The Revd Matt Woodcock is a Pioneer Minister based at St Paul's, Holgate, and St Barnabas, Leeman Road, and he runs the 20s-40s group, Upper Room. He writes:

It has been an interesting and refreshing period in the life of our Multiply 20s-40s community, Upper Room York. During my extended study leave, the group flourished in my absence, continuing to meet, eat and grow together in faith under the guiding hand of our lay leaders, Pete and Rhiannon Hale. Some of our community took a step out of their comfort zones and led sessions at our Monday night discipleship gatherings at Footprints Nursery. I should go away more often!

Over the summer, a bunch of us had the joy of volunteering as leaders at the Pathfinder Camp in Criccieth in North Wales. It was an enriching and life-giving time seeing the teenagers grow in friendship and faith.

During the festive period we formed a band, Reverend and the Reindeers, to perform in local pubs and raise money for a mental health charity. Our snow machine (pictured above) helped spread a smile of Christmas joy. I also cleared out our garage so we could help provide much-needed space for the local Leeman Road community food bank to make up their Christmas hampers. They were sent out to over 600 struggling local families.

Most recently, we embarked on our annual winter retreat to Robin Hood’s Bay. It was a wonderful time of spiritual refreshment, fun, gorgeous food, roaring fires and bracing walks.

The legendary Reverend Robin Gamble led our sessions all about the Bread of Life and gave us plenty to reflect on and pray about. We had a massive curry on Saturday night followed by a talent show and neon party. On Sunday, after sharing Holy Communion together, we had a delicious Sunday dinner and left with full hearts and bellies!

Lizzie, a committed Upper Roomer who is finishing her medical training, joined us on retreat for the first time. She said she got home feeling ‘refreshed’ and ‘re-energised’. "It was a feast!"

We have now supplied the community with copies of Robin’s latest discipleship book, ‘Jesus 100’, as a way of encouraging a daily habit of Bible reading and quiet time with God. During this term’s Monday night sessions we are looking at the miracles of Jesus and reflecting on how they might apply to our everyday lives. The content has been inspired by Jeffery John’s excellent Lent book, The Meaning In The Miracles. I recommend it.