Parish Letter

JULY 2021

I am the recently appointed Vicar for Hampsthwaite and Felliscliffe with Killinghall and Birstwith. I am delighted to be here in the beautiful Nidderdale area with you. My family and I have moved across from West Yorkshire where I was the Team Vicar for the benefice of Harden, Wilsden, Cullingworth and Denholme near Keighley.

My husband, a Lancastrian from Nelson, continues to work in Colne library and is enjoying the beautiful drive while we have this lovely weather – what happens when winter arrives we have yet to discover! I started work at Easter taking services in Hampsthwaite and Birstwith and was delighted by the wonderful response.

On Sunday 30th May the work to repair the chancel floor in Killinghall church was completed and we had a very well supported first service in the newly reopened church building. Thank you so much to all those who have worked so hard to enable the repairs to happen both by raising money and by liaising tirelessly with the architect and builders. We have also had our first All Age Worship service at 2.30 in Felliscliffe chapel of Ease on 1st Sunday in June and hope to have the next one on the first Sunday in July.

Today I had the absolute pleasure of celebrating a marriage in Birstwith church. We only had 30 people there, but it was a truly beautiful, moving and memorable service and I am sure given the gorgeous day that has followed that the couple and their family have had a great time. I look forward to many more celebrations with you all.

All our churches are remarkable and beautiful buildings, and we hope to be able to continue their work as centres of community life and sacred spaces for worship in all the villages. We do hope that you will support us in that effort. The churches are entirely dependent upon the support of the local community, we receive no outside funding, and indeed, because we are religious organisations, we are often barred from applying for community grant funding.

The local benefice churches of St Thomas à Becket, Hampsthwaite and St. Thomas the Apostle, Killinghall and St. James, Birstwith are all open again and we do invite you to come along and join us for Sunday worship or to get in touch if you would like to book a Baptism or Wedding, or are interested in discussing Confirmation or any other event. I am always happy to speak to you about your personal spiritual journey, hear confession or enable and facilitate bible study and deepening understanding of what we mean when we claim to be a Christian. Jesus offers a life filled with love and fulfilment to all those who seek to follow in his footsteps. We are currently running a bible study/fellowship group on Zoom if you would like to join us please get in touch with me.

Please do take a look at our Facebook page:- Benefice-of-Hampsthwaite-Killinghall-and-Birstwith and join me when I live-stream Morning Prayer on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30am or Night Prayer at 9.00pm Mon/Wed/Fri. We also aim to live-stream some of the Sunday services, we are working to improve the internet connections to the churches.

Hope to meet you soon, Suzy

01423 772638 (please call between 9am and 9pm)