At All Hallows, those who had followed the Transforming Lives Lent course also enjoyed a Passover meal following fairly closely the sequence of a Jewish Seder or Passover meal before going into church for a Maundy Thursday Communion followed by the traditional stripping of the altars and an hour’s vigil which remembers Christ’s last hour in the garden of Gethsemane before his arrest.

Noon brought a quiet reflective service of hymns and readings to All Hallows and St Michael and St Helen church had an hour at the foot of the cross from 2pm.The day ended with All Hallows joining the Methodists at St John’s for the traditional joint Good Friday Service in which members of both congregations played a part. The solemnity of the occasion was emphasised as this was one joint service at which refreshments were not served afterwards.

On Saturday evening the first communion of Easter was observed. It is a very moving service beginning in a darkened church brought to life by the flaring of the Easter Fire in its brazier at the west end of church.The Paschal candle, symbolising Christ the light of the world, was lit from the fire and processed through church with the acclamation of Christ as the light of the world. Candles held by the congregation were lighted from the Paschal candle as it passes through the church. And then all the lights were switched on.

Easter Sunday morning saw upwards of 60 people from all the congregations of Almondbury Churches Together meet at the top of Castle Hill for a sunrise service to commemorate the Resurrection of Christ. A circular beacon- shaped barbecue was lit and mackerel cooked just as Jesus had fed his disciples with cooked fish after his resurrection.More prosaically these disciples repaired to the Methodist church for bacon butties after the service before leaving for their own family services in their own churches.All Hallows was packed at the 10am service and ran out of service books. A glorious service, which included the blessing of the Easter Garden which had been made by the children, was followed by sherry and nibbles provided by the rector and his wife whilst the children had an Easter egg hunt.


At a meeting on Wednesday arrangements were made for the opening day of the re-furbished Birdsedge Village Hall. Saturday May 2 will see the hall open to view between 2 and 4pm. A strict programme of events has been organised to make sure everything will be in place. The hall will operate as before from May 5 when all groups will return to the hall. Villagers thank the church for giving use of their premises during the works.

A full cooked breakfast, prepared by Maureen Dearnley and Christine Wilson, was enjoyed before the church service started. Junior Church took the Easter Sunday service telling the story of Jesus’ resurrection after his crucifixion. Malcolm Jacobs played the organ for the traditional Easter hymns. Malcolm will be taking next week’s service.


Churches Together in Clayton West, Scissett, and High Hoyland shared services during Holy Week. On Good Friday morning a children’s service was led by Rowland Bonham at the Methodist Church. The children acted out the story narrated by Rowland and Jane Woodcock and Beryl Holt dressed the children appropriately. Heidi Woodcock played for the songs and Les Barber took the part of Jesus. Drinks and hot cross buns were enjoyed after the service.

On Easter Sunday morning a cooked breakfast was served by the ladies of the church. Everyone enjoyed the meal and fellowship. Proceeds from the meal to be sent to the charity Water Aid. Morning worship followed and was led by Rosemary Hall, who led thoughts on Holy Week and the joy of Jesus' resurrection. Bible readings from Peter and Matthew were given by Fred Green and Lucie Froggatt. Stewards were Betty Booth and Maxine Lodge. Flowers for the communion table were a gift from Josie Jebson. Coffee was served after the service.

Palm Sunday was celebrated on Sunday April 5 at All Saints’ Church, Clayton West, with Rev Joy Cousans taking as her theme for her talk The Kingship of Jesus. Palm crosses were distributed during the service to remind the congregation of Jesus’ triumphal ride into Jerusalem. Readings were presented by Alan Reardon and Gillian Hamer reading respectively from Psalm 118 and the Gospel of Mark. Towards the end of the distribution of Communion, the choir sang an arrangement by Malcolm Archer of the Prayer of Saint Richard of Chichester . Intercessions for the wider world were led by Alan Reardon; sidesman was Kathleen Holbrook, coffee was prepared and served by Margaret Morris and Marjorie Brown and organist was Gillian Hamer.

During Holy Week, Compline was said on every evening up until Maunday Thursday at All Saints’ Church. The Last Supper, celebrated on Maundy Thursday, was a Churches Together event, held at the United Reformed Church in Clayton West. On Good Friday, a theme of ‘The Last Seven Words from the Cross’ was presented at All Saint’s Church. A variety of Poetry and Prose was used in this service to portray various aspects of the day upon which Jesus was crucified, delivered by representatives of all the ‘Churches Together’ in the villages of Clayton West and Scissett.

A very early start was made for the Parishes of the Upper Dearne Valley on Easter Sunday morning A sunrise Communion service was held in the churchyard at High Hoyland at 6.15am, led by the Rev Joy Cousans. All churches were represented by the 60-plus communicants, including some from Lepton. After the service, most people retired for a breakfast in High Street, Clayton West or at St. Michael’s Emley.

Parish Communion for Easter Day was celebrated at All Saints’ at the usual time of 9.15am. Readings were delivered by Raymond Parker and Kath McDaid reading respectively from Acts and the Gospel of John. Intercessions were led by Wynn Leake. Sidespeople were Trish Bond and Dave Cousans; coffee was prepared and served by Jean Newby and Gail Banks. The choir sang an arrangement of

‘This Joyful Eastertide – during communion, conducted by Jonathan Newcombe who was also the organist.


During Holy Week Churches Together organised a series of short evening meditation services. Tuesday evening was the turn of Zion Chapel to host the service when Robert Nuttall spoke about the Roman Centurion at the crucifixion of Jesus. The pianist was Tom Richardson.

Easter Sunday morning’s Family Service was led by Rhea Storr. The Bible reading was given by Mike Hopcroft and the Sunday School presented a dramatised reading of the Easter Story. Refreshments were served after the service.The preacher at the evening service was Robert Nuttall who spoke about the followers of Jesus on the road to Emmaus. The Bible was read by Ruth Booth a poem was read by Rita Gilbert and Cynthia Nuttall was the soloist. The service included The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and the steward was Carol Mosley. It was announced that the recent Spring Fair raised over £488


Holy Week at Emley Parish Church was celebrated with meditations each evening taken by Rev Chris Bullimore and the organ was played by Rev John Marsh. At 2pm on Good Friday people gathered at the Cross and sang ‘There is a green hill far away’, then processed down to church following John Bullimore carrying a wooden cross. The Last Hour service was conducted by Rev Chris Bullimore and John Bullimore and an Easter vigil was held on Saturday evening.

Some members joined members from All Saints, Clayton West at High Hoyland to celebrate a sunrise communion at 6.15am followed by breakfast at St Michael’s. A beautifully decorated church welcomed a large congregation for a communion service at 9.30am. Rev John Marsh conducted the service, Michael Hull and Katharine Moorhouse read the bible, Sallie Dickens led prayers and Paul Renshaw played the organ. In his sermon John Bullimore urged the congregation as followers of Christ to share their faith and love with their fellow men. Easter cards from the Bishop of Wakefield were distributed.


On Maundy Thursday afternoon at St Lucius’ Church an informal service and Passover picnic was enjoyed by children and adults as the story of Jesus’ last Passover and arrest, together with its significance to Christians, was explained .

A Walk to the Cross at St Lucius’ church on Good Friday gave people the opportunity to use craft activities to help focus on the bible story of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest,trial and subsequent crucifixion. Each activity formed a station and allowed for quiet meditation and personal prayer.


Holy week at All Hallow’s Church was celebrated with a special service on Maundy Thursday, and on the morning of Good Friday there was Eastermania at the Hub.  In the evening there was a reflective service under the title of An Hour at the Cross.

 The Parish Church was dressed with flowers and banners proclaiming The Risen Lord  when worshippers met for a service of Family Communion for Easter Sunday.   Also on show was a traditional Easter display of the garden and empty tomb. Mr Geoff Slater greeted the worshippers as they arrived and the service was led by the curate, the Rev Robert Chambers and reader Mrs Janet Roberts. Mrs Doreen Slater led the prayers of Intercession and churchwarden, Mrs Glynn Phillips gave the reading for the day from the 10th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Mr Chambers read about the Resurrection from the 20th chapter of the Gospel according to St John and preached the sermon on the theme of Easter. The young people and adults in the congregation joined in with a performance of an Easter Play. The chalice and paten were taken to the altar by Mr Paul Howatson and Mrs Karen Cook.  Mr Chambers presided at the distribution and was assisted by Mrs Roberts and Pastoral Minister, Mr Malcolm Tibbott. Sidesmen Mrs Margaret Beaumont and Mrs Phyllis Taylor. Music for the service was provided by the Church Music Group. Refreshments were served after the service by Mrs Joanne Smith and Mrs Jean Sutcliffe. Tomorrow, Sunday, the church will hold the annual parochial church meeting after the morning service and in the evening worshippers are invited to join the young people for their "cafe church" service, Synaxis, at The Hub.

Members of the Burton Friendship Club met at the Hub on Tuesday afternoon for a special meeting which was All about Easter. Some of the members decorated Easter bonnets and others painted eggs.  First prizes for bonnets were given to Mrs Fagin, Mrs Sutcliffe and Mrs Wragg with Miss Heeley and Mrs Summerton as runners up.  The painted egg prize went to Mrs Calvert. Mrs D Summerton and Miss Sandra Spivey organised two quizzes. Members then enjoyed a hot cross bun and scone tea.  The raffle was won by Mrs J Marsden. As the left, each person was given an Easter Egg.


Shelley Over 6Os Club held their meeting in the village hall last Thursday. The bingo line was won by Rose Colburn and the full house by Harry Rose. The first three numbers on one card was not won and the prize carried over. The whist high of 92 was won by Bessie Exley and the low of 60 went to Eve Astin from eight tables. The winners of the Grand National sweepstake were: 1, Lilian Armitage, 2, Lorraine Bradley, 3, Vera Wildon. 4, Kathleen Proctor and 5, Harry Rose. Birthday wishes were sent to Sheila Spence, Flo Grundy, David Deeley and Janet Metcalfe. Members held a minute’s silence in respect for Marjorie Russell who passed away recently. Raffle prizes were won by Jennie Rose, Nancy Lear, Greta Hinchliffe, Dorothy Jessop, Rene Biggin and Bessie Exley.


Skelmanthorpe Wesleyan Reform Church held services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The Good Friday service was an evening service of meditation, led by Carol Senior. Readings were given by the Rev Philip Reynolds and Mrs Phillippa Coultish. The choir was led by Christopher Ward and the organist was Jonathan Woodcock. A collection was held for the Christian African Relief Trust at Lockwood and raised £80. The Sunday service was held in the morning, with a reading by John Orton, who also acted as pianist for the service.


Stocksmoor Bridge Club results: Thursday March 26 – North/South:1 Tand M Hirst, 2 M Sandell and M Dey, 3 M Bailey and A Mitchell; East/West:1 E.Tullie and J Shaw, 2 E Covell and M Russell, 3 C Kaye and LTempest.

Thursday April 2 – North/South:1 M Sandell and S.Hancock, 2 M Bailey and A Mitchell, 3 J Morris and WSharman; East/West: 1 ECovell and M.Russell, 2 P Turner and M Kenworthy, 3 E Pearson and K Morley.


Money Money Money was the subject of a talk to Upper Denby Women’s Institute by Mr G Faricy. He dealt with changes in the law, including the rate of Inheritance Tax and advised members creating trust funds not to leave a loophole so that trustees could acquire your money while you are still alive. He also spoke about wills, including funerals and final wishes. The competition for a money box was won by H Armitage, with G Emmott second and M Marriott third. Raffle winners were K Fletcher and G Renshaw. The South Pennine Group Fashion Show will be at Shepley Methodist Church at 7.30pm on Wednesday April 22 and the next Upper Denby meeting will be on Tuesday May 12 when the competition will be for a small flower arrangement.


The Good Friday afternoon service at the Methodist Church was led by the Rev Laura Hardy. Mr Robert Booth was the organist.

An Easter breakfast was served in the chapel parlour before the church service on Easter Sunday morning. The Rev Laura Hardy led the worship and administered the sacrament. The Cross was decorated with spring flowers. the readers were Mr Granville Dews and Mr John Gaukroger. The organist was Mr John Oldfield.

The Good Friday service at St George's Church was led by the Rev David Barnes, who reflected on the seven last words of Christ. The readers were Margaret and Roger Kenworthy, Rosalind Watt, Verena Wood, Beth Dove, Kate Drake and Elizabeth Mosley. Verena Wood was the organist.

St George's choir joined with that of St Mary's Church to lead worship at Honley on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The service on Good Friday took the form of a drama entitled The Hopeful Grave.

Easter Day parish communion at St George's Church was celebrated by the Rev David Barnes. Elizabeth Mosley read the lessons and was the server. The guest organist was Maxwell Kenworthy. Coffee and hot cross buns were served afterwards.

Brockholes Women's Institute meeting was held last Thursday in the Methodist Church Parlour at 7.30p.m. Speaker for April was Sheila Armitage of the British Sugar Craft Guild, Sheila demonstrated the decorating of small chocolate eggs and turning them into Easter novelties. It was fascinating to see them finished as an Easter bunny, duck, elephant and an octopus decorating a cake. Enid Smith thanked the speaker and Dorothy Jones won the competition for an egg-cup.


Parish eucharist for Easter Day was celebrated by the Rev Keith Griffin. The reader was Jane Selkirk, and prayers were led by Cheryl Roberts. In his opening remarks, the vicar paid tribute to Christine Kelsey who had died suddenly the previous day and said the floral decorations for Easter, which Christine had created, were a reminder of her talent. The children enjoyed an Easter egg hunt in the churchyard, supervised by Chris Fletcher. The guest organist was Noel Clark.


The Camera Club held a one print image competition, which was won by Victor Harris. Ray Austwick was second and Phil Hack third.

Midweek holy communion at St David's Church was conducted by the Rev Geoff Banks. Ian Gold read the lesson. The Over 60s group met in the afternoon. Ian Gold led Friday prayers.

Sunday parish eucharist for Easter at St David's was led by the Rev Geoff Bamford. The preacher was the Rev Geoff Banks, who also administered the chalice. Lessons were read by John Parker and Helen Woods. Intercessions were led by Carolyn Burley and the creche and junior church were led by Kathryn Kingdom and Jon Burdon. The organist was Jean Chadwick.


Easter Day was celebrated at Holy Trinity with 8am Holy Communion and 10.30 Easter Eucharist, with the Rev Keith Griffin presiding. He was assisted with the chalice by Brian Shaw. Audrey Dalton led the Intercessions and Carlton Tinsdeall read from Acts. Keith spoke about the Easter story as told in Mark – there was no joy on Easter morning,only fear and terror when Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb. What does Easter mean to us? For Christians Easter is a new beginning. Coffee was served after the service by Ann Holmes and Kay Booth.

Maundy Thursday service at the Methodist Church, led by the Rev Charlotte Lorimer, focused on the Last Supper. Everyone was invited to share the bread and wine and receive the sign of the cross in oil from Rev Charlotte.

Good Friday morning’s service of reflection took place at the foot of the cross from where Bible passages and meditations were read before nails were hammered into the cross. In the afternoon, members of Methodist and parish churches held a walk of witness around Holmfirth, stopping at various places for meditations, prayers and singing before holding a joint act of worship in the Methodist Church, led by the Rev Charlotte.

Rev Charlotte took the early communion service on Easter Sunday before morning worship was led by Michael Tolson. His talk to the children before they left to make an Easter garden and cards was about new life and was illustrated by bulbs, flowers, leaves, tadpoles and birdsong. In his sermon, Michael spoke of how Mary Magdalene’s life was changed by Jesus and how she was foremost among those standing at the foot of the cross and the first person to spread news of Christ’s resurrection. Michael’s theme was that Easter was a new beginning with light coming from darkness, hope from despair and good triumphing over evil.

Nick Martin and Margaret Hinchliffe took part in a drama about the first Easter Sunday. Betty Eagles gave the New Testament lesson from John’s gospel and a meditation – Do Not Cling To Me – was read by Sheila Talbot. The service ended with extended communion before the huge cross, stripped of the symbols of Lent and then decorated with spring flowers, was carried to the church garden to the singing of Crown Him With Many Crowns. From Good Friday to Easter Monday, there was an Easter labyrinth in a marquee on the Methodist church lawn, giving everyone the chance to experience an Easter journey.


A meeting of the Probus Club at the community centre welcomed new member Christopher Dale and congratulated John Black, who was providing coffee in celebration of his 80th birthday. The speaker was Robert Johnstone, who have a talk on the history of Scotland, including events such as the Great Cursing of 1525, the pacification of the border areas, when many families were relocated to Ireland, and the exploits of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Peter Marshall proposed a well-supported vote of thanks.

Maundy Thursday at St Mary's Church was marked by a Passover meal followed by a communion service and vigil. On Good Friday, members of the congregation joined members of Trinity and Elim churches for an open air service in the village centre. In the evening, a one-act play A Hopeful Grave by Stephen Andrews was presented in church followed by a period of reflection.

Parish eucharist for Easter Day at St Mary's Church was celebrated by Dean Henry Stapleton, who was assisted by the Rev David Barnes. Richard Hay read the lesson and Clive Waind led intercessions. The organist was Jean Cheeseman. Following the service, children were presented with chocolates kindly provided by an anonymous donor.

The last Lent lunch was served by the ladies of St Mary's Church and Trinity Church in the parish room. The lunches have raised more than £600 for the charity Honley Aid in Sickness.


Meltham WI held their meeting on Tuesday last week. This was chaired by the president Ann Dick. The tea ladies for the evening were Muriel Moorhouse and Josie Beevers. The speaker for the evening was Mrs Sue Morris who talked about Waterways and knot tying with rope and string. This was very interesting and informative. She said that knot tying went back to prehistoric times and that it took 43 miles of rope to rig a ship in Victorian times. She brought samples of knot tying and showed members how to do it. Everyone had a go – it was a most interesting evening. The vote of thanks was made Ruth Hutson. The raffle, organised by Ruth Hutson, was won by Catherine Moulson and Pauline Ellis.


All Saints' Church took part in the Holmfirth churches trail during Holy Week. They depicted a Station of the Cross called Scarlet Robe and Crown of Thorns.

On Easter Sunday, a breakfast was served in the gallery room before the service at All Saints' Church. The Rev Di Ellerton led the Easter Day eucharist. The lessons were read by Nicky and Richard Green. Yvonne Hutson led intercessions and Geoffrey Byram was the organist.


On Maundy Thursday, a eucharist service at St John's Church was led by the Rev Geoff Banks, who read the gospel and preached the sermon. The readers were Hilary Broadbent and Judy Gibbons. Sue Dawson led prayers and Val Shuttleworth administered the chalice. Philip Broadbent was the pianist. At the end of the service, members of the congregation were anointed with oil and given a blessing. Lunch followed in the meeting room.

On Maundy Thursday evening, a watch service was held organised by Capt Mike Smithers of the Church Army. Six readings were given with Taize chants at the end of each reading. On Good Friday morning, a children's workshop was held followed by a short service. In the afternoon, the Rev Di Ellerton led an hour of meditation.

On Easter Day, family communion at St John's Church was conducted by the Rev Geoff Banks, who read the gospel. preached the sermon and was celebrant. The readers were David Steele and Karen Beattie. Sue Dawson offered prayers and assisted with the chalice. Ian Greenhalgh was the organist. Refreshments were served afterwards by Hilary Roberts.


Wilshaw Village Institute held its April meeting in the village hall. Mrs Faulds presided and held a short business discussion, which included plans for the Spring lunch in May. She then welcomed Mrs M Batty, who spoke about the Mothers Union service at New Hall Prison. It was pleasing to learn about the humanizing and pleasant activities which took place at the prison and how it was not all doom and gloom. Mrs Fielding thanked her for her enlightening talk. During refreshments, members admired a display of commemorative plates and china.


Maundy Thursday meditation at the Methodist Church was led by the Rev Laura Hardy. Supper was served and the pianist was Nigel Morris. A processions of witness on Good Friday was followed by a service led by Trevor Jones. Nigel Morris was the organist. A Lent lunch was served with donations to Christian Aid.

Easter Sunday worship at the Methodist Church was conducted by the Rev John Hardy when sacrament was taken. During the service, the Cross was decorated with posies of flowers. Nigel Morris was the organist.


The Sunday service at Golcar Baptist Church was conducted by the Rev Chris Thompson, the organist was Calinda Stockhill and the pianist was Chris Woodhead. Easter eggs that were hidden in a knitted chick were distributed among the Sunday School children with the compliments of Margaret Whitwam and Eva Watkins. On Saturday, April 25 at Golcar Baptist Church there will be a Golcar over 70s party, when tea will be served at 4pm followed by entertainment.

On Tuesday, April 7 Cannon Martyn Crompton led the Mothers’ Union Lenten Service at St John’s Church and was also the celebrant for Holy Communion. Ann Norton was the pianist and Dorothy Holden held a short meeting after the service when refreshments were served. A Maundy Service passover meal was held in the community room at St John’s, it followed the pattern of a Jewish household when, in response to questions from a young member of the family, the story of the last supper is recounted. Isaac Royston took the part of the young boy. The evening was organised and led by Rev Brenda Mitchell. The churches of Golcar joined together for an open air service in Jubilee Square on Good Friday morning. Hymns were interspersed with meditations, readings and prayers, led by Rev Pam Ward, Rev Chris Thompson, Helga Taylor, Rev Brenda Mitchell and Cannon Martyn Crompton. Music was provided by Liz Hardy. A children’s activity day was held on Good Friday at St John’s Church. Forty-two children worked together in five groups. The groups were Moonlight, Sunlight, Firelight, Daylight and Starlight. The children visited each of five activity workshops. In the kitchen they decorated biscuits with icing, and made baskets to carry the biscuits home in. Easter shapes were covered with tissue paper to make a lovely hanging decoration. The children enjoyed making paper flowers and planting them in decorated paper cups. Easter cards were carefully coloured in and further adorned with coloured threads. Lastly they enjoyed colouring in moving people and pinning them together with paper fasteners. After a picnic lunch in the community room a short service in church was led by Maggie Cuss and Mrs Flora Angus played the piano for singing. The event was organised by Diane Griffin. A meditation for Good Friday was held in St John’s Church at 3pm, led by Cannon Martyn Crompton and Rev Brenda Mitchell. In the evening an augmented choir conducted by Margaret Laycock gave a performance of Stainers Crucifixion. The soloist were Ian Henderson, tenor, and Sam Blagbrough, bass. Ann Norton was the organist. Easter Day saw a beautifully decorated church with flowers and a resurrection garden with an empty tomb for the Easter Day Festal communion at St John’s. Rev Brenda Mitchell led the service and was the celebrant for Holy Communion. Readings were given by Helen Davies and Maggie Cuss. Cannon Martyn Crompton gave the gospel reading and was also the preacher. Peter Linsell-Fraser led intercession prayers. Sunday Club and Sunday Youth had a busy time concentrating on the Easter story then making Easter baskets and finding hidden Easter eggs. The organist for the service was Ann Norton.

On Easter Sunday morning at Golcar Providence Church breakfast was served before the service and £120 was raised for Mercy Ships. The Rev Cyril Blount led morning worship which included communion. The choir sang the Choir of Roses and God So Loved the World, conducted by Malcolm Fairless and the organist was Chris Pearson.


Services at Christ Church during Holy Week were led by Rev Jenny Honeyman, Ann Leigh and members of the Mothers’ Union. On Good Friday an ecumenical fun day with about 40 children was held in the Methodist Church. On Easter Saturday a service of Light was led by the Rev Henry Stapleton. The Rev Jenny Honeyman sang the Exultet and the organist was Rhona Jepson. Easter Sunday morning service was led by the Rev Stephen Henry who blessed the Easter Garden, preached, celebrated Holy communion and gave a blessing. Prayers were said by Ann Leigh and a lesson was read by Joan Bedford and the children received Easter eggs. The evening service was led by Jenny Honeyman who also read a lesson. Margaret McQuillan preached and prayed and the organist was Rodney Pearson.

The Good Friday Holiday Club was held at Linthwaite Methodist Church. Organised by members from St Barnabas Church - Crosland Moor, Christ Church Linthwaite and Linthwaite Methodist Church the club was attended by 45 children aged 4 -11 years old from the Junior Churches and Ardron School Linthwaite. The theme of the day was ‘Finding Jesus,’ and the children took part in various activities and even had a visit from some live Easter Bunnies. At the end of the day each child received a certificate stating that they had ‘found Jesus.’ The event was led by Rev Jo Archer-Siddall from Linthwaite Methodist Church and Rev Jennie Honeyman from Christ Church Linthwaite.

The Easter Sunday morning worship at Linthwaite Methodist Church was led by the Rev Jo Archer-Siddall assisted by Ed Archer-Siddall. The theme of the service was the emotional turmoil of Christ on the cross and of Mary visiting the tomb. Rev Jo read from John 20, and some of the children acted out the various emotions Mary went through from weeping to joy, on discovering that the tomb was empty. Holy Communion was served by the Rev Jo with Ian Baxter and Jan Widdop assisting. Mrs Linda Nuttall was the organist.


A busy Holy Week in Longwood culminated with the Easter Day Family service. Church leader Joan Morton MBE and some of the Young Church are pictured above in church with the daffodil decorated cross.

The Longwood Village Group, LVG, Spring/Summer 2009 Newsletter includes articles about the history of Longwood Sing by Charles Ross as well as information about the three village Heritage walks which have received a grant of £2,000 towards the printing of descriptive leaflets. The 10th birthday of the By and Buy shop will be celebrated on, on April 27 and people are invited to the shop to help celebrate. Forthcoming village events include Mama Mia an evening of Abba music which includes a three-course meal and a giant pumpkin competition funded with a Kirklees Council Grant. A recent, well-attended, meeting with several Kirklees councillors and prospective Lib dem parliamentary candidate met to discuss ways and means to reduce the number of accidents caused by heavy Lorries using St Mark’s Road to get to Church Street. It was resolved that action should be taken before, rather than after someone is killed.

Holy week, at St Mark’s Church, was very busy for parish priest Rev Jim Hunt with an evening service on Wednesday which included a presentation by Phyllis Kaye on the subject of Mary’s Diary. Maundy Thursday evening Jim led the annual eucharist service, with organist Philip Turner. This service included the washing of feet, when Jim washed the feet of three volunteers from the congregation. Jim then announced that he always found the washing of feet was a very emotional and moving event. After Communion came the stripping of the sanctuary, when Jim was assisted by Olive Houghton and Mark Gregory.

On Good Friday morning, Rev Jim performed the Liturgy of Good Friday and in the afternoon the Stations of the Cross ceremony took place while in the parish centre the young church attended the annual Brickworks" event.

St Mark’s Church bells were pealed prior to the Easter Day Family Service and people were welcomed by Phil Turner, his music group and augmented choir. Parish priest the Rev Jim Hunt led the sung eucharist. For the first time, since Lent, the Gloria was sung and everyone encouraged to clap along. The talk was by Carol Hunt, assisted by Charles Ross, and based on the rainbow picture by the young church, who added more symbols to the violet band. Carol explained about promises and said she promised a gift for everyone at the end of morning service. Prayers were presented by Phyllis Kaye and the exchanging of peace was followed by Jim lighting the new Easter candle from which he lit a baptism candle for Ellie Rose Thornton, recently baptised, who was then welcomed into the church family with the customary applause. The church was decorated with hundreds of fresh daffodils, picked from the large garden of a local benefactor Mr. Battye. Following Communion people were invited to decorate the large wooden cross, at the front of church and so it grew into a blaze of yellow with the daffodils. Jim announced that on the theme of Treasures Revealed the church would be open every morning and afternoon during the first week in May when many of the Treasures of St Mark’s would be on display. After closing the service with the Celtic Blessing Jim read an Easter greeting from Dean Henry Stapleton who will be the guest celebrant tomorrow morning.


A Good Friday evening service was held at the United Church, shared with members from Slaithwaite and Linthwaite Methodist Churches. The service was led by the Rev Joanne Archer-Siddal and readings, telling the Easter Story were given by members of the congregation, and the organist was Christine Gledhill. Easter morning worship at the United Church was led by Mr David Brook and readings were given by Kathleen Jackson and Carl Butters, and Chris Cook was the organist.

Easter Holy Communion at St Bartholomew Church was led by the Rev Geoff Clay. There was a blessing of the Easter Garden followed by procession. The organist was James Harker, the reading was by Joyce Pogson and prayers were said by Rosie Kilburn. Sidespersons were Mary Horn, Joan Ladbrooke and Jean Pennington and Elsie Lingard. Coffee was served by Evelyn Laidlow, Glynis Ward, Pat Burgess and Alison Fisher. There will be a concert with Marsden Band and Unity Voices on May 2. Adm: £6 at the door.


At the Christadelphians’ Midweek Bible Class Mr A Brown from Halifax gave a talk on "Heaven on Earth" and on Sunday Mr J Kirby, from Halifax gave a talk on "The Goodness and Severity of God."


A pleasant Wednesday afternoon meeting was held at Parkwood Methodist Church. The guest preacher was the Rev Peter Bedford, in the chair was Jean Johnson, pianist Kenneth Rothery and refreshments were served by Betty Sykes and Barbara Beeves. A Good Friday evening service was held at Parkwood Methodist Church when the preacher was Rev Peter Bedford, assisted by Sandra McSweeney, Anne Ivey, Christine and Jean Johnson, Margaret Noble, Freda and Marion Lloyd, Gill Ritchie, Rene Wyatt, all readings were from St Mark’s Gospel. The organist was Kenneth Rothery. People were welcomed to an early communion service by Marion Lloyd on Easter Sunday morning with Rev Peter Bedford, assisted by Mary Rothery, communion stewards Rene Wyatt and Audrey Holdsworth, followed by an Easter breakfast organised by Freda and Joe Lloyd. The morning continued with the Easter Day service with guest preacher Rev Pam Ward assisted by Sandra McSweeney, Freda and Jo Lloyd with visual aids. All the Lenten cross symbols were removed during the service and replaced with spring flowers by the congregation. The choir sang two Easter anthems, This Joyful Easter Tide, conducted by Gareth Beaumont, organist Kenneth Rothery. Coffee was served after the service.


Slaithwaite Good Companions met on Thursday when Patricia Parkinson introduced, and the group were entertained by Slaithwaite Methodist Choir. Fourteen members and their conductor Wendy Redfearn singing a collection of songs and choruses interspersed by poems from Marjory Crowther, Wendy Redfearn and Maureen Weaving. Five in the group also gave their version of Cinderella. The pianist was Margaret Stevenson, and thanks given by Hilda Haigh.

The Maundy Thursday Holy Communion service held in the evening at St James’ Church was led by the Rev Robin Townsend, assisted by Jeanette Seed, the layreader, and Raymond Denton, who also read the lesson. The sermon was Jeanette Seed and prayers by Margaret Ingham. The organist was Alvy Whitehead. This was followed by the stripping of the alters in preparation for Good Friday. St James’ Parish Church evening service and meditation for Good Friday was led by the Rev Robin Townsend, the three readings were all from St Luke's’ by Jean Lobley, Raymond Denton and Margaret Warren, the sermon by Rev Robin, prayers by Patricia Parkinson and the organist was Alvy Whitehead. St James’ Parish Church celebration of Easter Holy communion was led by the Rev Robin Townsend, assisted by Jeanette Seed and Raymond Denton. Rev Robin started with a short address followed by the hymn Jesus Christ Is Risen Today. This year’s service was different as the congregation was invited to go out and witness in the village singing near the Wharfside Inn, Monsoon Restaurant and the floating tea rooms. Those unable to go outside were entertained by the organist Alvy Whitehead who played hymn requests for singing until the congregation came back to celebrate the Eucharist. There was an Easter garden, and many Easter lilies in remembrance of lost ones and Easter eggs were given to the children and extra Easter hymns were sung, such a joyful ceremony. The music group led the singing and Hiroko Townsend was the pianist when the group sang All Things Bright and Beautiful. Coffee and biscuits and sherry was served after the service.

The Methodist Women’s Fellowship met on Tuesday afternoon. Betty Whitwam was in the chair and led prayers. Pauline Gee was the bible reader, Betty introduced the speaker the Rev Joanne Archer-Siddal who told us of her life before she decided to candidate for the ministry. Pauline had baked an Easter simnal cake which along with hot cross buns was enjoyed by all. Maureen Weaving was the pianist.

Friends from Marsden and Linthwaite churches joined the Methodist Maundy Thursday service which took the form of a slide presentation in which the members were able to participate. The Rev Joanne conducted worship and church stewards were the bible readers. The service included Holy Communion and Margaret Stephenson was the organist. Several members from Slaithwaite attended the Good Friday service at Marsden United and took part in the service which was led by the Rev Joanne. The theme of her sermon was the three crosses and five readers contributed with bible passages and prayers. The organist was Christine Gledhill.

Easter Sunday service was led by the Rev Joanne. Before the service began church members and friends decorated the cross with flowers. "The Risen Lord" was the theme of the service. Wendy Blackburn gave the bible reading. The service included Holy Communion. The decorated cross was placed in the vestry window and the last of the intern stalls was manned by Wendy Blackburn and Karsten Svensgaard. The organist was Wendy Redfearn.