Peace and Joy: A Christmas message from Churches Together in Ilkley


Rev Roberta Topham, the minister at Christchurch, is the new CTI moderator.

Peace and joy, is the Christmas message being sent to you by Churches Together in Ilkley (CTI) from their recent Annual General Meeting.


“It’s been an unexpectedly difficult time” said Michael Faulkner, the CTI events secretary, “yet love and hope has still been shown and it continues to be so”.


A call to churches to deliver some simple Christmas goodies for 225 asylum seekers, recently arrived in Bradford, also went out from the meeting. “Providing Christmas cheer to men who are on their own at this time and have only the most basic of existence” was the request that came from a group supporting refugees and asylum seekers in our District. CTI were pleased to respond to this and 200 plus pairs of warm gloves have been purchased to put in simple Christmas parcels.


Rev Roberta Topham, the minister at Christchurch, was installed at the meeting on December 9 as the new moderator. Taking the chair, Roberta thanked Simon Myers (Smylers) as outgoing moderator for his contribution and looked forward to further opportunities for the churches in Ilkley to serve the community.


“In the last year we have worked to help the food bank, which was started by CTI, to become an independent charity with its own trustees and charitable status, enabling this important work to develop on a clear footing” said Roberta.


The spiritual life of Ilkley had also been taken into consideration during the various lockdowns of the pandemic when Roberta represented CTI on the Ilkley Corona Response Group. “Ilkley has been great at pulling together and CTI now has a place on the Ilkley Community Forum” Roberta explained.


Welcoming two new church leaders to CTI, Adam Roebuck, the curate at All Saints, and Alex Crawford, the vicar at St. Margaret’s, prayers were said for all the ministers and for our town.


CTI consists of All Saints Parish Church, Ben Rhydding Methodist Church, Christchurch Methodist/URC, Church of the Sacred Heart, Ilkley Baptist Church, Ilkley Friends’ Meeting (Quakers) St John’s Parish Church Ben Rhydding and St Margaret’s Parish Church.


Christmas services are being held this year in person with some also available online. Details of events can be found on church notice boards, websites and through social media. Our prayer for Ilkley at this time is that, whatever clouds may gather, “the everlasting light” of Christ may shine out and love be born again in our lives this Christmas.