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.

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. 

Wreath making, Saturday Dec 11 – no previous experience required

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 and MBC

Following the government’s latest advice the YBA are saying this…

On 27 November 2021, the Prime Minister announced new precautionary measures in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the UK. These focus on rules around international travel, and on the compulsory wearing of face coverings from Tuesday 30 November in shops and on public transport for those not exempt.

Updated Government guidance on face coverings does not make it mandatory to wear face coverings in churches in England, though we note the ongoing recommendation that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces.

Wearing face coverings remains mandatory in churches in Wales, as it has been throughout 2021.

We continue to suggest that it is both sensible and appropriate for churches to take some measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 and we trust churches are already engaged in considering how to make Christmas events accessible and safe for all.

However, here at MBC we have taken the decision that unless clinically/medically exempt face masks must be worn at all times except when leading worship, playing an instrument or singing or eating and drinking.  

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



No Toy Service at MBC this Christmas so instead let’s all support this urgent appeal from BMS World Mission

This Christmas we are not planning a Gift Service, as such. Instead we thought it might be more appropriate to respond to this appeal from BMS World Mission and through our giving help them to bring some comfort and stability into the lives of some of the most vulnerable children they work alongside.

As you can see from both the video above and the image below we are not asking for the world, but wouldn’t it be good if between us Moortown Baptist Church could do its bit.

You are invited to make your donation any time between now and Christmas Day (please mark your envelope BMS Christmas Appeal and either leave it in Kate’s office or hand it to one of our Leadership Team).

Oh, and can we just add our special thanks to Roger Robson for bringing this appeal to our attention.   

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 


Table Top Sale raises £500

Displaying hand crafted goods ranging from a tea cosy and a candy floss maker to some quite serious artwork MBC’s Table Top Sale raised £500. 

This means that both the church’s Romania Support Group and the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store will each receive a very welcomed boost to their funds. 

Huge thanks to Karen Ross and her team. 


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