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April 2014 edition

The Transformation Programme for the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales

www.wyadtransformation.org

Growing poppies together across the new diocese Every church and church school across the new diocese is receiving a packet of poppy seeds this month to grow a patch of poppies to mark the centenary of the First World War. The new diocese comes into being on Easter Day (April 20th), and April 30th has been designated Poppy Planting Day when senior church leaders are encouraging all parishes and schools to join them in sowing poppy seeds and to mark our identity as a new diocese together.

Bishop designate, Nick Baines said: "A century is not a long

time, but only 100 years ago the world fell apart in the most violent way. This simple act of growing poppies reminds us of our past and is a very visual

way of pledging ourselves to serve together in the future.” The campaign works alongside the Royal British Legion and has the backing of the Archbishop of York. Packets of poppy seeds, a letter from the bishops, a prayer, and a how-to-grow note are being distributed to parishes at the Lenten meetings being held in each deanery. For more contact Jane Bower at jane.bower@wakefield.anglican.org

On yer bike - again! Clergy and lay motorcyclists across the new diocese have formed the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales Motor-cycle Club (WYAD MCC) and they are planning a second ride around the region next month to mark the birth of the new diocese. The ride-out will take place on May Day Bank Holiday,

Monday May 5th. Starting at popular bikers’ rendezvous point, Dunni’s Cafe in Otley, the bikers plan to set off at

9am heading to the Manor Cafe at Bellerby (near Leyburn) via Fewston, Pateley Bridge, Masham. They will make the

return journey via Bainbridge (chosen for its word-association with the Bishop of Leeds designate, Nick Baines) then via Hawes, Ribblehead, Settle and back to Otley. If you would like to know more then contact Revd Canon Stephen Kelly, the Rural Dean of Wakefield and a keen biker on (01226) 382550. 1


Seeds Bishop James Bell The kingdom of God is like a poppy seed . . . . In the Gospels, it was actually a mustard seed, of course, but poppy seeds are coming your way with an invitation to plant them in commemoration of the First World War - a single act of remembrance to unite the new diocese. Of course, this is more than something that the church does for its own benefit - that would have very little likeness to the kingdom of God! The sowing of the poppy seeds is about the church in every community, and church schools in so many communities, making a contribution to human solidarity in recalling the tragedy of war and to a shared commitment to peace and reconciliation. What are the other kingdom seeds that we can plant? "The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." Jesus points to the smallness of the seed sown, but also the rapid growth into something that is big enough to provide space for all comers. In some fine words that I came across recently, "A haven safe, secure, 2

The Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, is made up of five Areas - Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Ripon and Wakefield - each with its own Area Bishop.

stretching out a welcome sure; embracing many; protecting any who see shelter here." If it is with the intent of God's reign of justice and peace and hospitality for all that we plant the seeds, then we can be sure of growth. The thing is to identify the ground where the sowing is likely to be worthwhile and get on with the planting. It is then God who gives the growth, just as it is God who (alone) brings life out of death. That's the awesome truth that we celebrate on Easter Day when the new diocese also comes into being. This is a great opportunity to ask about the new things we can do, the new ways, however small, that we can seek and strive for the kingdom of God, and trust God for the growth. When we pray "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven," can we do it with fresh energy with specific places and people and projects in mind? Then maybe the new diocese will be blessed with new kingdom - growth. +James

Bishop Nick Baines will be the new diocesan bishop following the Inauguration Service at York Minster on June 8th, and he will also be the Area Bishop of Leeds. The Bishop of Pontefract, Tony Robinson will be the Area Bishop for Wakefield. The Bishop of Knaresborough, James Bell will be the Area Bishop for Ripon Appointments to the two remaining areas will be made later this year, but in the shortterm Bishop Tom Butler will look after the Bradford Area, and Bishop Tony will look after Huddersfield. The new diocese runs from Barnsley in the south, through West and North Yorkshire, to parts of County Durham in the north, covering an area of 2,425 square miles. The total population is 2,614,00, the majority of whom are concentrated in the southern part of the diocese. There are 496 clergy serving in 656 churches, and 256 church schools.


Mapping the new Diocese from Easter Day On Easter Day, April 20th, the remaining diocesan bishops will lay down their pastoral staffs on the altars of Bradford and Wakefield Cathedrals, and the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales is born. The new diocese retains the three Cathedrals – Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield.

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Church leaders take a stand over food injustice Senior church leaders across West Yorkshire joined forces at the start of Lent to urge Christians to take the lead in promoting food justice by giving away food on Shrove Tuesday, March 4th and joining in an Act of Penitence for food misuse on Ash We d n e s d ay, March 5th. Food for all was the message as a campaign for food, generosity and justice was launched across the region by senior church leaders. Pancakes were given out on Wakefield Cathedral steps on Shrove Tuesday, as West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC) asked churches to show generosity. At Bradford Cathedral, generosity was shown to Hindu, Muslim and Sikh neighbours with a social evening of food, fellowship and faith. On Ash Wednesday an Act of Penitence took place on the steps of Wakefield Cathedral with church leaders from several denominations across the region joining in prayer for those in need. It coincided with the national End Hunger 4

Day of fasting backed by 29 Anglican bishops – including the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten. Revd Canon Andi Hofbauer, Canon Precentor at Wakefield Cathedral said: “Lent has tra-

ditionally been seen as a time of self-denial. And whilst a bit of discipline is no bad thing, Jesus is not concerned about us eating chocolate, but rather about how we engage with others in need.” WYEC has also issued guidance sheets including ‘Food: ten tips for a better world’. Suggestions include giving food to foodbanks, growing your own food, re-using leftovers, eating together as families, and buying fair-trade products. County Ecumenical Development Officer and Executive Secretary of WYEC, Revd Dr

Clive Barrett (pictured left), said, “This was a great opportunity to show the love of God for all people, the care of the churches for people with the greatest need and the justice of Jesus in the face of wrong in our society.” He added, “God’s love is overwhelmingly generous. We Christians should be generous in response. We also know we fall short of the generosity God expects of us, and that we live in a fallen world, not least in our poor stewardship of food. And why do many go hungry in a country where there is so much?”

Focus on Prayer Loving God, pour upon us, we pray, your Holy Spirit and prepare us for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. We pray for our new bishop and pray you will lead and encourage us, bind us together in love and faith, and open our hearts and minds to new possibilities of welcome, witness and mission. In Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.


Transformation Programme News - April 2014