GROWING AS DISCIPLES
It’s clear that Jesus wants us to see ourselves as disciples. Just before he ascended back to heaven. He told his first disciples to ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
So, what is a disciple? – we think it is someone who, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is learning the ways of Jesus, doing the things Jesus did, and who is, over time, becoming more like Jesus. St John’s and St Luke’s offer the following activities/groups to help us in our journey of discipleship:
Teaching on a Sunday, especially through our sermons and children’s and youth ministry
Small groups – usually between 6 and 12 people that meet in people’s homes and seek to encourage one another to grow Up, In and Out through friendship, getting to grips with the Bible, prayer and service. To find out more take a look at this leaflet. For more details about how to join a group, or simply to find out more, please contact Sarah Shepherd or Simon Dowson via the church office - Church@StJohnsandStLukes.org.uk
Growing Leaders – this is a course which does what it says on the tin. Normally participation is by invitation, but if you feel you would like to take part in this year long programme, please speak to one of the clergy
Step Up – this is a course offered by number of Harrogate churches – meetings are weekly and the aim is to provide a year that enables people to discover God’s call, be equipped with new skills and understanding, and to be released to serve God as he calls – see https://stepupteam.wordpress.com/
Harrogate School of Theology and Mission - this meets monthly and aims to develop excellent theological and biblical training that is open to all. There are live lectures led by well qualified speakers who are skilled in communicating their message and passionate about its relevance for today, plus facilitated discussions based on DVD presentations featuring leading theologians. See http://hstm.org.uk/
NB - there is an annual fee, though people can just pay for individual meetings if they prefer
Diocese of Leeds lay training events – our diocese offers a range of training opportunities – see http://www.leeds.anglican.org/lay-training/home and especially the new training hub https://learning.leeds.anglican.org/
FINDING & EXPLORING FAITH
One of our top priorities is helping people come to faith in Jesus so that they can embark on a lifelong journey of discipleship. One of the main ways we do this is by hosting what is called Alpha.
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe and everyone's welcome. It runs in cafes, churches, universities, homes - you name it. No two Alphas look the same but generally they have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation - see https://alpha.org/
To register your interest in joining our next Alpha group, please click on the box below
SUPPORTING MISSION & MINISTRY
The combined 2023 budget for St John’s and St Luke’s is £249,000, or £4788 per week. If we think small picture, this pays for clergy and other staff salaries, utility bills, repairs to buildings and so on; but if we think big picture, it funds the ministry and mission of the church in this parish.
There are a number of ways that you can help support our ministry:
ONE OFF DONATION
Should you want to become a regular giver to help with these costs, please contact the church office on 01423 565129, or email Church@StJohnsandStLukes.org.uk
Our bank details are:
PCC Bilton St John & St Luke, 08-92-99, 65847059
PARISH GIVING SCHEME
As a parish we have joined the Parish Giving Scheme
For more information, read through this article in our blog
To apply to join visit www.parishgiving.org.uk. Our parish code is 460646071
Or you can simply scan the QR code to register
Download the Standing Order form to set up a regular payment through your bank and hand it in to the office.
If you are already a regular giver or a new one and you are a tax payer, gift aiding your giving increases your giving by 25p in the £. To register, or update your giving for Gift Aid with the parish, please download and complete this Gift Aid form, or pick one up from either church.
Of course there are many other ways that people can support the life of the church, not least by becoming part of one of the volunteer teams that run our various activities. Please speak to one of the clergy or contact the office, and your details will be passed on.
We have a card reader and a contactless giving device at St John's so if you would like to make a donation or payment through this method, either contact the Parish Office or speak to one of the clergy or sidespeople if during a service.
Please help support Bilton St John & St Luke - Yorkshire by shopping online. Use easyfundraising to shop with over 5,000 retailers including Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, Booking.com, eBay, Boden, and M&S.
Every time you shop, you’ll raise a free donation for Bilton St John & St Luke - Yorkshire every time, it’s that easy! To find out more, click below.
Here at St John's and St Luke's we welcome all gifts in wills, however large or small, and we promise to use your gift to make a difference in our parish. Our PCC legacy policy is to use gifts to help fund significant development projects; whether this be to buildings, to purchase equipment, or to support mission.
To find out more about our legacy strategy follow this link
JOHN AND VIKKI WRIGHT work with the YWAM (Youth with a Mission) team in Arua, North West Uganda as well as in South Sudan.
Their focus is on ministry to people who haven't yet heard the gospel and on discipling and training church leaders and their vision is that the team there serve as ‘a bridge of healing to the nations (Arua is strategically placed next to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo).
CHRIS AND ANN HEMBURY, CMS mission partners, working in Hull.
This is in an area where people are known for their no-nonsense attitude and honest vulnerability, where there is high unemployment, child poverty, addiction, mental and physical health problems, prostitution and increasing racial tension. People feel a crippling lack of self-worth. But it’s an area full of buried treasure, untapped potential and dormant creativity. They support a group who are living in a house for mission and serving the local community. And are part of the Hull Youth for Christ (YFC) team, supporting children, young people and families.
Read the Spring 2023 newsletter from Artizan International here
Everyone we’re involved with is on a journey of transformation.
For our artisans overseas, it's a journey of empowerment - from despair to hope, from poverty to prosperity & from derision to respect. For our differently able participants in the UK, it's a journey from invisible to visible, from isolation to community & from the margins to the centre.
For all the communities we touch, it's a journey towards a more inclusive society,
where everyone is welcomed, respected, & valued as creative members of an inspiring whole.
YOUTH & CHILDREN's MINISTRY
All our children’s and youth work is done with the aim of helping our young people grow in relationship with God, develop friendships with one another and to be equipped to live for Jesus in their everyday lives (the ‘Up, In and Out’ approach see "Our Vision").
MINISTRY DURING OUR SUNDAY SERVICES
Groups are run for both children and youths during Sunday services at St John's and also for young children at St Luke's. For further details of Sunday groups, please visit our Children's Ministry section.
YOUTH GROUPS FOR YEARS 7+
Our youth ministry is led by our Young People's Worker, Emma James, and more information can be found in our Youth Ministry tab of the website
All our children and young people must be registered on iKnow Church. If you are new to groups please email the parish administrator to be added onto the system. To access iKnow as an existing user click here
CHOIR AT ST JOHN'S
St John's choir has been in existence since the church was built and has a long tradition of supporting worship at a variety of services.
We are affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music and follow the same ethos:
Psallam spiritu et mente
I will sing with the spirit and with the understanding also (1 Corinthians 14:15)
We have a junior and a senior choir and we practise on a Friday evening (6.15-6.45pm, 6.45-7.45pm) and we sing at the 10.30am service (not on the 1st Sunday of each month). We enjoy a variety of choral music from sung responses and psalms, anthems, hymns and modern songs.
Ruth Yarborough has been a member of St John's choir since girls were allowed to join in 1974. She is a music graduate and was choral scholar at York Minster during her student days. She now works at Harrogate Ladies' College as singing teacher and choir leader. Ruth took on the roll of organist and choir leader at St John's five years ago and continues to enjoy the challenges of worshipping during ever changing times.
St John's choir is open to all, if you would like to know more about us, please contact Ruth on 07825 700650.
SMELLY YELLOW WELLY CLUB
SYWC is an Easter holiday club for primary school aged children. In 2018 Welly Club celebrated its 25th year anniversary! Up to 100 children attend. It runs over 3 mornings in the Easter School holidays and can only be described as 2 hours of fun, noise, mess, praise and learning about God.
We have stories and play games in teams. We make lots of artwork to decorate our Church and the children make crafts to take home. We have our own creche so that those with younger children can also help on team.
The photos give a flavour of the fun to be had at SYWC.
Sadly SYWC will not be running again but watch out for more fun activities for our children
For ages 6-8 years old. Beavers - Tuesdays 6pm to 7:15pm at the Scout Hall, Fountains Avenue. Contact Neil Morris (email@example.com) for further details.
Commanchee Beavers - Wednesdays 6pm to 7:15pm at the Scout Hall, Fountains Avenue. Contact Eddie Ashworth (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
For ages 8-10.5 years old. Aegean Cubs - Mondays 6pm to 7:30pm at the Scout Hall, Fountains Avenue. Contact Neil Morris (email@example.com) for further details.
Spartan Cubs - Thursdays 6pm to 7:30pm at the Scout Hall, Fountains Avenue. Contact Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
For ages 10.5-14 years old. Group Scout Leader is Russ Hirst (email@example.com).
Inca Scouts - Tuesdays 7:30pm to 9:15pm at the Scout Hall, Fountains Avenue. Contact Martin Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
Maya Scouts - Thursdays 7:30pm to 9:15pm at the Scout Hall, Fountains Avenue. Contact email@example.com for further details.
Explorer Scouts (Age 14-18) Wednesdays 7:30pm – 9:30pm at the Scout Hall, Fountains Avenue. Contact Sarah on 07980 914 745
Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers meet at St John’s Church Hall and the Scout Hut and Rainbows also meet at St Luke's Church Hall. For more information, please visit https://www.girlguiding.org.uk This site allows people to register their daughter on a central secure database which will point them to the units in Bilton, meeting days and times. They will also find more in-depth details regarding girlguiding.
There are lots of opportunities to volunteer within guiding, whether it is every week or just once a month, to register your interest please go to
COMMUNITY EVENTS & GROUPS
THIRST 'Drop in and chat' Coffee Morning (Dene Park Community Centre - just off Woodfield Road). Thirst meets every Wednesday from 10:30am till 12noon. We serve drinks, home made cakes, laughter and community to anyone who wants to join in.
Hot drinks are £1 and cake/biscuit is 20p so it is an inexpensive morning out to meet friends and make new ones!
The only Wednesday Thirst isn't open is the one following Christmas Day. Please contact the church office for more information.
THIRST Table - 12noon - 1pm on the third Wednesday of every month, following the coffee morning, we share a simple, home-made soup lunch together and then there is an informal service.
Coffee Mornings, St John’ Church Hall - We hold community coffee mornings on the second Saturday of each month between 10am and 12noon in St John’s Church Hall. There is always a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and as well as drinks and biscuits (included in the admission price of £1), there are a variety of stalls – including cakes, books and hand-made cards, and there is a tombola and a raffle. Money raised goes in support of various charities – local, national, international, Christian and general. To find out more contact the church office.
Wellbeing Café, St Luke’s Church - Meeting every Friday from 1pm to 3pm, the Wellbeing Café is a welcoming place to come and meet new friends. We serve a fresh bowl of homemade soup and roll followed by endless cups of tea or coffee and cakes a plenty. The café welcomes everyone from the local community, and all volunteers have had basic training to ensure we are a Dementia Friendly environment. There are lots of activities to get involved in from completing the latest puzzle challenge to playing a quiet game of dominoes, all for just £3.
Alongside these regular activities we hold games of bingo and there is plenty of chatting! We meet at St Lukes Church, Franklin Square, HG1 5EL (just off Kings Road) every Friday (in term time) from 1pm-3pm. For further information please contact the church office.
Community Lunches, Bilton Community Centre, Bilton Lane - The Lunch Group is run by volunteers from the church and is held at Bilton Community Centre on Bilton Lane on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from September to July. It is a chance to socialise and make friends in a caring, friendly and welcoming environment. We serve a cooked 3 course meal plus tea or coffee at a cost of £6. Admission is by ticket only. Please contact the church office for more information.
Comfort Cafe, St John's Church - a monthly bereavement cafe on the second Tuesday of every month, 2-3.30pm, you will find people who will listen to you as an individual and respect your story - and they won't be upset if you cry. Afternoon tea is served and there is an opportunity to light a candle for a loved one.
LINKS TO OTHER ORGANISATIONS
· Richard Taylor School http://rtsharrogate.com/ - we are proud to have strong links with our local Church of England primary school
Diocese of Leeds www.leeds.anglican.org – we are one of many parishes that make up the Diocese of Leeds – we fall under the Ripon Episcopal area and make up part of the Deanery Of Harrogate
Resurrected Bites Community Grocery and Cafe www.resurrectedbites.co.uk - Community Grocery at New Park School and 'give as you can' Community Café at West Park URC
Harrogate and District Foodbank www.harrogatedistrict.foodbank.org.uk - whether you are in need of help or can give to support them, find out more about what they do
Harrogate Homeless Project www.harrogate-homeless-project.org.uk - if you are experiencing homelessness or know someone that is call 01423 566900
St John’s Playgroup www.facebook.com/Stjohnsplaygroup1/?ref=nf – this playgroup, while not run by the church, meets daily in term time in St John’s church hall