The Inauguration of Nidd Valley Circuit

Hello everyone! On Tuesday September 4th I took 2 elderly members of our congregation to Gracious Street Chapel for the Nidd Valley Circuit Inauguration Service. The former Harrogate and Knaresborough Circuits became one on September 4th. Before the service began we applauded Les Simms who was presented his certificate for 50 years of preaching! After being welcomed we sang ‘Sing to the great Jehovah’s praise’ and were led by the worship group as prayers were said. There were readings Judges 6 v1-8 and Luke 24 v 36-53 read by circuit stewards. The hymn ‘Lord for the years’ was then sung and then the Principal of Cliff College Chris Blake gave the sermon.
He talked about how in the new tomorrow we would learn from others sharing their experiences. Sharing experience would be the first challenge. He talked of Luke’s description of Jesus commissioning his followers to go out in mission. Chris described how he and his 14 year old son had been given tickets for the World Cup match between England versus Argentina and their experience of watching the game, even though England lost. When his son came to school having been there he had there at the match, it was much better than just watching it on television; he had experienced it in person. The disciples were commissioned to share the good news about Jesus, as they knew him, had lived with him and met him after his resurrection; they were eyewitnesses which added to their impact when they shared those experiences. He drew our attention to a video on U-Tube with this link:; it is called ‘Reasons why people don’t go to church’. There are questions such as the church is for hypocrites; the reply; well one more won’t matter then? It is advertising a church where doubts are welcome and the past is forgiven.
The second challenge is to make the church a safe place to explore doubts and fears, as we care for those around us; exploration.
The third challenge is Explosion, which is gift of the Holy Spirit which transforms us into witnesses and transforms our lives. Jesus told his disciples that it would be to the advantage of the disciples that He go away, so they would be able to receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
How do we work to offer the transforming love of Christ to bring unity and mission, Chris wondered?
In Judges the Israelites saw everything going wrong, not like the old days; the Israelites hid as they felt the Midianites were too strong for them. Gideon saw himself as belonging to the least of the tribes of Israel and not up to such a task. However God told him to come out of the cave, as He would be with him and with God’s help Gideon would succeed. We too need to remember to come out of our caves or our churches and meet the people empowered through God’s Holy Spirit and with Jesus always with us strengthening us.
After singing ‘O thou who camest from above’ the new Circuit was officially inaugurated, the circuit stewards, the superintendant minister and the staff were commissioned for service in the Nidd Valley Circuit. We then sang the Nidd Valley Circuit Hymn written by Brian Hoare 2012:

‘A new day is dawning – the time is at hand;
God’s called us together – united we stand.
A brand new tomorrow is starting today:
We’re joining together to serve him.
So we’ll shout out: ‘The Lord is King!’
He’s loved us and called us – his praises we’ll sing;
We’ll witness for Christ by our words and our deeds
And joining together to serve him.

In hills and in valleys, in village and town,
From when the sun rises until it goes down
We’ll witness for Christ by our words and our deeds
And joining together to serve him.

As Jesus called others to follow him then,
He calls us today – women, children and men-
To be his disciples and follow his will
By joining together to serve him.

A mission-shaped movement is what we must be
By sharing the gospel that sets us all free.
Empowered by God’s Spirit we’ve nothing to fear,
So let’s join together to serve him.
Yes, we’ll shout out: ‘The Lord is King!’
He’s loved us and called us – his praises we’ll sing.
Here I am, Lord, so take me now
That others may hear the Good News.

We prayed for those unable to be present whose hand shapes were on the chairs as hopes on our hands and then we passed the peace whilst singing ‘Put peace in each other’s hands’. The prayers of intercession and offering followed by the closing hymn ‘God who sets us on a journey’ by Joy Dine from the hymnbook; ‘Faith Forever Singing’ published in New Zealand.
I found these words from the second verse reflected the start of our journey as a new circuit:
‘Exploration brings new insights,
Changes, choices we must face;
Give us wisdom in deciding,
Mindful always of your grace;
Should we stumble, lose our bearings,
Find it hard to know what’s right,
We regain our true direction
Focused on the Jesus-light.’

And the concluding half of the final verse gives us our guide and goal:
‘Keep us travelling in the knowledge
You are always at our side,
Give us courage for the journey,
Christ our goal and Christ our guide.’

We found the service inspiring as we begin our life as Nidd Valley Circuit.

This entry was posted in Bible, Faith/Personal, Miscellaneous/Personal, Music and Musicals, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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