St Mary’s News Items – September 2021

From the Registers
We gave thanks for God’s gift of life at the Funerals of Winifred Freeman Sheila Doreen Rockett.

Church Flowers: Pat Emmel would like you to get in touch if you are
interested in helping with flower arrangements in church or by giving an annual donation in memory of someone you have lost. Contact Pat on 01943 865047.

The Parish Centre: The Parish Centre is opening up again to classes….not only our own projects like “Open Door”, “Cuppa, Cake and Company”, and “Tiny Tadpoles”, but also commercial enterprises, local groups/charities are all beginning to return to use the Centre as a meeting place. One of the first to return was Tom Clegg and his various music Groups and we are ready to welcome them all back in September!

Family and Children’s Activities This Summer

The summer months this year have provided us with plenty of opportunities to reconnect with many of our families after what has been a very challenging 18 months for us all. The on-going Covid 19 restrictions meant that we needed to think creatively about how we could offer a space outside for our children, to welcome them back into our weekly worshipping community. We offered a welcome tea to families early in June and had fun in the Vicarage garden with a large number of families playing games, eating cake and drinking tea together again! Our Picnic Church sessions have been well received and we have seen many families joining us, some for the first time.

We have been meeting between 9.30-10.30 in the St Mary’s Memorial Garden, sharing Bible stories, playing games, eating our picnic breakfasts, singing songs, making crafts and catching up with each other. The weather has generally been very kind to us, but on the weeks when the heavens have opened, we have delivered picnic church bags to families at home so that they can do the activities and read the stories under cover! This home delivery service gave us opportunity for valuable doorstep chats with
families, some who were having to isolate – a real challenge for families with small children. We have also used the Parish Centre more recently when restrictions have allowed, and shelter has been needed. Children were welcomed to our Praise in the Park Service with craft bags ready for them and various games to play while the service was happening. Our sense is that our young families have missed coming to church and have really appreciated renewed contact with us. We have been thinking about how we offer creative worship spaces to people of all ages at St Mary’s and we are excited to introduce our new service called CONNECT in the autumn term – more details to follow. There is also a team working on developing a group for our teenagers to meet their specific needs in the term ahead.

We have also been offering Games in the Park sessions during August as a way to provide free activities and hospitality to children and families. We have had lots of fun playing rounders, frisbee, cricket, football, croquet, boules, skittles as well as some small craft activities . There have been drinks and snacks on offer and time to chat with parents and grandparents from our wider community in the village. Some sessions have been busier than others but there has been a positive atmosphere of welcome and care that has been really appreciated by those that have joined us and some supportive and encouraging conversations have been had.

We have been contacted by many families that are keen to have their children baptised at St Mary’s. We held our first baptism preparation evening in August and now have 15 families planning their baptisms with us over the next 6 months. This has provided a great opportunity to meet many new families and reconnect with others who have been part of our church family previously.

Liz Varghese has done a brilliant job over the early summer of getting our baby group off the ground again ( a very challenging job with all the COVID 19 restrictions) and huge thanks to her for all her hard work, time, effort, energy and enthusiasm. From September 6th we are launching our new baby and toddler group called Tiny Tadpoles at the Parish Centre on Mondays 9.30-11am which is going to be run by Mary Brooks and her daughter in law Natalie, supported by us. This will be a vital support to many parents and grandparents in our community, offering a warm welcome, a hot drink and a space to share the joys and challenges of life with babies and young children!

There is much to celebrate in our life here together in Burley. We have enjoyed reconnecting with a wide range of families and look forward to many more opportunities to provide a warm welcome as we journey together as a church family at St Mary’s.

Nerys and Sara

Children and Families Workers

Western Nepal Disability Trust

It is several months since we last gave an update from WNDT and once more we start by thanking our supporters, for your contributions in a variety of ways – praying, volunteering, financial donations, and moral support and interest. We particularly thank a small number who make regular contributions, which give a steady amount of income over time. However, as with many other charities, we have not been able to carry out our usual fundraising activities, and the needs have also grown.

You may remember from our March 2021 update that our partner organisation Light of Pokkhara had been able to start the sewing training. However, after a relatively short time, this again had to go on hold due to a rise in number of cases of covid – and it has not yet been able to restart. Current figures (August 2021) for Nepal show a trend of increasing cases over the last 9 weeks. Reported figures are 100 covid-related deaths each day, and many will be unreported. There is a high infection rate, hospitals are overwhelmed and medical supplies, including oxygen, are running out. Few people have had the vaccine, and fewer still have had two doses.

Also, due to covid, people are not able to access their usual health support or services – for example, treatment for people with leprosy or spinal injuries, or vaccinations for babies and children. So, there will be long term problems resulting from the pandemic. This summer has also seen high levels of floods and landslides.

To include some positives, friends who run a self help organisation for disabled people – independent Living Centre – have been very proactive in supporting others. For example, after a zoom meeting to raise awareness, lifts and ‘buddies’ were arranged to help people attend a local vaccination centre.

Also, our partners in the Palliative Care project have continued to provide specialised support to patients and colleagues, and been involved in the care of people with covid. The newly opened care centre has been well used, and also the staff team have given training about end of life care to staff of other hospitals.Several patients do craft projects for their own well-being and for income generating, and a donation from us last year was used to create a display cupboard for their things to sell, and also to buy locally available wool for them to use.

To continue to support the Palliative Care project, we are launching a fundraising sponsored event from September 1st onwards, in which WNDT Chair, Jane Schofield Gurung, will do a ‘virtual trek’ to the top of Mount Everest!! From September 1st, any walk, run, jog, ‘hop, skip or jump’ will count toward the distance of 40 miles (64km). If you are able to give any sponsorship please do so by: cash or cheque to WNDT (WNDT at 40, Sun Lane, or via Jane, Prem or Pam Stoney); or by online giving to:

Any donation of any size will be greatly appreciated and assist the coverage of the miles as well….. and let us know via: if you would like to join in any walks…!

With thanks, Jane for WNDT Trustees

Burley-Tereli Friendship Trust – September 2021

BTFT Trustees would like to thank everyone who has expressed concern and a wish to help our friends in Téréli over the last few months.

This region has suffered not only from climate change but also from
attacks which made it impossible for villagers to plant and harvest their staple crop in 2020.

Thanks to donations last August and at Christmas, it was possible to avert famine. Millet was sent to feed over 700 people to tide them over until the harvest later this year. Photos show donkey carts bringing supplies during the food crisis and the delight at receiving sacks of millet. Thank you also for supporting Team BTFT in the Ilkley Half Marathon which raised over £5,000. In August Zakari told us that gales have caused a lot of damage in Téréli. The roof has come off the Dispensary, the solar panel smashed and trees have fallen. Thanks to the support for the run, BTFT could respond straight away. It is the rainy season when many people get malaria so there is demand for the 8 beds in the Dispensary. Zakari and Tenoussé thank everyone for their help in this emergency.

Mary Wood

Katiyo Primary School – September 2021

Sharon, Annette and the girls of 1st Burley Brownies would like to thank everyone in the village who continues to support their fundraising for Katiyo Primary School in Zimbabwe. Our 5th annual Bookmark Project charity auction raised just over £11,000, the majority of which we hope will go towards building a nursery classroom at the school and talks have started on drawing up building plans.

We were approached by the school in the spring to help with the building of some new toilet blocks. One of the blocks is being completely funded by us and we are helping to finish a second block that is being partly funded by MercyCorps. As building work has progressed it has become clear that there is more and more that is not funded by MercyCorps!

Unicef purchased new textbooks for the Grade one to six classes at the school but not Grade 7 so we sent £2700 to buy the textbooks needed for the oldest students. They are also supporting the school with a project that will hopefully bring piped water from the nearby Macademia nut estate, but metal stands to raise the water tanks off the ground and protect them from damage were not covered by the project, so we have sent over £2000 to purchase 6 stands.

Zimbabwe is still experiencing lockdown and schools are again closed at the time of writing this (August 2021) there have been a handful of cases of Covid that we are aware of in the Katiyo area. If you would like to make a donation or you would like to order some “church biscuits” – 30p each please drop us an email:

Sharon Hattersley

Letter from Alastair – September 2021

More tea vicar?

In the final weeks of August we have entertained well over 150 people in the vicarage garden, hosting teas, community leaders and even a triple 18th birthday celebration and we still have a youth BBQ to come in early September. We have been regularly asking, more tea? Or more beer? I am not writing this to blow our own trumpet, but rather to celebrate the fact that we can finally meet up, especially in our gardens. It has been a tough 18 months but getting people together has done us all a world of good. Some folks have hardly been outside for months and even the Parish councillors commented that this was the first time they were meeting without the interface of a screen.

As we begin the road to normality it is important to give thanks for all we have managed to do in these last months. We have started singing in Church, we have been able to have refreshments outside after our services and weddings and baptisms have begun again. A great step towards normality occurred last Sunday when we were able to meet for worship in the park. Many members of our Church congregations met together, sang hymns and listened to some lovely tributes. It felt all the more special because we had not been able to meet for so long.

However, we are not just going back to the normality of before. To carry on the analogy, we will be offering some Earl Grey and maybe even some peppermint tea into the mix. Our worship will have many of the same ingredients but also have a fresh look as we move into September. If we have learnt anything over successive lockdowns, it is that we are just as much Church even when we cannot be in the building!

The 8 o’clock service will continue to offer worship for those wanting something quiet, reflective and traditional, although sometimes with a hint of spice! Then at 9.30 each Sunday, apart from the first Sunday of each month, there will be a new, informal multi-generational service called CONNECT which will be held at the Parish Centre. The time together will allow us all to experience God together focusing on our own preferred learning style. At 10.30 there will be a more traditional communion service in the Church building followed by coffee. On the first Sunday of each month there will be a 10 o’clock All-age service at St Mary’s called CONNECT TOGETHER which will combine modern and traditional styles of worship. In addition to the morning services, there will be a couple of evening services; a monthly healing service and a monthly modern worship service. And finally the mid-week communion service will move back to Thursday mornings, but at the slightly later time of 10.30.

I hope many of you will try one of our new services. There will be plenty of tea, but I hope you enjoy the new flavours. As always our services will be characterised by a warm welcome, supportive friendship, great hospitality and an opportunity to encounter God and one another. I hope to see you soon – you would be most welcome.