good thing. And so- striking while the iron is hot- they’re returning the visit this coming Sunday at All Hallows! Hurray and halleluyah.

 

Here is Ben’s brief brilliant sermon:

In light of today’s reading I want to think about what it means to be a Christian.

What it means for us to be here, together, witnessing a baptism and participating in communion.

From the outset, such thinking seems to be a complex and daunting task.

Am I going to have to unpack what the author of John means by eternal life?

Does the meaning of Christian faith in this passage rest upon Jesus’ promise to raise people on the last day and our belief in that?

As important and interesting as these themes may be, I think there is a simpler, more immediate truth for us to find.

The voice that speaks to me from this narrative is not in fact that of Jesus. It is the words of the disputing audience members which have a particular effect:

How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

This question relates to the meaning of Christianity because it relates to the meaning of Jesus.

How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

The giving of his flesh to eat is self-sacrifice, selflessness, self-giving-love. How can he do this? Because that is what he represents and is and therefore what God represents and is.

The famous German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that ‘the transcendent is not infinite and unattainable tasks, but the neighbour who is within reach in any given situation.’

To repeat: ‘the transcendent is not infinite and unattainable tasks, but the neighbour who is within reach in any given situation.’

Regardless of creed, colour, background or belief, God is to be experienced in the neighbour who is within reach. Being there only for others, giving one your flesh, is what it means to be a Christian.

The world is kept alive by such meaning and for us it is affirmed in the rituals of baptism and communion.

The openness, equalizing effect and unity of these practices, here in this Church today, dissolve our differences and allow our neighbour to be heard.

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More tea, Imam??

abdur rahman

This comes with greetings from our friendly neighbourhood Imam! Meet Abdur Rahman, from the Makki Masjid next door. We’ve just been round for afternoon tea (Bangladeshi style- samosas and bhajis YUM) with him and his wife Labeebah.

They send their prayers and best wishes y’all – let’s pray for them too…

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Unity Day shenanigans

Halleluyah and hurray! Together with our Hyde Park church neighbours, today we got to share GOOD NEWS (and sweeties and prayers) at Unity Day:

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If only we had a penny for every time that sign was photographed!

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Environmental Action Day

Leeds City Council are organising an Environmental Action Day in our area this Tuesday – why not go along, give a hand and meet other local people. And come to the cafe at lunch time!

Hyde Park action day

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The Feast of Life – Ramadan style!

We’ve been invited to a Community Iftar at the Makkah Mosque, next Sunday evening 12 July. I’ll be going and looking forward to it very much. Anyone fancy joining me??

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Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan starts tomorrow (Thursday 18 June), and we’d like to deliver a card like this to each of our 3 local Mosques: Leeds Grand Mosque, Makkah Masjid, and Makki Masjid and Madrassa . All in favour, say Aye??

ramadan wishes

And let’s remember our Muslim sisters and brothers in our prayers this next month… ‘Loving God, Good Shepherd of us all: We give you thanks and praise for the rich diversity of your world and your people. Give us humility to see your Spirit at work in the life of others; give us joy to show your Spirit at work in our life; and above all give us love to embrace and break down the barriers that separate us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’

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A glimpse into the future- and into the mirror!

What 3 words spring to mind when we imagine All Hallows in the year 2020? Here are the results from APCM Sunday. This is how we want to define ourselves into the future- and it’s very joyful, hopeful reading…

3 words wordle

 

And here’s how we see ourselves at the moment… Praise God for a short list of Weaknesses/Threats and loooooong list of Strengths and Opportunities!

Strengths

The people!

Lots of love around

The warm acceptance of diversity

The café – enabling other works in the building

Fantastic garden space

Lots of people involved in different ways

Creativity

Sense of fun

Shared lunches

We share bread and wine

We learn about God

We pray

We are an active church, and we go on outings

We have new people with us nearly every week

‘As a visitor, it is very friendly and dynamic’

Focus on social justice

Safe space to be LGBTQI

Sociable and extroverted (although this can be hard for some)

Open-minded

Caring

Good childrens’ work

Open

Broadminded

Friendly

Liturgy/prayers

Enthusiasm, energy, joy

Mix of people

Children

‘It’s not like other churches… I mean it was so informal and full of love’ (Muslim police officer after licensing service)

Inclusive

Work with asylum seekers

We work together to make decisions about our life

Deep-thinking friends to share faith with

Weekly communal worship

PLAYING after church!

 

Weaknesses

Not well-known enough

Need more fellowship

We’re all very busy – lack of time to meet together

Some services are long- especially all-age services

All-age services need to be inclusive of all ages, not just children

We find fault too easily, feed back more negative than positive, too much intellectual critiquing

Quiet people get overlooked- this is not inclusive

Intellectual- dominant balance of power in favour of the articulate

 

Threats

We are a close community, so newcomers can be ignored and feel a bit alone

Burn out! Too few people doing too many jobs

Overwhelm caused by too many desparate needs

Disunity caused by too many competing agendas (asylum seekers, LGBT, environment, worship, creativity) – need to work together

From all who are narrow-minded- religious and secular extremists

Building

Money

Inequality

‘Losing’ elderly, increasingly frail parishioners

Capitalist greed

 

Opportunities

Reconnect with the local community- in service and worship

Links to/with other churches / communities

Growing in ‘discipleship’ – groups for fellowship and reading/applying bible and God’s kingdom to our everyday lives

Engagement with freshers week – followed up by beer & questions in the Royal Park pub

Taking a weekly ‘attendance register’ – making sure no-one goes unnoticed and uncared-for

Opening up access to the garden

More events etc to draw people in

The café and church as a community resource

To grow and change

Spreading a fair and equal philosophy to other churches

Messy Church for the community

Safe place to be gay/bi/trans-sexual

Focus outwards – serve and connect with the community, visit people in their homes

Space for creativity in worship and services

Another service- either 8am eucharist or afternoon/evening experimental worship

People often say ‘I don’t go to All Hallows much, but I’m glad it’s there- it gives hope for the church.’ WHY do they say this, and do we need to listen to why?

More food, cake and MIDNIGHT FEASTS!

More parties and events

More camping and walking trips

More learning bible history

More games

Advertise/publicise ourselves better

Tell people about All Hallows and what we do

Invite friends to come to church and to events/trips

Do a sponsored walk

Fresh eyes / new energy

Local multi-cultural friendships- mosques, churches, BLC, Neighbourhood Forum

Expectancy of great things from God

More children keep appearing!

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Church AGM Sunday 19th April

On Sunday 19th April we will be hearing and praying about the different areas of the church life over the past year. Straight after the service will be the brief but important business of electing church wardens and PCC members for the next year, followed by a “bring and share” lunch. Over lunch we will be continuing our discussions from Holy Week on dreaming and praying for the next 5 years. Please join us!

To vote in the PCC you need to be on the All Hallows electoral roll. If you aren’t already and would like to be please contact Rachel Parks (ero@allhallowsleeds.org.uk).

If you are interested in joining the PCC please feel free to discuss with Andrea Hill (groovelands@hotmail.com) or any current member of the PCC. We are a friendly bunch who meet once a month to discuss and make decisions on a whole range of issues in the life of the church. We always welcome new members.

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Message from the Church Wardens

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that the Rev Steve Smith will be leaving All Hallows’ in February 2014 after 5 years as vicar. Steve will be taking up the role of vicar at Mabe and Ponsanooth, near Falmouth in the Diocese of Truro, Cornwall.

We will be extremely sad to see Steve go but we are also happy for him as Simon is already working in Falmouth.

Please pray for

  • Steve in the next few months as he prepares to leave,
  • for Simon,
  • for the parishes of Mabe and Ponsanooth,
  • for ourselves at All Hallows’ as we prepare ourselves for a period of time without a vicar
  • for those who will be supporting us in continuing our ministry

We will be having a shared lunch after church on Sunday 1st December when we will have an opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings. We would be delighted if as many members of the All Hallows’ community as possible could be there.

Jan and Paul

Jan Betts and Paul Magnall
24 Nov 2013

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