Category Archives: Arts

The heavens were torn open…

Our all-age service on Sunday actively and creatively celebrated the story of John the Baptist, and his surprising baptism of Jesus. As Alison said, it often helps to act something out, to bring new experiences into our hearts. Different people had the experience of eating “locusts” and honey, or dove-making, and we all took part in a ritual act of writing something we wanted to let go of, and seeing it melt to invisibility in the waters.

I had been struck by the phrase “the heavens were torn open” when Jesus was baptized. God breaking into human life, a glimpse of a deeper reality and the possibility of new ways of being. Tearing blue paper envisioned this radical act, and when glued into a frieze, we caught glimpses of brilliant colours made by the children.

The prophet Isaiah prayed, “if only you would tear open the heavens and come down…” Hundreds of years later God did just that, to dramatic effect. What is it like when God does this today? And what is it like when God does it at All Hallows and in our community?


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A group of local young people, organised by a representative from LHFA, spent some time recently at All Hallows’ creating a piece of graffiti art to decorate a local wall that was a real mess. This is the amazing result!


The challenge – see if you can find where this is!


All Hallows’ Break dance leader ‘Beanz’ makes it to Semi-final of National breakdancing competition

Scott Coulson (aka ‘Beanz’),  co-leader of the break dance group ‘Shaolin Shadow’  who practise in All Hallows on Saturday evenings made it as far as the semi-final of the Red Bull breakdance competition recently.

Scott, who has shouldered more of the leadership of the Leeds group since Shane Fenton has been more involved in the national scene, is hoping along with his partner Rawgina to start break dance and exercise  classes at All Hallows in the not-too-distant future. We wish them luck with this venture which has as one its main aims the health and well being of youngsters in the local area so look out for that!

Meanwhile, click on the link below and have a look at the video of Beanz and the other competitors – and also a clip of a Saturday night session at All Hallows!


Greenbelt 2013

Greenbelt this year was great. It was dry – hurray – and all on one side of the Cheltenham racecourse so you could scuttle between sessions more easily.

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Some highlights for me were: Eliza Carthy, Ciaran O’Reilly from the Catholic Workers on why he didn’t get his hair cut when he was arrested by claiming to be a Nazarite, Badisha on how social media are changing war reporting around the Arab Spring,  Peter Riddell’s book on How (not) to speak of God, which I am still reading and which has me marking things on every page, and above all Dave Andrews on incarnational mission, whose CD’s I have ordered and will listen to and listen to and listen to…. There was poetry, lots more music – I missed Courtney Pine, sob sob, – and an astonishing Latin evensong sung by 20 young women which was packed out at 10.30 at night! The monastic orders were well represented and I went to some beautiful calm worship. Sheena and I blagged real Tibetan chai off the fabulous Tibetan food stall before it was open. Add endless chat to people, – it was always hard to know whether to go to a session or some music or  just chat –  plus reading Red for a switch off in bed at the end of a long day and it all made for a very good weekend indeed. I had thought that I would give it a rest next year but I don’t think I can. It just keeps you in touch with new movements, new thinking, old people and wonderful music. Greenbelt is so big that anyone else who went will have done utterly different things, which is part of its excellence. Whatever your taste it’s good. And grandson Zachary had a great time and didn’t escape!

Jan Betts


Terrarium at All Hallows                                                                       

Saturday August 10th saw an exciting evening of brilliant contemporary dance, visual art and fantastic break dancing.

First up was ‘Terrarium’ with Simon Birch Dance, fresh from their successful tour including the City of London Festival and the SALT festival in Cornwall. Debbi Purtill and James Southward performed the powerful and moving to John Hughes’ specially-composed soundtrack played through eight ‘Ambisonic’ speakers and the effect was breath-taking.



In an extended interval the audience had the chance to view an exhibition of beautiful visual art by Sheffield artist Trish O’Shea and local artist Nick Greenhall.


To cap the evening off, break dance group Shaolin Shadow gave a magnificent display of break dancing followed by a ‘dance battle’ – inviting some local lads to join in and show off their skills too.


Quite apart from being a scintillating  evening’s entertainment, the event raised over £700 towards our plans to repair and renovate the church roof – but even more wonderful than that was the atmosphere of excitement, togetherness and sheer delight in  the variety of creativity that was so generously on offer. Many thanks to the artistic contributors and to all whose efforts (box office, bar, food, raffle) made the evening so lovely and so memorable.

Love to all, Steve

A Fundraising evening for All Hallows! Saturday August 10th 7pm


  • A great chance to see Contemporary dance piece ‘Terrarium’ which toured North York Moors National Park last year and this year tours London and Cornwall;
  • PLUS: TWO break-dance crews including our own Crucial Crew who practice at All Hallows every week;
  • PLUS: Music, visual art exhibits (Some for sale)  and refreshments  & raffle tickets (all for sale! )
  • PLUS: BAR!

Tickets £6 on the door (children & students half price) or book online at:

Please come and support All Hallows’ ministry among the people of this parish and wider afield,

Steve Smith, vicar

A gift from the past…

These four stoles (pictured) arrived recently with the accompanying letter from Mrs Rosemary Evans of Bedford. Mrs Evans writes that the stoles belonged to the late Reverend John Frame (vicar of All Hallows 1942-50) and were passed to John’s sister Joyce, who thought we might be glad to receive them.


The letter goes on:

“After being educated at Reading School, (John) went on St Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduating with an honours degree in Modern History in 1935; his ordination as a priest in the Church of England followed training at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. His curacies in Leeds between 1937 and 1940 were at St George’s and St Cyprian’s churches and during his incumbency at All Hallows church (1942-50) he was at some time Scoutmaster of the 11th Northwest Leeds Group. After leaving the church he taught religion and other subjects for many years until his retirement in 1977, dying in October 1986. I do hope that the stoles can still be put to good us.”

I’m very glad to think that his surviving sister felt that these stoles should return to the church where her brother was once incumbent.


Volunteer Actors wanted for The Narnia Experience, Leftbank Leeds

“Most of us, I suppose, have a secret country but for most of us it is only an imaginary country.” C S Lewis

Step through the Wardrobe follow the wintery trail & meet Mr Tumnus, Mrs Beaver & The White Witch!

Leftbank Leeds: this spectacular former church bring a special atmosphere to any event, but between 25 November and 8 December 2013 a community theatre production will magically transform into Narnia: childhood favourite of many, where it is always Winter yet never Christmas.

This is not normal ‘sit down’ theatre. The audience enters in groups passing through the Wardrobe of fur coats into a winter wonderland. They split into two groups, one ‘Lucy’ and the other ‘Edmund.’ The two groups take different routes through the story of Narnia, interacting with the characters and experiencing the journey and adventure together. Lucy’s group meet Mr Tumnus, Mrs & Mr Beaver, Father Christmas, the White Witch and Aslan. Whereas Edmund’s group has a scarier time, going to the White Witch’s palace, get chased by wolves and possibly getting turned to stone!!!

The production is going to run morning, afternoon and evening from Monday 25th November – Sunday 8th December 2013. The experience has been specifically designed for school children but will be open to the public on evenings and weekends.

A similar production was put on by In Another Place at St Georges Hall in Liverpool in 2011/12 and they had 17,000 visitors. They are being very generous and letting us use their script and many of their props. Sadly, they had to cut the character of Mr Beaver because not enough men auditioned.

You can be part of this ambitious project: we need 200 actors & costumed ushers and registration for auditions is OPEN NOW! This is for anyone and everyone, young and old, experienced or first timers: we would like as many people as possible to audition (we don’t want to have to cut Mr Beaver!). Help us make CS Lewis’s imaginary country real for a time….

Relaxed workshop auditions are being held 2-5pm May 5th (Sunday), 11th (Saturday) & 12th (Sunday) and June 15th (Saturday) & 16th (Sunday) at St Matthias Church Community Centre LS4 2DZ. You only need to attend one date.

Registration is essential:

It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be brilliant!

Social media:

Email Lynsey Jones at

“Words on Tap” poetry workshops

‘Words on Tap’ on April 5th, May 31st and June 28th – a series of 3 afternoon poetry workshops at All Hallows Church, Hyde Park, LS6 1NP run by poet Matthew Stoppard. Sessions are free and run from 3pm – 5pm and for those wish are augmented by evening sessions in the excellent Chemic Tavern just off Woodhouse Street.  See attached poster for further details.

Words on Tap Poetry Workshops

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In loving memory of all those who have died a violent death

In loving memory of all those who have died a violent death