Public Notice for re-roofing All Hallows’ Church

We are applying for permission to replace the roof of All Hallows’. If you would like to know more or wish to object to any of the works please see the plans here and the Public Notice below:

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If you would like to discuss the plans in more detail please contact Paul Magnall via contact@allhallowsleeds.org

Welcome to All Hallows Church, Leeds

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Thought for the Day : Wednesday 3 March

Thought for the Day by Richard Wilson (St Chad’s)

Readings: Jeremiah 8:18 – 9.11 and John 6:60 – end

Jeremiah is pleading with the Lord to hear the cry of his people and asking where the Lord is. Clearly things have gone badly for some time – the harvest is not stored, a lack of doctors, many slain. They are adulterers, unfaithful, liars. The Lord says beware of friends, do not trust them, they do not speak the truth and they do not acknowledge the Lord. It is clear that the loving Lord is frustrated and angry about how to deal with Jeremiah’s people.

The Lord decides that he will refine, test, and punish them making Judah uninhabitable.

Would we wish to upset the Lord and induce His anger – I think not. What is worrying is how many people are ignoring the Lord and committing sins of a similar kind today and are we being taken in by liars and false truths. This passage  is certainly worthy of careful consideration during Lenten reflections.

Bu this is the Old Testament and the New Testament brings ‘Good News’. Today’s reading starts at a ‘crunch point’ for all of us because in yesterday’s reading Jesus was talking about ‘The bread of life’.

ch.6 v60 ‘On hearing it, many of his disciples said ‘This is hard teaching. Who can accept it?’’

Jesus repeats the following :

  1. How would they react to his Transfiguration
  2. The  Spirit gives life and my words are full of the Spirit
  3. The flesh counts for nothing.
  4. No one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.

Apparently many started to leave so he asks ‘The Twelve’ so do you want to leave too? Thankfully, Simon Peter responds very positively with the words in v 68 ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God’.

I hope and pray that we all can accept his teaching and respond as Simon Peter did, preparing ourselves for eternal life.

Thought for the Day : Tuesday 2 March

Thought for the Day by Hannah Lievesley (St Chad’s)

Reading: John 6:52-59

A few years ago, a course was advertised in the diocesan magazine, entitled:

The Church of England: Passing Strange and Wonderful.

‘Passing strange’ is one of those funny, old-fashioned terms that means ‘surpassing strange’, ‘beyond strange’, ‘stranger even than strange’. What made me laugh about the advert, was that the editor of the magazine had accidentally put an extra comma in the title to make it: Passing, Strange and Wonderful. As if to say the Church of England was a temporary thing about to pass away – on its way out! Not the message any diocese wants to be publishing in its magazine.

I mention this, because the words Jesus spoke in the synagogue so many years ago,  

‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them’,

must have seemed ‘passing strange’ to the people who were listening. At this early stage in Jesus’ ministry it must have sounded to them like he was promoting some kind of cultist cannibalism. Remember, this happened well before the Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples, when he referred to the bread as his body and the wine as his blood. It was well before he died on the cross and rose again. Before the people had the benefit of any of that hindsight.

‘This is a hard teaching,’ they grumbled, ‘who can accept it?

Even today, now we know what happened to Jesus, now we have the benefit of the whole of his teaching and the teaching of gifted apostles and theologians over the centuries, even now, Holy Communion can still seem a strange and mysterious practice – not just to those on the outside of the church but to us too. And yet the teaching has endured across the whole world for 2000 years. Perhaps this is down to us experiencing its wonderful benefits despite struggling to comprehend its meaning.

As we celebrate Holy Communion, and receive the bread and wine, in some mysterious way our relationship with Jesus is sustained, now and into a future of eternal life.

There’s a line in the Morning Prayer service which I love, and every time I say it reminds me and helps me to submit of the great mysteries of God’s ways – ways we can never fully understand. It says:

‘Trust in the wisdom of the Lord. Be not wise in your own sight.

Jesus left us Holy Communion as a way of remaining in him, remaining connected to him. The key, perhaps, to our connection with him.

‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them.’ That is his promise.

And yes, it is, ‘passing strange’ but it is also ‘wonderful’.

Thought for the Day : Monday 1 March

Thought for the Day by Kevin Ward (St Michael’s)

Readings: Jeremiah 7:21-end and John 6:41-51

Jesus said: I am the bread of life

Give us this day our daily bread

Our daily necessities.
Manna in the wilderness: renewed every morning.
New every morning is the love    /    New mercies, each returning day

Daily Bread. Our staple food.
Rice, pap (South Africa: maize meal), posho (Swahili),  emmere (Luganda: steamed plantain), millet, sorghum. cassava. Injera (Ethiopian sourdough flat bread).

Food banks. School dinners. Marcus Rashford.
Rainbow Junk-tion
I was hungry and you gave me food

Bread:  Panis (Latin).  Pan (Japanese – from the Portuguese). Le pain (French).
Pannier – a  bread basket.   ‘Bread basket’ – an abundant land.

Companion: literally, those we eat bread with.
Friendship. Intimacy. Trust. Fidelity

Betrayed by a Kiss.
Psalm 41:9:
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

Jesus at the Last Supper:
‘The one who dips bread into the bowl with me, will betray me’

The Passover: feast of unleavened bread.
Jesus took a loaf of bread and broke it:
            ‘Take, eat this is my body which is given for you’
For as often as you eat this bread you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

March 1st:  Dewi Sant.      St David’s Day.
            Arglwydd arwain trwy’r anialwch: Lord, lead me through the wilderness.
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah

            Bread of Heaven, bread of heaven,
            Feed me now and evermore

Jesus said: I am the bread of life
This is the bread that comes down from heaven
Whoever eats of this bread will live forever.

Blessed are you who are hungry – for you will be filled (Luke 6:20)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  (Mathew 5:6)

Our father in heaven, Thy kingdom come,   Thy will be done,
            Give us today our daily bread
            And forgive us our sins
            As we forgive those who sin against us

Sunday Worship 28 February 2021

Today is the second Sunday in the season of Lent and it this morning we were very pleased to have Sam Crook share with us her thoughts on Lent with Heston, Adriaan and Casper leading us in our worship.

Sunday 28 February 2021 – Second Sunday in Lent

This Sunday is the second Sunday in the season of Lent and Sam Crook will be leading us in her thoughts about Lent. Our readings will be from Psalm 22:23-31 and Mark 8:31-38.

Here is the service sheet we will be using during Lent:

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Thought for the Day : Friday 26 February

Thought for the Day by Tim Ward (St Chad’s)

Readings: Jeremiah 6.22-end and John 6.16-27

“…They sound like the roaring sea…”:

 is how Jeremiah describes the horses ridden from the north to battle against an errant Jerusalem. [Jeremiah chapter 6 verse 23].

“…a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water…

… is John’s description the threat of the sea.  following the wonder of Jesus’s feeding of the crowds, the disciples had taken to the water and rowed out into the midst of the Sea of Galilee heading for Capernaum. [John chapter 6 verses 19 and 20]

To coastal and lakeside communities, water shaped livelihoods and landscapes. Its power signified an actual and symbolic threat. In response, the psalmist in psalms 65 and 77 points to a God who can overcome the power of the waves

“You calm the roar of the seas and the noise of the waves”

When the waters saw you O God, they were afraid….
You walked through the waves you crossed the deep sea.”

In this context John describes the “sign” of Jesus walking on the water:

“By then a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water. The disciples had rowed about five or six kilometres when they saw Jesus walking on the water, coming near the boat…”

The description of Jesus walking on the water shows it as a sign not a magic show.  Jesus’s healing miracles were a sign of god’s concern and priorities; not belittling, but rather supporting those involved in healing.  Likewise, Jesus was not making light of the challenges faced by those who work on the water; those with whom he spent his time and made his friendships. The wonders and signs of eternity did not take away from the reality of the here and now.

Leeds’s connection with water has changed over the periods of industrialisation and growth.  One symbol of this continues to be the Leeds Liverpool canal, linking not only the northern industrial communities, such as Saltaire. but also, the east and west coasts.  The Canal and River Trust help to ensure we can enjoy its 127 miles and 91 locks today.

The canal towpath is a good place for Lent, allowing contemplation of water, nature, of industrial skill and endeavour. Its heritage is also one of labour, of the mills, factories and mines whose produce it carried

As we wonder at the miracle of Jesus walking on the water, may we focus too on the dangers and toils inherent in a life on the water.

Click here to visit the Canal and River Trust

Thought for the Day : Thursday 25 February

Thought for the Day by Angela Birkin (St Michael’s)

Reading: John 6.1-15

The miracle story of the feeding of the multitude, five thousand men with additional women and children as reported by Matthew, is the only miracle story of Jesus which is included in all four Gospels (see Mark 6.32-44, Matthew 14.13-21, Luke 9.10-17).

It is thus exceptional. It is important!

For John the Evangelist, it is one of the signs that Jesus did, with a deeper meaning than simply feeding thousands with bread and fish. It is Passover time, the second such time in John’s Gospel, and John wants us to think both of the Passover and the liberation of the children of Israel from Egypt by God (Exodus 12), and of the other Passover times at the beginning and end of Jesus’ ministry (John 2.13-25, John chapters 12-19).

As with the miracle at the wedding in Cana, this is a miracle of abundance. Everyone ate until they were satisfied, and there were still twelve baskets of food left over which was much more than the five barley loaves and two fish that Jesus was offered by the boy.

John shows the connection of this miracle with the mission of Jesus,

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,”

(John 10.10)

and with the Eucharist as Jesus’ words recall those used in the early church’s eucharistic practice,

“Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them”

(John 6.11)

“Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them”

(Luke 22.19)

The crowd who were fed by Jesus, appreciating their full bellies, wanted to make him king, by force if necessary. Feeding people is a political act! Jesus resisted them because he was offering them even more than temporarily full stomachs.

This Lent, do we just want a full belly, or abundant life that our generous God offers us through Jesus Christ?

This Lent, are we prepared both to offer people full bellies and to tell them of the abundant life in Christ that is also theirs if they want it?

This Lent are we willing to offer Jesus what little we have and see what miracle he will bring about?

Thought for the Day : Wednesday 24 February

Thought for the Day by Janet Lindley (All Hallows’)

“Nothing to fear”

Readings:  Jeremiah 5:20-31; John 5:30-47

You know that feeling. It’s like bashing your head against a wall. You’re having a conversation, trying to explain something important, but the person you’re talking to doesn’t get it.

It’s exhausting. Frustrating. At times maddening.

Sometimes it’s a lack of understanding. They just haven’t got there and need some processing time. But others it’s stubborn pig-headed-ness. Digging heals in and refusing to budge.

Our two readings today, though different voices, are all about that frustration!

First is Jeremiah in the Old Testament with some pretty strong language. He’s calling the Israelites airheads and scatterbrained. Why? Though he’s using his own words, he is a prophet – his job is to speak uncomfortable home-truths from God. His challenge – remember that God rescued you from slavery.  Not just that, their good fortune was a gift to start with, so don’t hold onto it quite so tightly.

The second voice is Jesus speaking to the educated, informed and pious church elite. He’s accusing them of failing to recognise who he is. Despite evidence from multiple reliable sources, they are being more swayed by public opinion.

What to do with these upbraiding readings? Put them aside as a couple of religious rants? Or start picking out people we know who are that annoying? Do we say “I wouldn’t do that, it doesn’t apply to me”? Or beat ourselves up for letting our personal motives get in the way?

But when we sit and stop, what is underneath?

Is there fear? Fear that we might find ourselves to be pigheaded and stubborn? That we might find mixed motives in our actions? Fear that if we bring our real selves to God, we might be found lacking?

We don’t take these passages in isolation. We can remember that our God, the God of mercy and of grace, is also the one never goes off duty and “will not let your foot slip” (Psalm 121:3).

Take a moment. Bring yourself to God. Listen to the song “nothing to fear” – let those words from God wash over you “what can separate you from my perfect love”.

Thought for the Day : Tuesday 23 February

Thought for the Day by Malcolm Heath (St Michael’s)

Readings:

In the season of Lent we are encouraged to reflect on the shortcomings in our relationship with God, and on the steps that we can take to improve that relationship.

Jeremiah might say that we are letting ourselves off lightly: that our disregard of God’s will and our resistance to it requires radical repentance and radical transformation. There is not a single person who acts justly or seeks truth (Jer. 5.1); when we speak about God, we do so falsely (5.12). What we need, Jeremiah might say, is more than an annual forty-day and forty-night top-up: our individual and collective sins demand a year-long Lent.

‘“Shall I not punish them for these things?”, says the LORD’ (5.9).

But also:

‘“Even in those days,” says the LORD, “I will not make a full end of you”’ (5.18).

God urges Jeremiah to search the streets and squares of Jerusalem to ‘see if you can find one person who acts justly and seeks truth—so that I may pardon Jerusalem’ (5.1).

But is there even one such person?

As the reading from John’s Gospel reminds us, there is. Jesus, the Son, is in complete unity with his Father: ‘whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise… Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father’ (John 5.19, 21-22).

In the penitential gloom of Lent, we look towards the light of Christ’s resurrection, and of our own: ‘very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life’ (5.24).

Thought for the Day : Monday 22 February

Thought for the Day by Anna Bland (All Hallows’)

Readings:

I love the narrative that our readings today give us. Two snippets of the Bible can sometimes tell us so much.

In Jeremiah 4 we see a prophecy of death and destruction. He rages against human sinfulness and speaks of the destruction that will come through judgement. I have always liked the book of Jeremiah – it is quite poetic and I love the drama of the language he uses. 

‘I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. 
I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the sky had fled.’

Jeremiah 4:24-25

Some have seen this imagery as linked to what could become of our planet if we do not get a handle on the climate crisis. I prefer to see it as more of an image of the desolation that sinfulness brings – sinfulness as understood as anything that separates us from being in right relationship with God, community and the world. A reflection on what pain and loneliness can feel like within each of us.

By contrast we see such a beautiful story of rebellious healer Jesus in John 5. This is a classic Sunday school story – the hole in the roof, the man’s friends lowering him through the ceiling so desperate were they that he should receive the healing touch of Jesus. It is not surprising this story is taught to children as it speaks of faith but also the incredible loyalty of friendship and is an example of what true friendship can look like. What is perhaps spoken about less in Sunday school is Jesus then getting into trouble with the religious elites (one of his favourite hobbies). 

The contrast between desolation and destruction and the healer Jesus and a gang of determined loyal friends tells in miniature the story of redemption in the Bible. Jesus can bring healing to our inner turmoil and light into darkness, it does mean he annoys some of the know-it-all elites along the way but that can also be a lesson to us!

Image by Patrick Hendry from Unsplash.