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Visit by Bishop Moses from our link diocese of Rorya, in Tanzania

The Rev. Canon Musa Yamo (Moses) was consecrated as second Bishop of the Diocese of Rorya in Tanzania on May 23rd 2023.

At 43 years old he is the youngest in Tanzania.

He faces big challenges in one of the poorest Diocese in Tanzania, including literacy, finance, infrastructure and transport for clergy.

Rev. Rod collected Bishop Moses on Monday afternoon and hosted him for 2 nights during his stay in our communities.

On Tuesday morning they visited St Michael’s in Carlton before spending time in Carlton Court Care home. The afternoon was spent in East Hardwick beginning with a visit to Man- or Farm where Liz Spurdens and Bob showed Bishop Moses, farm machinery,

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livestock and harvests of hay and straw. He explained that livestock in his country are al- lowed to graze wherever there is grass - the land is community owned.

The visit concluded with tea and cakes in St Stephens’ prepared by willing volunteers. About 20 gathered to meet and chat with Bishop Moses who enjoyed the cakes. He spoke about the challenges he faces - education for priests, self sufficiency for his parishioners and the growth of churches (with or without roofs)!

They have repaired a vehicle for priests to visit communities and an initiative to provide sewing machines has blossomed from 3 to 10 machines in a relatively short space of time.

During his consecration service, he emphasised 4 things for his ministry as a bishop:- 1. To love Jesus more than those I lead.
2. I should not love wealth and possessions more than loving Jesus.
3. That I must not lead the Lord’s sheep with anger.

4. That I must encourage everyone to love one another.

During his short time with us, he made a big impression of genuine love of Jesus and thanked us for the help received so far. It was an honour to meet Bishop Moses and has re- newed our commitment to supporting his inspiring work.

 

Posted 29th September 2023  

New Noticeboard

Thanks to a successful funding bid, we received a grant from the Bishop's Development Fund which has allowed us to purchase a new noticeboard.  The board, which is next to the church gate will show information about the church, services, events etc.   Our thanks to the BDF trustees for allocating the funds for this.  

Posted 23rd August 2023

Party on the Pitch
A great time was had by all at this fun event at Hundhill Hall Cricket Club on 30th July.  Music was provided by 'Master of Mellow', three Yorkshire Yokels mascarading as singers and a young singer whose details I will post as soon as I get confirmation.  A pie and peas supper was served and the ticket also included one free drink from the bar, which remained open for the entire evening.  Fortunately the rain held off until the very end.  £828.50 was raised for St Stephen's building repairs fund and a further £704 was raised from the raffle for Cancer Research.  Thank you to Sue Crowther for organising the event, to all those who helped on the day and most of all to everyone who came along to support the event.     Click here to see the photos. 
Posted 9th August 2023
New weekday services

From 24th July, for an initial trial period of five weeks, Rev Kate Reynolds will be offering new week-day services (Monday - Friday) at both St Stephen's and St Michael's churches.  

 

8 am Morning Prayer at St Michael's.  

5.30 pm Evening prayer (in the form of Compline) at St Stephen's.  Compline is a beautiful service for the end of the day.  

These two short services (approximately 15 mins) are open to anyone.  If you only have a short time to spare, come along and join us.

 

Posted 23rd July 2023   

New Volunteer Organist Joins the Team

We're pleased to welcome Phil Higgins as our new volunteer organist for St Stephen's and St Michael's churches.  As an experienced church organist and musician he is well able to tackle our rather temperamental organ, with all its squeaks and groans and we look forward to hearing him play for our Sunday services.   Our thanks go to Tom, Pete and Marilyn who have done a stirling job providing the music for a long time and are all now able to take a well-earned break. 

Posted 20th June 2023

Garden Party is Enjoyed by All
The sun continued to shine through the whole afternoon for our summer Garden Party, hosted by Anne and Tom Dyer.  A variety of stalls tempted buyers with plants, ladies' accessories, tombola, books and cakes.   Cream teas were served in the lovely garden and raffle tickets were snapped up so quickly we nearly ran out!   An Amazing £1000 was raised for our much-needed church building/roof repairs. 
Our thanks to everyone who helped out on the day and all those friends and neighbours who came along to support us.  Special thanks to Anne and Tom and their family for hosting the event and all the work that went into it.    Click here to see photos. 
Posted 20th June 2023
Cawood Trust Donation Towards our Building Repairs

We have received a generous donation of £5492.16 from The Cawood Trust, towards our building/roof repairs.  This takes the total raised so far over the £50,000 mark.  Our thanks go to the Trustees for their continuing support for St Stephen's.  

Posted 20th June 2023

Lay Worship Leader

During the Pentecost service at St Stephen's church on Sunday, 28th May, 10 am, Barbara Pollard was commissioned as Lay Worship Leader for St Stephen's.  Barbara has been one of a group of people from churches across the diocese who have been training to become Lay Worship Leaders.  Barbara will be working closely with Fr Rod Walker, Alf Taylor - our Lay Pastoral Minister and the Worship Planning Team, to arrange and deliver services for the future.  We pray for God's blessing for Barbara as she begins her new role.  She will also continue her current duties as Churchwarden.

Posted 25th May 2023

Up and Coming Coronation Celebration Events

To celebrate the King's coronation we are having a Songs of Praise event on Wednesday 3rd May at 7 pm in church.  If you live in the village, you will have received a nomination form to let us know which is your favourite hymn.  The most popular will be the ones that we sing.  If you don't have a form, you can vote by sending an email to ststephenseh@gmail.com or through our contacts page.  

On Monday 8th May, we'll be holding a community picnic in the churchyard in the afternoon.  Bring your own picnic (without a dessert)  and join us.  There will be a village Bake-Off competition - bring along some kind of dessert and the best one will win a prize.  All the entries will be eaten!!  More details to follow shortly.

Posted 7th April 2023

Holy Week services

We are planning some slightly different services for Holy Week this year.  Starting with Palm Sunday (2nd April), we will have our usual procession through the village beginning at the top of Common Piece Lane at 9.45 am.  The service, which continues in church from 10 am, will include part of the dramatisation from Stephen Cotterell's 'The Nail'.  

This will be continued on Good Friday (7th April) when we are planning a very different type of service from the usual Stations of the Cross.  We will continue with 'The Nail', portraying the events of Holy Week through the eyes of different characters in the story.  This is a very moving service to remind us of how Christ suffered and died to save us.  

Easter Sunday (9th April) will, of course, be a joyful celebration of the risen Christ.  With music from the singing group and handbell ringers.  

We hope you will be able to join us for one or all of these special services

Posted 21st March 2023

Pre-loved Sale funds achieved

Our Pre-Loved sale on 18th March made an amazing net profit of £1181.  Thanks to Arlene for co-ordinating the event, to everyone who helped organise, those of you who contributed clothing and accessories to sell, and everyone who supported the event.  An amazing result.

 

Posted 21st March 2023 

 
Coronation Event

We're already looking forward to the Coronation weekend.  Anne's busy liaising with the Parish Council and Village Hall Committee to organise something fun for us all to celebrate.  Watch this space.  

Posted 14th March 2023

Lent Prayer Circle

Throughout Lent (22nd Feb to 1st April), our Prayer Circle will be praying for named individuals for specific reasons.  Members of the Circle commit to praying regularly, from their own homes and in church for the people on the list.  If you would like us to pray for you or for someone you know, please get in touch.  

Posted 10th February 2023

 
New Events Planned for 2023

We've are planning a couple of new events for the Spring.  First up will be a Pre-Loved-Clothing sale in on Saturday 18th March in the village hall.  If anyone has any very good quality clothing (sorry, no jumble) they would like to donate, please do get in touch.  As always, any funds raised will go towards our badly needed repairs to the church, including the roof.  Also, if anyone has a clothing rail that we could borrow for the event, we would be very grateful.  

Next on the list is a 'Songs of Praise' event in church on Wednesday 3rd May at 7 pm.  We know that many of you, even though you may not come to church regularly, still enjoy singing hymns and most people have a favourite.  We'll be asking everyone to nominate their favourite hymn before the event and we'll be singing the most popular.  More about this in due course but please put the date in your diaries and think about which hymns are your favourites.  Refreshments will be served after the singing - well all that singing makes your throat dry!  Oh, by the way, the singing group and handbell ringers will also be performing but mostly it will be about you and the hymns that you love. 

Later in the year, we'll be holding a 'Sing-a-long' supper' with popular songs and a warm supper.  More about that later.  

So some good things to come.  If anyone has any suggestions for future services and events, please do let us know.  

 
The Week Before Christmas

What an amazing and very busy weekend we've just had.  Our Carol Service took place on Friday 16th December at 7 pm and was very well attended.  We managed to get the church warmed up in advance and John T had kindly cut some pieces of carpet for pew runners so that we could sit in more comfort to enjoy the carols and readings.  The singing group sang three Christmas songs and some of our younger members of the congregation helped out with percussion instruments for Mary Had a Baby, which was great fun.  Handbell ringers played a selection of carols, which were enjoyed by everyone.  The church was decorated with all the Christmas trees from the recent Festival and Fayre and everything was lit up and sparkling.  It felt really Christmassy and what a wonderful way to start the final week as we prepare for the birth of the Christ Child.  

On Sunday 18th, we held our annual Barn service in Pycock's stable yard.  Sadly the icy road conditions made it too risky for some of 

our regular horses and riders to attend but seven did make it, all dressed up in tinsel and bells (horses and humans).  This was the first outdoor village event for our new priest, Fr Rod Walker.  He said it felt like he had been transported into the middle of an episode of 'All Creatures Great and Small'.  Well, despite having fewer horses, we did get two sheep, courtesy of Mick and Rosie, and more dogs than I could count.  I'm told there were 44 but that number has yet to be confirmed.  Rev Rod led the service of carols and prayers.  A collection for the Brooke animal charity raised £336.54 and, whilst Rod made his way around, meeting people and blessing all the animals, the rest of us enjoyed refreshments of mulled wine and mince pies whilst the raffle was drawn.  All the raffle prizes were claimed and a list of the winners can be seen by clicking here.   A big thank you to the Pycock family for hosting the event and providing mulled wine and to everyone who brought mince pies.  Photos of the barn service can be seen here

On Sunday evening we were at Carleton for St Michael's carol service where the singers and bells played once more.  It was a great end to a lovely weekend of celebrations.  Check out our future events page to see what's happening on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

 
Posted 20/12/22 
Christmas Tree Festival and Fayre

On 3rd December we held our very first Christmas Tree Festival and Fayre in St Stephen's Church.  The Christmas Trees were made by members of the congregation and other friends and there was an amazing variety of designs and structures.  With all the lights on, the church looked really beautiful.  Stalls included Tombola, Christmas table decorations, cake stall, crafts and gifts and, of course, refreshments.  For the little ones, we had a visit from Santa.  Tom played carols on the organ.  We were really pleased that so many people could join us and support this event.  £744 was raised towards the upkeep of the building, including the roof.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the event.   Photos of the Christmas Tree Festival and Fayre can be seen here.  

Posted 3/12/22.  Updated 20/12/22

A new associate priest for East Hardwick

St Stephen's church, East Hardwick and St Michael's, Carleton are to join the Pontefract group of churches and Fr Rod Walker has been appointed as our associate priest for both churches.  Rod began his ministry at St Stephen's on 27th November.  He will be leading services at both St Stephen's and St Michael's in future.

Posted 30/10/22

Yorkshire Quiz night

Tickets are now available for our Yorkshire Quiz night which will be held in the village hall on Wednesday, 23rd November at 7 pm.  The quiz will feature all things Yorkshire and tickets, which can be obtained from Arlene Collins, are £5.  (or you can contact us here to request tickets).  This is a Bring and Share supper and we are asking you all to bring something savoury or sweet to add to our sharing buffet.  Please bring your own drinks and glasses.  All are welcome.   

Posted 30/10/22

Harvest supper tickets

Tickets for our Harvest Supper on 12th October will shortly be on sale.  This is our first supper since Covid and demand for tickets will be high.  Sadly we are unable to accommodate everyone who would like to join us and so we have had to make the decision to give priority to members of St Stephen's Church congregation, including the singing group and handbell ringers.  If there are any tickets spare, these will be restricted to residents of East Hardwick village.  Clearly some people will be disappointed and some guests who attended in previous years may not be able to get tickets for this event.  Hopefully in the future, we will be able to find some way to accommodate more people. 

Posted 25/9/22

Sunflower competition results

The sunflowers have been measured and the results are in!
There were three plants (4, 9 and 14) that, despite not being sponsored, decided to put on a brave show and grow
nearly as tall as the winner; any of these could have taken second place, but it was not to be.
The tallest at 9 feet (2m74cm) was Number 18
Second tallest (after the three mentioned above) at 7 feet 9” (2m35cm) was Number 20
The shortest at 4 feet 9” (1m45cm) was Number 31
The plants were the real winners, in surviving two heatwaves and then heavy rain and wind to remain standing. They obviously had someone watching over them! Special thanks also to Pam for saving pop bottles that provided protection when the plants were young, and Amy who donated some long support canes. As well as sponsorship money there were some kind, extra donations, which gave us a total raised towards our roof fund of £95. Thank you to everyone who took part in this bit of fun.

Posted 25/9/22

 

Events for the Future

For the foreseeable future we are without a permanent Vicar at East Harwick but that doesn't mean that nothing is happening at St Stephen's.  We have planned a series of events for you to enjoy throughout the rest of this year.  Normally we would wait until nearer the scheduled dates to publicise services and events but we want you to know that we still have a really active church and to give you plenty of time to put the dates in your diary.  Check out our Future Events page for more details.  Please scroll down the events as there are some important dates later in the year.  Look forward to seeing you.

Posted 18/8/22

Visiting Bell Ringers

On 16th August, a group of 15 bell-ringers visited St Stephen's to try out our bells.  The group, all from different backgrounds, shared a common history of having at some time rung the bells at St Abbot's church, Kensington.  Each year they travel to a different part of the country, visiting local churches and ringing their bells.  It was interesting to watch them play.  After the session they kindly made a donation to church funds.  

Posted 18/8/22

 
Important changes to dates and times of Services from 1st August 2022

At a meeting with the Archdeacon on 10th July, we were told that there are not enough priests available to provide service cover for both Carleton and East Hardwick parish churches every Sunday.

From 1st August, Carleton and East Hardwick congregations will merge for Sunday services and all services will be at 10 am.  The first and third Sundays of each month will be at Carleton and the second, fourth and occasional fifth will be at East Hardwick.  Refreshments of tea, coffee and biscuits will be served after every service.  Reverend Kate will cover one service each month and the rest will be led by visiting priests.  All are welcome at both churches.  

Another meeting with the Archdeacon has been arranged for the end of September, when we hope to hear more about more permanent options for our church in the future. 

Posted 13/7/22

Church Open on Mondays

From Monday 6th June, St Stephen's will be open to the public every Monday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.  The rota for opening church on Mondays will be put on the noticeboard in the porch.  Check your dates and, if you have been allocated any dates when you are not available, please arrange to swap with someone else on the list.

Posted 26/5/22

Reverend Shelagh's Retirement

On 3rd April, Rev Shelagh announced that she would be retiring from her ministry at St Stephen's Church, East Hardwick and St Michael's church, Carleton.  Her last service will be on Sunday 3rd July.  It will be a busy time for us all as we work through the handover.  After Rev Shelagh retires, we will enter a period of interregnum when we have no permanent priest in the parish. However, it is likely that our weekly services will continue as before with visiting priests officiating.  

Bishop Tony's visit

Bishop Tony will be visiting St Stephen's church on Sunday 15th May and will be preaching at the 9 am service.  The singing group and handbell ringers will perform at this service.  All are welcome.  

Posted 10/5/22
Summer Events

There are lots of things going on over the summer months, including some fundraiser events for the church roof.  We start with a Sunflower competition in May.  Helen Beaumont has sown some sunflower seeds and is growing them on.  She will shortly be planting them in the churchyard at St Stephen's and you can buy one for £2. nurture it and watch it grow.  

Over the weekend of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, St Stephen's will be open to the public on Saturday, Sunday and Monday with a lovely floral display.  All are welcome.  

18th June is the date for our Bring and Buy Sale at the home of the Dyers, 32 Darrington Road.  Last year's Bring and Buy was a great success so put the date in your diary and come along to enjoy stalls, refreshments and a chance to catch up with friends and neighbours. Proceeds in aid of the church roof.  

Last year's Prize draw for the church roof was a great success - thanks to everyone for supporting.  This year's raffle tickets will go on sale on 25th June and the draw will take place at the Coffee Morning on 18th July.  So plenty of time for you to buy your tickets from any member of St Stephen's congregation.   If anyone would like to donate a prize, or knows of a business that would like to support us, please contact Barbara.  

Our roof fund currently stands at £29,689 and we estimate the essential repairs will be around £150,000 so we have a long way to go. We really appreciate your continued support for our fundraisers.  

Posted 10/5/22
Collection for the Ukraine

We are collecting funds for the Ukraine.  There will be a large jar at the back of church.  Please give generously.  

Any money we collect will be sent to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) who co-ordinate humanitarian work in major international crises.  We have been told that money is the key donation they are seeking at the moment, so that it can be used for whatever is needed.   The last day for donations will be Sunday 3rd June.

Posted 9/3/22

Wearing of masks is now optional

The PCC has decided that, in line with Government guidelines, the wearing of masks during services at St Stephen's church is now optional.  For the comfort of those who are still worried about the risk of Covid, we are currently continuing to leave an empty row between the pews.  

Posted 9/3/22

Real Easter eggs

 

If you are looking for an Easter egg that is Fairtrade and also includes the Easter story, you can buy them here www.realeasteregg.co.uk

Posted 9/3/22

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

 

St Stephen's church will be working closely with the Parish Council and the Village Hall committee on plans for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations later in the year.  This is a great opportunity for us all to work together again after two years of Covid and we're looking forward to arranging some real celebrations for the local community.  

Posted 9/2/22

Singing Group

Our Singing Group has resumed rehearsals after the Christmas break.  We're building a repertoire of songs for a possible fund raising concert maybe later this year to help raise funds for the church roof.  Also practising for a live performance of the song 'Risen' for Easter Sunday in church.  You may remember our virtual choir sang this on video last year.   

We're always looking for new members so if you enjoy singing why not come along and join us?  You don't have to read music as we learn all our songs during rehearsals and using practice CDs (or MP3) at home.  We enjoy a range of different music from popular songs and songs from musicals to folk, spirituals and faith music.  Don't be shy - give it a go.  We rehearse every Thursday evening 6 - 7pm in St Stephen's church, East Hardwick.  For more information contact Barbara

Posted 9/2/22

Are you interested in taking on a role in church?

We are coming up to our annual meeting at which we will be electing people in various roles.  There are a number of different roles but some of the main ones include becoming a Sidesperson, a member of the PCC (Parochial Church Council) or a representative at the Deanery Synod.  Don't worry if you're not sure what these roles entail.  If you are willing to consider helping St Stephen's in some way, just get in touch.  Full training for any tasks will be given.  

Bat Survey

We were contacted earlier this year by an organisation called 'Bats in Churches' to ask if they could set up special monitoring equipment to find out whether we have any bats roosting in church.  The equipment was set up and left in church overnight, triggered by any movement.  The results showed that there was no evidence of bats roosting, although this does not preclude bats flying around in the churchyard.  

For more information on the work of Bats in Churches, please click on the link. www.batsinchurches.org.uk

Posted 17/11/21

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