The lights were put on the Birdsedge Christmas Tree last Monday – thanks to all concerned.

The Village Hall children’s party and disco was very quiet – perhaps the village can’t compete with Strictly and X-Factor.

Carols will be sung around the tree at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve, with refreshments in the hall afterwards.

The Sunday school was full for the family service last Sunday. Young people took a major part in the service with readings from Cloth from the Cradle. Pat Wood took the service with the message What Will You Give Jesus for Christmas?” A Spurgeon’s DVD was shown of a young African boy, from a very poor area, looking for the baby to give him a present. The next service will be of carols and readings, mainly by adults, taken by Linda Jacob.


The service of Sunday morning worship at the Methodist Church was led by Peter Holt, a local preacher and member of the church. He continued with the theme of Advent, and spoke of how we should wait patiently for the coming of Jesus as Saviour and be prepared for his coming, preparation being important. Lighting of the third advent candle. Readings were given by Joan Bond and Betty Booth, and Jane Hobson read from the book of James and the gospel of Matthew, and was also the pianist. Diana Hunt and Maxine Lodge were stewards, and Emily Flack gave a gift of flowers for the communion table. After the service Wendy Barber served mince pies, biscuits, and coffee.

The Christmas coffee morning was enjoyed on Saturday, with cakes, gift and Traidcraft stalls. Hot mince pies were served, along with coffee and biscuits.


Dominic Storr led the Family Service at the Zion Wesleyan Reform Chapel on Sunday morning when the members of the Sunday School presented the nativity play. Robert Nuttall was the speaker and Rhea Storr presented the prizes to the Sunday School members. Seasonal refreshments were served after the service. Robert Booth was the speaker at the evening service when he said it was important to remember that Jesus was no longer in a manger, that he died for us, rose from the dead and is alive in Heaven waiting for the day when he will return once again to the earth. There will be no Sunday School on Sunday morning and a Candlelight Carol Service will be held at 6pm

Denby Dale Centre held a Christmas Fair on Thursday afternoon with tombola, raffle and stalls and £170 was raised for centre funds.

A Coffee Morning organised by Maggie Blanchard, Chris Wainwright and helpers, was held for Denby Dale Christmas Tree Fund at the Methodist Church on Saturday December 4 when £410 was raised. The sum of £200 was given to the Forget Me Not Trust and the remainder was placed in the tree fund as this year’s tree has been given by the Denby Dale Parish Council.


Emley Brass Band were special guests at St Michael’s Parish Church carol service on Saturday.


Zion United Reformed Church Carol Service will be held on Sunday at 2.30pm. It will be led by Robert Booth, of Bradley, with organist Richard Morris, of Thornhill. The same service last year had to be called off owing to a sudden fall of snow and organisers are hoping there’s no repeat. After the service, tea will be served in the Sunday school and all are welcome. There will be no service on December 26 – the next will be on Sunday January 2 at 2.30pm.

Emley Brass Band are In Concert at St James’ Church tonight, Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £5.50 and can be purchased on the door.


There were two services in All Hallows Parish Church on the third Sunday of Advent. Mrs Gail and Mr John Marshall welcomed worshippers to the morning service of Sung Eucharist led by the Rev Robert Chambers who took for his theme, The message of John the Baptist. The prayers of intercession were read by pastoral minister Mrs Mary Chambers. Mrs Theresa Quarmby gave the readings for the day from the fifth chapter of the General Epistle of St James and the eleventh chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew. The young people in the congregation assisted by Mrs Pauline Pinder and Mrs Joy Elson lit the third advent candle and took up the chalice and paten. Mr Chambers was assisted at the distribution by reader Mrs Janet Roberts and pastoral minister, Mr Malcolm Tibbott. The duties of sidesmen were performed by Mr and Mrs Marshall and they took up the offering. After the services refreshments were served by Mrs Chambers and Mrs Pat Ellis.

At 6.30pm, the Rev Robert Chambers led a special Advent service of Evening Prayer. The preacher was churchwarden, Mr John Keighley, who took for his theme John the Baptist and read from the first chapter of the Gospel according to St Luke. The organist for the day was Mrs Doreen Barraclough.

A warm invitation is extended to all, to the Community Carol Service tomorrow evening and the Christingle service starting at 5 o’clock on Christmas Eve. At 11.30 there will be a service of Midnight Communion and at 10.30 on Christmas Day a Family Communion Service.


With a little let up in the weather, members of Shelley Over 60s Club held their weekly meeting in the Village Hall last Thursday.The bingo line was won by Joan Cope and the full house by David Matthews. The first three numbers on one card prize was not won and the prize was carried over until next week. The whist high of 89 was won by Marion Kelly and the low of 67 went to Fred Huddle from six tables. Members celebrated the birthdays of Audrey Taylor, Richard Starling, Merle Smith, Mary Lee, Tara Simpson, Wendy Wilcock and Jean Ord. Raffle prizes were won by Lewis Bower, Edith Brookes, Malcolm Mills, Margaret Schofield, Madge Shaw and Vera Rothson.


The Sunday service at Shepley Methodist Church was led by the Rev Tim Moore and organist was Colin Secker. The Guides presented their Christmas drama and, in the evening, the Christingle was held, supported by Shepley First School Choir. Today (Saturday) at 6.30pm, the Rev Tim Moore will host Café Carols, an entertainment that will include videos and puppets and fun for all the family. Coffee and cakes will be served and all are welcome.


On Sunday evening Skelmanthorpe Council of Churches celebrated the coming of Christmas with a candlelight carol service in St Aidan’s Church. A United Choir led the singing, conducted by Christopher Ward and accompanied by Jonathan Woodcock on the organ.

On Monday December 13 the Skelmanthorpe Wives’ group held their annual Christmas dinner at the Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge. Thanks go to those members who organised it. In the New Year rehearsals will commence for the Wives group’s annual pantomime, Puss in Boots which will be produced and choreographed by Granville Stead.

Children from the entire Skelmanthorpe Nursery School came to admire more than 40 trees which were featured in the Yule Festival at Skelmanthorpe Methodist Church. Last Saturday Santa arrived at the church and the children received presents. On Sunday Deacon Jane Paine led the Festival Carol Service, the theme of which wasŠLooking Towards Christmas’ with carols and activitiesŠ interspersed with readings from St Luke’s gospel. The Advent candles were lit by Daisy Brooks-Taylor and Anthea Smith. The Steward was Ailsa Horton and Frances Priestnall played the organ. (See picture feature on Page 12).


Stocksmoor Bridge Club results from Thursday November 25. North/South: 1 T and M Hirst, 2 M Sandell and K.Morley, 3 M Russell and E Covell; East/West:1 W and A Dowlen, 2 C Kaye and L Tempest, 3 J and M McGee.

Thursday December 9. North/South: 1 M Sandell and S Hancock, 2 P Pogson and A Stephens, 3 M Bailey and A Mitchell; East/West: 1C Pilling and S Clegg, 2 J Shaw and E Tullie, 3 J and M McGee.