At your service… MBC’s new diaconate

At our recent Church Meeting members were invited to elect a new diaconate.

Of the initial six who made up the Interim Leadership Team, two, Bela and Nathan have stepped down and three more have been added to the fold.

So currently the team consists of: Geoff Fennell, John Sherbourne, Diane Sunter, Paddy Colling (back row) and Karen Ross, Zac Mwanje and Phil Commons (front).

Also following the move from Interim to something more permanent another change is the team’s email address. As of now this is

Please remember that the deacons were elected by you to serve. Please hold them in your prayers.

Website update!

Moortown Baptist Church has had an online presence for well over 10 years. In that time, web technology and tools have both improved in leaps and bounds. As the technology changed, so our website became less state-of-the art and definitely less secure and it became imperative to catch up.

As we enter into our new and exciting future, it seemed like a good time to bite the bullet, and we have been working hard in the background to build a replacement site. We are now delighted to announce that our website has been migrated over to the new platform, and is now up and running.

If you already have credentials for the website, you should be able to sign on with your existing username and password. If you have any difficulty with this then please let us know, preferably by email to

As with all new things, we are expecting a certain amount of teething problems, so please report anything that you notice is wrong.  Any comments and suggestions are also welcome, to the same address.

What the bible has to say about unity within the body

A short while ago MBC’s Interim Leadership Team considered this list of Bible verses. After last Sunday’s service about unity, it seemed the right time to send it out to all members and friends (and yes, it does coincide with the church meeting) since the verses are all relevant to how we relate to each other and to maintaining, or restoring our unity as the body of Christ in our church.

As you will see the verses are varied, some we may find easy to take on board, others will be more challenging. They are presented here as a list, but may each of us consider each one and take it as a point of prayer for ourselves and for the church. May we pray that God will open our eyes to see how they relate to each of us and allow him to make us more like him,

  • This is my commandment, that you love one another (John 15)
  • By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13)
  • Love one another deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4)
  • “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 13) – in other words don’t stop loving each other when things get difficult or we disagree
  • How many times shall I forgive my brother or sister when they sin against me ? Up to seven times ? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18)
  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1)
  • For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6)
  • In humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2)
  • Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. (Romans 12)
  • Encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3)
  • Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12)
  • Do not judge, or you too will be judged… Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye ? (Matthew 7)
  • Don’t grumble against each other, or you too will be judged (James 5)
  • Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12)
  • Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1)
  • With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse men who have been made in God’s likeness. My brothers, this should not be (James 3)
  • Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed (James 5)
  • Do everything without complaining or arguing (Philippians 2)
  • Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5)
  • “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men and women who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13). A challenging verse which raises many questions that need to be further explored, but one of the issues it highlights is that how we respond, behave and speak to our leaders (who we have chosen) can make their task a burden, rather than a joy which the verse clearly implies it should be. When we raise matters or concerns with our leaders, which is a proper and essential part of church life, do we consider not only the details of the matter we are raising but also of whether what we are raising and how we are doing it (e.g. the timing, the words we use, the means by which we communicate, the spirit in which we are doing it) are creating a burden rather than a joy for our leaders?
  • “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs27). Possibly many situations this could apply to, but one is how open and challenging debate can be healthy in that it can build us up and strengthen us in our lives and faith. Also (do we think of the effect of our actions or words on others): “A bruised reed he will not break” (Isaiah 42)
  • Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4)
  • Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother (or sister) has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother (or sister); then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5)
  • If your brother (or sister) sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18)

Haddon Willmer shares some thoughts about prayer

Intercessions in church can get too near to being a media-shaped list of needs dressed in pious language.  So, we pray and move on, without noticing that nothing has really been done. 

Can we make a helpful change in the way we pray? 

Start with the conventional sequence of perfunctory petitions and then break off sharply, by saying: 

So God, in your presence, we pause in our prayer, to think and talk together about what we are being called to do, here and now, as we stand between You and the world

Pause, because we need to think and talk and venture in experiment together, as people called to be ‘Church’, a community, a group of groups, who are called to witness to God in shared cooperative service in the world.   

It might be a rather long pause, the conversation demanding. It is tempting to exempt ourselves from such down to earth talk, and to go back to finish giving God the list which we think falls on his plate, and then, go home. But to do that would be to forget we are in the presence of God, the God who presses upon us and hems us in; we would cease to be even a rough sketch of ‘Church’. 

Such a pause bears fruit when together we hear God’s call to a specific work, to go this way rather than that, so that our prayer becomes concrete, closer to God and world. 

When a way has been marked out for us, pray for grace to get going on it. Pray both for courage and strength to persevere in good work until it is completed and the grace to go on learning, open to revising our plans and methods in the light of experience.  Pray to be kept walking on the earth which was ‘good enough for Jesus’ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). 

In this week’s encounter Jane meets a rich young ruler

I am from a privileged family. I have always known security, received a sound, quality education and a good religious upbringing. I have been taught to be morally upright, to do the right thing, to follow the teachings of the scriptures and the Pharisees. I have followed the commandments to the letter and the instructions of the Teachers and the Rabbis at the synagogue. I have learned well, so that now I am one of the youngest leaders, joining those of senior years, who are teaching others in the ways of God. I have conformed to the rules, maintained high standards of behaviour and earned the respect of all in the community. I am set for high things, but I am not at peace. Why do I feel so dissatisfied? There is a discontent in my soul, a void that I cannot fill and for all my superior moral behaviour and high standards there is something lacking. I have learned and followed the Pharisaic rules from early childhood. I am a conformer of the first order so why do I feel so empty?  

I heard of this young, untrained itinerant Teacher whom many are following and was eager to find out the secret to His ministry, success and following. I sought Him out in good faith, coming before Him respectfully, open minded, with a genuine need to learn, being aware of the void in my life. I needed to ask Him- what particular thing do I need to do in order to have eternal life? I have followed all of the rules and commandments and so what one, good thing do I need to do now? Have I done enough for a reward in heaven? Is there a guarantee of my place in the eternal? I will do whatever is required. 

His answer was straightforward and shocking. I was to sell all I had and follow Him. He had discerned that my strongest, my hearts attachment, was to my wealth, status, position, and privilege. He was asking me to relinquish the control of my life to Him and to simply follow. He had read my heart. I now saw that eternal life is not by ’doing’ but by ‘being’.  

I was cut to the core. His words had penetrated deep and caused immense conflict. To say that I was troubled was an understatement. This was too much to ask. How could it be that my high moral life would count for nothing in the new kingdom? My heart was heavy and with great sorrow I quietly turned away from Him, returning to the privilege of my wealth and the security of all that was familiar. 


This rich young ruler had hit a roadblock, a crossroads and he could go no further until he had relinquished the control of his life to the One who was calling him to follow. There was a hindrance, an obstacle that prevented him from moving forwards. He had stalled and could not move forward to his desired path of knowing his place in the kingdom of God. So, he was immobilized, stifled, and frustrated. A breakthrough would not come easily now. 

There is one significant and perhaps life changing sentence in this account of the rich young ruler. 

 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him……..Mark 10 v 21 

Perhaps if he had continued in conversation with Jesus, he may have begun to see things from a new perspective. He may have realized that he could not begin do this by himself and that Jesus would not ask Him to do it on his own. When the disciples asked Jesus to explain the challenge of riches to them, Jesus gave a simple, clarification- trust God to help you. 

25 The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all?” 26 Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.” The Message 

We may each face some turning point, a blockage on our journey of faith, something that we are holding onto, or some unexpected challenge. He does not expect us to do this on our own. His grace and power to change us, is sufficient. We can’t pull it off by ourselves. We need to keep reminding ourselves of this. 

Jane Coates

Toddler networking lunch demonstrates that at every stage in our ministry the word “normal” is undergoing a massive overhaul

Hosted by MBC and led by Jodie Thorpe, the YBA’s Children’s, Youth and Families Enabler, Thursday’s networking lunch brought together sixteen people who share two common aims.. sharing the love of God, and by calling on their practical and supportive experience reaching out to toddlers, to their parents and to their carers. 

It was fascinating, particularly at this stage in the battle to reopen toddler groups whilst Covid-19 is still so rampant to listen to how, when and why people are altering their approach to providing this vital ministry.

Here at MBC Shelley is aiming to have our toddler group up and running in time for the return to school after the October half term. However, whether or not she hits that target one thing the session showed above all is that anyone expecting any return to be a mirror image of what we had before will, in all likelihood be in for something of a surprise. 

COVID-19. Services and support both here in Leeds and nationwide

COVID-19. Services and support both here in Leeds and nationwide

With Covid-19 guidance changing as often as it does we thought that right now the most sensible idea would be to publish just a couple of permanent website links. These are updated each time something new is added, taken away or changed. The first is the government’s official website which contains information on a whole range of national issues.

The second takes a more local look at the situation and the services and support that are available here in Leeds. That link is here

However, if you still can’t find what you are looking for just send or ask someone else to send an email to one of our deacons at and someone will get back to you. 

Sunday 26th September. The Body – the tongue

Taming the tongue

This week our ongoing series on The Body concentrates on the head, but more specifically on the tongue.  Our reading is taken from the Book of James chapter 3, verses 1 to 12. Please join us either in church or on the MBC YouTube channel at 11am.

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

11.00am, 19th September. Unity in the Body, and this week we’re in church and on Facebook Live!

11am Facebook live and in church

Ephesians 4:1-16 NIV

Just two days ahead of an important Church Meeting the theme for this Sunday’s Service is Unity in the Body and our text is from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4 and verses 1 to 16. You will find it below, and we would urge you to read it.  As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
You can connect to Facebook live by using the bold link at the top of this page, by going to or by simply clicking HERE

Church Meeting – 7.45pm, Tuesday September 21

On Tuesday September 21st we invite you to join us for what many expect to be one of the most important Church Meetings in MBC’s sixty-six-year history. We describe it thus because six months on from electing an Interim Leadership Team you, the church, the body of Christ are to be asked to discuss and then make a number of decisions that will shape its future.

Thoughtfully and prayerfully your ILT has, since March been doing all it can to get to grips with the many legal and human complexities involved in leadership: working alongside, encouraging and supporting our staff, building bridges, re-establishing relationships, setting up safeguarding and training sessions, ensuring our Covid hit worship and pastoral agenda continues and indeed grows etc. etc. However, crucial to ensuring a smooth transition from an Interim Leadership Team to something more permanent is the election or re-election of deacons. To this end at the meeting there will be seven candidates; four are members of the original ILT who are seeking re-election and three are people who feel God has called them to put their names forward. * Once the election is complete you will hear updates from the ILT, including some important information about MBC’s tithe giving, and also from one or two of our staff regarding the progress (or lack of) made in our collective efforts to piece together something that even above and beyond the frustrations brought about by the pandemic had taken on the appearance of an enormously complicated and incomplete jigsaw. In regard to the past it is obvious to us all that a number of issues, some inextricably linked to the fall-out surrounding the departure of MBC’s co-ministers, others not, are still causing concern. And it is equally obvious that these are things that none of us can ignore. That’s why following the updates you will be hearing and in all likelihood being asked to vote on a number of recommendations from a small team of volunteers that were invited to work towards ensuring that what happened in the past won’t, or at least shouldn’t happen again. This will include proposals to make changes to the MBC constitution, to its complaint’s procedure and to the Code of Conduct as well as bringing news of an opportunity for members to engage either in small groups or confidentiality, one to one with experts in reconciliation from the Blackley Centre. Most of all, though, it is our fervent hope that what comes from these discussions will remind us all of our responsibility as brothers and sisters in Christ to follow his commandment and love one another. To round off the meeting members will be invited to use the final AOB time to air their thoughts and express their opinions on any relevant matter. However, please be aware that looking to the future, walking a Christ like path of forgiveness, grace and truth and not looking back is what this meeting is all about. *Please note that only Church Members who are present at the meeting are eligible to vote. The meeting will start at 7.45pm, in church on Tuesday September 21st. Oh, and please remember to bring a mask. 
PHP Code Snippets Powered By :