The United Reformed Church in South Leeds was formed in 2002 by the coming together of 3 churches, i.e. Belle-Isle, Dewsbury Road and Salem. At that time we were in vacancy and it was recognised that it was never going to be an easy amalgamation with many ups and downs and, whilst we expected a difficult journey, it was in the end much more difficult than envisaged. During this time we called a CRCW (Church Related Community Worker) and Minister (wife and husband), but unfortunately we were again in vacancy in 2004. However, through all of this, those remaining have found extra strength.
We are a smaller group but wholly committed to working together. We have learned much about each other through all the mixed emotions, making us who we are now – a fellowship with a deeper understanding and strength. We have found a new flexibility and are enabled to move forward together in the love of Christ in our strong sense of mission.
Until the end of 2008 we worshipped and had prayer cafés alternate weeks at our buildings in Dewsbury Road and Belle-Isle. The Church Meeting then agreed that Sunday worship would take place every week at Belle-Isle in the Trinity Network building.
In 2009 the sale of our third building, Salem, was at last completed. This has enabled us to build a new church at Belle-Isle, the old one having been demolished in 2006.
As a consequence of the demolition the remaining premises were sufficiently large to be used by the Scouts and Cubs but due to their numbers the Rangers, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows had been meeting in a local primary school. They came back to us making full use of our new building.
On the land adjoining there is a 44-bedded care home for Dementia patients. The money from the sale of our share of this land has also helped to fund the new church building.
In 2013 we called Revd. Anne Lewitt to be our Minister, and Anne agreed. We share her half-time with West Park Leeds United Reformed Church and she was Ordained and Inducted to this sharing pastorate on 14th July 2013.
Anne’s time with us came to an end in August 2017 and she was inducted into the West Sussex Pastorate on the 16th September.
The life of the church has continued and we were pleased when Mr Alex Walker, who was worshipping at Wigton Moor, Leeds, URC, and their Church Secretary, expressed an interest in walking alongside us in our vacancy as our Interim Moderator. As we got to know Alex and he us and the work that we do, the relationship developed and after a few setbacks – not the least of which was the pandemic – we were pleased that the Moderator of Yorkshire Synod of the United Reformed Church Commissioned Alex as our Elder in Local Leadership (our Pastor) in September 2021 at a special service. During the interim period Alex had transferred his membership to ourselves and had been inducted as an Elder here.