Central welcomes new minister – Rev David Bidnell

During this morning’s Covenant Service we not only celebrated communion together for the first time since March 2020, but also bid our farewell to Rev Rory Dalgliesh. Not only that, but it was our first service with Rev David Bidnell, our new minister.

David Bidnell
David writes a little about himself:

“In coming to live and work in York and its surrounding area we have not moved too far – from Huddersfield and West Yorkshire. Previous to that we were in Ruislip, West London, where we went to live on our return from working overseas in Haiti. One of the delights of living in Haiti was learning the indigenous language, Haitian Creole, made a little easier by the fact that I had already spent time studying French (along with German) at Durham University. Being fascinated by languages and enjoying literature and drama of various kinds, I often find myself intrigued by the role of narrative, plot and character in the stories we read and in the stories which our ours to tell. Several years ago this led me into a PhD on the parables in Luke’s Gospel, looked at particularly from literary and cultural perspectives. I find running a helpful way to relax and have managed to complete a few marathons and half marathons from time to time, and music has always been significant for me, though now it ends to be more listening than playing or singing.”

Circuit welcome service at Central

This Sunday morning (5th September 2021) we’re very pleased to be hosting the welcome service for new staff at York Methodist Circuit, including our new Presbyter at Central, Rev David Bidnell.

Please note that in a change from our normal Sunday mornings, the service will begin at 10am.

We would appreciate it if you can let us know that you are planning to attend the welcome service, so we can manage numbers for refreshments and the service. Please email yorkcircuitoffice@gmail.com or call the Circuit office and leave a message. There will be some congregational singing during the service, and we would ask people to please wear masks if possible while singing, and indeed during the service as a whole.


We’ll be streaming the service on the circuit YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/channel/UCMZll3vyksFEonZ-EQbbhuQ/live


The service will also be available on Zoom at the normal link:


Central Methodist Church York has received £21,400 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • We were among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the second round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will allow us to keep our building’s historic facilities open to the whole community, providing affordable space that brings different groups together and facilitates the work of people in all parts of society.
  • Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including our church in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced in April.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

This brings the Government’s total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The second round of awards will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. 

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.” 

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

“The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  Follow @HeritageFundUK on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund   

About Historic England

We are Historic England, the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.

What’s going on at Central?

For the past few weeks, the Central church community has again been meeting online on Zoom, rather than in our building. This is likely to continue for a few more weeks throughout the Holy Week and Easter season..

Deacon Judith will be leading a short service at 7.30pm on Maundy Thursday – Zoom link and more details available on our Facebook page.

And throughout Holy Week, across the Circuit there are other options …
There are video meditations available to watch on the Circuit Facebook and YouTube channel which have been created by the District.
There will also be a short zoom Morning Prayer at 9am from Monday to Saturday of Holy Week- zoom link available from Ruth Duck.
Ruth Duck will be leading a Maundy Thursday service at 6.30pm (contact Ruth for the link).
There will also be zoom meditations on Maundy Thursday at 7pm and Good Friday at 2pm (contact Keith Albans or yorkcircuitoffice@gmail.com for the link).

We’ll meet together on Zoom for Easter day celebrations for the second time, and in a few weeks we’ll start to try meeting again in the chapel – hopefully with a Zoom connection for those who prefer to stay at home.

Meanwhile, we are beginning to accept bookings for use of our city centre halls for groups which can meet government guidelines.

Worship in chapel AND online

Organ Vespers for Harvest

This short service will take the form of music from the organ, readings and prayers, themed around Harvest and Celebrating God’s gifts to us.

11th October 2020 2.30pm

We’re really looking forward to seeing some folk at Central this Sunday afternoon for Organ Vespers. It’s not going to be Church as we know it though, so we need to give you some advance warning that there are certain things that we must do in the Chapel to comply with Covid /government guidelines.

These will be as follows:-

On arrival you will be asked to ‘check in’ using the QR code which will be on display, or alternatively write down your contact details (name and tel number) for Track and Trace purposes.

– Hand sanitiser (provided) to be used on entering and exiting- Face masks will need to be worn (unless you have an exemption)

– A one way system will be in place to enter and exit the building- Some pews will be closed to allow the required social distancing- You are only able to sit with someone from your own household / support bubble.

– We have to keep service times to a minimum and therefore must encourage everyone to be seated as soon as they arrive and then leave promptly at the end of the service.

That said, and technology willing, the service we be streamed on Facebook too! You’ll be able to find the Live stream from 2:25pm onwards at https://www.facebook.com/CentralMethodistChurchYork/. Live streams are available to viewers with or without a Facebook account.

Both live streaming and meeting ‘in person’ in our Chapel are experiments for us – we’d welcome all your feedback after the event.