This year we revisited the Confluence Centre in Kilnsey for our weekend, and the weather was as good as ever!

Our leader was Rev John Santry, and our general theme was The Christ We Serve.

“During the Men’s Weekend we were asked by our leader, Revd John Santry, to pick up a stone as we walked in the Dales. I chose a piece of rubble stone from a dry stone wall and later that day gave my reason for doing so”

On the Friday evening, we studied images of Christ from various cultures, some of which were very strange to us and some we found quite disturbing. There was a long discussion about the meaning and significance of the images we saw.

On Saturday morning, we looked at the Bible’s examples of Jesus sharing fellowship over meals. We thought about the value of this, and of how much we gained from simple fellowship around the dining table during our weekend away. We also examined some of the references to mountain tops and quiet places. We each thought about places which were special to us, and shared our thoughts with the group. These gave us a focus for our afternoon walk along the river, during which we were asked to find a stone which we would like to bring back with us.

The Saturday evening session was a time of quiet reflection and summing up, and we each said a few words about the stones that we had found, and we then used these to build a small cairn on a tabletop. This was to be the focus of our communion.

Sunday morning featured a simple Iona service of Holy Communion around our cairn, during which we each served our neighbour. We also attended morning service at the local Methodist church, and sang with great enthusiasm (and even greater volume!).

A major part of these weekends is the development of camaraderie, and this is assisted by a great deal of gentle mockery and good-natured banter. We frequently debated the original meaning of the expression “hoist by one’s own petard” and, in the absence of Google, many theories were advanced. Of course, we all know now that it’s from Hamlet - “For 'tis the sport to have the enginer hoist with his own petard” - and refers to the danger of being blown up while planting an explosive device.

“A magical moment ... standing outside the Centre in the sunshine, breathing the clean  air, watching the lambs and   listening to the curlews”

Batley Central Methodist Church

“The Church in the Market Place”

Commercial Street


West Yorkshire

WF17 5DS

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