This Sunday is Marriage Sunday - a chance for churches to engage with their wedding couples past and present and celebrate love and marriage. Wedding ceremonies are one of the most joyous parts of ministry - and we were pleased to be invited to share in that joy as this short film shows, made as part of our year long campaign to tell our story here in the Diocese of Leeds. Even though the rain was coming down in stair rods for the happy couple's arrival at St James's, Clapham in the Ripon Episcopal Area, their big smiles give testimony to the fact the weather could not deter from the joy of their big day.
In one of the most dramatic services ever seen at Ripon Cathedral, Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley has become the new Area Bishop of Ripon. It was standing room only in the packed cathedral as a large contingent from New Zealand, where Bishop Helen-Ann has been Bishop of Waikato, joined the congregation of several hundred clergy and lay people from across the Episcopal Area. This video captures some of the atmosphere and the key moments of the service.
Skipton churches join forces for #doyouknowhim mission Christians in Skipton have joined forces mission initiative, #doyouknowhim. Over the next two months leading to Easter every church in the town will take part in the initiative, going out into the streets to chat to people about faith, and holding open services on the theme each Sunday. Bishop Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, spoke at the launch service for #doyouknowhim, held last week at St Andrew’ Methodist Church. Some 250 Christians from across all the churches in Skipton took part, the Revd Richard Atkinson of the Methodist Church described the service as, “Relaxed yet serious, light but profound – full of positivity, joy and a sense of oneness.” Watch the video here and read more in Area News.
A major regional service to celebrate farming and pray for the rural economy has been held at Ripon Cathedral. The annual Plough Sunday service brought together agricultural organisations, charities, civic and community leaders as well as farming families from across North Yorkshire.
Find out why each summer young people head for Ripon and two summer ventures held during July and August. Around 240 teenagers and young leaders take part in the Ripon Ventures, led by married clergy couple, Rector of Leeds, Canon Sam Corley, and Curate at St Edmunds Roundhay, the Revd Claire Corley . Read the full story here More information at riponventure.co.uk
This is the final film in our year-long campaign to tell our story here in the Diocese of Leeds and this week we visited Ripon Cathedral on Boxing Day morning as the Dean was preparing for the annual traditional pilgrimage to Fountains Abbey. This is an important day in Ripon Cathedral’s calendar and last year over 1,000 modern day pilgrims followed in the footsteps of those thirteen monks who, on the day after Christmas Day, in 1132 set out from Ripon and walked the four miles to a deserted valley by the River Skell and started their own community. That community was Fountains Abbey and the annual Boxing Day Pilgrimage from Ripon Cathedral to the atmospheric ruins has become a Christmas tradition for many. Said the Dean, the Very Revd John Dobson: “Today many people will come because they want a Boxing Day walk for their family, but others will come as pilgrims to follow in the footsteps of those monks in 1132. “We, as a cathedral, have a ministry to all people across the whole region. This Cathedral is here for everyone. God is here for them, “ he added. This year the walk will be led by Dean John and the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs. The event begins with a Eucharist in the cathedral at 9.30am and the pilgrimage will leave from the forecourt around 10.15am. The route leads out of the city along the River Skell and through the Studley Royal Deer Park and on to the National Trust site at Fountains Abbey where it ends with a carol service by the Stray Brass Ensemble and a glass of mulled wine in the cellarium of the ancient monastery. The walk and entrance to Fountains Abbey is free to pilgrims and all are welcome to join in.
This week’s film in our year long campaign to tell our story here in the Diocese of Leeds visits the United Parish of Keighley and looks at how they responded as a church when crisis came to their community. Last year 12 Keighley men were jailed for more than 140 years between them for the sexual abuse of one child in the town. It blew the lid on child sexual exploitation in the town and led to the formation of United Keighley - an initiative bringing together different organisations and communities committed to working together to make the town safer for children and young people by raising awareness and tackling the sexual exploitation of children in their town. There was a United Keighley Week of Action which included a distribution of teal-coloured ribbons representing opposition to sexual violence, and, opportunities to sign the United Keighley statement which condemned all acts of criminality against young people, especially sexual abuse. There were presentations at local school assemblies highlighting the threat posed by child sexual exploitation, art installations and awareness raising at Keighley College and in the Airedale Shopping Centre and a sermon in the Shah Jalal Mosque. The town chaplain, the Revd Dr Jonathan Pritchard, part of this ongoing campaign, said: “I can’t do anything about what’s happening in Nigeria, the Sudan or the Middle East, but I can do something about here in Keighley about that work of reconciliation that Jesus calls us to be engaged in.”
Canon Robin Gamble of the Diocese of Leeds and friends look forward to the coming of Jesus in this short home made film to be shared during the season of Advent. Visit A Church Near You here
As we begin to get ready to share the magical, musical, miracle of the season upon us, I wanted to remind you of This Christmas - a short, joyful film for you to use, celebrating all that we do in our parishes across our diocese at Christmas. Please share it and spread some of the magic of Christmas here in the Anglican Diocese of Leeds.