Burley Churches Working Together

Churches working together in Burley is nothing new. But recent years have seen a closer relationship develop between church volunteers in all four churches as they strive to provide support and activities for village residents, particularly for the elderly and those who live alone. Church events on Saturday 14 December are a good example of the informal and more formal ways they work together.

The morning saw the United Reform Church, Salem Hall, become the ideal venue this year for the Methodist Church and St Mary’s Church Choir to run their Coffee Mornings jointly. This meant that they would both be able to have their December events before Christmas. In spite of the torrential rain and change of venue folk turned out to give the Methodist Church support to help them raise money for the Salvation Army. The added treat for this coffee morning was to hear St Mary’s boys and girls sing over cups of tea and coffee. Peter Collins, St Mary’s Director of Music, said that he had enjoyed working with the choir this year and seeing them make such good progress. He added, new recruits are always welcome. Contact vicar@burleyparishchurch.org.uk

Within a few hours the Salem Hall was transformed into a Christmas Lunch venue. This annual event, in its 4th year, is the more formal way the churches work together. The volunteer group who organise the events to celebrate seasonal Christian festivals is called ‘Love Burley’. As usual, the traditional Christmas lunch was served to 50 guests with a joyful interval between courses to listen to the Ladies Choir sing familiar Christmas carols.Four new volunteers were helping with cooking, waitressing and driving. They all seemed to be having as much fun as the guests. When one volunteer was asked what she thought of her first experience of volunteering to help, she said that now the voting was over we must begin to work together and put our prejudices behind us. ‘Love Burley’ as part of Churches Together in Burley are doing just that. By coming together they are able to reach out beyond their own church members so that all feel part of this wonderful village community.

This year ‘Love Burley’ through the Burley Christmas Lunch, not only provided a truly lovely afternoon for local people across the village; the elderly, those living alone, the lonely and others in need of social contact, but it supported another charity in need, Western Nepal Disability Trust (WNDT). ‘Love Burley’ by purchasing small Christmas gifts from the WNDT Fairtrade Craft stall, gave support to its Palliative Care project. The gifts were then given to the Luncheon guests on departure and although the event was free guests donated over £100 to the Trust. The Trust would like to thank guests for supporting this project.

The ‘Love Burley’ Group much appreciate support of this years ‘The Christmas Lunch’ from local businesses, Tesco, Sainsburys, Co-op, Flower Academy and Morrison’s.

In fact this is but a snapshot of the way churches work together in the village throughout the year.

From The Ilkley Gazette