Barbara's blog

Weaving the Huddersfield way


Touchstone volunteers went to the Colne Valley Museum to see how weaving was done in times long ago. They impressed the museum staff with their knowledge of warp and weft - but I am not sure that the uniform is going to catch on!




Dr Sifat wrote a book about Euthanasia, collecting stories from many different faith traditions - but we couldn't read it because it was in Urdu. So Awais called together a group of people from all the faith traditions to talk deeply about the subject, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha'i and various manifestations of Christians.


WOW Awais, what an occasion! We talked about faith but also culture, poverty, a perspective from a consultant Asian geriatrician ... and so much more. We ate, we talked, we talked more ... and still people stood outside in the car park to continue the conversation. It feels VERY important at many different levels. Awesome!

winding the deacon up



The hottest day in the UK for 5 years. Steve has not only learned to wind warp but also to adjust the tension in his his back beam - not many Deacons learn that on placement! He has also been down to the Courts to see how the chaplains operate, and spent his lunch break chatting with the lads smoking a joint on the Touchstone wall .....

We are all moving slowly, even without the dope!

pilgrim eucharist and booklaunch









Over a hundred people made the journey to Bradford Cathedral for the pilgrim eucharist and launch of 'The Exuberant Church' 


At the font

Song: By the Rivers of Babylon

God of the exiles, the excluded and the lost

You sit with us beside the rivers of sorrow

On the banks of despair

In the times of desolation


God of the ‘I am not’,

You have found us wondering who we are and

To whom we belong

You have taken us to the shores of survival

And to the places where our song has been overwhelmed


Remind us that on the very night that you were betrayed

You took bread, sufficient for the journey

And with a gathering of friends smaller than this

Your broke it and blessed it and shared it


We take this bread

Which has been made by people

Who find church difficult and faith perplexing

And we bring it with us on this journey


It is the bread of life, it is the bread of salvation

The bread of the wilderness and the bread of the homecoming

It is the bread of promise and the bread of transformation


Bless us God, walk with us, fall into step beside us

Be known to us in the breaking of the bread


At the stairs

Reading: The raising of Lazarus

God of the journey

We had hoped that you would not have died

We had hoped that you would have been here sooner

We had hoped that you would have made all things new


But you have caused us to wait and wonder

To dwell darkly in the places of unknowing

To wonder who we are and who we are becoming


God of the “I am not’

We bring to you all

That we long to be

Call us out into new life like Lazarus

Pour down your holy spirit on this bread and this wine

The bread of sorrow and the wine of sadness

The bread of breaking and the wine of pouring

The bread of sustaining and the wine of celebration


At the Lady Chapel

God who has poured love into creation

Poured joy into passion

Poured hope into desolation


Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and wine

Remind us that just as you  took bread and blessed it and broke it

You also take us and break us and bless us


When after supper you took wine and poured it

So you take us and drench us with new hope


Show us how the waters of Babylon

Have become the baptism of Jordan


How we are named and known and set free

Holy, holy, holy God, heaven and earth are full of your glory

Pour out your holy spirit on these gifts of bread and wine

That they may become for us the body and blood of Christ

As they were then

As they are now

As they always will be


Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God

World with no end


At the Chancel Steps

Brendan speaks to the book

Barbara replies


At the Peace chapel

As we weave our stories into the story of God

God weaves his story into the story of humanity

This is incarnation, this is becoming, this is belonging

This is the world of God for the people of God


The bread we break is a sharing in the body of Christ


Though we are many we are one body, one community, one humanity

Because we all share in the one bread


Christ the ‘I am’ is broken

As we are broken

Christ the’ I am’ is raised

 As we are raised


May God bless us with mirth and merriment

May God bless us with hope and humility

May God bless us with friendship and faithfulness

May God reside in our hearts and in our hopes

With joy and justice




We bless each other with peace and curry!

B and what?




Free bed and breakfast at Touchstone?








          No, silly, a free barbecue!





The postman loved it!




          And so did our neighhbours

..... from Latvia, India, Pakistan and Malaysia, although I seem only to have photographed the Touchstone volunteers!)








And we trained a deacon in barbecue skills


(that is BBQ not B & B!!)




Weaving a party


Can we make peace back home? What does it look like?

Ashgrove is parallel to Merton Road and in conjunction with the council and ecumenical colleagues, it was shut for 'The Big Lunch'. Bunting was made and adorned the street, each house was leafleted, the weather held dry ..... and food and games appeared, from face painting to a giant Connect 4! We carried the little loom round and lots of people had fun weaving with cloth ...... yes, peace is possible, one little peace after another ...

Leaving differently

We leave Jamaica intent on making a different sort of peace in the world we inhabit - thank you God

Making peace possible


The theme of our closing worship was John 21: 3-13 read in four languages in which we heard of the great catch of fish when the disciples threw the net on the other side of the boat. Right on message, we went out to a fish restaurant in a simple restaurant with a banana leaf roof. Choosing between a parrot fish and a butter fish was the challenge of the night, as was eating lobster with a plastic fork!

Thought: We go to the lake shore, carrying our nets, bringing along the fruits you help us gather. These fruits are not just for ourselves - they are meant to be shared. We commit ourselves to walk in the margins of life, seeking in the encounter with the other, a way to live the gospel of peace and justice. 

Guide our feet in the way of peace


These are the feet of Ruth's bible study group. From the US to Tuvalo, Sri Lanka to Germany, the Philippines to Eygpt we met each morning to explore, ponder and tease out the way of peace for each of us in our different situations. Some morning's bible texts were easier than others - try these and see what you think! 2 Samuel 13: 1-22, Isaiah 11: 6-9, Matthew 20: 1-16, Ephesians 2: 11-22 and 2 Kings 6:8-23. 

Thought: Peace is there but you've got to work on it!

Weaving peace

The weaving is now in the big tent and people are coming to put their stories in the net .... it is very moving to see how they are engaging with the process and we have promised to take the result to the Methodist Conference UK.

Thought: weaving stories enables peaceful communities

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