Santa joins Moortots to say goodbye to Holly

Ever since Diane Towns and Pauline Bridle stepped back from leading Moortots, the responsibility for running this long standing and much loved MBC project has been in the very capable hands of Holly Button.

However, last Thursday was Holly’s last day with us as she too is bowing out only in her case to develop her counselling and family support work skills within the prison service.

Presenting Holly with gifts and cards Shelley thanked her for all she had done for Moortots and wished her well for the future. Holly won’t, though, be leaving us completely as she hopes that she and her toddler Billy will when work and study permit still be able to pop in; but from here on in as a mum not a leader.   

There’s a few more pictures taken at this week’s Moortots Christmas party below.


Oasis, a place of refreshment and calm – not with Santa around!

Oasis, MBC’s Tuesday morning café is usually just that; an oasis. Somewhere for travellers to rest, in our case where mums, dads, grandparents, carers etc. etc. can find refreshment, where they can drink tea and coffee, sit, chat and chill while their little ones play.

This week, however, all that changed when despite an incredibly heavy work load Santa popped in. Now I’m far too old to recall my first encounter with the man in the big red suit but judging by the response he received yesterday it would have been one of two…. an immediate clamber to sit on his knee and to tell him my entire life story or a mix of blind panic and fear! Luckily on this visit there was more of the former than the latter.

As luck would have it (or some might call it planning) Santa wasn’t the only one dressed up in something special. Following his 45 minute spell under the Christmas tree it was time for him to join Shelley as she gathered everyone together, plundered the dressing up box and turned both the willing and the doubters into angels, shepherds and kings. 

Oasis, like Moortots is taking a break now but will return in the New Year. In the meantime I just hope that on Christmas morning all those dinosaurs and dollies that Santa was asked for find their way to their new owners.




MBC’s Carol Service hits all the right notes

What better way for a church to continue it’s already buoyant Christmas programme than with a service of carols and readings. And that’s exactly what happened here at MBC last Sunday evening. With a ten piece orchestra and almost twice that number singing in the choir the hour long service was a skilfully blended mix of ancient and modern.

With Rachel, James, Joan, Ben, Kofi and Joe sharing the narration and with a powerful address from Nathan in which he urged us all to focus on relationships and embrace the mess that Christmas creates just, he said, as everyone did in Bethlehem, a packed church lapped up this so well known yet so so precious message.

One particularly memorable highlight of the Service was a short but amazingly thought provoking contribution called Not Just a Baby which our young people presented.

Naturally no self respecting Carol Service finishes without the congregation continuing their time together by sharing mince pies and mulled wine. So in addition to us thanking our ministers – Graham and Shona, our brilliant musicians, our wonderful choristers – led once again by Claire, our ever willing stewards and our genius tech team let’s (if only metaphorically) also give a huge round of applause to our small but highly efficient kitchen team and their considerably younger helpers.  




In issue 46 of Engage BMS World Mission issues a Christmas challenge

In it’s latest edition of Engage, BMS World Mission pulls no punches in the way it describes the effects that the lack of clean water is having on some of the world’s most vulnerable people. “Dirty water,” it states “is a death sentence in Afghanistan. Children are dying from preventable waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera – but this Christmas all that’s changing.”   

The reason for such optimism is the organisation’s belief that by people like you and I giving to its winter appeal – Save lives at Christmas and by them then “working alongside trusted partners and Afghan communities to dig wells and to harness the power of fresh mountain springs”  the plight of at least some of these people will be eased.

The feature, which appears on page 16 of Engage Issue 46 is just one of a number of stories and features that provide the reader with genuine, first hand accounts of the impact BMS and other such aid groups are having across the world.

Alongside this edition, however, there’s also a Prayer Guide which runs daily from January to April 2020. As in the magazine, here again the focus is on the work that BMS personnel and their supporters are engaged in in places as far apart as Peru, France, Chad, Nepal, Israel-Palestine and Thailand.

Engage, which is totally free either by post or on line by following the links from  is full of both challenge and hope so sign up now and let’s see what we can do to help.

MBC’s BMS World Mission coordinator is Roger Robson and besides being able to help you sign up to Engage he can also suggest lots of other ways you can support this great organisation.


Overseas Mission Group – Open meeting, Jan 6th

Overseas Mission Group: The next meeting of the group on Monday 6th Jan at 7pm will be open to anyone interested in the church’s support for Overseas Mission.

Please come along to share ideas and your own interests and to plan the future of our work in this area of our Christian service.  

Advent week 2 – trimming the tree and bringing our gifts

Once again our Christmas gifts have been donated to Homestart Leeds, a charity that supports local families who for one reason or another are going through difficult times.

However, another very special part of last Sunday’s second service was trimming our beautiful Christmas tree.

This year Shelley found herself officer in charge of all things glittery and what a marvellous job she and her band of helpers did.

Remember that this was just the start of MBC’s packed Christmas programme – still to come: a Carol Service, Blue Christmas (a time to remember and give thanks for those we have lost), a Nativity, a Crib Service, our Christmas Day Celebration and Feast and Fun.

Full details of all these Services and events can be found here




Rewind to Christmas, a joyful start to MBC’s festive season

Once again Rewind to Christmas got our festive celebrations off to a terrific start. Upwards of 400 Year four children from nine local primary schools together of course with 40 or so staff joined us last Monday and Tuesday as through drama, craft, video and story telling we re-enacted the first Christmas.

With a “cast” and team of more than thirty volunteers each of the projects four sessions ran seamlessly.  Well done to Shelley and the whole gang for once again doing a superb job.

There’s a gallery of pictures here taken mainly at our Tuesday morning session when 120 children from Alwoodley and Allerton C of E Primary School were our guests. To see an enlarged version of any of them simply click on the image.

Share your love of reading

One unexpected but very welcome offshoot from our Rewind to Christmas programme is an email we have received from Alison Mason, a Year four teacher at Allerton Church of England Primary School. In it Alison (that’s her back row, left in the picture above) asks if any of our us might like to spend a couple of hours a week helping some of her eight year olds develop their reading skills.

MBC’s association with ACE is nothing new; besides being enthusiastic regulars at both our annual Rewinds, in 2011 the school made a brilliant contribution to our What Matters project whilst over the last few years Graham, Jan Fennell, Roger Bridle, Jan Brown, Diane Sunter and John Sherbourne have all taken on various support roles.

Immediately following John S’s comments about this invitation during last Sunday’s second service two people signed up there and then. So if you are interested in joining them in this very simple but amazingly rewarding project would you either Email (John will pass your details on to school) or send your message direct to ACE’s librarian and head of volunteer recruitment Helen Whiteley at

Allerton C of E Primary School (OFSTED Rated GOOD) which is situated on Lingfield Approach is a lovely school and now has more than 600 children on its roll. Their website address is  

As Christmas fast approaches here’s an urgent request for pots, pans and cutlery

As well as helping people in need by passing on donated furniture (last year the charity made close on 1,000 deliveries) The Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store* also supplies what it calls Starter Packs. These are put together especially for people who are moving into unfurnished properties, and amongst other things contain crockery, pots and pans and cutlery. Sadly, right now the Store is desperately short of these everyday items. If you have any of these hidden away in a kitchen cupboard and you’re sure you no longer need them LMFS would love to hear from you.

Perhaps the best way to help, and to pass your old stuff on is to speak directly with John Gamson who is the Store’s Manager or with either John Sherbourne on 07913505865 or with Graham Brownlee who are both trustees.

Alternatively, and specifically in regard to cutlery a number of High Street stores are currently selling very reasonably priced place settings; for example you can buy a 16 piece cutlery set from Wilko’s for just £7.00. If you feel that you would like to support the Store by donating towards the cost of any number of these brand new cutlery sets can we invite you to put a donation in an envelope marked LMFS and pop it in the offering.

Many thanks.

*The Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store was formed here at MBC in 1986. Ever since members and friends of the church have served this registered charity in a whole variety of roles.

To find out more about LMFS visit   


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