Moortots pumpkin party – from darkness to light, live and incredibly crafty

Thirty minutes in which Shelley and her brilliant assistant Rowan take us on a journey from darkness to light. Song, dance, a fabulous story and more craft ideas than you could shake a pumpkin at. 

If you missed it first time round, don’t worry you can see it by clicking right HERE

Oh, and if you did your own craft we’d love to see it. Email a picture to and we’ll add it to these that we’ve already received. 


Film club (ish), the second of Nathan’s blogs. Another invitation to watch a film and then share your thoughts

So last time we took a look at Moana to have a think about any crossover and relevance to us as Christians and whether her journey of courage and leaving safety, to see hearts restored, might be something God is calling us to.
This week…no surprise…another kids film. This time it is the film Onward. In a world where unicorns roam like feral dogs, manticores run family-friendly restaurants and centaurs drive cars…Ian and Barley Lightfoot are on a quest. On Ian’s birthday they discover a spell that can bring their father back to them… for just one day. Things don’t quite work out though and they only restore his legs! The rest of the film is dedicated to all the adventures that follow.
Here’s the thing. These children have got their father, but only in part. So they will do all they can to see him in full. Sound familiar?
‘For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ – 1 Corinthians 13:12
I wonder how I am doing on my quest to see my Father more fully. To give everything I have so that I can see Him more clearly and know Him more. So that I can look at His face, walk with Him, talk with Him.
In the film both characters had a crisis at some point. Should they give up? Were they on the right path? But ultimately, they kept their focus, encouraged each other, took personal risks, made themselves vulnerable and ultimately…well…I don’t want to spoil the film.
But we get to write our own ending… will we see God fully, face to face? And before then, will we do all we can to walk with him, just be with him and enjoy his presence with us? 





Mission Aviation Fellowship’s global week of prayer begins Sunday November 1. Sign up today to receive their digital prayer diary

At this time of year MAF tries to encourage a week of prayer linking their staff and supporters worldwide in every country they have a presence. It has come around again and begins this Sunday the 1st of November.

Those in MBC who take MAF news may already have heard about it and signed up to receive the printed copy of the Special Edition Prayer Diary through the post. If not, it’s not too late to sign up and receive the digital version straight to your E-mail inbox by visiting: MAF global Week of Prayer

On the web page you can select the Digital Version in the first box on the sign up page.

Best Wishes 

David Casson

Catalyst Lite. Roger Robson reports on a live online event that through serious thought, challenging debate and even a touch of comedy, rap and jazz brought to the fore a number of hugely challenging issues

In addition to Engage, BMS produces Mission Catalyst a magazine about the “Mission of the Mind”, taking themes such as Freedom; Worship; Islam etc. etc…and exploring them through writers of national and international reputation. Over the last decade “Catalyst Live” full-day events have been held to hear and dialogue with such writers ‘in the flesh’. In this year of lockdowns a ‘Lite’ version was held, live online, for 2 hours on the evening of 9th October.Four speakers, two from the UK and two from the USA gave talks and took part in Q & A’s interspersed with entertaining and thought provoking songs by Harry and Chris, styling themselves “ The nation’s favourite comedy – rap – jazz duo”!!

There were a few minor tech glitches, time lags etc and Professor Hauerwas’ cat stole the show during a Q & A, but this was a stimulating, hugely challenging and enjoyable evening. Deep thinkers, with clarity and humour opened serious issues of our world and their clearly Christ inspired responses to them.

The Highlights for me were:-

  1. Gale Richards – Baptist Minister in Cambridge on the Theological Imperatives for a Black Lives Matter movement. She explained how the theological truth that black lives are made in the image of God, has inspired black Baptist Christians through history. She challenged us with the question – Why do so many Christians in Britain not see that there has been, and still is systemic oppression of black people throughout our history?

Her challenging answers – a lack of education; the isolation of some Christians from world issues ; a preference for remaining in our comfort zones; unease that BLM is a secular movement – made me think that this is a movement all Christians should embrace, but fear that some never will.

  1. Stanley Hauerwas US Professor of Divinity and Law in his talk and Q & A session left us with may memorable quotes:
  • BLM is one sign of hope in a crazy, crazy country’
  • ‘Sadly, for many American Christians the ‘American’ is more important than the ‘Christian’
  • If Christians are losing status in western societies, that makes us free to speak openly for Jesus’
  • ‘We must free the church from nationalism and patriotism’
  • ‘We must tell our history in a way that is inclusive and acceptable to all – acknowledging past injustices. History can’t be used for self- justification’
  1. Makoto Fujimara Japanese/American artist and writer spoke of 2020 as a Lenten year and suggested that the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi –“beauty in imperfection” as a way to understand pathos – reveals a hidden Christian culture in Japanese thought, as does the concept of Kontsigi – “ Mending to make New” which he linked to the Christian life as New.

     4. Helen Paynter UK Baptist Minister and director of the study of the Bible and violence at Bristol Baptist College was a stimulating and worthy concluding speaker on the theme “Land of Hope and Glory? Is it possible to be a Christian and a Nationalist?”

Helen’s talk was passionate and urgent with many memorable statements and challenges:- “In an age where the alt-right has penetrated the church in the US and parts of Europe we are in danger of having Ethnic Nationalism”

“Anti – immigration is based on White Christian ‘Normality’ – whereas in today’s world the Typical Christian is an African Woman.”

“Exceptionalism in the US has the Christian Vice President Pence urging Americans to ‘Fix our eyes on Old Glory’ (the US Flag)” [where is Fix your eyes upon Jesus?]

“Nationalism is not the same as Patriotism. Real patriotism loves good in the country, but is clear about its flaws.”

Before finally reminding us that “We (Christians) are members of the greatest trans-nationalist community ever”

All these talks were interspersed with songs by Harry and Chris on issues such as the environment; nostalgia for ‘simple Times’; and the chorus which most stuck in my mind, uniting all 7.7 billion of us humans:-

“We’ve all been in a womb….(and we’ll be in a tomb)”

A stimulating, thought provoking and gloriously Christian evening ending in heartfelt prayer “that God will give us something interesting to do …”(when so many in the west claim that they are ‘bored’)

Amen to that

Roger Robson

To learn more, a summary of Catalyst Lite is on the website, where you can also sign up to receive Mission Catalyst and Engage magazines free by post.

Be a world changer… celebrate your birthday by giving a gift to BMS World Mission

If during these difficult times you are looking for a novel way to celebrate your birthday how about turning things on their head and GIVING a gift. 

The BMS Birthday Scheme is just one of BMS World Mission’s many fundraising platforms, and your birthday present to them will go directly to supporting vital health and infrastructure ministries across the world. 

Active in 35 different countries, including some which for security reason cannot even be named, the work BMS World Mission (formally the Baptist Missionary Society) does ranges from digging bore holes and building bridges to supporting doctors, nurses and speech therapists. 

To sign up to the Birthday Scheme all you need do is email your contact details to and we will pass them through to Roger Robson who is MBC’s Mission’s co-ordinator. Then on your birthday you will receive a greetings card, an up to date News Bulletin and an envelope in which to return your donation. 

You can find out more about the Birthday Scheme and indeed about all the other activities that BMS World Mission is engaged in by clicking HERE but to give just three examples of how your birthday present could change lives here in black and white is what you see in the extract (above, right) from the 2020 bulletin.

£20 can support a Speech and Language therapist working with 7 year old Lois Ovenden in Gulu, Uganda for two days.

£29 can support a nurse at Guinebor II hospital in Chad for three days.

And £73 can support a BMS engineer like Tim Darby from Beckenham for one day on his project to provide clean water to rural communities in Uganda. 



Gareth and Stephen become the latest in a long line of MBC members to join the board of the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store

On Wednesday evening, via Zoom, Stephen Wylde and Gareth Davies became the latest in a long line of MBC members who over more than 30 years have been elected to the board of the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store. 

The Store, which began life here at Moortown way back in 1986 is now made up of a team of 13 (6 of whom are regular volunteers) and is based in a 10,000sq ft warehouse on an industrial estate in Seacroft; back then under the “chairmanship” of Hilary Willmer* it’s small team of volunteers relied on garages and garden sheds for storage and for transport their cars and a horsebox.    

However, despite some enormous changes one constant has been the team’s desire to help people in need. Indeed, here is an extract from the charity’s Statement of Objects which describes its mission… “as a practical demonstration of Christian commitment to socially and economically disadvantaged people our mission is to relieve poverty by distributing donated furniture.” A commitment as alive today as it was almost three and a half decades ago. 

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with the Store, or with it’s workload here are a few stats. In the last financial year (2019/20) the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store completed 964 deliveries, an increase of 27 on the previous year. This equates to 6,512 separate items of furniture. And it made 1,532 collections made up of 7,985 separate items. Apart from a small delivery charge each and every one of these items was supplied at no cost to themselves to an individual or a family who had been referred to the charity by one of 60 or so statutory or voluntary support agencies. Of course besides providing this very practical support each and every item of furniture reused reduces the chances of it being incinerated, dumped in landfill or worse still fly tipped. 

In more recent times one of the Store’s biggest adventures came about when in response to a request to supply new furniture to a wave of incoming refugees it set up a retail arm selling furniture, furnishings and white goods. That project, L&MFS Trading Ltd, is still going and now works alongside a number of local authority departments as well as several social housing schemes supplying anything from a tea spoon to a fridge freezer; any profit the trading company makes is of course immediately covenanted across to the charity. 

Right from the start the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store and LMFS Trading have had just one aim, and that’s been addressing the needs of people in Leeds. In 2020, and particularly following a three month Covid-19 closure it’s only through the commitment and drive of its trustees, directors, management, staff and volunteers that this aim continues to be fulfilled .

That said without you playing your part and donating your unwanted furniture (beds, sofas, tables, chairs, wardrobes, cabinets etc. etc.) none of this would be possible. 

At this moment in time besides Gareth and Stephen, Graham Brownlee, Karen Handley, John Sherbourne, Terry Kelly (Middleton Baptist Church) and Gillean Howitt (a former social worker/service user) sit on the charity and trading company boards whilst another MBC member John Gamson is the Store’s Manager. 

To read more about the charity and to find out how you can support L&MFS by making a one off cash donation visit or call Chair of Trustees John Sherbourne 0n 07913505865.

Thank you.

*When we told Hilary Willmer about the arrival of two new, home grown trustees we also invited her to write a couple of sentences recounting the early days. Here’s what she sent us.

The Furniture store was certainly founded by Moortown Baptist Church in 1986; it arose from my frustration when in Chapeltown CAB I encountered  families with no beds for their children or chairs to sit on – while members of MBC asked if I could find a home for good quality furniture that they no longer needed. The first committee included Christine Robson as secretary, myself as chair, Julie Harris as treasurer for one year as well as Joan Thompson and John Hornby; all members of MBC.  And since then involvement in many ways has continued by direct involvement of many members and much needed financial support from the church as well as the early minibus.

Film Club, the first in a new series of blogs from Nathan Dring; read the post, watch the film and then join in the debate

My last blog series was all about the learnings and reflections whilst taking my 3 year old daughter out on her bike. As the weather has turned (and the novelty worn off) we have spent probably more time watching movies. As such, over the coming weeks I’ll be chatting about the musings I have had whilst watching these…and this week it was Moana!
If you don’t know the story then (without spoilers) here is a summary. On a small island lives Moana and her tribe…and that is where they stay. They are safe. Everything in their environment is known to them. Familiarity is comfort. And yet…
Away from their island there is trouble. A looming darkness that seeks to destroy life. In order for it to be defeated, a heart must be restored.
And so Moana makes it her mission, to get out of her safe and comfortable life on the island, to travel to new oceans and restore the heart.
I’m guessing some of that might sound familiar, perhaps the same things resonating with you that rang a bell with me.
I wonder if as Christians, we have got used to the comfortable island life. We like our safety in familiarity. We know all the people we chat to. We belong with them and they belong with us. A safe, relatively non-challenging environment. Church can often be this. Or perhaps our friendship circles that only include Christians. Maybe we almost only chat to those who know Jesus or have just stopped sharing His love and salvation story.
Perhaps we all could do with a bit more of the Moana-spirit! Perhaps the time is now, for us to be brave and step out. To discover new oceans and, as we go, to share Christ. To see Him restore hearts and in doing so, push back the darkness and advance the Kingdom of God.

In her Monday morning message to the pastoral team Jane Coates encourages them (and us) to stand firm

Every Monday Jane Coates writes Monday thoughts and prayers for the Pastoral Care Team. This is something she has done every week since May 3rd. Here Jane shares the message she wrote and sent out on 28th September. 

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous and strong and do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16 v 13-14 

It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us and He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first instalment that guarantees everything He has promised us. 2 Corinthians 1 v 21-22  

When tragic hits and our circumstances are unstable, challenging, uncertain, scary, isolating and bleak- what can we do? Where do we go for strength, perspective and understanding? What is there to keep us on track and to prevent us folding and crumpling? 

When Phil and I experienced a very bleak time in our family we held on to the knowledge that God is faithful, that God is constant and loving and that God is completely trustworthy. We stood firm in the knowledge that He had always been our faithful God through the many years that we had walked with him. This was the foundation stone on which we planted our feet. As He had been with us in the past- He would be with us now and on into the future. We planted our feet and we stood firm.  

Covid days may make us feel isolated and anxious. It is hard to meet with family, friends and church friends. We may know of those who may have received a difficult diagnosis, an uncertain time with employment, a financial concern, tensions in a relationship, a troubling family situation or mental wellbeing issues. How do we stand firm during these times and help others to stand firm? 

I appreciate the tributes that were recently paid to Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther Marvel star, who died suddenly, at the age of 43, after his four year battle with cancer. During those 4 years he was able to stand firm. He had never discussed his illness publicly and had continued to work on blockbuster films throughout his treatment and surgeries during that period. He was standing firm without drawing attention to his very real concerns. For that, he is a superhero. 

Chadwick had openly spoken about his faith in God during difficult times. On one occasion, he had been selected for a role in a soap opera that involved playing the role of a stereotypical black man. After questioning the producers on the portrayal of the character he was dismissed from the role. He trusted that his disappointment would lead to other opportunities. When he addressed a group of graduating students at Howard University in 2018, he spoke of his faith, quoted Jeremiah 29 v 11, and spoke of God’s purpose being the essential element of who you are. “You are on this planet, at this particular time in history and your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfil. Whatever you choose for your career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” 

After his death, the NAACP one of the leading civil rights groups in the US wrote, “ for showing us how to conquer adversity with grace, for showing us how to ‘say it loud’, for showing us how to walk as a king without losing the common touch, for showing us just how powerful we are. Thank you.” 

The encouragement in these difficult days is to stand firm but not in our own strength but in God’s strength. To fix your feet. Instead of giving us strength to face whatever situation we need to face, He becomes our strength. It is His strength. Strength made perfect in weakness. 

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