Rascals in the city

We’re delighted to announce that Little Green Rascals Day Nursery is opening a pop-up cafe and playroom at Central for the summer. It opens on Monday 18th at 10am. The cafe will be serving some delicious organic and locally sourced food and there will be lots to keep your Rascals (children) occupied.

We’re proud to support something dedicated to families. Please pop in and see the friendly staff and enjoy some relaxing family time with a yummy organic coffee! We look forward to welcoming you to our premises.13738163_1798631647035917_6943893429503473047_o


For more details, see the ‘Rascals in the City’ facebook page.

175th anniversary of the organ’s dedication

We have discovered that on the 2nd July this year, our organ will be 175 years old, counting from the original dedication service. We’ve even found a printed order sheet from that service!

We think that’s worth commemorating, so we’re planning a whole afternoon of organ related celebrations:

2pm – Recital by celebrated Organist John Scott Whiteley

  • Reger – Variations and Fugue on ‘God Save The Queen’
  • Bach – Schmücke Dich BWV654)
  • Bach – Toccata and Fugue in F (BWV540)
  • Samuel Wesley – Airs for the Royal Seraphine
  • Saint-Saëns – Prelude and Fugue in B Major
  • Francis Jackson – Improvisation on ‘Remember For Good’
  • Francis Jackson – Choral in B
  • Francis Jackson – Festival Toccata

3pm (approx) – ‘console hands on’ – Try playing the organ for yourselves under the eye of expert advisers.

3.30pm  – short act of worship to give thanks for the the use of the organ.

4.15pm – afternoon tea  (followed by a further ‘console hands on’).

All are welcome to every aspect of the afternoon, and there will be no charge.

The organ case

The organ case

Sung Communion at Central

The following article by our Minister appeared in the circuit newsletter, we thought we’d share it here as well:

We have developed over the last few years at Central a style which makes full use of the rubric of the Methodist Worship Book in the Holy Communion Ordinary 2 Service where it says “ musical settings other than those printed may be used” p198 MWB. At Central we often use the David Thorne St Thomas Mass setting for Holy Communion Services with a sung kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus & Benedictus, Acclamation and Agnus Dei. We also often use the items in the “liturgical settings” of Singing the Faith which have a variety of kyries, glorias, prayers settings and other short songs which can easily be used as sung response for prayers.
This style may be unfamiliar to many Methodists. The Book of Offices 1936 made provision for the Gloria “to be sung or said”- note the order of the wording, with sung been cited first as if it was the preferred option. Settings for sung responses to the Commandments were offered in the back of MHB.
Some Methodist Churches sang Morning Prayer each week with sung Benedictus, Te Deum and the appointed psalm and other churches sang the canticles and psalms to chants from the authorized hymn book or from other sources. Technically the Order of Morning Prayer was not part of the Book of Offices but the service was printed with it! This oddity illuminates our inter-twined nature with the Church of England as “mother” where singing such offices was the norm at that time. Using the authorized liturgy and additional material has always been part of the rich mix of Methodist worship.
So why not give it a go sometime? You could try something different at your church which might enrich the worship or you could join us at Central sometime and discover what we do. Methodist worship does not have to be boring or monochrome! It is possible to engage the whole congregation in participation other than speaking. Methodism was born in song after all.
Following on from Stainer’s Crucifixion being sung as part of worship on Palm Sunday we will have a different form of service with musical input led by John Bradbury and some choristers on Sunday 19 June in the evening.
We hope that something a bit different from the five hymn sandwich might be part of what we offer on a quarterly basis.

Christopher Humble

Scandinavian Choral Festival

Scandinavian Choral Festival – Saturday 21 May 6.30pm at Central

Philip Paul writes: with my Scandinavian connections is always a pleasure to see and hear the Norwegian choirs at Central each May. Each year there seem to be more choirs. This year there will be 7 of them !

They will be joined by the York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir, who I will also be very pleased to see and hear since they are one of our established ‘resident choirs’, who rehearse on our premises every week.

The concert begins at 6.30pm and admission is free!

More details on this poster.

In addition to the concert, the Norwegian choir “Tønsberg Sangforening” will be singing at our morning service on Sunday 22 May at 10:30.

Summer Organ Concerts 2016

It is somewhat of a tradition for Central to host a series of Organ recitals on Thursday lunchtimes throughout the summer months. We’re proud of the instrument and enjoy hearing a a variety of talented organists play.

Everyone is welcome, and no admission fee is charged. A collection is taken at the end to which donations are welcome but not obligatory.

For up-to-date details of dates and organists please see: http://www.organrecitals.com/1/recitals0.php?venue=ycmc



What’s in a name?

As our programme of becoming a community venue goes from strength to strength, we’d like to find a name under which to operate.

Our congregation will continue to be ‘Central Methodist Church York’, but we’re considering using a different name for our premises. It needs to reflect what our premises can offer more accurately, we’re not just a chapel building, we have halls, offices, a promising garden space and more.

We’d like the new name to reflect our Central location, to be easy to remember and short enough to ‘trip off the tongue’. Ideally it will be distinct from other venues and projects, and easy to find on the internet.

We’ve been trying to think of something suitable for a few weeks, and now we thought we’d ask our community for ideas! Please leave comments below or on our Facebook page.

“Turn up and sing” Stainer Crucifixion


An invitation to all singers for Sunday 20th March!

Circuit Service including

“Turn up and sing” Stainer Crucifixion

Conductor: John Bradbury Organist: Robert Smith

James Brown (tenor) Mark Wharfedale (bass)

Rehearsal 2.30pm

Service 6.30pm, with fairtrade stall and refreshments served beforehand.

Singers please bring a copy of the Novello score if possible as we have only a limited number of copies.

Flyer in PDF format: Stainer Crucifixion 200316 at Central Methodist v2

Performance Notes in PDF format: Stainer Crucifixion Performance Notes


Lent 2016 at Central

Events for Lent in 2016.

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday 10th February, 12:45pm – Service of Holy Communion with Imposition of Ashes. All welcome to join us for this solemn marking of the start of Lent.

Lent Talks & Lunches

The theme this year will be ‘Inspirational Women’

Wednesday 2nd March – talk will be given by Revd Rowan Williams (Chaplain at York University), looking at St Claire.

Wednesday 9th March – talk will be given by Rev Julia Skitt, title ‘Women in our time’

Wednesday 16th March – talk will be Rev Christopher Humble on Susannah Wesley

Light lunches from 11:45am, talks start at 12:45pm. All welcome for food and talks.

‘Come and Sing’ Stainer’s Crucifixion

Sunday 20th March 6:30pm. Circuit Service including Stainer’s Crucifixion

Details here.


York Residents’ Festival 2016

Our church will be open from 11am until 4pm on Saturday 30th January. This is officially part of the York Residents Festival. The inside of our chapel is usually a wonderful surprise for residents who visit during the festival.

You’ll be very welcome to pop in and have a look around the chapel; some of us will be around to answer any questions you may have.  We hope to have a number of organists playing during the day too, so it’s an opportunity to hear what is generally regarded as one of the best organs in the city.

There’s no need to book in advance and you don’t even have to be a resident.

Details of other unusual locations open to visit for free can be found on Visit York’s website: http://www.visityork.org/residents-festival-attractions.aspx