Bless you: Arthur Barr who served as MBC Church Secretary between 1968 and 1983 has died at the age of 92

Arthur Barr, who died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday 18th November aged 92 lived a life of outstanding service to his Lord and to Moortown Baptist Church.

In 1967 Arthur, Margaret and their three children, Alison, David and Neil moved from Huddersfield to a new house on King Lane as a result of Arthur starting a job as an engineer in the Leeds City Planning Department. Prior to this they had been active in Salendine Nook Baptist Church where Arthur had been a Deacon and, in looking for a new church, they soon found MBC. Within scarcely a year of joining Moortown as members Arthur was elected to the Diaconate and was persuaded by the new Minister, Ralph Drake, (who himself was only a year into his ministry) to take on the role of Church Secretary on the retirement of John Smith. This decision probably slowed down the process of creating his lovely garden at the new house, and was the start of fifteen years loyal and loving service working with Ralph Drake and later Michael Caddick as Ministers.

Arthur was a great Church Secretary and pastorally-minded Deacon. His great commitment to the life of the church was shown each year at the AGM in his annual Secretary’s Reports – beautifully summing up, with humour and positivity, the ups and downs of a church year with emphasis on the blessings of God in the church… something which Margaret and Arthur were famous for passing on to others!

The Barr home was always welcoming and many of us remember house-groups there, the prayer chains, the listening groups they ran, and well into old age their faithful involvement in many other aspects of Church life.

Physical weakening was frustrating for Arthur who, all his life, had been a lover of the great outdoors: the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands and Islands and especially his beloved Isle of Arran. In recent times some of us have had the privilege of sharing reminiscences with Arthur of these lovely places and of church holidays – always laced with humorous anecdotes and with a twinkle in his eye. We have also learned of his pride in his Scots ancestry, his belonging to the Moffat Clan and his ambition to own a kilt!

Arthur’s passing at a difficult moment in the Church’s life reminds us of how the love of Jesus is demonstrated and passed on by acts of kindness, faithfulness and love of others which his life demonstrated. He will be greatly missed, but not forgotten.

Roger Robson

We remember Alison, David and Neil and their families in our prayers.

And a word from Graham

Arthur was a compassionate man, a loyal friend, an assured Christian and a committed church member. Whenever I visited him (and Margaret) he never dwelt upon himself but asked after me and all in church. Arthur (and Margaret) had a deep care and connection for their children and grandchildren, there was a photo of the whole family in their lounge and we would talk and pray for those in the picture. At the end of each time we often listen to his recording of the ‘Fishermen’s Choir ‘– especially “Will your anchor hold” and we would always pray.

A few years ago Arthur and Margaret came to us for Christmas dinner, we had a wonderful day.

It is difficult to sum all this up. But maybe Arthur does this best. Every time I called he would greet me saying “Bless you!” Arthur was a blessing in his words and the way he was. I am so grateful for having known him.

As many of you will know Arthur served as a deacon and church secretary for many years. As his family will tell you – in those days that involved going up to church every weekend to stoke the church boiler with coal before the Sunday services!

Our thoughts and prayers are with Arthur’s children, David, Alison and Neil and with their families. We also pray for those here at MBC who have known Arthur a long time and will share their sadness.

It brings such sadness to lose Arthur, but we haven’t lost him for although he has died we know that he is not lost but safe in the Lord’s arms. We also know that Arthur is an ongoing blessing to us in who he was and the times he shared with us.

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23: 5b, 6

Our pictures (top to bottom) show Arthur c.1970, not long after being appointed MBC Church Secretary.

A picture of Arthur and Margaret taken by the late John Ritchie (just one of a set of wonderful portraits John took of church members in the 8o’s).

Arthur (3rd from left) pictured with his fellow deacons and MBC Minister Rev Ralph Drake.

Arthur assisting Ralph at a Communion Service.

Margaret and Arthur relaxing during a stay in Keswick in 1983. 

Arthur’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 15th of December. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 restrictions no more than 30 people can be present which means that only his family and a few invited friends can attend. 

Special Church Meeting – 8pm, December 1

Our next special church meeting is scheduled for 8pm on Tuesday December 1 via Zoom.

If you are a Church Member all the information you will need to join this meeting and the Zoom links will be sent to you in advance by email. 

If, however, you don’t receive this information before the date of the meeting please email or ring the church office on 0113 2693750

Thank you. 

With Christmas just around the corner MBC brings some cheer to Tier 3

Huge thanks to Rod, Kate, Karen and Shelley for all their hard work trimming up MBC. Although Covid restrictions prevent us marking the lead up to Christmas anything remotely like we have in the passed the team have tried their level best to ensure that the banner and all the decorations and lights have been strategically positioned in order to give anyone driving, cycling or walking past a much needed festive boost. 




Good news, great joy! Anne Kapolyo introduces a special Advent project that we can all join in

As we were reminded by Rosanna during last Sunday morning’s livestream chocolate is often the first idea that the word that Advent generates in the minds of children. No problem with that but I want to encourage each of us to imprint deeper thoughts through this season by designing and making our very own Advent wreath or crown, and by using it alongside a special Advent liturgy every Sunday and perhaps even every day.

Advent is a time of preparation: a time to think about Christ’s coming as a baby to Earth and to be encouraged as He is coming again in glory. When we sit down, read Scripture, light candles and pray we centre ourselves on these joyous facts. We join together while being apart by using the same readings and prayers. We can let all the commercial and secular side of Christmas retreat and put Christ back in the centre of our lives. We may also choose to fast in preparation.

Since we have often managed to share Communion together apart, we can celebrate Advent likewise. To do this you’ll need: A plate, dish, bowl – something round signifying the love of God which has no beginning and no end; 5 candles – 4 for round the edge and a centre Christ candle (there are special colours but tea lights and one big  one will be fine). These symbolise the light which Jesus brings into our dark world. Then you’ll need to collect some evergreen leaves or twigs – ivy, bits of Christmas tree, laurel, holly etc. As evergreens these signify the eternal life which Jesus won for us on the cross.

Then it’s time to add something, anything, that’s special to you. That’s because you are special to God! I have made a variety of wreath/crowns using stuff I’ve collected over the years – some red and silver beads and some ivy from the hedge in a local park!

You can see these in the pictures. I do hope you feel inspired to do this as we all work hard in this lockdown year to be together apart.

So this coming Sunday please have everything ready to start making your wreath/crown, that way we can begin our walk through Advent together.

Thank you


Anne will be introducing this exciting Advent project on MBC’s YouTube channel this coming Sunday (Nov 29th). To accompany it, for this and each of our Advent Services the special text we referred to earlier – a special Advent liturgy will be available to read or download by clicking HERE. 

It all started with a small idea. A message from Cluj about how their church Coronavirus Survival Kits are helping in the fight against Covid-19

Howard Dews, one of the leaders of MBC’s Romania Support Group has just received this wonderful message from Florin Fodor who works for Campus Crusade and is a deacon at Manastur church in Cluj.

Dear Howard, 2020 brought a lot of uncertainty and stress in our lives and ministries, requiring many adaptations along the way. In a changing culture, we are grateful that God is the same Sovereign Lord, and He is never taken by surprise.

In the beginning of September, while we were planning our ministry projects for the Teachers’ ministry, we asked ourselves: How can we reach out to teachers and students during the Covid-19 pandemic?

That was when a thought crossed our minds: How about donating masks and sanitizers for the schools in Cluj county, Romania? It was just a small idea. But we immediately embraced it, as we realized it will meet the felt needs of the people we were considering reaching out to.

This small idea gave birth to a project through which:

$7,000 have been raised

– 1,650 “Coronavirus survival kits” have been distributed to teachers and students

7 schools benefited from this project

3.000 people were exposed to our ministry project

10 Christian teachers stepped up in faith, reaching out to their nonbelieving colleagues and students.

On masks, we printed our name and logo, along with an encouragement (For teachers: Your work matters. For students: Keep Smiling).

The “coronavirus survival kits” contained: masks, sanitizer, and chocolate (for students); sanitizer, masks, pens, encouraging bookmarks, and chocolate (for teachers).

Reactions we got:

Crina, teacher: The packages were very very appreciated. Now, a lot of people are asking me if I have more masks, because they really loved them.

Maria, mother of a non-believing student: Your project is great. Can I have your bank account? I want to make a donation for this project.

Teofil, Area Baptist Union president: I saw your post on FB. Can you add schools in our city to your project?

Manuela, teacher: All my fellow teachers were very impressed with our project! One of them, who is not a Christian, even asked me if she can join our organization. I told her: Of course you can!

We are so glad we were able to make a small contribution to protect the health of students and teachers!

Please continue to pray for us. We are not able to do a face to face follow up after the project, as the schools are now closed in Romania, due to the pandemic. In the next period, much of our ministry will be moved online. We created a Facebook page and we are working on a website for the teachers’ ministry. Going online and offering professional and spiritual webinars to teachers and parents, are ways in which we adapt to the new context. They will also allow us to multiply and reach out to people living in other cities.

Need. Considering the financial needs we have at the end of this year, we want to finish well financially. As we will spend even more time online in the coming year, we see the need for a new laptop, that will serve us better in the new context. Also, despite the restrictions, we are planning to continue The Christmas Shoebox Project. Through this project, last year we gave 300 gifts to children from poor families. We trust the Lord to help us raise $4,500 for these needs. If this pandemic did not affect you financially and you are in a position to give, would you consider a one time gift, to cover part of the above amount? Thank you.

(You can donate online, using Cru secure site

May God bless you! Merry Christmas! Florin and Dana Fodor

Christmas Choir 2020 – just because everything’s a bit different it doesn’t mean to say we can’t still sing

Hi everyone. Quite what Christmas at MBC will look like this year is anything but clear but even if our building does stay closed the one thing you can count on is music. So get your Christmas jumper out of the drawer, dust off your reindeer ears and sign up to join our virtual Christmas Choir.

Now the fact that our choir is virtual means that for Christmas 2020, unlike any other year you’ve no excuse for not joining in. Why? Because this time round rather than being in church, up front and lit you can not only join in from the comfort of your own front room but you can take part in as much as or as little as you like. 

So, whilst I admit they are hard to come by one benefit of moving our Christmas Choir online that I have thought of is that no matter how we broadcast our voices (Facebook, YouTube or for that matter any other platform) it actually blows away our walls which not only enables us to take the reason for the season out into our local community but quite literally to the world beyond.

So come on, jumper or no jumper, message Sam & Abi Tilley via this link and together let’s make a joyful noise. 



Covid-19. MBC in LOCKDOWN

MBC’s Health and Safety committee are meeting very regularly, even twice weekly due to the changes taking place nationally. They are consulting the guidelines and also information given by the Baptist Union. With the recent news of the imminent lockdown the following decisions have been made:1) The Monday morning prayer and Friday bible study can still take place within the present guidelines and precautions, However, there will be no other services or events in the church building at present. Sadly, there can be no pastoral visiting by volunteers but we would urge you to keep in contact with one another by text, email and telephone. 

2) Next Sunday is Remembrance Sunday, and as you will see from our website we were planning a special act of remembrance. This will still go ahead but under strict conditions. In order for you to bring your poppies to church you MUST book in with Kate in the church office before 3pm Thursday and she will allocate you a 5 minute slot for next Sunday afternoon when you can drop them off. Please DO NOT just turn up – we need to know who is on the premises and at what time. Kate can be contacted by email or by phone 0113 2693750. 

3) The Health and Safety team which I say is meeting up to twice a week are at present reviewing all the information available to churches. They are aware that people really want to meet and they know the importance of this for so many of us in the church community. From Thursday November 5th we will be in lockdown and will be unable to plan anything until the 2nd December at the earliest – however, if you have a plan or idea to meet up at MBC (but only of course as and when government guidelines permit) please submit a plan and a risk assessment to the Health and safety committee at least 2 weeks in advance. The committee will then assess your plan in line with current guidelines, and as long as everyone appreciates that regulations can change very suddenly, as this weekend has proved, they may be happy to support your plan and offer advice. Again Kate Slater in the office can help with any risk assessment templates and their completion.

The Health and Safety committee’s prior concern is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the church community during these unprecedented times, that is why it is vital that we all follow the guidelines issued by both the government and Baptist Union at all times.

To read the BU’s guidance on Coronavirus Cod-19 legal issues click HERE

God bless you and stay safe.

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