City Valley Blog

City Valley is not just a church, it’s a family. We are God's household. It can be a busy place, church. You may be serving behind the scenes or with the children’s work on Sunday mornings or you may have been unwell or unable to attend the meetings for another reason. As a church, we don't want any of our family to miss anything and so we plan to make events and talks as accessible as possible. Sunday morning talks are recorded and uploaded to the podcast area of the website every week (scroll down the page for older podcasts). We aim to post a quarterly catch up with links to podcasts, speaker references, resources, and feedback from events and notices.  

The blog also features posts from time to time about news and information relevant to City Valley, the wider church, our family of churches in Christ Central which is part of the New Frontiers movement.

You can also find our posts on our Facebook page where you can 'follow' the page to receive notifications. 

We hope you enjoy reading the blog. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus - Guest Blog

date1st December 2018
authorLaura Baldwin

This week we asked Joy Cowley, Children's Ministry Leader at City Valley Church to share a thought on Christmas from a parenting perspective. Look out for further guest posts from City Valley over the Christmas period.   

We have just received the costume instructions from school for the children's Christmas performance and I will admit that my reaction bore more than a passing resemblance to Emma Thompson's character in Love Actually as her children announce the parts they will be playing in the upcoming nativity. ("You mean, there was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus??!") It's funny that we would have to look for Jesus in amongst all the Christmas hype, seeing as it's all about Him in the first place, but maybe no bad thing that we have to make a conscious decision to 'seek first the Kingdom of God' as Jesus tells us to in Matthew 6.   

I did initially panic and start demanding that my eldest explain the real meaning of Christmas twice a day just in case time with her friends or the Christmas episode of Peppa Pig had made her forget. But, I have mellowed over the last couple of weeks, and the new approach seems to be working better. At bedtime the other day, the youngest wanted to sing Happy Birthday as we often sing to Jesus at bedtime. It didn't take the eldest long to point out that Happy Birthday is not a 'Jesus song'. But, wanting to make the most of the youngest's enthusiasm I decided it could be at this time of year, so we sang 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus and chatted about how old Jesus is and how many candles you'd need if you made Him a birthday cake. 

I'm struck this year by the deep desire of people in our culture to create a magical Christmas for themselves and their loved ones. And I am overwhelmed by the fact that I've met the One whose arrival in our world is probably the most mysterious, thrilling and exquisitely beautiful thing that has ever happened. Whatever else might be going on for us this Christmas (and there might be grief, loneliness, stress, and conflict in the mix as well as the fun stuff) we can know that Christmases with Him at the centre have hope and joy in them, because that's what He has come to bring for our world. 

Now it turns out I'm not the first to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus. To get you and your family thinking about how to bring Jesus into your celebrations this year, why not take one minute for a quick watch of this video from 'Parenting for Faith'

Joy Cowley
Children's Ministry Leader
City Valley Church 

Autumn 2018

date25th October 2018
authorLaura Baldwin

Autumn is here again and, it seems to have really sneaked up on us. That’s probably because we have had a very busy summer at City Valley. We’ve seen our wonderful leadership couple Stew and Gaynor take a well deserved six-week break and the church didn’t collapse without them! Towards the end of June, we saw our fascinating series ‘Everyday Supernatural’ end. For those of us that missed these talks and/or haven’t yet read the book, it is available to purchase here.

 July and August Sundays saw us delve into the old testament, guided through the book of Exodus by our very own Stewart Morris, Mark Cowley and, Matt Small alongside guest speakers Graham Anns and Stuart Reid.

The end of the summer was marked by a fantastic (if a little wet) time away as a church family at Devoted Festival. What a fab time was had by all! Some fantastic teaching and amazing fellowship not to mention the food cooked up in the City Valley Marquee (Well done team!!) The recordings from the main talks and seminars are available to download now HERE

And suddenly we found ourselves in Autumn and back in the New Testament with Sunday talks following a series on the book of 1 Peter with Dave Nobbs, Mark Cowley, and guest speaker Graham Anns looking at ‘Good Deeds and Suffering'. The series concluded with Gaynor and Stew Morris and their talk 'Strong, Firm and Steadfast'. All this summer's talks can be downloaded via our website on the Podcast page and our most recent talks are always featured on the homepage (scroll to the bottom).  

During this month of October, the new series looking at the book of Revelation has begun with John Wilson. Also, our weekly; Alpha course (9th October), CAP Job Club (22nd October) and of course our home ‘Connect’ groups are in new seasons. Check out the links for further details, you’d be most welcome to join us, it’s not too late!

Very excitingly, plans to see the prophetic words over our church have begun to take shape as our second City Valley meeting was announced and discussed with those ‘counted in’ early in October. The first ‘City Valley Airedale’ meeting took place Sunday 21st October 2018 at a temporary venue of Bradley Village Hall and was a marvelous time of worship, teaching and fellowship. The Holy Spirit was very much with us in a small village hall in ‘God's Own Country’.

Of course, ‘City Valley Shipley’ was still open for meeting with Jesus and both meetings hosted a slow cooker meal after the meeting for the church family to enjoy together. What a wonderful blessing on both our meetings. The ‘Airedale’ meetings will continue monthly into 2019 and will take place at The Hub, Steeton at 4 pm on Sundays; 18th November 16th December and 20th January. Please add the new meetings to your prayers over the coming months.

A big thank you to all those that have stepped forward to serve at either meeting be it for the first time or on a regular rota. From providing a slow cooker dish, helping with the set-up to being on welcome, projector, worship, kids work or any other team, the church couldn’t operate without you and with you, it is a well-oiled machine! 

Our next Engine Room prayer night is Wednesday 7th November, so much to pray for in Bradford, across the Aire Valley and beyond. Let’s join our voices in prayer together.  

We have some exciting events and speakers coming up; Sunday 11th November is our Remembrance Sunday Service and Sunday 2nd December we are welcoming back Christian comedian and guest speaker Andy Kind (you may remember him from earlier this year at one of our Costa events.) ‘Revive Yorkshire’ is back at Gateway Church, Leeds on the evening of Wednesday 14th November. Follow us on Facebook for updates and events and remember to visit our website to read our blog and listen to any missed podcasts.

So now we are looking straight towards the season that is… CHRISTMAAAAAAAAS!!!! We love all things Christmas and celebrating Jesus (even more than usual) at City Valley, join us and bring along your friends, after all, He is the ‘Reason for the Season!’ Amen! 

June at City Valley

date10th July 2018
authorLaura Baldwin

Firstly, please accept our apologies for the delay in posting our monthly round-up for June. We are a little late this month, thank you for your patience and understanding. The month of June has been incredible from, a very rare, long-standing heat wave to an equally-as-rare, ongoing, triumphant performance in the World Cup. Our church leadership has been finding its feet whilst Gaynor and Stew take a six-week sabbatical and our connect groups and outreach courses have come to a close for the summer. So let's get to it...

You may recall from May's Round-Up post, the new series titled 'Everyday Supernatural' based loosely on the book of the same name by 'Mike Pilavachi' who visited us last year and his colleague and friend, Andy Croft. We began the series in May with the first three weeks and continued throughout the whole month of June with some fantastic guest speakers. 

Everyday Supernatural Week Four; The Armour of God

Our very own Stew Morris led us into June's Sunday morning talks continuing the Everyday Supernatural series with the topic of 'The Armour of God' as read in Ephesians 6:10-18. A great way to start the month! Prior to the talk, the church also laid on hands and prayed for Stew and Gaynor as they embark on a six-week break from the leadership of the church. 

Everyday Supernatural Week Five; Hearing God 

Christ Frost is an Elder with the leadership team at Gateway Church, Leeds. Chris brought us a talk on the subject of 'Hearing God'. Reading from 1 Corinthians 12; 7-8 Chris spoke on 'words of knowledge and wisdom', what they are, what they mean and why they are used. Great teaching for the church as we continue our Everyday Supernatural theme.

Everyday Supernatural Week Six; God's Power in Weakness 

Reading from 2 Corinthians 12: 6-10 Josh Davies explained the church in Corinth was spirit filled and thirsty for gifts of the spirit. In Paul's letter to the church, he encourages them to 'eagerly desire' the gifts of the spirit. As Christians what posture do we adopt? Do we lean on God? Or are we waiting until we are 'perfect Christians' before we let God use us? God has 'Power in Weakness', he wants to use you wherever you are in your journey. 

Everyday Supernatural Week Seven; The Gift of Prophecy 

Returning guest speaker Mike Sprenger from Hope Church Harrogate led us in The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy in a hands-on approach. Individuals were prophesied over and it was a very spirit led time for the church.   

CAP Job Club 

This month we also saw the new CAP Job Club come to the close of its first course. The course itself did run over the original eight-week length, however, the feedback has been amazing with people finding work, finding themselves and finding out more about Christ. The second Job Club course is destined to commence later this month (July) and we are in need of more volunteers and course leaders. If you are able to spare time on Mondays please speak to Mike Betts or contact the church office for more details.  

Alpha Course

Our Alpha course has also now come to a close and a new course is scheduled to take place in October 2018. Should you or someone you know be interested please visit our website or Facebook page or contact the church office for details.  

Alongside CAP Job Club and Alpha, we have also had our Tuesday night 'Foundations' discipleship course and of course our usual connect groups. 

Connect & Send

This season we have had a theme within our connect group meet-ups. Connect & Send meant that as small home groups we met weekly or fortnightly to not only support one another, Study the Bible and worship but this season we have also taken it in turns within our small groups to pray for those we come into contact with on a daily basis. Laying on hands and praying for one person, in particular, every session. We hoped to help our church family members to feel confident and expectant in God's ability to use us all to share the Good News. We prayed for opportunities to advance the gospel with those we love around us. If you are a member of our church family and wish to join a connect group next season, please don't hesitate to contact the church office. 

Revive Yorkshire

The third of three prayer evenings focussing on praying for God to move across Yorkshire, bringing revival, took place on Wednesday 8th June at Gateway Church, Leeds. These Wednesday nights have been a blessed time of worship and prayer. Feedback received from the events included the very tangible presence of the Holy Spirit in the room and a really welcome connection with our fellow Christ Central churches. 

So as you can see it has been a very busy month at City Valley indeed. We are excited to see what July holds (aside from the Football of course). We do have a couple of events coming really soon. Here is a sneak preview...

Fish, Chips & Magic Tricks with Rod Williams

We are hosting another of our popular fish & chip evenings on Wednesday 25th July. Click HERE for details.

Populating Heaven

And finally, we would like to announce that our very own Mike Towle has written a new book, 'Populating Heaven'. We will be sharing details of how to find out more about this encouraging evangelical resource and where you can purchase a copy, via our Facebook page as soon as we have the information. In the meantime, speak to Mike on Sundays to find out more.

And that concludes our June round-up. Apologies once again for the delay this month. We are looking forward to a fantastic summer, together as a church family.

God Bless

May 2018 at City Valley

date31st May 2018
authorLaura Baldwin

It seems that we have bypassed spring and gone face first into Summer! What a lovely month it has been with gorgeous weather and the Royal Wedding with 'that' message from Bishop Curry. Love has definitely been in the air this month. Here is a rundown of what we've been up to at City Valley during May 2018. 

Sunday 6th May 2018 - Salvation for Many

The month kicked off with our very own worship team leader, Al Curd. Al led us from Gaynor's talk last week from Malachi into the promise of salvation for many, that lies over City Valley church. Reading from Isaiah 12 verses 2-3 Al began his talk about how the joy of the Lord is always present. When everything else falls away, the joy of the Lord will remain. Amen! Moving through the book of Isaiah and using statistics of national church attendance Al talks us through the promises from God that have been spoken over our church about how we will see many people come to know Jesus. You can listen to his exciting, motivational talk HERE.

Sunday 13th May 2018 - Everyday Supernatural Week One; The Holy Spirit 

Our second week of this month saw our regular guest speaker; Mike Sprenger of Hope Church, Harrogate return to City Valley. Mike began his talk, following on from Al's talk last week of salvation and the promise of salvation and revival over our church and what that actually means. Not the religious ritual of attending church and meetings but the relationship with Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Mike's talk kicks off the 'Everyday Supernatural' series that we will be looking at throughout the next few weeks. Reading from Ephesians chapter 5: "Don't be drunk on wine but, instead be filled with the Holy Spirit" reminds us that we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit regularly as part of Christian living. Are you a 'pilot light' Christian or a 'firing on all cylinders' Christian? We can be both at different times but God wants us to fire on all cylinders, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You can catch Mike's boiler analogy and the rest of his inspiring talk HERE.

Sunday 20th May 2018 - Everyday Supernatural Week Two; In HIS Presence

The day after the Royal Wedding and the amazingly powerful sermon by Bishop Curry the leader of the American Episcopal Church (which, for those who don't know, is the United States member church of the worldwide Anglican community aka The American CofE) we had our own Stew Morris deliver a message of hope and love by way of week two of our 'Everyday Supernatural' series. The series is based on the book of the same title by Mike Pilavachi who visited City Valley back in December 2017. Mike Pilavachi states in chapter one of his book; "There is no power without His presence, the power is in His presence". Listen to Stew's talk HERE to find out why God's presence is so important in our lives.  

Friday 25th May 2018 - Data Protection 

The dreaded GDPR. We, like every organisation, charity, and business in Europe recently had to rethink our privacy policy and ask our members to 'opt-in' to the data being held for the purposes of church contact. Thank you to all those of you who have completed and returned your forms. If you haven't as yet, please speak to Joanna after the meeting or email If you would like to read our privacy policy prior to signing these forms you can read it HERE. Please bear in mind the deadline for this was Friday 25th May. If we have not heard from you regarding this please get in touch asap! 

Sunday 27th May 2018 - Everyday Supernatural Week Three; The Gift of Speaking in Tongues.  

Week three of our series Everyday Supernatural by Mike Pilavachi. In chapters five and six of the book, Mike explores the gifts of the spirit as set out in 1 Corinthians in the Bible. There are many references in Stew's talk to books and videos/websites surrounding the freedom God gives us to be filled with the Spirit. Reading from 1 Corinthians chapter 12, Stew explains that the book is written in the context of a public worship setting explaining gifts and moving on to 1 Corinthians chapter 14, Stew explores this further, looking particularly at the gift of speaking in tongues, what the bible says about it, what it is and why it happens. Stews fascinating talk is for all Christians looking to grow in their faith and strengthen their relationship with God.

This final talk of the month is also really a good explanation to those who don't yet know Jesus, particularly from 16mins and 35 secs onwards. In short; speaking in tongues is speaking directly to God! This amazing, fascinating talk is available to download now, HERE and we highly recommend it to anyone who has encountered people speaking in tongues around them and has been confused. 

So that's it for this month's round-up of whats been happening at City Valley. 

If you've got any church news/events coming up for June, don't hesitate to get in touch and we'll add it to next months post. 

Don't forget to follow our Facebook page for updates...@cityvalleychurch

April at City Valley

date1st May 2018
authorLaura Baldwin

It is the first day of May 2018 and whilst we have had a sprinkling of sunny days it does sometimes feel like winter will never end as we continue to await spring's arrival. That said, the lambs are being born, the clocks have leaped forward giving us lighter nights and the seasons are turning. April has been a busy month with some powerful meetings, effervescent with God's presence. Here's a rundown of what's been happening at City Valley...

Sunday 1st April - He Is Risen

Easter Sunday morning is always a joyous occasion following our Good Friday meeting. We remembered the sacrifice and celebrated the resurrection on this happy day. Stew brought to us the biblical account of what happened after the crucifixion. The stone had been rolled away and what happened next changed the world forever. You can hear Stew's talk HERE. Stew read mainly from the book of Mark, Chapter 16 verses 1-7. After Stews talk we also had the pleasure of baptising two members of our family. It was a wonderful meeting and what a great way to kick start the month of April! 

Sunday 8th April - We Are People of the Spirit

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming back a returning speaker and much-loved part of our family, Mike Sprenger of Hope Church, Harrogate. Speaking mainly from the book of Ephesians, Chapter 1 verses 18-20 Mike was so overcome by the Spirit that the meeting took a slightly different turn when he had to abandon the remainder of the planned message and, welcome the very present Holy Spirit. Feeling incredibly moved by the spirit, many others felt compelled by their sin and convicted to step out and respond to God's calling. The whole meeting became a response very much, proving we are indeed - 'People of the Spirit'. You can listen to the very powerful meeting HERE. Other references also included 1 Sammuel:24 and John 16:8)  

Tuesday 9th April - Connect Groups 

We are well into our second month of this season's fortnightly connect groups. For those unaware, City Valley Connect groups are small groups of the church family that usually meet in someone’s home to study, pray, worship with and support each other in our time between Sunday meetings. This season our Connect groups have taken a slightly different turn and we are adopting a 'Connect & Send' approach. We are getting to know each other better and praying for each other and the people we meet in our everyday lives. It's an exciting time and many people have been blessed by this approach. If you are a member of the city valley church family (you've attended 'exploring city valley' and you feel this is where God has placed, you) and have not yet joined a connect group then please do speak to one the leadership team or email the office. Connect groups are for those who feel they have found their forever church family. If you are not sure, are new or want to know more about City Valley then please do contact the church office for more information of upcoming welcome meals and exploring city valley days. 

Sunday 15th April 2018 - God's Heart for the Poor 

You may have already heard of the CAP Job Club we have been hosting on Monday lunchtimes in Shipley. The club is hosted by Job Club manager Mike Betts and he has a team of volunteers from City Valley who have all stepped up and answered the calling to help in this ministry. This Sunday we heard from City Valley's own Viv (who works for CAP) about God's love for those less fortunate and how we can answer the call to love the poor. We heard testimonies from Agnes who answered the call to help at the job club and how she has been blessed beyond her own expectations. Catch up with Viv's talk HERE

Tuesday 17th April 2018 - Alpha Course 

On Tuesday 17th we hosted an Intro to Alpha night as a precursor to our upcoming Alpha Course on the 24th April. You may have heard about our Alpha courses on our blog or via our social media. Alpha is an internationally acclaimed course run by churches to provide an opportunity to meet and discuss some of life's big questions in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Anyone and everyone is welcome. It's not too late to join us. If you missed the intro night or the first week of the course, we would be happy for you to come along tonight (Tuesday 1st May.) Full details can be found on our website HERE

Sunday 22nd April 2018 - Being Family

Continuing with the theme of City Valley as a family Stew read from the book of Ephesians Chapter 2 verse 19, examining how Nehemiah was immovable in his understanding that he had a great calling that he must complete. Stew reminded us that as Christians we too have a calling, a job to do; The Great Commission. Stew continues, quoting Neil Bartlett and many other esteemed scholars on the theory that Christians experience three conversions in their spiritual journey. Conversion to Christ, Conversion to the local church and Conversion to mission. He talked about the importance of the conversion to local church, to a family, the difference between church and business, church and a club or hobby. You can never be made redundant or cast out because of lack of uniform or for being poor or unwell. You are always welcome in God's household. You can hear Stew's talk in its entirety HERE. References also included; 1 Peter 4:9, Matt 12:48 and Matthew 28.      

Sunday 22nd April 2018 - Parenting 

After the collective worship in the main hall and the children were safely in their groups the parents were able to attend the first of two parenting sessions led by Graham and Daryl Anns of Christ Central, Manchester. After the session parents collected their children before enjoying lunch with the remainder of the church family. After the shared lunch a second parenting session was available as the children were cared for with an option of a movie or some outdoor games and activities. The kids had a blast whilst their parents gained support in their roles as mums and dads. The day was a great success and feedback so far has been positive. Slides are available via Gaynor if you were unable to attend the sessions and for those interested in further courses please speak to Joy Cowley. 

Sunday 29th April 2018 - How Can we Give More of Ourselves to God.

Thomas read the Bible from the book of Malachi chapter 3 verses 6-12 and Luke chapter 6 verse 38. Unpacking the verses read by Thomas, Gaynor used some personal stories of real experiences of God's promise to provide not just enough but an overflowing provision for those who trust in him. Important issues we as a church must address in our walk with Jesus as children of God. You can listen to Gaynor's talk in full HERE. Gaynor also recommended some reading material listed below; 

'The Treasure Principle' - Randy Accorn (There are several copies available free of charge. Please contact a member of the church staff if you would like one or pick one up next week)

'Matthew' - Phil Moore 

'Dirty Glory' - Pete Greig 

Throughout April our children have been learning lots in their groups. The Adventurers have been looking at the themes 'I am wealthy' - Acts 3:1-10 and talking about other ways we are wealthy that we can share, 'Being sad with God' (Compassion), 'I can ask for others' ( Intercession) and 'Healing' - Mark 2:1-12 and looking at why people are not always healed. Some great conversations were had and the topic of healing particularly, will be running throughout sessions over the coming months. 

So now that brings us up to May! Can you believe how quickly we are racing through this year?! Come back and check out our end of May catch up post on the blog and in the meantime why not follow our Facebook page for important announcements, updates, news and day-to-day Bible quotes and humour.  

Thank you for visiting. 

City Valley Church 


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