Church of England Diocese of York Topcliffe

Reflections and Prayers

May 2019

Dear Friends,

I hope you all had a good Easter and managed to do something different as a way of celebrating the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ, and the promise of new life that that gives us. If you have been out and about, you may have noticed something different in the churchyard at Baldersby St James. During their thinking about the Easter Story the children at Baldersby St James School remembered how when Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane on the Thursday evening following his last supper with is disciples, he was afraid and ‘an angel from heaven appeared to him to give him strength’ (St Luke’s Gospel, chapter 22, verse 43). The children tied white ribbons on the yew tree to represent angels – ribbons that were long enough to touch the ground, just as the angel touched the earth. The children then thought about the times when they, like Jesus, were frightened and needed strength, and holding a ribbon, they prayed for God to be their strength to see them through these times. There were five ‘stations’ in all around the churchyard and school garden, representing different parts of Jesus’ last days, that gave the opportunity to stop and reflect and pray. Coming to the cross in the school garden, the children took a felt pen and marked their own cross on the wood. As they drew the down-stroke, they reflected ‘God loves me’, and as they drew the transverse-stroke, ‘God loves everyone’. It was a different way of telling the Easter story, and it was very powerful, not just seeing the children entering into it, but also their parents and friends sharing in the occasion as well and making their own prayers. It’s always good to try something different – I hope you get the opportunity, and that whatever you do, it gives you a reminder of God, or shows you something new about him.

There are some changes to our Sunday Services during May. Please note that on 5th, there is a Benefice Service and breakfast at Queen Mary’s School, by kind invitation of Mrs Cameron. This will be followed by a Parish Walk, meeting at Studley Royal National Trust Tearooms (the Fountains Abbey ‘bottom’ tearoom) at 12.30pm, with various options for longer or shorter walks.

Also, on Sunday 19th, there will be only one service at 10.45 at Topcliffe. Full details of all events and Service times can be found elsewhere in the magazine.

With every blessing,


The Prayer of St Columba

        Be a bright flame before me, O God
        a guiding star above me.
        Be a smooth path below me,
        a kindly shepherd behind me
        today, tonight, and for ever.
        Alone with none but you, my God
        I journey on my way;
        what need I fear when you are near,
        O Lord of night and day?
        More secure am I within your hand
        than if a multitude did round me stand.