Moortots ends the year with not just one but three Super Hero parties

Over recent years Diane Towns and Pauline Bridle have built up something of a reputation for their end of term parties. Indeed, few who saw them will ever forget productions starring Woopsie Daisy the hapless angel or Scruffy the rag-tag dog. Their latest blockbuster, however, reached new heights when they brought together Flash, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man and a whole load of other super heroes in a play which (eventually) brought us round to the notion that for all their incredible powers it wasn’t someone thrust upon us by Hollywood but Jesus who should really be our hero. 

On Diane’s behalf may I thank all the volunteers who make up the Moortots teams and of course all the mums, dads, grannies, granddads, carers plus uncle Tom Cobbly and all who join them week by week. 

Below is a gallery of pictures taken at the Thursday morning party (simply click on the image to see a larger version) and if you think your’e strong enough there’s also a link HERE that you can click on to watch our Youtube video.


As MBC announces plans to pilot a new look for Sunday mornings here’s your chance to contribute to the debate

At our recent Church Meeting we shared that with the growth of our Sunday morning congregation we are considering running two morning services. Obviously this entails all of us: ministers and staff, our Leadership Team and of course you our members and attenders looking at many options and practical details ahead of piloting something between October and December.

The importance of everyone having the opportunity to have their say is why our Leadership Team have prepared some questions for us to consider together in informal groups.

We would like to hear your comments by mid September. 

The question form is printed below but paper copies are available from the church office, from our ministers or from any member of our Leadership Team. 


Moortown Baptist Church is growing in numbers, diversity and experience of God together. With so many people in our building we know that services can feel packed and busy. So we are looking at how we can make more space to grow and flourish whilst cherishing our diversity and community.

The Bible is clear that the church is nothing short of being the body of Christ, the people of God gathering to be equipped and sent, a community experiencing and sharing God through the Spirit.

People have many reasons for coming to church, to find and deepen faith, to enjoy community and friendships, to encounter God and be caught up in hope, to equipped to love daily and be capable of love.

Gathering on a Sunday is only one part of our wider Christian lives.

So we want to hear from one another as we consider doing things differently on Sundays.

Our intention is for these questions to stimulate discussion in small groups of friends, families, home groups, teams that play a part in church life etc virtually or in person, rather than to receive individual responses.

Responses should be sent to or handed to a minister or member of the Leadership Team, by Wednesday 12th September.

Some Bible references that might aid your discussion are:

Matthew 28.16-20, Acts 2, Hebrews 10.19-25, 1 Corinthians 12,13,

  1. Why do we gather? What would we miss if we didn’t?
  2. Where does a Sunday service fit for you in your faith life: is it the main source of spiritual refreshment, or do you have other places that are the source for you?
  3. How many Sundays do you attend in a month? What other regular commitments do you have on a Sunday- leading in youth/ children’s church or play not in the band, stewarding. Or maybe commitments to work or children’s sport that happen on Sunday?
  4. How would you describe Sunday morning services to a prospective visitor with particular reference to our welcome, worship, engagement with the Bible, and witness?
  5. What kind of ideas would a visitor go away with about the kind of God we worship, our attitude to the wider world, what it means to be part of a church community?
  6. For you and yours what do you value most in Sunday gathering that prepares you for your coming week?
  7. As we seek to grow, what kind of welcome and invitation to join in at MBC do you experience or imagine new people experience, (especially if they’ve never been part of church)
  8. What do you see other churches doing well?
  9. If there were an earlier and a later morning service, what would you expect to be included in each service?
  10. What might we need to consider if we run two morning services.

          MBC Co-Ministers and Leadership Team , July 2018






Congratulations and thanks to Norman and Jean

Just two days after a buffet lunch marked the end of Autumn Leaves it was MBC’s privilege to say thank you to Norman Hiley who after almost twenty years is stepping down from hosting his regular Friday morning bible study course – Explore the Word.

Norman has led an amazing life, a flavour of which you can read about in From Pit to Pulpit, a series of articles which four years ago we shared on line and which you can access by clicking HERE

Here’s an extract from one of those posts in which Norman tells us a little bit about how Explore the Word started and the effect it has had… world wide. 

During the time I was serving as the Superintendent’s ‘trouble-shooter’ a group of believers in the Moortown Baptist Church asked the then Pastor for more expository Bible Study, which was not provided at the Sunday services. His reply was that sadly he was too busy with other aspects of the church’s work and they should have to find someone-else to do it. Subsequently they found me which is why for the past 15 years I have led a weekly, hour long study group that has not only worked its way through the whole Bible book by book, but has also looked at special series of teaching concerning the Work and Person of the Holy Spirit, The Life of Jesus and the Life of Paul.Later members of the group ‘complained’ that now they were getting more than they could take in just by listening and I was asked if I could write out the teaching so that they could study it later at home. The result of that request is that now I have all my expository preaching notes in the form of a personal Bible Commentary of the entire Bible Message of Old and New Testaments. At present (2014) we are studying the whole Bible again, but this time concentrating on the Message of Salvation through faith in Christ alone.

I’m pleased to say that over the years these ‘notes’ have been requested by others and now each week they are sent in full by email to 30 different preachers and churches in Australia where they are transposed for use in Fiji, in the USA, Belgium and Bangladesh and of course England. In Romania the notes are published on the church website in both English and Romanian.

However, Sunday’s service wasn’t simply a time to say thank you for just one thing, no, it was also an occasion on which we could congratulate Jean on her ninety second birthday and both of them together on their seventieth wedding anniversary.




As Autumn Leaves draws to a close a special buffet lunch marks 22 years of dedicated service

It was early in 1996 that the then minister of Moortown Baptist Church, Stephen Ibbotson, suggested to Wilfred Wyatt that maybe they should think about starting a bible study cum prayer group especially aimed at catering for the needs of the elderly people in the congregation.  

Today after 22 years of continuous ministry that group, which soon adopted the title Autumn Leaves marked its final meeting with a special buffet lunch. 

Originally run by Wilfred, Margaret Barr and Rosemary Glover Autumn Leaves first began meeting on a Thursday afternoon. However, it wasn’t long before Thursday afternoon became Friday morning and such was its success that within just a few weeks up to 30 regulars were attending. 

The name Autumn Leaves was chosen by Irene who as a keen botanist drew on the analogy of the wisdom and maturity of those it was designed to serve being like the mature, established leaves of a tree… a notion that Irene was equally keen to reiterate again at today’s lunch. 

Presenting Wilfred with a photograph frame, which will soon be filled with a montage of pictures taken at the event, Graham paid tribute to Wilfred and Irene, to Margaret who unfortunately couldn’t be there and to Rosemary for giving so much of their time and energy to run such an important programme. 

As Wilfred and Rosemary cut into a suitably decorated cake the warmth and love that those present felt for one another was tangible. So much so that one can’t help thinking that Autumn Leaves II or something similar might be with us sooner than we think.   




Boys in the Cave an article by Haddon Willmer

Of course, we are concerned for the faraway boys in the cave in Thailand and pray for their full rescue.

We do not just feel for them, we feel with them. Though we are not in a cave under a mountain, is not our plight in life well pictured in theirs?

Lost in Darkness
Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness….

….. on them has light shone

After nine days in the darkness, there was a shining beam, a face, a voice…

Then they know they are not forgotten,

They get a bit of their story back, finding out what day it is, for in the cave they could not know night from day.

Not lost, but found…

Found by people who come through dark waters and tight tunnels to be with them…

Found but still in the cave…

Found but not yet rescued and restored…

Waters of Death
Blocked by waters, held back till they learn to swim…and dive?…

Even then, could they get through the narrow stretches where each must go alone…? Expert cavers take five hours to do it. It’s a big test.

Black waters signal death. They are not yet safe. There is no easy euphoric way to life. There is a baptism to be baptised with.

There is waiting with Noah in the ark until the waters begin to go down.

Can the waters be drained enough for the boys to wade, waist high, not needing to scuba? Perhaps.

Will the monsoon be considerate, delaying itself? Unlikely.

Might another shorter drier way be found and opened up? Air is getting into their cave so there is a continuous crack in the mountain somewhere. Unlikely.

Courage, brother, do not stumble, though the way be dark as night
The boys might get out in the next few days or they might not…

If not soon, they must survive in the depths for months… an unthinkable time in such conditions? At least the darkness will be lighted, with lamps not the sun… at least they will be supplied with daily food and warm clothes and health care… at least they will have lines of communication with their families…

Yet they need extraordinary strength to wait patiently… to hold together… to begin to bear the trauma which may stay with them long after they come home.

Hope given in the moment
There is no slick easy uncompromised recovery for people caught in any cave comparable with this one. Scars will not quickly fade.

Hope with the One who comes into the cave bringing light, who leads out of darkness and death along the long hard way, always bearing on his hands the signs that he comes to us all in the dark night where death is in life.

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