A service for Churches Together was held at the Methodist Church at the end of the week of prayer for Christian Unity. This was led by the Rev David Priestnall, the Methodist minister. He spoke of Jesus as the light of the world. During the prayers of call to worship Beryl Holt lit candles to symbolise the light. He reminded us too that although we all have different gifts to offer we are all united in our service for God. Together and in our different churches we are one body in Christ serving others. A lesson from Corinthians was read by Peter Holt and one from Mark by Joan Bond. Prayers of Intercession were led by Wendy Barber. Stewards were Diana Hunt and Joan Bond. A gift of flowers for the communion table was from Rosalyn Beevers. After the service coffee and biscuits were served by Jane Woodcock.This was followed by a lunch of soup and various gifts of food brought by everyone. Most of the congregation stayed to enjoy a time of fellowship.


Zion Wesleyan Reform Chapel raised £263 for Christian African Relief Trust when 50 people enjoyed a three-course lunch last Saturday. The theme of the stories, songs and crafts at Sunday morning’s Sunday School was the Miracles of Jesus. Frank Race led the evening service when he spoke about the death and resurrection of Jesus uniting all Christians. The pianist was Robert Nuttall. On Sunday February 6 at 6pm Robert Nuttall will begin a four-week series of sermons based on Paul's letter to the Philippians.


The congregations of St Michael’s Church, Emley and St James’ Church, Flockton, met for a joint Eucharist for Candlemas on Sunday. This looked back to Christ’s birth and forward to the days of his passion. The Rev Christine Bullimore reminded the congregation that ‘the Lord is our light and salvation. He is the light of the world, which no darkness can quench’. Michael Hall read from Malachi 3, verses 1-5 and Carole Lee read from Hebrews 2, verse 14-end. The Gospel reading was from Luke 2, verses 22-30. The congregation sang ‘the light of God has come to us so that we might have salvation from the darkness of our sins’. The Rev Christine’s sermon concentrated on Light and how clearly one can see in the light, yet not so in darkness. “What a blessing to acknowledge Christ’s light and appreciate that our own light can reflect on others,” she said. In prayers, Sally Dickens remembered the people of Egypt and asked that they be blessed with peace and justice. The congregation also prayed for the church family, who need God’s love. Communion was given to the singing of ‘Such love paying the debt I owe; O Jesus, such love’. During the singing of the hymn Christ Be Our Light, a candle held by each member of the congregation was lit. Birthday wishes went to Christine, Eileen and Gordon and thanks went to John Aspinall for his kind donation of 50 primrose plants for the church grounds. The service closed with coffee and biscuits.


There was no service in All Hallows Parish Church on the fourth Sunday of Epiphany. Instead worshippers attended a special Big Cluster Service at St Paul’s Church, Shepley, along with the Churches of Denby, Denby Dale, Cumberworth and Shelley. The Rev Ann Sykes presided and Canon Joyce Jones was the preacher. During February all the church services will be held, at the usual times, in the former Salvation Army Hall, The Hub.


Shelley Over 60s held their weekly meeting in the Village Hall last Thursday – again it was well attended. The bingo line was won by Joyce Tyas and the full house by Ken Cassinelli. Audrey Taylor had the first three numbers on one card and received £4. The whist high of 95 was won by Wally Usher and the low of 66 went to Linda Brauner from eight tables. Members celebrated the birthdays of Kath Jones, Jean Mills (70), Anne Whitley and honorary treasurer Ian Dyson who has now attained his half century. Members welcomed Judith Woods, Stephen Bridge and Jack and Gill Craven as new members. Raffle prizes were won by Anne and David Matthews, Elaine Shaw, Bessie and Wally Usher and Gordon Burgin.


On Sunday last at Skelmanthorpe Methodist Church the service was conducted by Rev David Hall of Penistone, whose theme was Encouragement. Rev David talked about the people he had known in the past, from different parts of the country, who had encouraged him in the Ministry. One such person was his uncle, who encouraged him to do a prayer ‘off the cuff’ and someone who had encouraged him to do a religious broadcast on a regular basis. He encouraged members of the congregation to encourage each other and to look for potential, whilst being aware of people’s needs, yet trying to be there at the right time. The music group accompanied the hymns. Readings were given by Jennifer Brooks and John Senior. The steward was Stuart Merry and Christine Senior the organist.

On Sunday next, February 6, there will be a Festival Hymn Service at 10.30am at the Methodist Church, Pilling Lane, when people will be talking about their special hymn and why they chose it (like the Songs of Praise). All are invited to come along and enjoy the hymn singing.


Stocksmoor Women’s Institute’s January meeting hosted the Northern Editor of the Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Martin Wainwright. His topic for the evening was True North - In Praise of England’s Better Half. Martin who was born in Leeds and currently lives in Rawdon was eminently suited by nature and nurture to speak on this subject and addressing a packed meeting he had the audience hanging on his every word. Martin’s humorous and illuminating anecdotes of northern life past and present were matched by approving nods and chuckles from the members. His enthusiasm for life in the north obviously found favour with the Stocksmoor ladies who at the end of the meeting flocked to speak with him, no doubt telling him their little anecdote to add to his collection. A thoroughly educative, amusing and entertaining evening. Stocksmoor WI meets every second Wednesday at 7.30pm in Stocksmoor Village Hall, Station Road. Guests and new members are welcome to attend.