Vicars Monthly Letter

June - Vicar's Letter

Dear Friends,

The American actor W.C. Fields is famously quoted as saying “never work with children or animals.”  Thankfully I have never been actor and as a parish we actively are and want to work with children of all ages.

Last month was a rewarding month for the parish in relation to working with children.  We had school visits into church from Hendal Lane J&I, Mackie Hill J&I and St James CE Primary Academy. The children from all the schools were very well behaved and in my opinion were excellent ambassadors for their schools.  From the Hendal Lane visit I was then invited to the school to meet with their RE teacher.  From this meeting, we have established a relationship with the school, which will involve giving assemblies and more visits to our church.  That means we have a relationship with all the infant schools in the parish, Dane Royd J&I, Hendal Lane J&I, Mackie Hill J&I and St James CE Primary Academy.  All I can say is that W.C. Fields obviously didn’t meet children like those at all our schools because he would never had said “never work with children or animals.’  St James’ church now has relationships (with varying degrees) with over 1000 children in our parish.

Now you may be surprised to know that I am one of those who likes to plan things down to its finest detail.  I’m not saying that I cannot do things ‘off the cuff’ but I believe planning is essential to ensure services and events are dignified, respectful and professional.  One such event will be ‘The Battles Over’ which is our nations tribute to when the guns finally fell silent in 1918.  Crigglestone Parish Council approached ourselves to see if we would like to be involved and also to make the service an ecumenical one.  I am really pleased to say that we have already met as a group and the working party consists of Crigglestone Parish Council, ourselves, St Peter and St Paul’s Roman Catholic Church and Crigglestone Methodist Church both our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The service will take place at the War Memorial at Crigglestone cemetery in the evening of the 11th November.  I’m also very pleased to say that all our junior and infant schools have said they would like to be part of the tribute, so please keep watching out for details nearer the time.

In May we also held a dementia event called ‘Open Doors’, where we opened the doors of the church one Saturday afternoon as part of Dementia Action Week (21st-27th May).  Everyone was invited especially those living with the disease and their carers. Opening the church and inviting people to look around, or sit and be still whilst listening to traditional hymns playing in the background.  This then invoked memories of past days and especially of church such as christenings, weddings and Sunday schools.  People were then invited to join us for a cuppa and share those memories. We even made the news on the Diocese of Leeds website. This then made me think that we should open our doors more often, so people can look at our beautiful church and/or come be still and pray.  So that’s what we are going to do.  Please keep checking our website and notice sheets for the dates and times, it would be lovely to see new people walking through our ‘Open Doors.’

Your friend and priest.


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