Christmas SCT newsletter 2022

Welcome to the Christmas edition of the SCT newsletter! Please share this information with your congregation, friends and family.

If you were forwarded this email by someone else and would like to be added to the mailing list please click here to subscribe.

I’d like to take the this opportunity to THANK EVERYONE who has prayed, given or served at one of our many ministries and outreaches this year. It’s been incredible to see longstanding projects such as Cuppacare and Foodbank continue to operate, as well as see the relatively new CAP debt centre go from strength to strength. (If you want news on that front then Thomas (our centre manager) produces a separate newsletter which you can ask to receive here). In addition we have started yet another new outreach to displaced Ukrainian families and seen a wonderful response too. What a privilege to live in a town where the local churches truly work together to see His Kingdom come.This Christmas time may the peace of Christ dwell in your hearts richly through faith in Him. On behalf of all at Shipley Christians Together we wish you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Adam Carver
Chair, SCT

Five Ukrainian families are being supported by Shipley Christians Together to live in the town after escaping the war-torn country.

Thanks to everyone who has helped to secure visas for the families, provided funding, donated furniture and other household items, and opened up their homes. Special mentions must go to Susan and Malcolm at St Paul’s, Andy and Beth, Keith, Andrea (St Peter’s), Esther and Matthew and Shipley Rotary for practical support, while Shipley Christians Together trustees Geoff and Andrew have worked hard behind the scenes regarding admin and finances.

Your donations have bought broadband so families can communicate with family still in Ukraine, as well as TV licences, council tax, energy bills and more. This has been for a short time until Government money comes through.

We now seem to be at capacity in terms of how many people we can support due to the availability of host families and funding, although both Bradford Council and Prague City Council would love it if we could help even more families. If you are in a position to get involved please email us.

To donate, you can make a BACS payment to the SCT account; 40-52-40 00034259. Please use the reference “Ukraine”. If you’d like to donate via cheque these can be sent to SCT, 6 Springswood Road, Shipley, BD18 3DG or given directly to Geoff Pollard at Shipley Baptist Church or any SCT trustee.

COME AND CHILL WITH BIBLE STALL VOLUNTEERS
The days are getting chillier and the nights are drawing in, but that won’t stop our hardy Bible stall volunteers who put on their thermals, scarves and anoraks to hand out Bibles, pray or simply chat with passers-by.
The small group of volunteers take turns on a rota to host the stall, which takes place in Shipley market every second Monday each month. Recent encounters include:
  • A lady who was truly excited when she saw the Bibles and took a children’s Bible for someone with poor reading skills.
  • We gave a children’s Bible to an Arab family, and they were so delighted.
  • A young girl from a Bradford church came and gave us two cakes as a thank-you gift.
  • Volunteers encouraged a lady who was thinking about going back to church.
  • Someone who said the last Bible they received was at Sunday school.
  • A really good chat with a person about forgiveness.
  • An elderly lonely lady who liked to read for comfort received a children’s Bible.
  • Offered prayer for a family moving home.
Malcolm Hendry, who used to serve on the Bible stall before he moved out of the town, has now returned as a volunteer and is a much welcome addition. If you want to volunteer, please email us.

Shipley Christians Together held our annual general meeting (AGM) in October as part of a Celebration Service at Saltaire Methodist Church. It was great to be able to meet together and joyfully celebrate God’s goodness over the past year.At the AGM we received reports on the year’s activities, and formally approved other reports that have to be filed with the Charity Commission. We held a Trustees election and our Trustees are now Pastor Adam Carver (Christian Life Church), Geoff Pollard (Shipley Baptist Church), Andrew Gray (Saltaire Methodist Church), Hugh Firman (St Paul’s Parish Church), Caroline Firth (Christian Life Church) and Revd John Rainer (St Peter’s Parish Church).

There were presentations celebrating four particular success stories from the year – the CAP Debt Centre, the Ukraine Refugee Project, Cuppacare and Shipley Foodbank Centre.

We also heard about two projects that would be starting up soon. One was the Warm Spaces initiative, six Shipley churches opening up at different times to provide a warm, welcoming, safe space where people can gather over the winter period. The other was Inn Churches, the night shelter for homeless people which, after a gap of two years, will be running again for a week in January. We praise God for every opportunity we have to share his love with our community.

At a later trustees meeting the officers of the charity for the coming year were confirmed as Adam Carver (Chair), Andrew Gray (Treasurer) and Geoff Pollard (Secretary).

Shipley Christians Together has collated a list of church events in December and over Christmas to encourage people across Shipley to attend.

The information will be posted on Facebook and into local groups by the official Shipley Christians Together page. If any are missing or your church has events to add, please let us know.

Shipley Churches Together is holding its annual Christmas Day meal for homeless, lonely and vulnerable people again this year. Dinner will be served at Shipley Salvation Army, at Rhodes Place, BD18 7DL from 12.30pm.

If you know of anyone who would benefit from the meal, friendship and company, please email Julie Wright or message her on 07703 518768. You can also use this number if you are able to volunteer on the day.

No Christmas season would be complete without Carols at Costa! Join us at Costa in Shipley Market Square on Wednesday, December 14, at 6.30pm for an evening of carols and stories accompanied by Costa refreshments. Entry is free and Costa refreshments will be on sale.

John and Cath Froud and friends will be leading our singing and you will have the opportunity to make a donation to the Christian Aid Christmas Appeal. Come along and get the festive season in full swing – wear your Christmas jumpers and hats!

Live@Costa is then taking a short break and returns on Sunday, February 5, at 6.30pm

Shipley Baptist Church will be hosting the Inn Churches winter shelter from Monday, January 9, until Monday, January 16.

Inn Churches works throughout the year to provide permanent and lasting change in the lives of people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, including guests of winter shelters, which provide emergency bed spaces over the coldest months of the year.

The Inn Churches shelter provides guests with a friendly welcome, a hot meal each night, a warm bed, and breakfast in the morning. Please see the Inn Churches website for more information about the work it does.

For the shelter to run smoothly, a team of volunteers is needed each evening/night to cover the following:

Befrienders – To socialise with our guests, make conversation, play games etc.
Dinner team – to prepare and cook a two-course hot dinner for guests and volunteers (up to 20 people), then tidy and wash up afterwards.
Overnight team – to supervise the shelter overnight.
Breakfast team – to prepare and cook a hot or cold breakfast.

There will be a team leader overseeing the shelter each night and it is good to have a mixture of females and males for each shift.For further information on the volunteer roles or if you have any questions, email Catherine Froud or call her on 07756 675029. You can sign up via the button below.

SIGN UP HERE

Shipley Christians Together supports Plastic Free Shipley, which is part of a national movement that aims to remove as much single-use plastic as possible from our communities.The Shipley group began early in 2018, so progress has been patchy due to the pandemic, but members are still active and trying to reduce Shipley’s pollution and carbon footprint.

Lots of work has already taken place to get Shipley to be recognised as a Plastic Free community, including setting up a formal structure, have the support of the town council, and run some events.
However, this still needs to be done:

  • Get local businesses to pledge to work towards removing plastic.
  • Find support from community groups.

Plastic Free Shipley has the minimum number of businesses needed for recognition and it is working on community groups – hence you’re reading about the movement in this email!

To become a community ally, groups need to identify at least three items of single-use plastic they can remove from the way they run (or have already done that); support the movement’s aims and to encourage their members to be looking at their own plastic use.

If your church or other community group would like to be involved, or you know of a local business that might be interested, please email Plastic Free Shipley. Christian Life Church and St Peter’s have already formally signed up as allies. You could also look at your own use of plastic and to encourage others around you to do so. You can also get and share ideas on the Plastic Free Shipley Facebook group.