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
Housegroups – these are small groups of people – usually between 6 and 12 people – who, as the name suggests, 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. 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/
There is still time to book onto our latest Alpha Course - watch this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fViYK_Xb3Wg
SUPPORTING MISSION & MINISTRY
The combined 2020 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.
Should you want to become a regular giver to help with these costs, please contact the church office on 01423 565129, or email
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 £.
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 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 4,000 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! Find out more: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/biltonstjohnandstluke/
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).
Tearfund’s CONNECTED CHURCH programme in North East Uganda - where we support a joint Pentecostal Assemblies of God/Anglican project aimed at transforming the lives in the local community. This is done through a process called Participatory Evaluation Process (PEP).
The PEP approach helps church leaders and their congregations work together with local people to bring about positive changes for the whole community. It is a process that brings hope, empowerment and transformation, and seeks to build on the resources in those communities, encouraging the discovery of new skills and expertise. For more information, please visit
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.
YOUTH & CHILDREN's MINISTRY
We welcome Emma James as our new Young People's Worker, and despite Emma starting in the middle of Lockdown, she has already made great progress with our youth.
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").
Sunday Groups at St John’s
Our children and young people are very important to us here at St John’s, and we do our best to give them a varied and exciting weekly programme. Except for our parade service on the 1st Sunday of the month, they stay in church for the 1st part of the morning service before going to their own groups which cater for all ages.
Creche 0-4 years (not allowed at the moment due to Covid restrictions)
Bright Sparks 1 Reception to Year 2
Bright Sparks 2 Year 3 to Year 6
Junior Café Logos Year 7 to Year 9
Senior Café Logos Year 10+
Our younger children learn about Jesus, the Bible and the church, through prayer, crafts, stories and games. Our teenage children build on their knowledge of Jesus, the Bible and the church through modern day topics, often discussing items that are in the news.
Midweek Toddler Groups - Little Fishes and ‘JAM’
(Not meeting at the moment due to Covid restrictions)
Little Fishes is a friendly, relaxed toddler group. We meet every Thursday in term time in St Luke’s, Franklin Square, HG1 5EL (just off Kings Road) between 9:30am and 11:30am. We aim to provide a welcoming space for babies, toddlers and their carers- the session is mostly free play, but we do end all together with a singing time.
We charge only 50p per family for each session. If you’d like to find out more, contact Tracey via the Church Office.
JAM (Jesus and Me) is a structured, fortnightly session for babies and toddlers and their carers. We begin in St John’s Church, Bilton Lane, HG1 3DT, at 10am with half an hour of songs, story-telling, and activities helping us think about a bible story - basically, it’s toddler-friendly church! We then move to another room for craft, toys and refreshments.
There is no charge, and all are welcome! For more information, contact Ruth or Tracey via the Church Office.
Search on Facebook for JAM - Jesus and Me
Dates for this term are:
Not meeting due to Covid restrictions
Youth Groups at St Luke's
Ignite 1 is our group for young people in years 8 & 9. It meets on alternate Sunday nights at St Luke’s Church, Franklin Square HG1 5EL (just off Kings Road) from 6pm to 7pm.
A typical evening is a mixture of themed games, chilling out with friends and great Bible teaching.
Ignite 3 is our group for those in years 10 to 13 and also meets on alternate Sunday evening at St Luke’s, Franklin Square, HG1 5EL from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
It’s a great place to be with friends, have fun, and learn more our Jesus. Our vision is to help our young people build strong faith foundations that will last a lifetime that will sustain them, whatever challenges come their way.
A group for young people in year 7. It meets on alternate Tuesday evenings at St Luke's, Franklin Square, HG1 5EL from 7.30pm-8.30pm.
An introduction to Ignite for those that have just started at senior school to allow building and growing of friendships and faith whilst having fun.
4 Twelve Junior and Senior
This is a new group that will begin on the alternate Sundays to Ignite at St Luke's for years 7-13. The name of this group is ‘4 twelve’, taken from 1 Timothy 4: 12
‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.’
This is a group whose aim is to go deeper into the bible, to know the heart of God and to develop our relationship with God. Also, it will be a space to discuss issues that are important and relevant to young people and how being a Christian might impact the way we react to these issues. There will be more discussing, but also lots of fun, games and fellowship too.
4 Twelve Juniors (years 7-9) meet 6.00-7.00pm
4 Twelve Seniors (years 10+) meet 7.30-8.30pm
Young people are welcome to come to both this and Ignite, or choose one.
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. Details of dates and registration forms will be available via the website and notices. For more information about helping or attending contact the Church Office.
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 and Guides meet at St John’s Church Hall and the Scout Hut and Rainbows and Brownies 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 80p and cake is 40p so it is an inexpensive morning out to meet friends and make new ones! We also have volunteers who are happy to support people, if desired, in learning to use their mobile phones, iPads and laptops better. The only Wednesday Thirst isn't open is the one following Christmas Day. Please contact the church office for more information.
Not currently meeting due to Covid resrictions
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.
Not currently meeting due to Covid restrictions
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.
Not currently happening due to Covid restrictions
Wellbeing Café, St Luke’s Church - Meeting every Thursday from 1pm to 3pm, the Wellbeing Cafe 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 cafe 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.
Alongside these regular activities we hold regular games of bingo and there is plenty of chatting! We meet at St Lukes Church, Franklin Square, HG1 5EL (just off Kings Road) every Thursday from 1pm-3pm. For further information please contact the
Not currently meeting due to Covid restrictions
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 £4. Admission is by ticket only. Please contact the church office for more information.
Not currently meeting due to Covid restrictions
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
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