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:

MCT 11AM PRAYER (or any alternative time) 29TH JUNE

Hello Everyone

The National Health Service came into being on 5 July 1948. 72 years ago this coming Saturday.  During post-war reconstruction, improving the healthcare of the nation was seen as crucial to the nation’s recovery. Beveridge, the architect of the NHS, identified “five giants” that had to be slain: want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. The cataclysm of war provided the stimulus for radical reform.

The NHS was based on principles unlike anything that had gone before. It was financed almost entirely from central taxation. That the rich paid more than the poor for comparable benefits was regarded as a crucial part of the scheme. Everyone was eligible for care, even people temporarily resident or visiting the country. People could be referred to any hospital, local or more distant. Care was free at the point of use, although prescription and dental charges were subsequently introduced.

During the current pandemic, there has been immense national and local support for the NHS and its front- line workers. The emergence of the Thursday ‘Clap for Carers’ was a significant experience in the lockdown. Thanksgiving binds communities together, turning ‘I’ into ‘we’. The contribution of carers and key workers who have given of themselves sacrificially needs to be honoured. Sharing stories of people and events during the crisis is likely to form the kernel of any community celebration. Unsung heroes need to be applauded.

Everlasting God,
at this time we lift to you
those from all nations and backgrounds
who work on the front line in healthcare.
Give them skill and wisdom in their work.
Be their strength and their shield
as they give of themselves in the care of others.

Prayers in relation to Covid-19

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.           

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.       

Collect for St Luke

Almighty God,
you called Luke the physician, whose praise is in the gospel, to be an evangelist and physician of the soul: by the grace of the Spirit and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel, give your Church the same love and power to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord ,who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Personal Prayer

How generous is your goodness, O God,
how great is your salvation,
how faithful is your love;
help us to trust you in trial
and praise you in deliverance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen.



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:



Hello Everyone

Over a number of years, Meltham Churches Together Prayer Group met in each other’s buildings on Wednesdays at 10 – 10-30am following a Rota. It was good to pray in our places of worship.  More recently, for a number of reasons, it was decided that it made more sense to meet at St Bartholomew’s, due its centrality, especially in the winter months. Leadership of each session being shared following the Rota from the different churches and including our Quaker Friend.

I remember well a prayer meeting where one of our Baptist members, was in charge.   George Mellor opened his Bible and shared the prayer below, a prayer which he had glued to the inside cover of his Bible. You will recognize it as a confessional prayer. In most worship services we have a prayer of Confession and Absolution (Forgiveness) early on to re-establish our relationship with God and to set us free to worship, praise, adore and thank Him.

Gracious God, forgive me for those things I should have done but have left undone: the acts of kindness I never found time for, the thoughtful word never spoken, the message of encouragement or concern never sent, the helpful deed never attempted. Forgive me for all the opportunities I have missed: the plans I never made, the dreams I never brought to reality, the possibilities I never even imagined, the gifts I never used. Forgive me for my failure to serve you as I promised: the prayers I never offered, the sacrifices I never made, the faith I never had, the commitment I never gave. Forgive me for so often having time only for self: for being self-centered, self -important, self- righteous, self-interested., self-indulgent, self-opinionated. Forgive me for forgetting my friends, my neighbours, and, above all you. Gracious God save me from being a person of unfulfilled intentions. Help me to translate my thoughts into actions, to put my preaching into practice and so to turn my good intentions into good deeds, to the Glory of your Name.                                        Amen

I trust that through the Holy Spirit you might find this prayer helpful.  It is a prayer worth meditating on. Where do you see yourself in the words of this prayer?   

As a confessional prayer it is written by someone who desperately wants to love and serve Jesus. Someone who understands repentance as openness to the will of God and the way to forgiveness.

If you have other prayers that work for you, I would love to receive a copy to share on these pages of prayer.      

With UK’s Covid 19 Alert level being reduced, the virus is now in  – ‘General Circulation’ which gives us a gradual relaxation where possible. The general populous might well ask how this is to be managed?     Newsflashes appear several times a day informing us of things where we have ‘No Power’ to change but to heed and follow the advice we are given by our Leaders, experts. and scientists. What we do have, when we are open to God through his forgiveness of us, is the Power to intercede for those who are struggling to get through the chaos of our times and for those who are giving of themselves to help others. We also have an opportunity to pray for the whole world and its needs. In our prayers let us open ourselves to the Holy Spirit that we might pray according to God’s Will listening in silence and using our imagination to express what we hear from God who has the answers to all our needs.

When there seems no end in sight to the problems caused by the crisis.

When the clouds are heavy, Lord, and the storm seems to last forever;

when the night is dark, and the morning proves long in coming;

though rain is constant, and sunshine feels a distant memory;.

though the winter continues despite spring having also begun;

teach us to trust, to keep faith, to believe that day will dawn again

that the clouds will lift, and life will blossom once more;

that after tears will come laughter, after despair, joy,

after chaos, order, after sickness health, and after death, life. Amen                                  

Keep Safe & Keep Praying      


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: