News from West Yorkshire Churches Together

WE are happy to include news items here… just e-mail

Autumn Meeting

Our autumn meeting took place in late October at Hinsley Hall, Leeds.

We were pleased to welcome Greg Ryan Assistant Professor (Research) of Ecclesiology and Receptive Ecumenism (CCS) in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. 

Gregg told us about Receptive Ecumenism which CTE describes as follows:

“A new concept gaining respect and popularity, Receptive Ecumenism is essentially very simple. Instead of asking what other traditions need to learn from us, we ask what our tradition needs to learn from them, what we can receive which is of God.

The assumption is that if all were asking this question seriously and acting upon it, then all would be moving in ways which would both deepen our authentic respective identities and draw us into more intimate relationships.”

Callan Slipper is the National Ecumenical Officer for the Church of England.

He has written and spoken about this topic on a number of occasions. He is well worth hearing/reading on this topic. In one article he quoted from ARCIC (Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission): “Receptive ecumenism is more about self-examination and inner conversion than convincing the other; Anglicans and Roman Catholics can help each other grow in faith, life and witness to Christ if they are open to being transformed by God’s grace mediated through each other.”

We need to learn from each other by looking first of all at ourselves. More will follow.

The meeting also adopted a revised constitution for WYCT. This reflects our evolution since WYCT was set up. If anyone would like a copy just e-mail the (renamed) WYCT Coordinator at

Forum members were anxious that the following paragraph remains in essence intact.

“The Forum is the executive body with overall responsibility for the operation of WYCT. The Forum will provide strategic leadership for WYCT and be a sign of the Unity of its member churches.

c. Each member church will nominate one or two representatives to be members of the Forum.”

WYCT was also happy to announce at the meeting that it had facilitated the appointment of Prof Peter Howdle as Chair of the Leeds Universities Chaplaincies Trust.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2020

grab2118/25 January 2020 

This year materials for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Christian churches in Malta & Gozo (Christians Together in Malta)

 On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on their islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer.

Hospitality is a much needed virtue in our search for Christian unity. It calls us to a greater generosity to those in need and to the strangers who come to our land- and our churches

 The people who showed unusual kindness to Paul and his companions did not yet know Christ, and yet it is through this unusual kindness that a divided people were drawn closer together. Our own Christian unity will be discovered not only through showing hospitality to one another, but also through loving encounters with those who do not share our language, culture or faith.

In such tempestuous journeys and chance encounters, God’s will for his Church and all people comes to fulfilment. As Paul will proclaim in Rome, this salvation of God has been sent to all peoples (see Acts 28:28).Resources for services prepared in Malta can be found on

Alternatively, printed material is available from Norwich Books & Music (01603 785925) CTBI

Many Churches Together arrange other events during this week (which can also be done at Pentecost) including a central united service, lunchtime prayer/lunch services and pulpit exchanges. Suggested, editable services can be found in the resources link above.

Thy Kingdom Come 2020

The Yorkshire West Methodist District will again be holding a Pentecost Party at the South Leeds Stadium (part of the John Charles Centre for Sport) on Sunday 31st May 2020 from 1:30 – 5:30pm. This will be a ‘Beacon event’ as part of Thy Kingdom Come in 2020.  Churches Togethers across West Yorkshire are welcome to share in this event – please share the date with your communities.

If any appropriate body would like to have a place in our marketplace for the event – at which we are anticipating around 2,000 visitors – please do visit our District website :

( or contact the team to find out how to book.

For ticket information contact

More News from WYCT

“The second year of the new District has been a period of both consolidation and change, At the end of the year we celebrated the ministry of the retiring Chair, the Revd Dr Roger Walton, an occasion of praise with some humour, but tinged with sadness following the death during the year of Roger’s wife, Marion. We wish Roger a long and rewarding retirement in Glossop, sometimes practising with his farewell gift of a table tennis robot (who can forget singing ‘Ping pong merrily on high!’?). Soon afterwards we marked the arrival of our new Chair, the Revd Kerry Tankard, with whom we look forward to working as we further develop work in the District.”

From the Yorkshire West (Methodist) District Newsletter

CTE has announced that John O’Toole, the Catholic National Ecumenical Officer, is leaving the Catholic Bishops’ Conference at the end of January. He is to become an Episcopal Vicar in his “home” Archdiocese of Southwark. It sounds as if he will be covering an interregnum between Auxiliary (Suffragan) Bishops.

CTE wants to be able to tell stories of how well churches are working together and see the fruit of being in pilgrimage. Do you have stories where churches are coming together through shared initiatives or commitments to speaking out, offering services, shelter, education, legal advice or simply sharing meals? If so send them to WYCT!

North Halifax Churches Together has sent us a copy of their Christmas news sheet full of events and their background. Send us your news sheets!.

As can be seen by looking at the top of this page CTE has updated its logo, with various layouts to suit various situations. The emphasis on the word “Together” is a welcome improvement.


Christmas Lunch in Wetherby

In 2014, one couple in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, decided to share their extended family Christmas Lunch with four folk, recommended by their Vicar, who would otherwise be on their own. It was a great success, and very quickly the Vicar asked whether, with more publicity, they would be willing to broaden the invitation and do it again the following year.

The decision was made to make it a joint church initiative using local volunteer cooks, servers, drivers and entertainers, making it a Christmas Day to remember for 33 people in 2015.

Each year numbers have grown. and this year we fully expect over 70 guests and 30 volunteers on the day. Other volunteers help with the many practical preparations. The young Uniformed groups make personalised cards and Christmas decorations, helping change some rather plain church halls into winter wonderlands!

All of the guests and some of the volunteers either live alone or have reason to find the day particularly difficult. Whilst the food is excellent and the entertainment enjoyable, the greatest satisfaction for both the guests and the volunteers is drawn from the friendly chat and very good company. Together, the churches are helping the community taste and share some Christmas joy.

Springs Dance Company’s The Green Project 

Springs’ Green Project  offers a short dance theatre presentation that will stir up hope and inspire action on climate change. Celebrating all the world provides The Green Project shines a light on how we share the world’s limited resources with our neighbours both near and far.

The presentation can be accompanied by an introductory talk, tailor-made discussions and workshops, that will encourage people to reflect, speak out and take action to address the damage done to God’s creation.

“Ideal for church services, festivals, advocacy events & schools Contact Springs for further details on 07876 752 910, visit their website or email


Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate July 2019

Rev John Dracup Vicar of Meltham organised clergy cover for the three days of the show with tent representatives or stewards. The displays were imaginative and engaging and had a steady throughput of visitors.

Our photo gives an idea of how busy it was. For more details of future opportunities contact John on

And finally..


Below is an open letter from Liz Delafield -a supporter of Church Action on Poverty- to CTBI: it may inform your vote next week…

“Cast your mind back to 2015. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) had asked churches to discuss with their local communities the question “What makes a good society?” From these discussions in 2015 they produced the 2020 vision-the expectation that the churches, other religious bodies and community organisations would work together with our elected representatives to build a good society in which all could thrive. It was where we aspired to be by the year 2020. This is what it said:-

-All citizens have access to enough income to enable them to live with dignity, either through paid work or through a properly functioning welfare safety net.

-Reasonably priced homes where people can flourish are available for everyone who needs them and there is a reliable safety net for all homeless people.

-All children and young people are enabled to live fulfilling flourishing lives, their contributions are valued, and they are enabled to grow and achieve their potential.

-An economy that is in service to every person irrespective of their wealth or the market value of their labour; including robust action to clamp down on tax dodging.

-UK greenhouse gas emissions are falling rapidly, and the Government has helped to secure a global climate deal that limits global temperature rises to 2 degrees.”

This was not meant to be an exhaustive list. For example, the local conversation that I was involved in wanted to add “There is a thriving NHS which meets the needs of all.”

Success or Failure? 

We are happy to publish here other relevant announcements sent to us but these cannot be verified and WYCT is not responsible for content or the event(s) . To add an item, e-mail the address in the contact page

WEST YORKSHIRE CHURCHES TOGETHER –  WYCT  –           is the  county ecumenical or intermediate body for West Yorkshire-  the county and those parts which are covered by West Yorkshire Dioceses and Districts.

Our e-mail:

Twitter: @westyorkshirect

Facebook: @westyorkshirechurches

WYCT will be four years old on 1st January. The WYCT “Forum” is the successor to the Council of West Yorkshire Church Leaders (WYEC) and its Denominational Officers. It meets two or three times a year

Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, is Convenor or chair 

The Deputy Convenor is Bishop Tony Parry of the New Testament Church of God.

The Co-ordinator is Deacon Nick Shields

 The Coordinator is happy to preach/speak on on WYCT or Unity in general to your church or group….  Contact him at

if you do not at any time wish to receive these mailings, all you need do is e-mail WYCT with as little as “Unsubscribe” in the message or header. If you are representing a body such as a Churches Together, please then nominate someone to take your place. Once again, our list is for WYCT information and contact purposes and is kept safe; it is NEVER passed to any other organisation, company or individual outside WYCT.


Yorkshire West Methodist District Website -click HERE 

& follow the links to the Newsletter

Leeds Anglican Diocese-click HERE

& follow the links to this month

Leeds Catholic Diocese click HERE 

United Reformed Church Newsletter- click HERE

Mirfield- events at the Centre and Community- click HERE

Where we are coming from.. the original West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council covenant, signed by our church leaders.



The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) brings a Christian voice and vision to public issues -environment, social justice, politics

It is sponsored by the regional bodies of the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed churches. You can find more on



The long established Leeds Catholic Justice and Peace Group has a regular newsletter on these issues; Newsletter can be viewed here 


“Centro is the newsletter of the Anglican Centre in Rome. It is filled with articles about our activities and plans for the future – as well as reflections on the current ecumenical environment in Rome from our friends and contacts in the city” To arrange for an electronic copy click here


Churches Together in England.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.