Notes and News

CTW Diary 2022/3

WDCOS Peace Vigil Every First Saturday 10:45 for 11 Cathedral

Next CTW Steering Group 20th February 2023 12:30-2:30pm at Alverthorpe Vicarage St Paul’s Drive off Batley Road

CTW Carol Singing Trinity Walk Shopping Mall December 15th From 5:30pm

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023


“The time of ecumenical winter and the habits of division, of living separately, is past.” So said the Archbishop of Canterbury,, recently to the 11th World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly, Some do still shiver in an “ecumenical winter” without “taking risks in ecumenism” as today requires. The challenge facing the Church worldwide is “to re-find the spiritual passion of the past for ecumenism; theologically, in solidarity with suffering, in love that covers a multitude of sins. To do that, we must face our fears of each other and of the world, together; we must love one another, give common witness and work towards a more visible unity … in the grace of God.” That is our Gospel imperative.

For this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, The Council of Churches in Britain and Ireland are guided by the churches of Minneapolis as they seek to explore how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice across all levels of society. Through this resource, the CTBI writers’ group has also focussed attention on the 30th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, which we mark in 2023. The work of restoring hope through justice undertaken in Stephen’s memory continues to inspire and change lives for the better.

As we join with other Christians around the world for the Week of Prayer CCBI says, we pray that our hearts will be open to see and hear the many ways in which racism continues to destroy lives, and to discern the steps we can take as individuals and communities to heal the hurts and build a better future for everyone.”

The week of prayer for Christian unity in Wakefield will be from Sundays 15th- 22nd of January 2023: -United Service on Sunday 22nd at 4pm at St Peter’s Church Centre Lake Lock Rd Stanley. Weekday Services/Light lunch 15/22nd at 12:30 in various local churches: Full details shortly.

CTW Carol Singing

CTW Carols return to Trinity Walk

Barring the unexpected, Churches Together carol singing will return to Trinity Walk this year on December 15th: In recent years Covid and its  restrictions have prevented us.

We will be there outside Sainsburys Marsh Way store on Trinity Walk, gathering at 5:30 pm until, at the latest, closing time at 7pm 

As its Thursday there is late night shopping until 7pm: Santa will be on site until 6pm   Car parking will be Free after 3pm.

You are welcome to join us when you can at any time from 5:30pm (or before). We will bring our collection bucket for the Disasters Emergency Committee * Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. The DEC includes 15 charities.

*Registered Charity No. 1062638 | Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 3356526 Picture: Some Previous Carol Singing at Trinity Walk, 

Churches Together

NEWS- An ecumenical winter?

…….the Archbishop of Canterbury talks of “an ecumenical winter…”The crises facing the world were “greater today than perhaps ever before in human history”.“The time of ecumenical winter and the habits of division, of living separately, is past.” So said the Archbishop of Canterbury, principal leader of the Church of England, to the 11th World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly, meeting recently  in Karlsruhe, Germany.  

These words are encouragement to the many Churches Together groups (including Wakefield) who hold a vision of of the unification of Christians (ecumenism), prophetically described in the famous Swanwick Declaration of 1987: “Our earnest desire is to become more fully, in His own time, the one Church of Christ, united in faith, communion, pastoral care and mission. Such unity is the gift of God.” 

Photo: The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Rome

Some do still shiver in this “ecumenical winter without “taking risks in ecumenism”, still setting their own boundaries and certainties, hopefully knowing where they stand.  

Archbishop Welby told the WCC that the challenge facing the Church worldwide was “to re-find the spiritual passion of the past for ecumenism; theologically, in solidarity with suffering, in love that covers a multitude of sins. To do that, we must face our fears of each other and of the world, together; we must love one another, give common witness and work towards a more visible unity … in the grace of God.” In a time of crisis, Christians were called “to be a community of peace, the creation of God, not us, in Christ through the Spirit”, to be “a people of generosity and harmony across difference”.

He added words of encouragement for the timid: “Unity does not mean a united bureaucracy, or even a united hierarchy, or style of worship or common cultural assumptions. It means a profound love for one another that receives each other at the Lord’s table.”


NEWS: Annual Ascension Morning Service

SANDAL CASTLE, Manygates Lane, Wakefield
Thursday 26th May 2022 at 7:30 am

The service was led by our chair, Glenn Coggins (pictured below), of the North Wakefield Benefice and included prayers, a reflection and two hymns led by an instant choir from those attending. As is customary, the gathering turned and said a blessing over the city below them to the north. It was a fine morning with a chilly wind, as is often the case in this elevated location! Remnants of the medieval castle including the Keep can be seen behind, the setting for the Battle of Wakefield (1460) in the Wars of the Roses.


Mgr Billy Steele RIP

Priest, Theologian, Teacher, Ecumenist and friend to many

Many people in this area- or perhaps country-  will have known Father “Billy” Steele who has died in St James Hospital in Leeds in his ninety-second year. He was previously living  in retirement with the Little Sisters at  Mount St Josephs which adjoins Hinsley Hall. He will be remembered especially for his work for the Unity of Christians but also for his involvement in a number of  programmes, not least the Direction of the first large groups of deacons ordained for service in Leeds diocese in the 1990’s.  At that time, he would also travel weekly from Leeds to Pontefract to meet and work with a group of Anglican priests who had asked, for reasons of conscience, to be received into the Roman Catholic Church.

He was involved, too in pastoral work, his last appointment as parish priest being at St Peter and St Paul’s  in Wakefield.  Fr Billy was a remarkable teacher. 

This was soon recognised by Ushaw College, the northern seminary. He was appointed there in 1964 as a Lecturer in Theology, 

In 1968 he joined the leadership team at Wood Hall, the new Diocesan Pastoral and Ecumenical Centre at Linton, which had been established the previous year.

 In 1969 He returned to his University at Cambridge before rejoining the teaching staff at Ushaw in 1972.

In 1980 he returned to Rome and joined the staff of the English College as Spiritual Director.  Finally, in 1988  Fr Billy was appointed Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, in those heady days an appointment which, many hoped, would soon lead to organic unity amongst our Christian Churches.  This has not come about as yet, but  there is no doubt that the work of Mgr Steele and others has led to vastly improved relations and growing friendships between our churches and groups- “no longer strangers but pilgrims” typified by the Swanwick Declaration of 1987 when major churches declared a readiness to “commit to God and each other and become in God’s time the one church of Christ.” That is a part of his legacy, a much loved and widely regarded priest who worked in the vineyard for so many years to bring about the Unity for which Christ prayed.

The Funeral Mass for Mgr Steele will take place at Leeds Cathedral on Friday 9th September at 11.30am followed by interment at Killingbeck Cemetery, LS14 6AB, at 3pm. 

Norman Hazell MBE RIP

CTW would like to record its sadness at the death of Norman Hazell, a long-time supporter, and ask for your prayers. Norman died on 30 October at the age of 90. We extend our sympathy to his wife of 65 years, Kath, and his five children, his grandchildren and many friends. Norman was a former Mayor of Wakefield and for many years a local Councillor and we should add, a long standing cricket umpire. He was well known in local churches and for a long time was a steward at the CTW walk of witness on Good Friday. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

More News from CTW

SUBS Thanks for all groups in CTW who have already paid their annual sub of £20. Our financial year ended on 31 March. If your church or group has not paid yet for that period please do so now….thanks. For queries and payment details you can contact our Treasurer Brian Morris on or 01924 369437
Of those who should pay, 13 subs have been paid so far and about 15 remain. We will send reminders soon if needed. You can pay your 22-23 sub at any time-

CAPSULE: Earlier in June, a time capsule was buried at Sandal Castle by the Friends of the Castle led by Dr Keith Souter. It included a message from the Chair of CTW, Glenn Coggins and an article on local coal mining from our Secretary.  The Capsule will be opened in 50 years time.


CTW held its AGM at St Paul’s Alverthorpe on 5th October. Glenn Coggins, Chair of CTW presided and opened in prayer.

The Chair  spoke of different paths as  referred to by the Archbishop of Canterbury recently: he tells us to start with the question ‘what do we believe?’ but should our first question be ‘who do we follow?’ – Jesus of course and then take it from there: it is following  Jesus that unites us. Other topics at the meeting included the large scale residential development along the Eastern Relief Road which various church groups are monitoring. Would church planting there succeed?

The Chair also reported on his contacts with local projects: ROC (“We work with existing community groups, agencies, local activists and positively motivated residents, helping them discover each other and find new ways to collaborate by pooling resources for the common good.”) and with Vision Wakefield which has been Prayer Walking in the district.  It comments: “We have a vision to see Wakefield and the Five Towns thrive, as places of welcome, peace, hope and security……….. We support Civic Leaders in our joint desire for the highest wellbeing of all those living in the district” 

More on

BID is a regeneration project in Wakefield. Check  out Youtube

Wakefield Hospice wants to set up a Community Advisory Group for more please visit, or email or call 01924 331400

The CTW Treasurer Brian Morris reported on finances. These have been difficult because of Covid interruptions at member churches, leading to reduced subscriptions but CTW did break even over the last year. Copies of the accounts are available on request. An unforeseen problem is that  some groups cancelled their regular standing orders etc when CTW waived subscriptions during the pandemic. Would all member groups check that where appropriate their bank has reinstated its mandate to CTW? Subscriptions remain at £20 per annum for each church. This only applies in each case to a single church/parish/group administration which may cover multiple locations.  The next financial year starts on 1st April 2023 and subs- £20 -are due from that date.

Recent and coming events

Unity Week 2022: This had to be cancelled because of an increasing pandemic at that time

Lent 2022: CTW was very pleased to be able to return to the Good Friday walk of Witness in 2022. This was well supported with a good few hundred participants both for the walk and the United Service. Thanks to the cathedral choir and organist who supported the event and thanks to our Readers, Cathedral staff, stewards and other participants in the Cathedral and on the walk. We hope to be able to continue in 2023 – details in due course

We were also able to return to the Ascension Day morning service at Sandal Castle and despite the early hour there was a good attendance and we could again pray over our city.

The week of prayer for Christian unity will follow its traditional dates of 18th to the 25th of January 2023 although our events will take place at the weekend and, hopefully, weekday lunches. More details in due course: again we hope to arrange carol singing at Trinity Walk just before Christmas 2022.

Thanks to everyone for their support of Churches Together in Wakefield especially in these rather unusual recent circumstances. We welcome subscriptions to our regular online updates by email – to subscribe just send your email address to the secretary as above