Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

you are #LOVED!

Friday, February 13th, 2015

At the Sanctuary Valentine’s day is different for us all. Some of us are married, some of us single; some of us are broken-hearted by our current relationship status and some of us are really happy about it… But all of us are celebrating the same love today and every day – a love that’s changed our lives more than any other – God’s love made known to us all through Jesus.

val 15 15
This is the love we want to share with our town – and everyone who comes through it too – as they drive or walk past our shop front on the A65.

That’s why we’ve been busy preparing for tomorrow for weeks now… praying, listening for ideas, prepping art, making chocolates, designing badges, recruiting volunteers, creating gift bags…

So here are some photos of what we’ve been up to and what we’re planning tomorrow… as you look through them, we hope you too will receive God’s message to us all – and our message to you – you are #LOVED!

1. Thanks to a youth group and around 20 volunteers from six churches, we’ve got more than 400 gift bags of chocolate hearts with a badge and tag about God’s love to give out to shopkeepers and the public tomorrow – and hundreds more badges to hand out too…

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(Thanks Emily for modelling tomorrow’s plan so beautifully for us!)

2. We’ve started this one already because our schools break up for half term today… we’re busy sending thank you messages on Twitter and Facebook to people who serve our community – affirming what we appreciate about them and saying ‘You are #LOVED!’

Could you do this where you live too?

3. We’ve put up one of our window displays too, with a specially created piece of locally inspired art, so we can tell everyone passing by – You are #LOVED!

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And so that’s why we’re excited here, behind the scenes… just hours now before the big day starts and our team from five different churches go out to spread the message of love still further.

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1 in 7 billion still seen

Monday, February 9th, 2015

At the start of a week where our whole focus at the Sanctuary’s centre is on communicating to those in our area ‘You are LOVED’ – it is fitting that we should be publishing this beautiful new studio version of one of the Sanctuary’s most precious songs – Nmoshka – which champions the value of every person globally.


Nmoshka voices a Bengali greeting (parallel to the Indian word Namaste) which means ‘I greet the Holy One I see in you’ and reflects on the sanctity of every human individual’s life as an image bearer of God.

We’re thrilled with this new version that Liz Baddaley and the brilliant Tim Deal have been working on producing over the last few weeks. And we hope you will find it helpful to inspire both prayer and action in you and in others.

The reality in our culture is not that each 1 in 7 billion is seen – and certainly not equally seen. But this is God’s reality and the reality those seeking to follow Jesus want to try to better embody and proclaim. Jesus’ life would have been laid down to win just one of them back – each is as precious and loved as we are…

A child in Bangladesh is as precious as a child here. There is no one inconsequential to God – no disposable number in a huge poverty statistic. Poverty is always personal – to the individuals, families and communities facing it, and to the God who made them and loves them.

You can read the full story behind the song and its inspiration here – and a chord sheet and sheet music are also available to download on our songs page.


here at the well – a call to united mission

Monday, January 12th, 2015

We’ve uploaded a new unity meditation to the Sanctuary’s worship resources library. Hear John 4’s Samaritan  woman at the well come to life in our monologue: Here at the well – a call to united mission


We’ve written this  specially  for a united service on Sunday that we are leading in partnership with All Saints’ Ilkley to mark the start of The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. But we wanted to share it ahead of its debut as many of you will also be focusing on John 4 from the 18-25 January and we’d love you to be able to use it too if you would like to. (It is of course relevant at any other time unity or John 4 are being considered.)

Here at the well

I wanted to bring you all here. So you’d understand. Because everything changed here.

Here – at the well.

That day began the same as any other. I walked the dusty road towards the water source weighed down by the heavy emptiness inside me. For I carried a load of shame back then.

I was an outsider – used to being on the wrong side of withering stares, rolled eyes, cold shoulders and whispers. Often excluded, marginalised and judged. And that was by my own people.

And so when he showed up at the well – one of them – those superior Jews who think they’re so perfect and chosen because they worship at the temple and are sure the Messiah will come from them – I knew I was in for another round of the same scathing power-trip they always seem to put my people through.

But then he spoke to me. And he looked at me. And we talked. I mean, we really talked. As if it was the most natural thing for a Samaritan woman and a Jewish rabbi to talk; as if…

Well, as if we were both insiders on something bigger than any of those barriers.

And then he seemed to be inviting me into this something huge.  He said he could give me living water – water that would mean I would never be thirsty again. I didn’t understand what he meant, but I wanted it. I was thirsty to drink my fill of something different – something more than disappointments and broken relationships. Something different to being written off by other people again and again…

It wasn’t comfortable though. Oh, anything but. This man knew everything there was to know about me without being told… and the things he knew, they were the stuff of scandal and rumour; justifiable reasons for people to exclude me.

But he was inviting me in anyway! He said a time was coming when it wouldn’t be important any more if you went to the mountain or the temple – that you’d be able to worship the Father in spirit and in truth anywhere. That the same Lord could unite everyone.

And then he said that Lord was him. He said he was Messiah. And I knew he was right. I knew it was true! Because I could feel the lightness inside.

I was an outsider no longer. Now I was gathered up and welcomed in and filled up to overflowing. And I couldn’t help but brim over and pour out until I became worshipper and messenger too. For I had to tell everyone.


I brought them all here. To the well. And to him. The living water that never runs out. The one we had all been waiting for.

I looked people in the eye who had shunned me; I invited those who had intimidated, judged and excluded me. I spoke up without fear to those who had lied and whispered behind my back. How? The divisions and barriers seemed only like faint scars now – the people I brought were the ones that had hurt me but the old heavy pain was feather light next to the hugeness of his promised life to all of us. What was more appealing? Holding on to my heavy buckets of emptiness? Or dropping them and running, shouting – dancing even – till everyone came back with me and experienced their fill from this well; this water; this Lord?


I wanted to bring you all here too. So you’d understand. Because it’s here that everything changes.

Here – at the well – we can remember the hugeness of who unites us. Jesus Christ – our same life-giving Lord.

Here – at the well – we can leave behind our outsider selves and our excluder selves and simply come. We can all come to our same life-giving Lord.

Here – at the well – we can admit we are tired and thirsty and drink deeply from the same forgiveness and freedom he offers to us all.

Here – at the well – we can all know again that in Christ – we are all ‘insiders’, ‘worshippers’ and ‘messengers’.

Here – at the well – we can resolve to leave behind our hurt, emptiness and judgement and go out together – full of him.

Here – at the well – we can tell our stories and listen and find new ways to run, shout and dance through our actual and virtual streets together until everyone in our community finds him and drinks their fill from this well; this water; this Lord.


So will you come join me here? Will you come to the well?

the well is deep

Monday, January 5th, 2015

All Saints’ Ilkley – in partnership with the Sanctuary – will be hosting the Churches Together in Ilkley unity service on Sun 18 Jan at 6:30pm. We look forward to welcoming people from across the rich variety of churches in the area as we begin The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity together.

the well is deep
Our focus will be on “The Well” as we explore the the story of the Samaritan woman from John chapter 4. We, like this woman, are confronted by Jesus who knows everything about us yet directs to a place where we find satisfaction and fullness of life in God. Jesus tears down the artificial human boundaries that we construct in life and worship and calls us to find, or rediscover, our unity in him.

Come and drink deeply from the well of God’s Spirit, his life-giving water, that we might have more to share with a thirsty world.

Prayer for unity locally, nationally and internationally is a regular heart-cry from the Sanctuary. Download our free song and prayer resources on this theme from our website’s search by issue page

God bless Le Tour!

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

As Lé Grand Depart begins today, here’s our all-age blessing prayer for it!


Father and inventor

of bikes and each rider,

in your presence we come and ask you to pour

blessing on “Le Grand Départ” and also “Le Tour”!

As the wheels on the bikes go round and round

and the cyclists whizz past cheering crowd sound;

As we marvel at what people created in your image can do

and get inspired to keep going with our God-given gifts too;

As we look at the beauty each route passes through,

may we lift our thoughts and hearts in praise to you.

As the wheels turn round, may we once again remember

that the world is better when we all work together.

Keep everyone safe in the crowds and the speed

and help every church, and each Christian to be

a reflection of you to all that they welcome

so wherever people come from they see you’re the real home.

Father and inventor

of bikes and each rider,

we stand with confidence and pledge to pray more,

we’re ready to enjoy your blessing – “Le Tour” on our shores!

dans toutes les langues encore!

Friday, July 4th, 2014

We’re looking forward to tonight’s Bienvenue! International Service of Celebration for Le Grand Départ at 6:30pm at All Saints’ church… one of the blessings of putting the liturgy for it together has been thinking about just how many people have said these words in so many languages in so many places so many times over so many centuries…

toutes les langues encore

The Lord’s prayer

All: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
French reader: Notre Père, qui es aux cieux,
Que ton nom soit sanctifié,

All: Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven
German reader: Dein Reich komme;
dein Wille geschehe,
wie im Himmel so auf Erden.

All: Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Spanish reader: El pan nuestro de cada dia, danoslo hoy.
Y perdonanos nuestras deudas,
como tambien nosotros perdonamos a nuestros deudores.

All: Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Italian reader: E non ci esporre alla tentazione,
ma liberaci dal maligno.

All: For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever.
Dutch reader: Want Uwer is het Koninkrijk
en de kracht
en de heerlijkheid
in de eeuwigheid.

All:    Amen.

we’re always taking every chance…

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

to pray for peace – especially at the moment. And tomorrow’s Bienvenue! International Service of Celebration for Le Grand Départ (6:30pm at All Saints’ Ilkley) will be no exception. Here’s our fourth preview of what promises to be a very special time together – our prayers for peace in the nations:

world with plasters low res

Leader: Lord Jesus, hope of nations, we thank you for the rich diversity of the countries, races and cultures in our world. Thank you that in this globalised age we are closer than ever before to so many precious and unique expressions of your image. Thank you for the opportunities this brings to share your love and your gospel more widely. Thank you for everywhere we see increased understanding, celebration of variety and the possibility to come together through international events – whether sporting, musical or diplomatic.

All: Lord Jesus, hope of nations, thank you for the gift of each other. Thank you for your image reflected uniquely seven billion times over. Thank you for the beauty and diversity of all the peoples you have made.

Leader: Lord Jesus, healer of nations, we are sorry for the times when as individuals, cultures and nations we choose to compete and even oppress each other – especially when we take advantage of our power and use it to dominate those who are weaker. We recognise this tendency to judge and harden our hearts is in all of us. Lord Jesus, forgive us and free us and give us hearts that are for the nations, hearts that are for others – hearts that are more like yours.

All: Lord Jesus, healer of nations, we are sorry when we harden our hearts,
Soften them today we pray – here among us – and across the world,
Especially touching those of decision-makers and heads of state.

Leader: Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, we lift to you the specific conflicts that sadly come all too readily to our minds because they have dominated our headlines. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy. Bring your forgiveness and reconciliation for the sake of the people. We lift to you Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine and all other nations that sit heavy on our hearts today. In your mercy, bring your peace.

All: Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, we lift to you these nations.
In your mercy, bring your peace;
For the sake of the peoples, bring your peace. Amen.

…dans toutes les langues!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Each day this week we’re publishing a different sneak peak from Friday’s Bienvenue International Service of Celebration – which we’re hosting together with All Saints’ Ilkley at their church from 6:30pm. Today, one of our favourite parts… Psalm 8’s truth echoed in language after language!

psalm 8

English reader:    Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
French reader:    Éternel, notre Seigneur, que ton nom est magnifique sur toute la terre!
German reader:    Herr, unser Herrscher, wie herrlich ist dein Name in allen Laender!
English reader:    You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,     the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

Spanish reader:    ¡Oh Jehovah, Señor nuestro, cuán glorioso es tu nombre en toda la tierra!

Dutch reader:    O Heere , onze Heere! hoe heerlijk is Uw Naam op de ganse aarde!

Italian reader:    O Signore, Signore nostro, quant’è magnifico il tuo nome in tutta la terra!

All:    Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

more from le tour… and friday’s service

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014


Prayer of thanks for sport, exhilaration and achievement

Loving Lord and Father,
For the wonder of the creator displayed in the human form,
For hundreds of bones and muscles and so many cells we struggle to count them,
For all science has mapped out and for all we still do not understand
And for the greatest wonder of all – the bearing of something of the image of you,

We give you thanks and praise.

Spirit of God,
For the joy and exhilaration that comes from movement,
For the thrill of speed and the satisfaction of precision,
For endorphins that encourage and team work that builds up and brings laughter,
And for the greatest wonder of all – living temples that can carry something of you,

We give you thanks and praise.

Lord Jesus Christ,
For the inspiration of athletes’ example to follow,
For visible dedication, achievement, talent, perseverance and obedience,
For excellence and record-breaking and pursuing ever greater goals
And for the greatest wonder of all – the fact this points to something even greater of you,
and carries the symbol of a life raced well for you,

We give you thanks and praise.        

Come and join us on Friday at 6:30pm in All Saints’ Church Ilkley for our Bienvenue International Service of Celebration for Le Grand Départ!

God’s beauty on tour…

Monday, June 30th, 2014

We are into the week leading up to Le Grand Départ of Le Tour de France coming through Yorkshire and… past our front door! On Friday night we’re running a special outreach international service – Bienvenue! – together with our neighbours at All Saints’ Church Ilkley.

tour window

Every day this week, we’ll be publishing an inspiring extract from the service. Today, we’re starting at home with the reflection, ‘God’s beauty on tour in Yorkshire’ – a locally inspired reflection on a global truth which also forms the current theme of our window out on to the route!

Psalm 19 in The Message says God’s glory – his beauty and his light – is on tour in the skies. That unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.

It feels like that truth is shouted here it gets so loud sometimes. So beautiful and bold. And you wonder how anyone could miss it – his hallmarked handiwork here. A gloriously deafening display of 360 degree panoramic colour that proclaims He is ALIVE. And GOOD. So good.

This truth cascades down from hills rising high with majesty and says “God is strong. Rock solid reliable. Trust him.”

It gurgles and bubbles up in streams that sometimes trickle and flow but then all of a sudden are rivers gushing and weirs almost roaring it out – “Come to the living water. He’s here. Drink deep and you’ll never go thirsty again. There’s enough and to over-flowing. Come.”

It whispers in the quiet of the spring’s bluebell-blush when you steal away for a quiet walk in the wood. But it’s still loud even there. For everything is stilled and you can hear it clearer. The still small voice that says “I am here and if I clothed these flowers with so much care, will I not also provide for you?”

And on the tops? Well up there in the wind-whip and the heather heart-land it just feels certain in a deeper way. His presence. His perspective. And you’re breathing it all in. And then it’s in surround-sound and its singing over you, “all will be well my child. All will be well”.

How could we not praise him here? When it sometimes feels like the rocks are already crying out. And all we have to do is barely listen and look for a moment to feel our hearts already responding, sometimes before we even realise to who they’re singing. “In awesome wonder we see this. In amazement we consider this. And then when we think the Creator of all this gave his life for us… and well, Saviour God here it is. Our spoken truth – how great you are, HOW GREAT YOU ARE!”