Comments Page

There have been over 230 comments logged since we started this blog.  We feel that the time has come to look forward rather than backwards. So, here is a selection, edited highlights, some inspiring words.  Give thanks to the Lord for what has been and rejoice for what is to come!

Visit the “Prayer Focus” page and pray !!


26 responses to “Comments Page

  1. The Scargill House Community has over the past 50 years been an inspiration and a force for good in a world where people are yearning to belong , to be valued and welcomed for who they are. A group of Christians living in community together and practising the ministry of hospitality is very relevant and much needed in today’s lonely world of individualists. Scargill was founded with the aims of evangelism and serving the Christian churches in the North of England, this vision has been expressed in different ways and it is just as relevant now as it was back in the first year of the Community’s life. My own 2 years of living in the Scargill Community were some of of the best times of my life, very formative and healing for me personally as well as growing in faith and ministry as we all reached out to our guests. I want to see new generations of community members experiencing the sort of growth and spiritual development opportunities that we had , and to see them exercising all manner of gifts that they never knew they had until they were living in Community. My vision is for Community life and serving the guests in whichever ways are most appropriate in each generation. “My Name shall be there” as the Lord said at the beginning and shall be again.

  2. I support this move. There are people out there who would want to be part of community if they knew about it, potential guests who are crying out to meet with God there, again if they knew. It is written “I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north Give up,and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made……. You are my witnesses. (Isaiah 43)

  3. Chris and Shirley Burns

    If the number of entries on the Church Times blog is anything to go by, there is the will for Scargill to start anew. We believe there are the resources available for this to happen. We are willing to offer what support we can in terms of prayer, money and time.
    Shirley and Chris, Community members from the late 1980s, and Scargill Partners.

  4. From Haggai 2:1-9: In … the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai, saying: … “Who
    is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? Yet now take courage … My
    spirit abides among you; do not fear. For thus says the LORD of hosts: “Once again, in a little while … I will fill this house with splendour, says the LORD
    of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts. The latter splendour of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.”
    Pray that it may be so.

  5. Jane Dowell (Musgrave)

    50 years ago enough money and more to buy Scargill House flowed through the letter box of Middleton Rectory. I was 18 and I remember the excitement, being a part of the vision of Harold Frankham, Bernard Jacob and others, seeing this place of faith and community become established in the Dales. I remember being a temp and welcoming the first guests, the hard work, the friendships made, the growth in faith, the tears shed, the laughter shared , the place that grew to mean so much to my family, the place that I still regard as my spiritual home. How can Scargill be sustainable at this present time and develop its particular spirituality to be an inspiration to people in the future? I and my family commit ourselves to support all endeavours being made to bring about a viable and realistic future for the place we know and cherish.

  6. Over the past few weeks I have heard a lot of comments about how Scargill has changed recently and lost its way. I have also heard from others attracted by the new vision and outreach of recent years. We need a united and assured vision, but there’s no reason why that can’t incorporate plenty of the Scargill of old. It is that Scargill that has created such strength of feeling for Scargill and it all comes down to the unchanging essentials. What lies at the core of Scargill must lie at the core of all of us who try to follow the Way – that transforming love that must permeate all aspects of our being and relationships. Added to this are specific obligations that we must focus on in Scargill – a stewardship of the land and sense of environmental responsibility; an ecumenical gathering place for Christians to grow together in faith and understanding; a place of faith where all people of faith can feel respected,welcomed and cared for; a social gospel that shows practical care for the disadvantaged, vulnerable, discriminated against – those in need, whatever form that need takes.

  7. The view of Scargill House bathed in moonlight from the top of the estate.

    The daffodil lined driveway in spring time

    The enduring warmth of its welcome

    The fun, joy and laughter injected into the most menial of household tasks .

    The unique and embracing silence of the chapel in the quiet hours of the night.

    Sleeping in Bali Hai.

    The arrival of the tired and needy, the departing of the refreshed and fulfilled.

    These are just a few of my most enduring memories of Scargill, a place where I became a Christian in 1983 and which which provided much needed comfort and solice in the 10 months which followed, which saw the deaths of both my mother and father.

    Who can say there is no longer a need in society for a place like Scargill? No one who has lived in that society and experienced the dis-ease.

    In his “Meditations”, Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius wrote..

    “Men seek retreats for themselves – in the country, by the sea, in the hills…..constantly give yourself this retreat. ”

    Better still he says, is the retreat into your own mind.

    Scargill allows us to do physically, what we can then do better mentally. Once you have experienced the material Scargill in the Dales, you can better encounter the spiritual Scargill inside yourself. A pure running stream, a bubbling brook, a place of unspeakable joy and profound stillness.

    Perhaps Scargill is so dear to us, because in it we see the truest part of ourselves. A part with which we long to be re-acquainted.

    There is no end to the possibilities for Scargill House. Ideas for getting people to visit again are in plentiful supply.

    The credit crunch is not an issue, I can assure you that funds are there.

    The 50th aniversary presents an ideal platform for fund raising and relaunch.

    All that is needed is a changing of minds and hearts in a certain quarter. The problems lie more in opinion than they do in reality. Get rid of those opinions and we get rid of the main obstacles.

    “Pray as though all depended upon God and act as though all depends upon you”.


  8. Like Clive, I received the most caring support from Community members when John & I were on a Partners working week in April 1992. During that week a telephone call came from our daughter to say that my mother had died. The immediate support for us, and of course for the girls, was sensitive, caring and protective, enabling us to pack up and return to Southport within a couple of hours. We had brought a small group of special needs young people to gain work-experience, and Keith and his various team arranged suitable tasks for us to do together. The girls found the work hard but the time spent around the House and with other helpful guests made their stay a memorable one. We shall never forget the support of Keith, Linda and others.

    I’m sure there are many others who can echo this sort of special story from Scargill’ ministry.
    At our last visit for the Partners’ refreshment week in January 2008, we wondered if there was to be a special edition of the Scargill Story to mark the 50th anniversary… now we know why…. but perhaps, after all there will.

  9. i went to scargill house with st nicholas school
    them 5 days in may were like a dream such a peaceful place of worship.The staff were so helpful,entertaining and understanding . i have so many memories and photos that others should get. i will hope for the best to come for the house because i want everyone else to see the countryside and learn about its history.
    think about these messages.

  10. Nick and Sally Buck

    We, with our family, had the great privilege of serving at Scargill from 1996 to 2001. One of the highlights of our time was the 40th anniversay celebration in 1999. We are delighted that Peter has the faith to see a 50th anniversay next year!
    The book of Leviticus is not likely to be a regluarly visited place, but chapter 25 is worth a look. It concerns provision for the Sabbath and Jubilee years. Every seventh year was to be a Sabbath year in which the land – God’s land, given by promise to his people – was allowed to rest. Every seventh sabbath year (i.e every 49 years) saw preparations for the year of Jubilee – the 50th year. The year of Jubilee had a very special character. The land was rested, with the promise of even greater fertility in the years to come; property reverted to its original owners; slaves were set free. Jubilee year was a radical shake-up designed to guarantee the long-term well-being of the people of God in the land he had given them.
    Perhaps it’s no conincidence that this year is Scargill’s 49th – the seventh sabbath year. Under God can we make it a time of preparation for Scargill’s jubilee – a year in which the promise that ‘My name shall be there’ is renewed, the land given by God through people of vision in 1957 is rededicated in His servce and the curent debt is redeemed?
    Is this too fanciful a notion? The timing does seem to have a lot going for it! It’s time now to sound the trumpet and make ready (Lev. 25:9)

  11. Joann (Norma) Morgan (Gledhill)

    I joined the Scargill community 46 years ago and gained skillls and awarenesses that have fuelled my life and work ever since.

    I too believe that Scargill has a vital and dynamic role to play in today’s churches and society.

    I believe this both because of the inordinate number of lives that were touched and changed for ever through visits of one kind and another in the past and also because of the tremendous potential of a place like Scargill in the present and the future.
    There is a tremendous role for Scargill to be playing in enabling the churches and society to work our positive and creative responses to so many issues facing us in society today. Scargill could be hosting focus groups on other issues (well done on the immigration issue) such as drugs and young people – getting together Christians (and there are many) and other people involved in such work – facilitating the sharing of aims, approaches, good practice; helping the churches to find a positive creative voice on such issues so that it can make a creative contribution in a bigger way to society’s problems.

    Ther is so much for Scargill to do that it takes my breath away.

    Yes – it needs a concrete plan and vision to attact potential funding – but it was done magnificently once before – the Spirit is still with us – it can be done again.

  12. Lesley Norcott (Watts)

    I attended St.Nicholas school in Shepperton and am now a member of staff there. I visited Scargill House as a child over 20 years ago on our school trip.
    I went on the trip this year as staff and was astounded to see that the power of Scargill has not diminished in all these years. What amazes me is the way it touches everyone who visits. I have read comments on this page from some of our pupils – 10/11/12 year old kids who talk about it being a “wonderful place of worship”. A lot of our pupils will never again get to experience anthing which even comes close to the way that they felt during their week at Scargill House and a lot of pupils will now not get to experience it even once. In an age when it is so hard to reach out to children, I have found that the fellowship at Scargill House does just that, even if it’s only for a week. It’s not just a building! and it is a travesty that something so special to so many people is to end. My own son was due to take the trip in 2009 and I am devastated that he will not get to experience it. I do feel blessed that I was able to visit again before it closed. I am happy to make a donation should it help.

  13. John Turner // August 21, 2008

    I have now had over half a century of association with Scargill. I joined the Lee Abbey Community in 1957 where I was known as Jonathan. Months later I was one of a large group who gathered in the Octagonal Lounge to fold appeal leaflets for the purchase of Scargill House and stuff them into envelopes addressed manually to 4000 Lee Abbey Friends. During 1958, I became ‘engaged’ to a fellow Community member, Anne, and in September that year, on our way to visit Iona with 4 other members of the L.A. Community we camped at Scargill and were shown round by Dick Marsh and shown the plans for the Dining Room and talked about ideas for the chapel.

    Anne and I remained at Lee Abbey, where I was Estate Manager, for a further 14 years and visited Scargill in various capacities including family holidays and me being attached to the Community to help over the time of the 5th birthday celebrations. In the 1970s we lived near Manchester and took church groups to Scargill, on one occasion a party of 90! Anne and I were Speakers at Scargill on a number of occasions particularly during the latter 1990s. Since then our involvements have been elsewhere.

    Although I was a Trustee of another Christian Community which had to close in the 1980s, I tend to be a forward looking person and I find it difficult to believe that this is the end of the road for community-centred Christian work at Scargill. My impression on reading the contributions to this site and on the Church Times blog is of the need of leadership in a call for concerted PRAYER. When the House was originally purchased, this prayer came through the practical example of the Lee Abbey Council and Community with the support of 4000 Lee Abbey Friends joined by many others in the North who shared the vision.

    This brings me to my second point, the need for VISION. Is the vision for a continuing Scargill Community big enough? What would be the vision and work of a renewed Community? Clearly, the vision of the Trustees, and the now scattered Community, has been confused and inadequate. Here I want to refer to the Taizé Community, in a remote part of France. Their first and abiding vision has been to follow God and to trust Him in everything. Their shared life became so attractive that people – YOUNG PEOPLE – came in their thousands and after many decades they still come, from all over the world, to share in that life through prayer, worship and learning. And they return home changed and inspired.

    Thirdly, there must be LEADERSHIP. God works through those He calls. They need to be people who humbly inspire others in the way of Christ and are open to the thrilling uncertainty of following the unexpected directions of the HOLY SPIRIT. It is they who must keep the work of the Community relevant to the needs of the world and of the whole of God’s creation.

    Any new vision for Scargill will need to spring strongly from the foundations of the old, through non-dictatorial prayer (ie not telling God what to do!). If it is right to take further action (in what it becomes understood to be God’s will), leaders will arise to pioneer and show the direction. Then, all the giftings needed, and the finance, and the good governance with sound structures, and the basis of a Community, must be encouraged to emerge. Whichever way it goes, each of us is primarily called to say to God, “What do you require of me, now”.

    John Turner

  14. Thank you, Clive, Jean and Mark for your responses to my comments of 21 August. The “Titanic effort” to which Clive refers was unleashed because the generalised feeling which was growing amongst those in the North of England who had visited Lee Abbey that some similar kind of work should be established in the North was championed by a small group of people who shared a vision and were committed to pray and search for a suitable property. I think the group included Harold Frankham, Bernard Jacob and a Mrs Macaulay (?) and it was it was in response to their shared conviction that Scargill was the place to which God was leading them that others followed them and the appeal was launched.

    It seems that the immediate focus for prayer (apart from open minds!) is that nothing precipitate will happen which will cloud the discovery of God’s will now. We must pray, too, that there will be those who are accurately able to discern the strength and direction of feeling in the North (particularly amongst Partners and Church Leaders) and will represent that view to those who would be willing to support any required action, including time, talents or finance as appropriate.

    Also, we must pray that those who are grieving or angry about the loss of Scargill AS IT WAS will find God’s peace and be given a new vision for the future, either for Scargill or in some other direction. I would offer to all of us Isaiah 43 verses 18 to 21:

    “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

    On 20 July, John Lloyd offered Haggai 2:1-9 and it seems appropriate to repeat it now:

    In … the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai, saying: … “Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? Yet now take courage … My spirit abides among you; do not fear. For thus says the LORD of hosts: “Once again, in a little while … I will fill this house with splendour, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts. The latter splendour of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.”

  15. Bridget and I were very upset to hear about the situation regarding Scargill. We would love it to survive especially for followers of Jesus who are finding the going a bit tough. What will the future hold? We have no idea, but as usual the best plan is probably to find out what God is doing so that we can join in. God bless you all for your passion and for continuing to work so hard. Adrian

  16. Thanks be for all God is doing, including bringing together people for prayer – keep the news flowing of regional meetings – this could be the birthing of the New Scargill community. There is a real sense of ‘finding out and joining in’ what God is doing.
    The lovely sunshine on the 18th and the excellent ad hoc catering added to a memorable occasion which was alreadyy special for the pooling of natural gifts and the meeting of hearts and minds in Christ.
    In my 7.30 prayer time, I shall be giving thanks and praying for the working group from that meeting, and hoping others will join me. Let’s use the e-mail address here to pass on anything to the working group that feels important, (it doesn’t have to be published if that’s not the way you like to work).
    Be encouraged, there are many of us linked through this website, let’s find the others who aren’t internet users – each of us has our own links, some of them are unique to us, so spread the word – there can be a New Scargill – the support of the Lee Abbey Movement is great – let us seek out others whom God is calling! [But be ever graceful in respecting their privacy if they so wish]

  17. I write to express my great disappointment at the news that Scargill House is to be no longer. I have led weeks there on three occasions and
    was greatly impressed by both its practice and potential. On my first visit, I was blessed to make the acquaintance of a vounteer from Nepal with whose church my colleagues have become deeply involved, and on my last visit I was greatly encouraged to hear of its involvement with asylum seekers in Leeds.

    The Church of Jesus Christ is never renewed when the centre gets it right, but when prophets and prophetic communities on the fringe who
    are not overwrought with ecclesiastical self-preservation become waymarks for where the Spirit wants to direct us. Scargill was such a
    place and should still be such a place, albeit in a different way from which its worthy founders envisaged. A post-Christian society needs
    meeting places and melting pots where the Gospel can be incarnated in contemporary cultures.

    I sincerely hope that the decision to close will be reversed and that people with imagination and faith will take the project forward.

    Yours faithfully,

    John L. Bell
    The Iona Community

  18. I whole heartedly agree with John Bells comments; this is surely the essence of Scargill; ‘ a meeting place & a melting pot’; a common ground and a ‘prophetic Community’.
    Thank you John for sharing your thoughts, we can learn a lot from the witness and wisdom of the Iona Community as the New Scargill takes form.

    Regarding a regional Midlands / Wolverhampton meeting – all interested email me or telephone 01902 835448

  19. Helen Wearden(johnson)

    ‘MY NAME SHALL BE THERE’ it seems that God was there, and never left He was at the heart of the meeting on Thursday and the heart of the community gathered here on this page, it is so encouraging to see so many ex community posting comments and great to see so many familiar names ,
    God moves in mysterious ways, keep the faith , keep the prayer

  20. I had a picture on my mind yesterday of Scargill being put into a bag ,but it fell straight through the bottom into a pair of Strong Hands.Underneath them was written” It belongs to Me.”

  21. Ask and you shall receive: “A letter telling of the proposed [purchase of Scargill House] went out in December 1957, over the names of the Bishops of Bradford, Coventry and Liverpool. It was published in the Church Times and the Church of England Newspaper. Another letter was sent to a number of individuals and to all the Lee Abbey Friends. The dead-line for the purchase was February 10, 1958. The response was staggering. Within two months of the need becoming known £42,000 had been subscribed. £10,000 of this total was in outright gifts, and loans free of interest amounted to over £32,000. About half of all this money came from individuals in the North.” from the Lee Abbey Story.

  22. I have booked Saturday 15th November for a Midlands Regional meeting for prayer & social/info sharing.
    2pm @ St Philip’s Church, Wolverhampton.
    Could you all spread the word to anyone you know south of Sheffield? – perhaps put in your church news sheet / magazine.

    Could everyone interested email / phone me asap, so I know numbers and whether this date suits the majority? 01902 835448

  23. Scargill House is a fantastic place in a stunning setting: for anyone, any church, or other groups wishing to use the wonderful facilities…. including for particular mission purposes.
    Myself, I have stayed there with my son now 11yrs but was 6 at our 1st visit, at the ‘Single Parent Family Holiday Week’; we’ve since been for the past few years. We had always been a single parent family who “coped” as well as often “enjoyed”. But our first visit to Scargill was in 2004 when I was literally on the verge of a breakdown as Dad was dying from motor neurone disease, which happened later that year, and I was at that time facing potential admission to psychiatric hospital, and that would have been not for the first time as someone with a chronic bipolar condition with previous hospital admissions prior to my son’s birth. But instead we found Scargill House; genuine love, nurture and support, Christian teaching and worship, and so many fun activities – the best holiday ever for us both, and so easily accessible from Sheffield even on public transport. We simply wouldn’t have managed such a great time on our own – with or without my mental state at that time. We made many friends there both among the community and other guests who have helped us so much both during the holidays and in between. Scargill’s ministry for me has been far-reaching, more important than the one week in 52 per year. I know this is true for other people even within my own church. Ironic then that this year I (and of course in his own way my son) did have to endure another psychiatric hospital admission for me. How we missed Scargill House! Don’t worry though folks, we are Ok now and son is thriving at his new secondary school… but fortunately we did manage a lovely break at Lee Abbey before that! But so hoping Scargill House will be on our calendar again soon, because fantastic as Lee Abbey is we simply can’t get there as easily, especially when I’m in a mess. Thank you everyone who has made the Scargill movement possible: past, present, and GOD-WILLING FUTURE. Our prayers will be constant.

  24. Jane Dowell (Musgrave)

    Our family is committed to suporting the vision of a new Scargill for the 21st centuary in any way that is possible. When I wrote before, it was to look back with thanks, now we look forward in anticipation, knowing that God is working through so many who have found faith and renewal ‘My name shall be there’ will echo around the dales again. The story will continue.

  25. sandi neale(Kershaw)

    In 1968 I spent what is still for me one of the best years of my life. I joined the community just before my 18th birthday and stayed for 11 months as a temp, working in the pantry and house teams. What a wonderful year, I grew so much both spiritually and mentally during that year. Memories of that time have sustained me through many difficult times since and I was so shocked to hear of the closure. I am now praying for the revival and getting our prayer chain to join in as well. Through God, allthings are possible, and I am sure that with the faith of so many people behind it Scargill cannot help but be re-born. Our love and prayers are with all who care about the future of that wonderful place.

  26. The Region Midlands meeting in Wolverhampton (planned for 15th November) has had to be postponed until the New Year.

    Please let me know if you would be interested in coming to such a regional event to share news and views on ‘Scargill and to pray.

    Do not loose heart – God is doing a marvelous thing; keep praying!

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