Carol Service – Christingle. Jesus the light of the world. A wonderful way to launch our Christmas

With upwards of seventy people in church and more joining via YouTube our Christingle, Carol Service set the scene for a truly wonderful Christmas. 

A terrific mix of traditional carols (one even set to the classic Yorkshire anthem On Ilkley Moor bar t’at) and a telling of the Christmas story that grew and grew from “In the beginning was the word” – narrated over the Star Wars theme, to the time the wise men presenting their gifts were a marvellous build up to us all making our own Christingles, which when the lights were dimmed and the flickering flames were spread round the room really brought home how no matter how dark the darkness may appear the light of Christ will always break through.

Huge thanks to Shelley but also to Cas, Hilary, Jessica and Emma, to Martyn, to all the singers and musicians and of course to anyone else I have forgotten to name. 

Nativity 2021 – a live Facebook stream, in church and on YouTube… what more could you ask?

Our live and online nativity took place this morning and if you were lucky enough to land a part can we offer our huge congratulations. 

Of course our nativity was only the start of our final build up to Christmas 2021. Via a mix of YouTube and face to face/mask to mask gatherings we’re also hosting Beacon Café – 10am till noon on Monday the 20th, at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve a Christingle/Carol Service, on Christmas Day at 10.30am we have our celebration of Jesus’ birth and then at 11am on Boxing Day (and on Zoom only) 30 minutes of prayer and sharing during which you will be invited to show us all your favourite present and hear how one of our preachers can turn whatever it is you show into a message about God.   

Wreath making, what a great idea. So much talent and creativity

Last week when I wrote this rather tongue in cheek piece about today’s wreath making I wasn’t prepared for what I have just seen; absolute talent and amazing creativity. Top marks to Shelley and Sarah for organising us and top marks to everyone who put their necks on the block – you were all brilliant. 

There’s a gallery above, take a look through it and you’ll see exactly what I mean. 


There’s them that are, and there’s them that aren’t… crafty that is. However, I’m assured by those in the know that this coming Saturday previous experience is definitely not required for what promises to be a couple of hours of creative Christmas fun. 

I’ve already had a sneaky look in Shelley’s office and spotted enough baubles, bangles and beads to trim Briggate; set them alongside some very professional looking framey type things and a near industrial quantity of holly, ivy and mistletoe* and we’re all set. 

The event begins at 12 noon and lasts through till 2pm, it costs £5 and for those with as much design flair as I have you’ll be relieved to know there will be no judging. 

All we ask now is that if you would like to join us you drop an email to either or to or leave a message on 0113 2693750.


* Please go steady with the mistletoe, although the government seem somewhat confused about what we can and what we can’t do at a Christmas party I think their current guidelines say you can only kiss if you’re wearing either a visor or a mask!  

Masks – MBC, Omicron and Plan B

In the UK Government’s guidance on face coverings, face coverings much be worn in places of worship from 10 December, for those not exempt. In an email written directly to faith groups, and applicable from December 10th the Government states that exceptions to this ruling exist for those leading a service, reading and so on, from the front. 

Christmas 2021 – in person & online. The Impossible Promise

Whether you meet us in person or online Christmas 2021 is going to be very special. 

It’s based around the theme of The Impossible Promise and it runs right through into the new year. During that time we take in no less than eight different services or events, everything from an all age nativity and candlelight carols to a Zoom prayer and share. 

Whether you are with us in church or are joining us on YouTube, if you’re expecting MBC to serve up a traditional Christmas with a capital T then prepare to be just a wee bit surprised!

Click on the image for a better quality version of the calendar.

Advent: Mary’s Treasure Store of Precious Words

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2 v 19

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The Message

There were many things that Mary was told about her new baby Son.

From Joseph: she was told that her Son was Holy Spirit conceived and that He was to be called “Jesus-— ‘God saves’—because He will save His people from their sins.”

From the shepherds she learned: that His birth was a joyful event, meant for everyone, worldwide. That He was Saviour, Messiah and Master.

“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Saviour has just been born in David’s town, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master.

From Simeon, who took the tiny 8-day old child into his arms at His naming day Mary learned that He was salvation in person, a God revealing light to the non-Jewish nations and the glory of God’s people Israel, a sign from God Himself, and a ‘heart revealer.’ Mary was also told of soul and heart pain that would be waiting for her in her future.

“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!” 

And to Mary directly:

“This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” 

Mary and Joseph “were speechless with surprise at these words.”

At the very time Simeon was praying, Anna, the Prophetess broke into an anthem of praise to God and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

Some years later, Mary would hear from the Scholars from the East, the title, the King of the Jews and the words of Micah referring to the Messiah (by their report from the very lips of Herod.) She would witness these great men kneeling in worship before her child opening their luggage and presenting their gifts of gold, frankincense, myrrh. Wise men who had searched records, documents, scriptures, prophecies, and stars and who had come to worship her own child.

“Where can we find and pay homage to the new-born King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signalled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.” 

So, Mary privately treasured all these words- stored them away in her heart and mind, considering them deeply and watching her Son, Jesus, closely as He developed into manhood.

There are words that we can discover, search, and ponder deeply and hold dear- words for us. We have treasure that we can store in our hearts. But we are also to share this treasure. We are not to keep it to ourselves. The treasure that we have is the knowledge of Jesus, God’s Son, Emmanuel, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Prince of Peace who has come to bring salvation. The good news that the shepherds shared with Mary was the news of a Saviour for the whole world- for everyone. It is good news that must be treasured but also shared.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be alsoMatthew 6 v 21

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. 2 Corinthians 4 v 6-7

Don’t pile up treasures on earth, where moth and rust can spoil them, and thieves can break in and steal. But keep your treasure in Heaven where there is neither moth nor rust to spoil it and nobody can break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!” JBP 

Jane Coates

Steve Scaife

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Steve Scaife. Steve who had battled cancer for the last two years died in St James’s Hospital, Leeds on Sunday 28th of November. 

In a  post on Steve’s own Facebook page Shelley, MBC’s Children and Families Lead describes her dad as “a much loved husband, an inspiring dad, super special grandad, loyal friend and an all round amazing encourager.” 

There will be a celebration of Steve’s life, at Moortown at 3.30pm on 23rd of December.  

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Sue, Shelley and her sister Kathryn and the whole of Steve’s family. 

Above and below are two pictures of how we, his friends, will remember Steve: singing one his Cliff Richard songs at the start of lockdown 1 and more recently leading worship during one of MBC’s Church at Home services. 

Jane turns her thoughts and prayers towards Christmas

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1 v 38

So far at Advent, we have been considering the aspect of listening and responding to God, and so it is natural to consider Mary’s response to the message of the angel. What could have been Mary’s response to the Angel?

Perhaps Mary could have resisted the message of the Angel and therefore the will of God. She was accepting a life changing role with its many consequences for her. Her way ahead was unknown. Joseph, her family, and her community could reject her. How could she possibly explain what was to happen to her?

Perhaps Mary could have accepted the will of God but with resignation. Mary may not have been completely happy with the situation but what else could she do? She had been chosen, she had found favour, and as a young woman of very low social status in the cultural climate at the time, what choices does she have?

Mary might simply commit her future to God and trust that God could redeem any situation that she found herself in. That even as a pregnant teenager facing the gossip of the community, that God would work things out in good time.

Or Mary, as these words might indicate, might rejoice at the commission that she has been given – not just being willing to accept this role but trusting herself, her future, the unknown completely to her God, whatever the outcome may be. She is the servant of God, willingly submitting herself to the future that God was giving to her, not knowing any of the consequences, unable to see that in the future ‘that a sword would pierce her own heart’ but trusting her God completely.

This is trust and faith indeed.

A prayer:  Father, sometimes life is hard, and I kick against the demands and the course of my life. I would like things to be easy, comfortable, convenient, and straightforward, knowing the
direction and clear purpose of the path in front of me. But life is uncertain, unpredictable, difficult and I cannot see the road in front of me. But you have promised a light for my path and not a crystal ball into the future.

Help me to trust you one step at a time, not with resignation but with gladness and trust that you know the end from the beginning and your purpose for me is true and good.

The journey may be uncomfortable, and others may misunderstand your purpose – but your purpose is good.


Jane Coates

John & Sue Wilson report from Paris on a particularly exciting time in their life


Such a lot has happened since our last prayer letter. The most exciting is that we have become grandparents. We have also been able to visit the UK on two separate occasions and have been so well looked after by friends and family. At the same time, we have maintained the rhythm of work in Paris even when we were in the UK, thanks to video calls.

Romola Grace was born to Jessica and Jack on the 25th September and we have been given the names Papi and Mamie, to help distinguish us from Jack’s parents who are also Wilsons! For those who know Sue well, the name Romola will not come as a surprise and as Jessica said at Romola’s dedication service, Grace is a reminder of how grateful they are to God for being with them through all the challenges of parenthood.

A well planned Home Assignment visit to some of the churches that support and pray for us in the South West, meant that we were able to enjoy holding Romola on several occasions. Through the kindness of Cornish friends, we were able to take Romola on her first holiday to Falmouth, where we visited our sending church.

Around the time of Romola’s birth, we hosted a youth event in Paris for the Baptist churches in our region. “We Connect” was a day to help our young people to stay connected despite the restrictions that meant that our national gathering couldn’t take place as planned this year. With around 250 young people in Paris, we connected to 7 other sites of young people gathered around France in order to share teaching and be inspired by the conference theme : “Jésus est le même, hier, aujourd’hui et éternellement” (Hebrews 13 vs.8)


“We Connect” made us feel like grandparents in an altogether new way, as it was people that we have trained and encouraged over the years who put the whole event together. When we visited churches in the UK, we were able to take the banner from “We Connect” and preach on Jesus who is the same in the midst of a changing and unstable world. He also invites us to trust Him for tomorrow, which will give us more stories to tell about his faithfulness and goodness.

As we get ready for Christmas, we are organising a special Christmas market to support our meals for the homeless. There will also be an evangelistic event with a singer/songwriter who will bring the message of Christmas alive in a more contemporary way.

We are particularly looking forward to the arrival of all of our family for Christmas. We will have a house full, if Covid restrictions don’t spoil the party. Being grandparents both organically and spiritually brings us so many blessings as each year turns into year, waiting for the time “when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)

Please pray for Romola, her parents and all our family as we gather at Christmas.

Pray for the generation of young people who are taking more and more responsibility in leading the church.

Pray for our world in flux and change, that the constancy of Jesus may bring peace and hope to many.

Pray for the homeless and people on the move that there may be room for them in our world this Christmas.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and thank you for your ongoing prayers for us and support of BMS World Mission.


John & Sue



A shout out to all our young people

This coming Sunday evening 7.00 – 8.30 in the MBC music room

It was really good to see many of you a couple of weeks ago. It will be great to see you again and to welcome any who could not come last time.

Cake, (maybe group) discussion – and a game to end.  

Looking forward to seeing you

Hilary, Val and Amin 


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