News Bulletin for Sunday 5th July – churches begin to re-open – numbers limited

My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Psalm 42:4 (NLT)

Psalm 42 will be familiar to many as it is the basis of the song As the deer pants for water. Perhaps this verse resonates with you at the moment as you think about how long it has been since you were able to worship God in Church alongside your Christian brothers and sisters.

The good news is that we can now begin to reopen our Churches. However this will not happen with the celebration and fanfare that some may have hoped. The pandemic may be under control, but it is not yet over.

Our reopening will need to be controlled and restrained, carefully thought through, cautious, and above all else safe. The first opening times will be:

Sunday July 5th 9:30 St Bartholomew’s – Meltham
10:30 St James’ – Meltham Mills

Sunday July 12th 9:30 St Bartholomew’s – Meltham
10:30 St James – Meltham Mills

These will be prayer services and will last about 30 minutes and will not include Communion or hymns. We will have to stay within a safe capacity of around 30 people in each service and if this capacity is reached we will sadly have no choice but to turn people away.

The doors will be opened around 10 minutes before the service and we need to encourage people not to arrive too early to avoid queuing.

There will not be any refreshments after the service and we must ask you not to gather for too long outside.

I understand that this is not the way that any of us would like our fellowship and worship to be but it is a beginning and in time things will improve.

No one should feel under any pressure to come to any of our buildings until they feel ready to do so. In truth, under the current circumstances, it would be difficult if everyone returned at the same time.

Our online services will continue.
God bless, Reverend John (Vicar)

Online Parish Communion Services
Our weekly Parish Communion will continue to be posted on our website and should be available for 10:30am. Please join in if you are able.

Zoom Services
There is a weekly service available at 11:15 via Zoom. The link is available on our website. Help can be given if you haven’t used Zoom before.

Parish Magazine for July/August 2020 – jam packed double edition!

Welcome to the July/August jam packed double edition of the #Meltham Parish Magazine. Hopefully this will be the final non-printed edition. We use Kirklees College to print and due to Covid-19 they are not able to do so yet. However, we hope you enjoy this double issue online. It’s brimming with updates from the Crossroads centre and each of the areas it supports. There are also thoughts from a Church Warden, the latest from Rev John’s youngest, Jack and the latest trials and tribulations of doing online services!

You can view the magazine online by using the link below:

Parish Communion – Live Broadcast for Sunday 28th June (but from which Church??)

Join us for a live broadcast of our Parish Communion for the Third Sunday after Trinity – 28th June from #Meltham Parish. The service will start at 10:30am though you can join a few minutes prior to check your feed is working and prepare for worship. As always, you can watch the service at any convenient time.

We are led to believe that Meltham is still currently experiencing issues with mobile phone service which is a key part of the infrastructure required for a live broadcast. This means we may have to experiment with locations before we go live. The link will therefore be posted to the website, once we have a stable connection (to hopefully avoid the issues last week where an updated link had to be issued).

The link for the service will be posted around 10:30am to the Worship Portal on the web site which can be found here:


Updated link for the Parish Communion – Sunday 21st June

Despite our best efforts, we were not able to continue the live broadcast using the previous link due to issues with the 4G mobile signal. We have however managed to capture the service and you can now view it this updated link:

Due to further technical issues, we had to improvise but then ultimately abandon the inclusion of the service words for you to join in. There may be the odd pause along the way – the video quality is not quite there, but the audio should be fine – please stick with it!

Apologies for the inconvenience – hopefully the phone signal issues that have been happening in and around Meltham for the past week or so will be resolved for next time!

More Tea Vicar? – National Cream Tea Day – 26th June

During COVID-19 churches up and down the UK have been supporting their communities. You can support the National Churches Trust by joining in a joyful Afternoon Tea Party in celebration of National Cream Tea Day on 26th June 2020.

Dust off the best china, buy or bake the finest scones, select your favourite jam and cream and settle down for an entertaining afternoon.
• “The Holy and the Hilarious” – humorous reflections of life at a busy cathedral by re-knowned public speaker John Campbell, Verger of Lincoln Cathedral,
• Is it jam or is it cream first? Take part in the online debate
• Bake your own scones and take part in the “Scone-off” for a chance to win a luxury Cream Tea Hamper
• Tea Party Quiz
• Donations gratefully received

This event will raise funds for the charitable work helping churches and chapels across the UK. The focus during the coronavirus pandemic is to ensure churches can support their communities; your donation will allow help to be given where it is most needed. This funding keeps church buildings watertight, safe and able to re-open their doors when we are all ready to come back together.

The party will be held via Zoom. Do not worry if you do not have an account, you will be sent a personal invitation prior to the big day and help will be available if needed.

For more info please click the link below:

Weekly Bulletin for Sunday 14th June

Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”


No matter how old or tired we may be or feel, our God has the power, will, and love to breath new life into his people. Even if there are times when we struggle to see how he might be able to do this, we can trust that he can, and I believe we can trust that he will.

Reverend John (Vicar)

Social distancing, services and buildings.
Last weekend the government announced that we would soon be allowed to begin opening our buildings for private prayer. Since then this has been clarified to, private prayer. We have been considering for some weeks, how we might facilitate various possibilities for opening our buildings. Unfortunately these plans cannot become concrete decisions until after we have received the governments full guidance. This was not made available until Friday. The diocese has made it clear that this decision must be agreed between the Vicar and the PCC.

As a result no decision has yet been made. I’m sure you will all agree that it would be inappropriate for us to rush a decision with so many possible implications as this, and that any opening up must be done with the greatest of care. We will however try to make a decision this week.

I fully understand the frustration and desire to return to Church, but please try to be patient, and please pray for all those involved in making these decisions over the coming weeks and months.

Reverend John (Vicar)

Weekly Service Online
Our parish communion will be posted on our website this will be streamed live at 10:30am though can be viewed at any time to suit.

There is a weekly service available at 11:15 via Zoom. The link is available on our website. Help can be given if you haven’t used Zoom before.

Many people are looking for a simple way to pray. I hope that this will offer an opportunity to do so. Please look at the magazine, facebook, or our website for more details.

Ordinary Time Parish Communion – LIVE BROADCAST!

Join Rev’d John Dracup for our first attempt at a live broadcast of our Parish Communion for the first Sunday of Ordinary Time – 14th June. The service will be broadcast on a live YouTube stream at 10:30am. Despite lots of preparation and testing there’s a possibility that it may not completely work, due to current issues with the mobile network around Meltham, so please forgive us if it doesn’t happen as planned or the quality is not the best – there’s bound to be some technical issues!

If it does work, the video will also be available for viewing at any time convenient to yourself afterwards 🙂

The service can be viewed here via YouTube:

Trinity Sunday – Parish Communion now on-line!

Sunday 7th June – 10:30am
Join Rev’d John Dracup for a special service of Holy Communion for Trinity Sunday. This can be viewed at any time but he will conduct the service from the vicarage at 10:30am so that the worship may be considered spiritually live. This week, the service features lots of ‘Holy Holy Holy’s’ in the hymns (30 to be exact!) led by our Virtual Parish Choir who have kindly recorded 2 well known hymns that we normally sing on Trinity Sunday as we didn’t have any previous recordings of these.

The service can be viewed here via YouTube:

Weekly News Bulletin for Sunday 7th June

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)

To say anything at all about the Holy Trinity is tricky, how can you compare the all powerful and eternal God to anything? But our Triune God is unquestionably the God of loving relationship. He did not start to look for relationship and love when he made creation, the oneness of God is eternally found in the perfect loving relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, within the Holy Trinity.

It is our God’s desire to share this love with all people and as Christians we are called to relationship with our God as both three in one, and with each person of the Trinity.

Most of us find it easier to imagine the idea of relationship with the Father and The Son than we do with the Holy Spirit. Too often we speak of the Holy Spirit as an it rather than as a who. The Holy Spirit becomes a power or gift to be received rather than a person with whom we are to develop a loving relationship.

The Holy Spirit is our councillor, comforter, and enabler. He is not a power to be mastered, but a person of the Trinity that we must receive into our lives if we are to be the people that our God calls us to be.

Reverend John (Vicar)

Social distancing, services and buildings.

I am aware that some of the recent anouncments from the government were not as clear as they may have been. However, the position of the Church of England and the diocese of Leeds remains to be that all of our buildings must remain closed for now. If any body feels that they need to access any of our buildings they must contact me so to see if it will be safe for them to do so, and so that I can maintain an accurate register of access.

The parish magazine is now available on our parish website.

Our parish communion will be posted on our website this will be pre-recorded but Rev John will be repeating the service at 10:30am so that it may be considered spiritually live. Please join in if you are able.

There is a weekly service available at 11:15 via Zoom or sometimes in the evening. The link is available on our website. Help can be given if you haven’t used Zoom before.

Many people are looking for a simple way to pray. I hope that this will offer an opportunity to do so. Please look at the magazine, facebook, or our website for more details.