Operation Christmas Child – 45000 extra shoeboxes needed for refugee children

OperationChristmasChildOperation Christmas Child – 45000 extra shoeboxes needed for refugee children.
Could you, as an individual or as a corporate group, help us to achieve this target?

This year has seen many tragedies across the world with families forced to leave their homes, children orphaned, and many thousands fleeing from war and terror, seeking refuge in other countries.

Every year Operation Christmas Child sends over 10,000,000 shoeboxes to needy children in 120 countries with 850,638 sent from the UK in 2014.

This year, with the refugee crisis in Syria, Operation Christmas Child aims to send 45,000 extra shoeboxes from the UK to the refugee children, this is in addition to the boxes that will go to children in other parts of the world!

Shoeboxes are gifts of love containing educational supplies, hats, gloves, scarves, a small toy, toothbrushes, toothpaste, facecloths, soap, small cuddly toys, sweets, jewellery, hair accessories etc. (please NO war toys, scary animals or broken toys).  We would also request a donation of £3 to help with the transport costs of sending the boxes to their recipients.

If you are able to donate filled shoebox(es) please drop it off at St James’ Church, Meltham Mills on any Friday between 10am and 3pm or anytime from 2nd November to 27th November 2015 or at the Crossroads Shop in Meltham.

If you would like an Operation Christmas Child volunteer to come and talk to your group or business or would like any more information please contact Judith Powell on 01484 859460 or Grace Dronsfield on 01484 850955


Men’s Night – Food, Drink & Talk – Friday 2 Oct 7:30pm

Fancy an alternative night out this Friday?
Men’s Night – Food, Drink & Talk – Friday 2 Oct 7:30pm
The speaker is Terry Wilcox: Project Director at In2Out based in Leeds sharing his experiences in helping the rehabilitation of young offenders. Food and drink at 7.30pm – talk and reflection a bit later.
Please contact Nigel Priestley if you would like to attend:

Terry says about himself:

“I came from working class beginnings in Bolton. My early business life was in Software – Taking new products to market, opening new markets, building new companies.

I’ve had a change of identity in the last 5 years – working with young people who’ve made bad decisions and now have criminal convictions. Check out

I’m helping them to re-adjust and resettle as they rebuild their lives ‘on the out’ – challenging, often frustrating and, occasionally, immensely rewarding.

I am motivated by personal Christian faith – I’ve been married (39 years) to Lis, with two grown-up children. I live in Harrogate and keep a dozen sheep.

Hope that’s enough!”

Below is an article about a recent visit:

The work of a local prison chaplaincy project helping the rehabilitation for young offenders has been highlighted with a visit to Wetherby Young Offenders Institution and Wetherby prison by the Bishop of Rochester, the bishop for prisons.

The Rt Revd James Langstaff met staff of In2Out, a community chaplaincy initiative based at Wetherby Young Offenders Institute which is supported by the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust.

The Bishop is pictured with Terry Wilcox, the In2Out Project Director

Terry said, “In2Out focuses on young people aged 15 – 21 who have offended and are involved in a Criminal Justice process. They may be completing a custodial sentence in, say, a Young Offender Institution; or perhaps contributing to a community based reparation scheme.

“That means we work in the community, rather than just inside the prison. We help ex-offenders who tell us they want to change their lives and we provide a mentor to work with each young person one to one . We work alongside the young person, faith groups, employers and statutory organisations to ensure the transition to a less chaotic life.”

Meltham Crossroads Food Bank – Stocks running low!

Meltham Crossroads Food Bank has been greatly depleted recently.
Please could you make your friends, families and congregations aware of the items needed (see list below).

Donations can be left at the Crossroads Shop or Centre or left in any of our churches.

Tins of Meats

Tins of Fish

Tins of Vegetables

Tins of Potatoes, and Instant potato

Tins of Baked beans

Pasta and pasta sauces


Fruit Juices


Tea, coffee and sugar

Toilet rolls




Ladies toiletries

Any other tinned foods would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Prayer Vigil – The Meltham Refugee Crisis Appeal

Prayer Vigil 3Oct15

We invite you to gather in compassion and remembrance for all refugees and those seeking sanctuary  by participating in our Prayer Vigil.
The “Meltham Refugee Crisis Appeal” has stood as a public face  in response to the suffering and distress of those in need across the world.Let us gather together in solidarity and strength  to pray for those who are displaced, in danger and seeking sanctuary.

We are holding a dedicated time of prayer focused on the Refugee Crisis in St Bartholomew’s Church, Meltham

Saturday 3rd October 2015 10am –10pm.

We would encourage everyone to unite in prayer,  by lighting candles, pausing in silence or  actively recording your prayers and thoughts in the prayer journal.  Please join together in the way you feel most comfortable.

There is also an opportunity to email your prayer requests to: these will be written into the prayer journal  and read alongside other prayers at intervals during the vigil.
God’s Blessing  Revd Charlene Smith  Curate “Christ the King” Meltham


Cllr Paul White – Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Meltham
invite you all to the Civic Service.

SUNDAY 20th September 2015 @ 10.45am

Civic service this Sunday to welcome Paul White as Mayor of Meltham.
Parade leaves the Carlile Institute at 10.30am. Service begins at St Bartholomews Church at 10.45am. All welcome.

Please note there will be no service at Christ Church, St James’ or St Mary’s as these churches join together with St Bart’s for the Civic Service.

5-Alive Report – September

5 Alive  – Sept 2015

The people of God were on the move – but how were they to live? What principles were going to guide them? We sang talked and prayed through these questions.

We explored through Godly Play  the Ten Best Ways to live story (otherwise known as the Ten Commandments!)

Mandy Aspland organised the materials – we had sand and people -and we gathered   in front of the altar with floor cushions and chairs/choir stalls forming two squares. And together both the adults and the children wrestled with the way the 10 Commandments impacted on our lives today.

When the people of God escaped through the waters into freedom, they didn’t get the happy ending they wanted. In fact they found a lot of things to complain about. Life was still difficult but in a different way.

The refugees escaping from Syria and neighbouring countries have fled one kind of oppression and find themselves in a different kind of ‘desert’ with no place to call home. So we talked together : What should Britain do? Together we explored the issues around the tables. We had newspaper clippings available with different views to help the discussion. We  asked the question ‘What can we do?’ both as individuals and collectively. We reflected on Meltham’s response at the Carlile Institute

We then had Footprint prayers.: People were invited to draw around their own feet (with or without shoes). Some foot-shaped outlines were available for people who may find this difficult or just not want to do it. They wrote or drew inside the outline those things that they find difficult in their own life. Outside the line wrote or drew the things that we imagined the refugees will be finding difficult.  We asked the questions: “What do you want God to do for you? What do you want God to do for the refugees?”

We then Invited people to place their feet along the walkway across church as a symbol of our joint prayers. It worked! There was a wonderful path of footprints from all ages!

At the last Five Alive, we committed ourselves to support the Campaign to End Child Slavery. Photographs of the children with the letters spelling out End Child Slavery were taken. Liz  Ryan put them onto postcards. We had a list of names and addresses of people we could write to protest against child slavery. They’ll be posted this week and hopefully we’ll have a response by October’s Five Alive!.


Merciful God, your son was a refugee and shared the suffering of people fleeing from danger in fear and repression. You know what it is like to be hungry and afraid and have nowhere to call home.

God of the displaced, we pray for the safety of the refugees and ask that they will find a place of security. Protect them from those who would seek to exploit them and from danger.

God of hope, we thank you for those organisations who are working to bring relief and comfort to those displaced, showing glimpses of grace in the darkness of despair. God, give them strength.

God of justice, guide the nations and the leaders of the world towards peace; stir hearts to be generous and compassionate. God, help us to play our part in bringing about the change that we want to see.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.