Rewind to Christmas and the light of the world shines brightly

With Shelley Dring making a brilliant Rewind debut and old timer John Sherbourne coming out of retirement MBC this week hosted Rewind to Christmas. For the first time in many years the entire 2018 team was made up of volunteers; a total of thirty people who in four sessions over two days hosted 380 Year four pupils from nine local primary schools.

Once again drama, craft, story telling and quizzes were the order of the day as the team shared with our visitors what we as Christians believe the true meaning of Christmas to be.

However, if pushed to pick a highlight it would have to be the Oscar worthy performances given by our wonderful nine year old Marys and our Josephs.   

Many thanks to them, to all their friends, their teachers and helpers for coming and of course to our fabulous team. 

The pictures in our gallery were all taken on Tuesday afternoon when Allerton C of E Primary School were our guests.  To view a larger version of any of the pictures simply click on the image. 


Say it as it is! some wonderfully honest feedback. Read and see what our young guests thought of Rewind to Christmas

This year, for the first time, we asked all the schools that attended Rewind to Christmas to take enough evaluation forms back to school to allow each of their children to have their say. The results were amazing.

Comments ranged from the best bit being “when all the teachers had to stand up and shout” (a reference to a three minute scene the children always love as it involves their teachers joining them in a knock – knock style drama) to learning that “Christmas isn’t just about getting, but giving.” 

There’s a gallery below of just some of the replies we received back from Allerton Church of England Primary School.

See the video we share in church here.


An Environmental Plan A – Caring for God’s Creation. John Sturges continues his series on Christian stewardship of our world

Not long ago my friend Haddon Willmer lent me a book, as he shares my interest and concern for our world’s environment. It was the autobiography of Sir John Houghton, former Chief Executive of the Meteorological Office, and a committed Christian. I have indeed enjoyed reading it; it is interesting, informative and also challenging. Sir John was very much involved in setting up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of which he served as Chairman while they produced their first three reports. He is a scientist, and his faith and commitment to truth shine throughout the book.

Inspired by John Houghton’s thoughts, in this piece I shall attempt to set out why I believe as Christians, we should take the stewardship of our world more seriously than we often do. The following points largely come from Sir John’s book.

  • The world faces serious environmental problems, mostly on a global scale.
  • Looking after the earth is a God-given responsibility. Not to look after the earth is a sin.
  • Christians need to re-emphasise that the doctrines of creation, incarnation and resurrection belong together. The spiritual is not to be seen as separate from the material. A thoroughgoing theology of the environment needs to be developed.
  • Our stewardship of the earth, as Christians, is to be pursued in dependence on and in partnership with God.
  • The application of science and technology is an important component of stewardship. Humility is an essential ingredient in the pursuit and application of science and technology – and in the exercise of stewardship
  • All of this provides an enormous opportunity for the church, which has too much ignored the earth and the environment and neglected the importance of creation and its place in the overall Christian message.

Some of you may have recently watched episodes of Blue Planet II, as I have. Two images stuck in my mind that illustrate the problems that we face through our neglect in caring for our world. Firstly, there was the carcass of a dead whale which had been struck by a large ship. It was being consumed by sharks. The second image was of the great floating masses of discarded plastic materials in the oceans, which are killing fish, birds and other marine life forms. This graphically shows us that nature can clear up and recycle its own mess, but not ours. Nature’s mess is protoplasm, ours is plastic.

Furthermore, nature’s clean-up systems are solar powered, ours are not; furthermore, our systems require us to burn even more energy which exacerbates the problem. This problem is becoming more dangerous by the day; besides the loss of fish and birds, the danger is that plastics will enter the food chain, and since we stand at the top of this food chain, they could end by poisoning us. Our neglect of the world and misuse of its resources is leading to the loss of many species of plants and animals and we depend on a biodiverse world.

I have not written any items for the website for about 12 months, as I have been engaged on a project to compare mankind’s current level of environmental impact with past episodes of volcanism which led to the five great mass extinctions that have occurred during the past 500 million years. I can say that the natural order that we are familiar with is now in peril.

What can we do?

  • Take more interest in how our world works.
  • Ask questions about issues such as how responsibly sourced are the foods that we consume.
  • Continue to minimise our consumption of plastics, and be very vigilant about disposing of them responsibly.
  • Remember that we all need to take responsibility for caring for our world.

John Sturges    ;

Julia Hyliger    ;

Haddon Willmer

Another word where silence is NOT ON! Haddon Willmer adds to his 7 November blog:

Two quotes from George Monbiot’s article:  The earth is in a death spiral  –


It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by climate activists Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the organisers on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for UK carbon emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims?

A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, but the passion, grief and fury of her response was utterly compelling.

 “What is it that you are asking me as a 20-year-old to face and to accept about my future and my life? … This is an emergency. We are facing extinction. When you ask questions like that, what is it you want me to feel?”

We had no answer.


Two tasks need to be performed simultaneously: throwing ourselves at the possibility of averting collapse, as Extinction Rebellion is doing, slight though this possibility may appear; and preparing ourselves for the likely failure of these efforts, terrifying as this prospect is.

Both tasks require a complete revision of our relationship with the living planet.

Grandparents at the crib. Graham’s blog

If things go according to plan, Margaret and I will become grandparents for the first time on Boxing Day! So, a new perspective comes into our lives.

With my new identity I have noticed that there are no grandparents in the Christmas story. Now I am not arguing for 2 new fabled figures around the crib. But adjusting to becoming a grandparent has got me thinking and praying.

As I await a birth, I am so aware of the vulnerability of it all. I am sure I felt this on becoming a parent, but it has come back deeper. This coming birth brings such a mix of expectation, uncertainty, joy, anxiety. As I look on as a grandparent, I see this mix of emotions not so much in me but in the parents to be. This is a massive thing they are experiencing, they are feeling vulnerable as they prepare. The new child will be vulnerable too.

The other thing that strikes me is the number of adjustments to be made. The arrival of one new life is going to change the whole rhythm, balance and shape of family life for the parents. Nothing will ever be the same again. They can decorate room and get all the necessary equipment but there is so much more to adapt to.

In Advent we expect a birth and we prepare our nativity. There will be no grandparents in the scene. But there are major vulnerabilities in our Christian story, there are huge adjustments that the child will demand.

We know in the Christmas story the vulnerability and adjustments are not just for a family of Mary, Joseph and Jesus but in the life of God in human form and in the consequences, demands and transformation Jesus will bring among people and in the world.

Well, with just under 5 weeks to go, our apprehensive daughter and her partner get to the stage of saying “We wish the baby was born now” – bring it on. As grandparents we wonder: “Do they know what they wish for?”

I guess the same wishes and questions belong to advent and Christmas too!

Graham Brownlee, November 2018

Margaret Barr 1927 – 2018

It is with deep sadness that we learn of the death of Margaret Barr.

Margaret’s funeral service will take place here at Moortown Baptist Church at 12.30pm on Friday the 23rd of November and will be followed by a private family burial. 

We extend our love and prayers to Arthur and the family.  

Fair Trade: shop here at MBC, at The Beehive or on line

There will be a special Fair Trade Christmas stall after the morning service here at MBC this Sunday (Nov 25th). This is a wonderful way of supporting Traidcraft, particularly so in this their hour of need.

However, if for one reason or another you don’t get the chance to visit Roger Robson and his team on Sunday don’t forget you can also shop for Traidcraft products at The Beehive on Potternewton Lane or online by visiting

Rewind to Christmas – set up and rehearsal this coming Sunday

This coming Sunday, immediately following our morning service we’ll be clearing church ahead of Rewind to Christmas 2018.

Preparing the Sanctuary and the Music Room in order for over 400 primary school children to join us and share what we as Christians believe the true meaning of Christmas to be is no easy feat. So if your’re on team and you spare us an hour or so we’d love to see you anytime from say 12.15 on wards. 

Oh and if you’re in our drama team we’re having a full run through at 3pm. 

This year Shelley Dring will be leading Rewind, her first time on team. Please pray for Shelley and all the rest of the twenty strong team as over two days they throw themselves into this – one of MBC’s most important outreach projects. 


Introducing MBC Missionaries. Chris and Bela Singh – Missionaries with WEC International

Chris and Bela have been missionaries with WEC International since 1989 working with the radio ministry, Radio Worldwide (RW).They moved to Rothwell with RW in 1993 and joined MBC partly because of the children’s and young peoples’ ministry. Their son and daughter, Abishek and Anugrah, grew up here. Anugrah is now married living in London and mother of Solomon – Chris and Bela’s first grandchild.

Chris travels around the world training Christians to use Radio and new media for spreading the Gospel and Church planting. His fruitful ministry includes training nationals in closed countries and opening Radio Stations in Africa and elsewhere. He has Masters degrees in Communication and Mission Studies and a PGCE. Bela serves in WEC’s base in Leeds as a book-keeper and administrator and is involved in local church work and in teaching English to women from South Asia in Harehills.

The WEC centre in Rothwell was recently sold and Radio Worldwide moved to new studios in City Evangelical Church in Beeston, where Chris works when he is not travelling. Chris and Bela still live in Rothwell

The best ways to support the Singhs are:

 Request to receive their prayer letters by emailing Chris and Bela at

 Give financial support either through MBC or WEC International OR through Stewardship at OR directly to them. Chris and Bela rely on God for their financial support and totally depend on giving from churches and individuals.

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