Church of St Aidan, Skelmanthorpe, UK

Know that Jesus will never cease to love you

Make Poverty History

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For Church Services information please click this Services link

For information about other events please click this Future events link

Open Church information (when the church is open to visit) please click on this Open Church link

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The Bible, falsely enthroned in God's place by some "fundamentalists", has individual verses that can prove or support virtually anything. The classic Anglican search for truth depends upon (a) the Scriptures as a whole, (b) the great Teaching Tradition of the Church, which began centuries before the texts that make up the Bible were finalised, and (c) human reason. A current debate within the Church of England should start with the question: Does Jesus reject or accept faithful, committed, honest, loving human relationships that bring true transformation and renewal to the couple involved?

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Church of St Aidan, Skelmanthorpe

(Church of England - Anglican)

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Welcome to the website of the church of St Aidan. We hope that you enjoy browsing round this site.

Contents of this page include: General information - Contacts - Services - Prayer Requests - Future Events - Mission Statement - Baptisms & Weddings - Choir - Mothers Union - Upper Dearne 5 Parishes - Skelmanthorpe Council of Churches - Our Charity Shop - Historical Information - Our Lady - World-wide Church links - Website Archive - Which World Faith causes the most conflict?

General information

The Parish of St Aidan, Skelmanthorpe, is approximately seven miles SE of Huddersfield, at the centre of the "Huddersfield-Wakefield-Barnsley triangle"! in the County of West Yorkshire, part of the north of the United Kingdom (UK). St Aidan's church building may be found on OS maps at British National Grid Reference SK229105

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Village of Skelmanthorpe, looking east down Commercial Road. The building with white windows, centre right, is the parish charity shop. The church is one block to the south. (copyright: Tim Reynolds)

We are part of the Upper Dearne 5 Parishes (UD5P) group (see below), in the Deanery of Kirkburton (The Revd Chris Bullimore is Rural Dean), in the Diocese of Wakefield (The Rt Revd Stephen Platten being Bishop of Wakefield), in the Province of York (Archbishop The Rt Revd John Sentamu). As Anglicans we recognise Our Most Gracious Sovereign Lady, Her Majesty The Queen, as Governor of the Church of England in matters of discipline and law (Monarchy) ; and Archbishop The Rt Revd Rowan Williams of Canterbury as our spiritual leader in matters of spiritual authority and doctrine.

There is some historical information about our Church lower down this page.

Contact us:

Parish Priest: Philip Reynolds - Email Philip (if a problem with this link: type or copy and paste life.draw@virgin.net into an email address) or Telephone: 01484 863232

St Aidan's Vicarage, Radcliffe Street, Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield, HD8 9AF

Services:

Our main Sunday Service is usually at 10.00am (though some All Age Worship' on the first Sunday of the month may be at 10.30am) - but for confirmation of this, and for other details and information about Church Services please click on this Service information link, thank you.

And for information on Our Lady, whom we ask to place this parish and the world under her Protecting Veil, please click on: Mary

Please note there is a loop facility in our church for hearing-aid users: kindly remind any friends, neighbours or family for whom this may be relevant.

Send us your Prayer Requests

We welcome intercession requests from anywhere in the world - simply email Philip the parish priest at Email Philip putting "prayer" or "intercessions" or some such in the Subject/header box - with a short message giving the name of the person/s to be prayed for and a brief comment on the nature of the request; eg: "Mary Smith - that she may find effective medical treatment" We will offer these prayers to Our Lady, St Aidan and other Saints, before God's Throne of Mercy.

Please do not send emails with, or in the form of, attachments - except for half-a-dozen recognised email addresses, our policy is that all other attachments sent are deleted without being opened.

We will pray for you or your loved ones by name in private or during the Liturgy. Any public recitation of prayers will omit surnames (ie: last or family names) in sensitive requests - and please do not break any confidence in emails to us. If there is a high volume of requests (9,000 at the last count!) it is doubtful whether we will be able to guarantee to answer any emails individually: so please accept our apologies in advance if we do not return a direct response to your email.

Names will be removed from our prayer lists after a few weeks - so please renew your intercession requests every couple of months if you wish. "The Lord is near, try not to worry; but in everything by prayer and intercession with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God" (Philippians 4 v5b,6) This is not to deny the sometimes rotten reality of human suffering as we struggle (alongside God) in an evolving, spontaneous universe of blind chance and great beauty interwoven with God's love.

Future Events

For information about future events, please click on this Future events link, thank you.

Mission Statement

We exist to worship God in holiness and adoration.

We proclaim that God totally and utterly loves every creature in the universe, no matter whom or what they are, both in this life and in the life to come.

We intend that this fact should be proclaimed by compassionate action: for, and with, the neighbour in our community; for our neighbour in distant places; and for all the other creatures we share this planet with.

We want to help and share in the delight, and the struggle, of local folk in their pilgrimage/journey of life - to enable and encourage people to cope and to try and live life to the full.

Baptisms, Weddings, etc

We are delighted to welcome you to the "Pastoral Offices" of the Church. If you think we may be able to help you, then please feel free to contact us without obligation - email Philip or telephone 01484 863232. Some of the marriages that have taken place in this parish have involved people who have gone through divorce: further advice and information on this issue can be sought through "face to face" discussion with Philip as parish priest.

Confessions can be heard by appointment.

For further information about Baptisms/Christenings at St Aidan, please click: Baptism

The Church Choir / Junior Choir

Our Choir often leads the music of our Liturgy. They also share in special ecumenical occasions within our village. For further information, including details of the Thursday evening rehearsals, please contact our Choir Leader, Christopher on 01484 866705

The Mothers' Union

Our Parish has a branch of the Mothers' Union (MU) which not only maintains a ministry of prayer and support within the parish - but also is active in loving outreach to New Hall Women’s Prison, support for students at Huddersfield and other Universities, working with teenage mothers at the Genesis Project, and also discrete sensitive aid to the Women's Refuge, and so on.

The MU is an international organization of the Church of England, founded by St Mary Sumner (feast day 9th August) towards the end of the 19th Century. An eikon of St Mary Sumner, hanging in our Lady Chapel, was donated in September 2002 AD to the MU parish branch in thanksgiving for their work both in the parish and beyond.

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Eikon of St Mary Sumner, Founder of the MU (photographed in the church of St Aidan by Tim Reynolds)

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Our MU parish branch, in common with other branches throughout the Diocese, has links with MU groups worldwide; especially in Africa and Australia. You are welcome to visit the MU website The Mothers Union

You would be welcome at MU meetings (you don't have to be a member!) which usually meets on the first Wednesday in the month.

Upper Dearne 5 Parishes (UD5P):

The Parish of St Aidan is pleased to be part of the Upper Dearne 5 Parishes group, with All Saints Clayton West, St Michael Emley, St James Flockton, and St Augustine Scissett. Various group events will be listed in our Service information and Future events links as appropriate

A Litany of Saints for the Upper Dearne 5 Parishes:

Skelmanthorpe Council of Churches (SkCC):

The Parish of St Aidan is pleased to have links with Skelmanthorpe Methodist Church on Pilling Lane (The Revd David Priestnall 01484 862572) and the Wesleyan Reform Union Church on Gib Lane (Carole 01484 861662). The main Sunday morning worship at both of these Traditions is at 10.30am. Visitors are very welcome to join in their worship and other activities. They have links on the 'denbydale.com' website, see link below.

We are in the Roman Catholic Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Huddersfield: their parish priest is Fr John at the Church of St Joseph (01484 536357). RC Mass is celebrated at the nearby Anglican Church of St Paul in Shepley.

As Anglicans we do not recognise the monarchical authority given, by our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers, to the Pope. However Anglicanism, along with the Eastern Orthodox and many other Christian Communities, now does accept the role of the Bishop of Rome as 'elder brother among the bishops', as 'first among equals.' So we welcome and recognise that role as spokesperson for Christian faith, a role rightly undertaken beyond the bounds of Roman Catholicism. Thus we ask God's blessing to be upon the ministry of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI - as we give thanks for the life of H.H. Pope (Saint) John Paul II.

Within the Church of England, we recognise Our Most Gracious Sovereign Lady, Her Majesty The Queen, as Governor of the Church of England in matters of discipline and law; and the Archbishop of Canterbury as our spiritual leader in matters of spiritual authority and doctrine.

St Aidan’s Charity Shop

You might like to know that the parish runs a Charity Shop, just round the corner, on Commercial Road, opposite the Grove Public House. We accept bric-a-brac, books, toys, clothing, etc for sale. Profits support the parish church and local charities and organizations each year.

Also we have plans to complete our church building, which was never actually finished in 1895! Keeping to the style of G F Bodley's (see below) design we will create a new south entrance, giving proper dignified access to those people who happen to have disabilities, to include up-to-date loos; and eventually in the next phase, a useful kitchen and other facilities. We intend to build 21st Century improvements, in phases, without damaging the traditional layout and ethos of worship in our parish church.

An investigation in 2008 has also revealed the need to re-roof the whole church in the next few years, if we are to keep it open for services including baptisms, weddings and funerals. So, as you see, money from the shop - and any other source - is very welcome for our Church Completion and Restoration Projects.

The shop is usually open Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 4.00pm, and on Saturday from 10.00am to 1.00pm. Come along and find some attractive bargains!

Historical information

St Aidan was the 7th Century AD bishop of Northumbria. His base was on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. St Aidan was renowned for his loving compassion. From heaven, with Our Lady and all the Saints, he continues to pray for us in love.

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Eikon of St Aidan

The parish church, designed by G F Bodley, was consecrated in 1895. In the church is a late Anglo-saxon (early Norman) Font sculpted about 1080 AD. This came from the original church at High Hoyland, and then was used as a cattle trough until rescued for our parish. Above the High Altar (still used Sunday by Sunday in the eastward position) is a beautiful mid-20th century reredos: depicting Christ enthroned in majesty, with St Aidan and his friend St Oswald of Northumbria.

George Frederick Bodley (1827-1907) mainly designed churches in the Gothic style. He was the first pupil of George Gilbert Scott, and later a partner of Thomas Garner, for many years. He was a friend of the Pre-Raphaelites and William Morris, and his own most important pupil was the Arts and Crafts designer C R Ashbee. By the early 1860s Bodley had adopted the English Decorated style almost exclusively in his designs. Bodley was renowned for his sense of tradition and for the "refined beauty and restrained power" he sought and often attained.

Bodley's parish church designs became influential throughout the Anglican Communion. They include, among many others: St Michael and All Angels in Brighton, Holy Trinity Knightsbridge, St. John the Baptist Church at Tue Brook in Liverpool, Church of St. Augustine at Pendlebury near Manchester, Church of the Holy Angels at Hoar Cross in Staffordshire; Chapel of St Mary the Virgin at Clumber in Nottinghamshire, St Mary the Virgin Church at Eccleston in Cheshire, the Lady Chapel of Liverpool Cathedral, All Saints in Cambridge; also Queen's College Chapel, Cambridge; and secular buildings for King's College, and for Magdalen College, Oxford.

Abroad he was the architect for the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, Washington DC; Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; St David's Cathedral, Hobart, Tasmania; and All Saints Cathedral, Nagpur, India.

He was also a master of ecclesiastical furnishing design, and church interior architecture, such as altars for York Minster.

That the Altars, at St Aidan, are in the eastward postion, so that priest and people symbolically face God together (rather than just gaze at each other), is a reminder that the Mass is far more than a "fellowship meal" but a Sacramental action eternally linked with the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross.The danger of some modern liturgy (and church re-ordering) is to turn the awe, reverence and mystery of divine worship into mere human-centred entertainment. Worship is to focuss on and adore God, and not become an earthly diversion for our benefit !

Archbishop David of York has said that many current trends in Anglican worship had a tendency "to ape the passing styles of the times; worship as entertainment; worship as distraction - quite other than what it truly is or should be, namely the giving worth to God." Clergy need to be more familiar with the heritage of the Church. "Worship should be accessible yet at the same time awesome." (Church Times 28/05/2004 p 3)

Though we may often get it wrong - we are only a small, middle-of-the-road Church, nothing grand or special about us! - may our worship, in which we are surrounded and joined by the Holy Mother of God and the Saints, become eventually a vibrant link between earth and heaven: "This is none other than the House of God, the Gate of Heaven" (Gen 28 v17).

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Philip, parish priest, at the High Altar in the church of St Aidan, Skelmanthorpe

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We pray that this parish, and the whole world, be placed under the Protecting Veil of the Holy Mother of God, The Queen of Heaven. From Our Lady came Jesus, and She is a sure path to Him.

For more information on Mary please click on: Mary

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Some links of general Church interest - please note that these sites are listed for your interest: the Parish of St Aidan has no control over their content or can accept any responsibility for them. Nevertheless, happy browsing.

Some local Deanery Church websites to visit (though the Parish of St Aidan has no control over their content) include:

·  All Saints, Clayton West One of the UD5P group with us, also in Kirkburton Deanery

·  St Augustine, Scissett One of the UD5P group with us, also in Kirkburton Deanery

·  High Hoyland Church Graveyard Information provided by the Parish of All Saints, Clayton West

Some world wide Church websites to visit (though the Parish of St Aidan has no control over their content) include:

·  All Creatures Looking at God's love of animals, animal rights, vegetarianism and similar issues

·  Christianity Link This links to many other parish websites, and a mixed bag of world Christianity

·  St Aidan's Church, Wheatly Hills, Doncaster A Church in the Sheffield Diocese sharing our holy Patron: with their parish priest the Revd David Goss

·  St Isidore of Seville Patron Saint of the Internet, kindly submitted by the Revd David Goss

·  Russian Orthodox Church of St John the Forerunner, St Petersburg

Some useful local secular links (the Parish of St Aidan has no control over their content) include:

·  Denby Dale (dot.com) for a lot of local information, including Denby Dale Parish Council

·  Skelmanthorpe Community Action Group (SCAG) concerned for local planning and other issues

NB: Why is our website address "Thales"? He was an ancient Greek mathematician who was the original subject of this website, before Tim kindly donated the site to our parish. However I had no idea how to change the name to a more obvious one, so it remains... www.thales.demon.co.uk (and "demon" is the internet server we use, which usually does a good job despite the name!)

May the loving prayers of the Great Mother of God, Our Lady, Mary most Holy; bring you many rich joys, compassion and creativity in this life and in the life to come. Amen

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January is dedicated to the Infant Jesus: Holy Christ Child have mercy !

February is dedicated to the Purification of Mary: pray for us Holy Mother!

March is dedicated to St Joseph: Holy guardian & spouse pray for us

April is dedicated to the Passion of Our Lord: Holy Saviour, have mercy upon us

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

May is Mary-month - find peace & joy, pray to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven

June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: may we adore Thee O Christ

July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus: may we adore Thee O Christ

August is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady: pray for us Holy Mother !

September is dedicated to the Holy Cross: pray for us Our Lady of sorrows

October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary: pray for us O Queen of Heaven !

November is dedicated to the holy souls: Jesus mercy, Mary pray

December is dedicated to the Holy Family: Mary & Joseph pray for us

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Which World Faith causes the most conflict?

That is a trick question - because none of the world's great religions causes any conflict.

Kaushar Tai from the Medina Mosque, Batley, speaking in St Michael's Church, Emley in July 2007, reminded us that the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) stated: (a) Muslims should respect and protect their Jewish and Christian neighbours. (b) That is was only right to take life in self-defence, and never in aggressive attack, and certainly not against innocent folk including women and children. (c) That taking one's own life (suicide bomber) was to insult God's gift of life. (d) That the killing of one human did damage to all humanity. (e) That Jihad means struggle to do good, struggle against wrong temptations, and not violence against others.

Thus no true follower of the Prophet (pbuh) would indiscriminately bomb people anywhere on the planet, whether in Iraq, Glasgow or London.

Likewise, if one is aware of the teachings of Jesus Christ, then one knows that no Christian should ever be aggressive - rather, the opposite. Roman Catholicism and Protestantism both preach the gospel of Jesus Christ - no true Catholic or Protestant would have ever set bombs in Ireland.

Authentic Christianity, in all its different paths, and authentic Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Tao, Shintoism, and many of the world's smaller religious traditions; all share similar values: Peace - compassion and love for others - do unto others as you would have them do unto you - respect life - protect the environment - be honest - fairness and justice - co-operation to make a better world: these are the hallmarks of true faith.

Religion is part of the solution, not the problem, in the world.

So why all the talk about religion causing conflict? Simply because it is a blasphemous excuse. If I hit you, then I am simply a criminal bully, except, perhaps, in self-defence. But if I claim that God wants me to hit you, then I give myself some excuse to pretend I am doing something worthy.

Religion is falsely used to give a cloak to very un-religious values by many terrorists. Conflict is caused by the godless (eg: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc) or, as bad, by those pretending to hide behind a religion. Evil people sometimes try to hijack faith communities. True religion, in its many varied expressions, brings peace, joy, beauty, love and compassion to the world.

If each religious person lived upto the values in the various different faith traditions; this would in reality be a brilliant world. Strengthen the depth, commitment, understanding and truth of your faith if you want to help make the world a better place. Philip

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The Christian faith has concern for the well-being and life of local communities, and for the preservation of the environment and the protection of the other creatures that we share our planet with. The concerns of local people are important to the Church.