Local arrangement services are becoming a regular part of the circuit plan and in Pannal we are enjoying the opportunity to share in organising and leading these services. Whilst it can be a daunting prospect for those people standing at the front of the church, for the congregation it can be a moving experience to hear what are often very personal messages.

In September the long-established Banner Group led our worship using some of the beautiful banners they have produced over the years, sharing the stories behind their inspiration and creation and choosing hymns which complemented them. The original idea came to Rita Corbridge several decades ago and although she and many of the ladies who helped to produce them have since passed on, their Christian spirit is preserved in their handiwork which enhances our weekly worship. The service was both humorous and touching, and we all learnt something new about the passages which inspired them and the challenges of producing them. We will look at our banners with fresh eyes for months to come.

Whilst many in the circuit were at the Flourish event, we were grateful to be able to follow the material prepared by Rev Brian Hoare and Rev Peter Whitaker but chose our own hymns thus allowing the Worship Band to lead us in some lively renditions of familiar favourites.

Speaking of favourite hymns, in the past the cry of ’but we didn’t get to sing ‘We plough the fields and scatter’’ has been heard following a Harvest service. In order to avoid disappointment this year we held an ecumenical safari supper starting with a delicious selectionof savouries and some favourite harvest hymns. A stroll downhill to St Roberts gave us an appetite for some sweet treats and some final singing all washed down with copious cups of tea and a good chat. Hopefully all went away satisfied. We enjoyed welcoming members from Trinity for our morning Harvest service led by Rev Ben and Clair.

We followed the All We Can material focussing on potato farmers in Ethiopia and especially enjoyed learning the very amusing Potato Song. It was lovely to have young people in the congregation and their entries for the Mr Potato Head competition were much admired. Combined offerings and sales of fresh goods raised £285 for AWC while our non-perishables were taken to the Harrogate Homeless Project.

I don’t often mention weddings in the newsletter, but we Pannal folk were delighted to attend the wedding of one of our church families this month. Jessica Perry walked down the aisle at Trinity, following in the footsteps of proud parents Katie and Cliff who were also married there, to become Mrs Illingworth. We wish Jessica and husband Andrew every happiness.

As the year draws so a close there’s nothing quite like a warming bowl of soup so the now traditional ‘red and green’ soup lunch in support of All We Can will be held on 4th November. In keeping with the potato theme we’ll be serving a spiced sweet potato and coconut and a potato and spinach soup.

We’ve had our final Bible Month service following Paul’s letter to the Colossians. It is interesting to look at an individual book of the bible with different approaches from each preacher. Whilst Colossians contains challenging passages, its essence of sharing in prayer, learning and fellowship to equip us to spread the good news is a powerful message. Our new Church teams are currently considering how we can encourage and develop all these elements in our collective life at Pannal.

All our community projects are going well with the Community Teas supporting the mental health charity MIND this quarter. We plan to hold a Saturday morning fundraising breakfast at church early next year perhaps followed by a walk around the village and we’re also having a Silent Auction on 7 March.

Gill Parkin