Notes of a Meeting on Dunstarn Lane. By Haddon Willmer

Last summer, a green leaf danced in the wind

turned gold and red

Fall came, it fell

rain soaked through winter

imprinting on the pavement – till

a silver star….


waiting for the poor man who once found a sixpence on the road

and thereafter, anxious for another coin,

never saw a star again…until

one came down to meet his eye

shaking his obsession.

Palm Sunday – The F Word, two “new” windows and lots lots more

If the old adage is right and variety is the spice of life then Palm Sunday at MBC really was a hot place to be. Musically it started with a hymn composed in 1905 and an hour and a half later finished with a lusty, impromptu rendering of an upbeat children’s chorus. In between came a Service packed with challenge.  

Guest speaker Sue Barclay urged us to use Holy Week as a time for action, a time when rather than standing still and watching the procession we move towards Easter Day with courage and commitment’ 

At our windows we had two new panels, with a third which will be opened on Easter Sunday deliberately hidden behind a blind.

Our children came in from PULSE to share stories of how over the last three Sundays they had focused on making and keeping the peace. But of the course the most obvious element was the appearance of a dozen or so display stands each holding a true life story which when read takes both your understanding and your appreciation of forgiveness to a whole new level. 

THE F WORD: Stories of Forgiveness is the brainchild of journalist Marina Cantacuzino and photographer Brian Moody who in January 2004, tired of a climate where revenge and retaliation dominated the headlines, resolved to present the public with an alternative view. The result, a powerful photographic exhibition exploring the idea of forgiveness in the face of atrocity and telling the stories of victims as well as perpetrators. 

Travelling to places including the United States, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Romania, Rwanda, Israel and Palestine, as well as the UK, Cantacuzino and Moody collected stories from people whose lives had been shattered by violence, tragedy and injustice – and who had chosen to take the challenging and often painful journey towards forgiveness.

The exhibition’s subjects include Eva Kor, a survivor of the medical experiments carried out by Dr Josef Mengele in Auschwitz; Pat Magee, the man behind the IRA Brighton bomb and Jo Berry, whose father was killed in the blast; Linda Biehl, whose daughter was killed in South Africa and now works alongside her daughter’s killers; and Andrew Rice, whose brother David was killed in the World Trade Center bombing.

If you get chance please call in and visit the exhibition. It’s open every day right up until and including Easter Sunday from 12 noon until 3pm and then again every evening between 7pm and 9. 

Below is a gallery of pictures taken during our Palm Sunday Service. To view a larger version simply click on the image. 



Moortots presents yet another angle on the subject of forgiveness

When you’re trying to get to grips with the concept of forgiveness quite where Scruffy, a rag tag hound with floppy ears and face paint whiskers come in I’m not at all sure. But last week, in a role shared by Diane Sunter and John Sherbourne Scruffy was the star of three Moortots Easter celebrations which focused on saying sorry, forgiving and moving on.

Let me explain. Scruffy, like most dogs is a bit mischievous and when top toddlers Diane Towns and Pauline Bridle are setting up a special party he/she just can’t keep his/her nose out. The result is exactly as you would expect with food everywhere, drink spilled, toy boxes upturned and a even cream cake coming into extremely close contact with one unsuspecting guest’s face. 

Suitably riled Diane first of all scolds and then threatens to cart Scruffy off to a dog’s home, a ploy that draws lots of aaaghs from toddlers, mums, dads, grandmas alike. However, when peacemaker Pauline steps in and asks Diane if she’s never been a bit naughty and had to be forgiven the tide turns and before you can shout walkies everyone including the fore mentioned toddlers, mums, dads, grandmas are not only the best of friends but are dancing round the room like a badly rehearsed West End chorus. 

Moortots’ “Specials” really are exactly that. OK so sometimes you might have to dig deep to find any neat theology but to be able to engage so many people (over the three sessions that’s round about a hundred and fifty) in such an accessible way with the notion of forgiveness is marvelous. 

Well done Diane T, Pauline, Diane S, John and all the rest of the Moortots team you did a brilliant job.



REWIND to Easter 2018

Two weeks ago our Children’s Worker Cas Stoodley put out an urgent appeal for people to join our Rewind to Easter team. This evening (Wednesday March 7)  as we look back over the last two days we once again wonder at how a simple request (accompanied of course by a bucket load of prayer) came good. 

This year we played host to just over four hundred Year 5 pupils from more than a dozen local Primary Schools. Our message was simple: what you see and hear is what we, as Christians, believe Easter to be all about. 

As usual Rewind was a fast moving mix of drama, games, video and craft. It was also John Sherbourne’s last time as Cas’ up-front foil. Fast approaching seventy John has decided that before someone tells him that there’s no fool like an old fool it’s time to hand over the mic to someone younger; although he assures us he will be one of the first to put his name down for a less demanding role when in seven months time Cas starts asking for volunteers for Rewind to Christmas. 

Rewind – both to Easter and to Christmas is something MBC should take pride in. With so many schools seemingly placing less and less importance on the teaching of core Christian traditions it’s not just a pleasure, it’s an absolute necessity that MBC continues to run this amazing project.     

Despite the big freeze there was a warm MBC welcome for Andor, Zsuzsi and Bence

Having flown in to the UK during one of the coldest snaps on record there was a warm welcome for Andor, Zsuzsi and Bence Ferko as they joined us on Sunday. 

Here for just a week and staying with Karen and Michael Ross the couple’s ties, but Zsuzsi’s in particular go back a long way with MBC.

As pastor of their local church in Romania Zsuzsi’s mother together with family and friends have been visiting Leeds ever since we set up MRS G, our Romania Support Group. Today, of course, both Zsuzsi and Andor are themselves ordained church leaders, and by the look of it Bence who was more than keen to join mum and dad upfront at Sunday’s evening service might just keep up the tradition.

It was great to see you, we hope you have enjoyed your visit and we wish you a safe journey home. 

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