Gifts for the homeless in Harrogate

Gifts for homeless Gifts for the homeless in Harrogate

Mr David Randall (left) from the Harrogate Homeless Project and Mrs Lynn Purser (centre of picture), current President of the Relief Society in Harrogate and Mr Greg Carson (right of picture), one of the local Church leaders


David Randall from the Harrogate Homeless Project, received gift bags, made up by the women of the Relief Society organisation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes nicknamed “Mormons”).

Also in attendance was Mrs Lynn Purser, the current President of the Relief Society in Harrogate and Mr Greg Carson, one of the local Church leaders.

In all, 50 bags, containing toiletries and other essential items, were donated to the local charity, for those sleeping rough on the streets of Harrogate.

Mr Randall attended a Christmas dinner at the church, and then, following the meal, gave a short presentation on the charity’s work. He explained that, while attending that event, about 42 people would be sleeping on the streets of Harrogate that night. He emphasised the need to make people aware that Harrogate has a homeless problem, despite its affluent reputation.

The Relief Society (RS) is a philanthropic and educational women’s organisation within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Founded in 1842, the Relief Society is one of the oldest and largest women’s organisations in the world with approximately 6 million members in over 170 countries.

The Relief Society in Harrogate have often been involved in donating goods to charities abroad, but felt a need to support a local cause this year. They hope to continue the links with this charity throughout 2013.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Harrogate, Thirsk, Ripon, Wetherby and Pately Bridge areas meet at 10:00am every Sunday at the Church building on Wetherby Road, HG2 3AS.

All are welcome. Additionally, youth between the ages of 12-18 meet for fun activities every Tuesday evening at 7:00pm at the Chapel.



Harrogate resident chosen again to be a Bishop

A young man has accepted a mission to serve his local community as Bishop for the second time.

Spencer McKeown  is a young man with his hands full – he works full time as a portfolio manager for American Express, his wife just gave birth to their sixth child and he has been called as the Bishop of his local church… again!

Harrogate resident Spencer McKeown (38) has been ordained as the new Bishop of the 240-strong congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often nicknamed “Mormons”) in the Harrogate area.

In becoming the Bishop, he follows in the footsteps of his father, Jack and grandfather, Dougald who were also called to be a bishop twice.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – With 365 congregations in the UK, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is well known for its focus on strengthening families, as well as for welfare and humanitarian aid projects throughout the world. There are 2027 members of the church in 7 congregations across the York area.


Bishop McKeown Harrogate resident chosen again to be a Bishop

Bishop Spencer McKeown


Spencer, who lives in West End, near Thruscross Reservoir is married to Louise. The couple are the parents of Naomi (15), Lucy-mae (13), Harvey (10), Maisey (8), Jay (5)and a new baby daughter Evie, born in July 2012.

The new assignment comes in addition to his ‘day job’ as a Technologies Manager for American Express. The local congregational leader for Latter-day Saints is the bishop (or branch president, for smaller congregations). A bishop holds the priesthood and is ordained to the office of bishop by a more senior Church leader. He earns his own living and receives no pay of any kind for his service in the Church. Bishops devote much of their free time to helping the local community and the members of the Church in their local areas.

Spencer was born in London, but has lived in Yorkshire since he was nine years old. As a 19 year old, Spencer volunteered as a full-time missionary and spent two years in South Africa. On his return to the UK, Spencer completed a Masters at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Spencer said:

Our church is largely run by ordinary men and women with strong faith who are devoted to serving our communities. Hopefully I’ll be a help and support to individuals and families who are facing life’s ups and downs just as we all do.

Mr McKeown will not only be responsible for the spiritual well-being of the local church members, he will also oversee education programmes, youth activities, budgeting and money management counselling along with a responsibility for the church building and grounds.

Spencer added:

I’m looking forward to this new challenge and hope above all to strengthen the homes and families in our area.

Mr McKeown will be assisted by two counsellors – former pilot, Greg Carson (57), and special needs teaching assistant and carer, Nick Kite(39).

Spencer succeeds Steve Hooson who served members in the Harrogate area for five years.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Harrogate, Thirsk, Ripon, Wetherby and Pately Bridge areas meet at 10:00am every Sunday at the Church building on Wetherby Road, HG2 3AS. All are welcome. Additionally, youth between the ages of 12-18 meet for fun activities every Tuesday evening at 7:00pm at the Chapel.



Wesley Chapel to celebrate a 150th anniversary

Wesley Chapel Wesley Chapel to celebrate a 150th anniversary


The Wesley Chapel in Harrogate is celebrating its 150 year anniversary this year. Before that the chapel had been at the corner of Beulah Street and Oxford Street. It was one of only two chapels in the Harrogate circuit which was constituted in 1858.

Wesley Chapel is a Grade II listed building in the traditional ‘meeting house’ style. It was extensively refurbished for our Centenary in 1962 and again in 1994 when the foyer at the entrance to the church was created and major alterations made to the facilities in the Lower Hall beneath the church, including a lift.

Methodism in Harrogate has been traced back almost as far as John Wesley’s day, and since its opening in 1862 Wesley Chapel has been a dominant landmark in Harrogate and has played a major role in town centre life. The work of its people carries on from a long tradition of devotion to the town.


You are welcome into our chapel whenever it is open, whether you join us for worship, to pray, enjoy the peace or just to view our lovely building.


The event will run from  4 – 6 October 2012  and  from 10.00am to 2.00pm each day with light refreshments available.

There will also be a celebration service on Sunday 7 October, 2012 at 10.30 am with Rev. Mark Wakelin the President of the Methodist Conference.

This will be followed by cold fork buffet lunch in the Lower Hall and a conversation with the President.

Everyone is invited to share in this celebration and have the opportunity of meeting our President.

Lunch tickets £5.00 minimum. Please ring Lynne 01423 (568968) or Judith (01423 506014)



September marks “new dawn” for local Methodists

mark4a 350x233 September marks “new dawn” for local Methodists

New Dawn! The Rev Mark Godfrey, who will be leading the new Methodist Circuit

Fourteen churches from across Harrogate and Knaresborough are joining forces in September to create a new Methodist Circuit.

The newly-created Nidd Valley Circuit, will be officially launched at a service being held at Knaresborough’s Gracious Street Church, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 4.

Stretching from Hampsthwaite to Kirk Hammerton, the new group will bring together five village chapels and six thriving neighbourhood churches, including Woodlands, Pannal, Park Grove and Starbeck, the town centre churches of Knaresborough’s Gracious Street, and Harrogate’s Trinity on the Stray and Wesley Chapel on Oxford Street.

Also associated with the circuit will be Ashville College, in Harrogate, an independent boarding and day school which was founded by local Methodists in 1877.

To mark this auspicious occasion, the circuit will hold a “New Dawn” celebration at Ashville on Saturday, September 29.

The Rev Mark Godfrey, who will be leading the new group, said:

The creation of the Nidd Valley Circuit is a very exciting moment for the area’s Methodists.

We hope that the new streamlined arrangement will allow us to bring together the strengths of all the Methodists to serve their communities and spread the Christian Gospel where they are situated.

Further details about the Nidd Valley Circuit are available by visiting



Scouts get ready for the St George’s day parade this Sunday

scouting kids Scouts get ready for the St Georges day parade this SundayHundreds of Scouts and Guides, Cubs and Brownies, Rainbows and Beavers will take to the streets of Harrogate this weekend for a parade to celebrate the youth movement founded by Baden Powell.

Numbers have grown in North Yorkshire, with 160 more young people now enrolled in the county than at the same time last year – half of them from the Harrogate district.

In all, 1,300 young people take part in weekly activities in North Yorkshire.

Around 650 young people will gather at St Aidan’s School on Sunday (April 22) before setting off at 2 pm, marching to a service at Christ Church on The Stray.

Harrogate District Commissioner, Mark Turner said:

You often hear or read about the short-comings of the so-called ‘X Box generation’ but the parade helps to underline there is just as much good in young people today as there has always been.

The aim of the Scouting movement is to encourage young people to develop their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential as individuals and citizens – and the fact there is an increasing appetite for membership suggests young people are still interested in adventure in the great outdoors.

However, growing numbers means we’re on the lookout for more new leaders and we would be very interested to hear from adults who may be interested in volunteering as leaders, sharing their experience and enthusiasm for learning new skills.

More information about becoming a Scout leader is available by telephoning 01845 523858 or online at


King James Bible

King James Bible Trust celebrate 400th anniversary

The King James Bible Trust has been established to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible which was completed in 1611.

Frank Field, Chairman:

There have been few more important single publications and its impact through history has been colossal.

Our aim is to celebrate its impact in history and on language, particularly in this country, but also throughout the English speaking world.

The Trust is developing projects which will include:

  • Commissioning new music and literature
  • Study days in some cities following James’s route from Scotland to London, focusing on the translation story
  • Lectures at Oxford and Cambridge, where the translators worked
  • Developing educational school projects
  • Publishing new texts
  • Discussions about similar values in the texts of the world’s major religions
  • Major exhibitions in London and around the country where the translations were made
  • Street culture projects

Harrogate and Knaresborough has a number of events coming up:

The Book that changed the world – a display at Harrogate library -22nd Oct 11 to 2nd Nov 11

The Bible in a Day from the Wesley Chapel – 22nd Oct 11

Bible Sunday – a day for celebrating the gift of scripture – 23rd Oct 11

Bible Journey – five week course by Rev Tim Hurren (enrolment) – 25th Oct 11

Bible Journey – five week course by Rev Tim Hurren (enrolment) – 28th Oct 11

Biblefresh Day from Gracious St in Knaresborough – 5th Nov 11

sKJB King James Bible Trust celebrate 400th anniversary





135th anniversary for St Peter’s Church

IMG 1677 135th anniversary for St Peters ChurchOn Monday 3rd October on the 135th anniversary of the Consecration of St Peter’s the foundation stone of the new building was laid by the Mayor of Harrogate.

The Church is expected to reopen before Christmas with the new parts of the building expected to be in full use in the new year.

In 2007 they decided to redevelop the magnificent Victorian church building in the centre of Harrogate in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. They wanted to ‘open up the building to let the world see in and enable us to extend their vision.’

They have a wide range of service opportunities, catering for every taste on Sundays and throughout the week and with a growing  congregation.

Every morning (except on Sundays) they run a  Breakfast Club feeds those who are homeless or in need, and they hand out food parcels daily in the late afternoon.

The money was raised by donation, grants from various bodies and trusts and legacy’s. The total cost of the project is £2.25 million.

Ashville Brownies Set Up Shop For Save The Children

A local Brownie group will be manning the tills of their own shop this Saturday (March 5) as they aim to raise an impressive amount of money for a charity close to their hearts.

The Brownies, from Ashville Junior School in Harrogate, are opening a one-day-only-shop in the Lower Hall of the town’s Wesley Chapel, where they will be offering local residents the opportunity to purchase a variety of good quality toys, clothes, bric-a-brac and home-made cakes to raise money for Save the Children.

This is the third year the Ashville Brownies will have run a shop in aid of the charity. The previous two years it was located in Victoria Gardens.

Brownie leader Julie Sullivan said: “Last year, we raised more than £1,200 and I hope Saturday will be just as successful.

“The girls understand that not all children are as fortunate as them and are really excited to raise money for this worthwhile cause.

“They will be making sure the items on sale are looking their best to attract customers and our aim is to raise in excess of £1,000.

“Running the shop is a great experience for the girls. If last year’s sale is anything to go by, then Saturday will be very rewarding for all those involved.”

The sale is being held between 10am and 4pm in the Lower Hall, Wesley Chapel.