AleTalk: Starting again on 3rd November at 7.30

Ale Talk

Ale Talk is a discussion about all things spiritual. It is friendly, serious and fun. We explore questions about life and God in an informal, open and non-prescriptive way over a drink in the Waggon and Horses in Meltham.

An initial short thought and question gets things going, after which the conversation runs freely. The evening is rounded off with an opportunity to share insights and reflections on the question. All are welcome. Pam Murgatroyd sometimes makes sarnies!

Ale Talk thrives on a diversity of view points and experiences and is not about having ‘the right answer’. In order to keep the conversation open and non-judgemental we have some simple house-rules. These include

– respect each person

– come prepared to listen to others

– do not adopt the posture that “my opinion is more important than yours”

 The meetings before Christmas will be 3rd November, 17th November and 1st December – we may have mince pies on 15th! 7.30 – be there!



Are We Ready? The Parish Posada! – Making room for Jesus this Christmas

Parish Posada

Parish Posada

What is Posada? Posada is a Spanish word that means ‘Inn’, and is also the title for a Mexican Advent celebration. In the UK a more recent tradition is to send out the figures of Mary and Joseph on an Advent journey around a parish leading up to Christmas.

The figures travel from home to home staying overnight before moving onwards in their journey.

Whilst the figures are in your home, it is an opportunity to pray, and quietly reflect on the wonder of that first Christmas, and to share God’s message and promise of love given us in the Christ-child.

Mary and Joseph receive a blessing and set off on their Advent journey at our “Worship 4 All” service at St Bartholomew’s Church on 29th November 9.30am, visiting each home in turn, returning in time for the “Crib Service” at St James’ at 24th December 4.00pm. Where the whole parish will gather together in Church to listen to the Christmas story.

Everyone who has hosted Mary and Joseph during December is invited to the service.

I hope you enjoy taking part!


The Jesse Tree

The Jesse Tree

Jesse Tree Symbol

“A shoot shall come out of the stump of Jesse,

and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”

Isaiah Chapter 11 verse 1

The Jesse tree is used in churches today during Advent, each day wooden symbols are added to the tree, which tell the Old Testament story leading up to Christmas. These are accompanied by short bible readings and prayers that point the way to Jesus the Messiah.

Any one can take part: our Jesse tree will be located in St Bartholomew’s Church.

Each day please add the relevant decoration to the tree, accompanies with a short bible reading and prayer (the book is kept with the decorations).

Starts 30th November 2015


There will also be a modern twist to the Jesse Tree: alongside the real tree in St Bartholomew’s there will be a virtual Jesse tree on Facebook.

Please like, share and enjoy the Christmas story.

I hope you enjoy taking part. Revd. Charlene



Living Hope – Our Advent Pilgrimage 2015

Advent Pilgrimage

Advent is the season leading up to Christmas, the goose is getting fat, and chestnuts will soon be roasting by an open fire.


But we often miss Advent’s power because December is full of pre-Christmas shopping and centres blasting out carols from mid-Autumn.

Each year the busyness of this season serves to distract us from having an Advent that truly prepares us for the Holy Season of Christmas, with all its meaning.


Therefore let this Advent reflect a period of stillness, seeking and preparation amidst the craziness, let us be called to be a pilgrim people sharing in our sacred spaces, let us journey together across the Parish of Christ the King for Advent.


God’s Blessing


 Advent Pilgrimige 2015

5 Alive Report for October

1 2 3 4

I learnt something from a child at our 5 Alive All-Age Service in October. We have been working through Brian McLaren’s book ‘We Make the Road by Walking’ at a rate of one chapter per month. Yesterday we reached Chapter 11 ‘From ugliness a beauty arises’ in which McLaren contrasts the conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua with Matthew 15:21-39. In the Matthew passage Jesus heals the daughter of a Canaanite woman and goes on to feed 4000 in the local area, after which 7 baskets of leftovers are collected (signifying the 7 tribes who were displaced from the Promised Land). The Biblical narrative moves from one where God sides with ‘US’ against ‘THEM’ to one where all are included. God loves everyone, everywhere, no exceptions. 


It was a challenge to communicate all of that in the space of one hour to a diverse congregation but we decided to try. We have used Godly Play story scripts to tell the Exodus and the Ten Best Ways (10 Commandments) in previous months so I attempted to write a script to tell the story of the conquest. We handed out maps and pictures to help people visualise what happened.  Then we briefly summarised the Matthew account and we did a prayer reflection on Isaiah 2 – the ‘swords to ploughs’ passage, which involved shaping pipecleaners into swords and then reshaping them into symbols of hope for a future that would have ‘no more tears or pain’.


After the service a group of about 5 boys hung around to work with the desert bag and the story materials (the Ark of the Covenant, 12 stones, a sword and ribbon and blue material to depict the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea and Mediterranean). They found it hard to share, each wanting to do something different. One boy suddenly looked up and said ‘This is what it was like in the story – everyone wanted the land and they didn’t know how to share’. His Mum then gave them a ‘two minutes’ warning before they had to leave. The boy said ‘OK, everybody join in but try not to spoil each others work, we can do this!

So what did I learn? That everyone wants to protect ‘me’ and ‘mine’ often at the exclusion of ‘them’ and ‘theirs’. But if a child can see the problem of fighting over things and can take action to include and share, that gives me hope that all of us adults can do the same. We just need to be willing to try.


Mandy Aspland