The Scouts held a "Big Breakfast" in the Large Hall on Saturday 29th September - they raised over £300 which will be shared by the Eating Stones Charity and Scouting Activities.

We enjoyed our family Church Weekend at Cober Hill near Scarborough from 21st to 23rd September - click here to see some photographs.

Otley Sportive raises funds for Martin House Hospice and the Bridge Church Scout Group

Click here to read about it.

What a night!


The Parish Church had their fairy lights lit. So did we! Our Catholic friends had donned wellies and were carrying umbrellas. So had we! Why?

All for our Lizzie’s homecoming.

In true British summer tradition the heaven’s opened about 5 o’ clock and as I drove up to church to do the unlocking, a part of me felt it might all be cancelled. However we are made of stern stuff and as I parked the car there was already a small group of people waiting to get in. Geoff had unearthed some flags but we decided the ground was too wet for chairs. As the minutes ticked by the crowd of members and friends of the Bridge Church grew steadily and we took shelter under the large trees near the wall on Bridge Street.

It soon became obvious that the people of Otley were not going to be put off by the rain, as people began to stream up Bridge Street to get a place on the road side.

The start time arrived and we only had a short while to wait until the open topped bus could be seen inching its way across the bridge accompanied by shouts of “Well done Lizzie” “Lizzie, Lizzie,” “team GB”

The bus got closer and Lizzie was standing at the front, proudly holding her Olympic Silver medal and smiling and waving to us all.

She was surrounded by friends and family and I managed to get a glimpse of a pair of very proud parents, John and Carol, a smiling sister Kate and granddad Jeff at the back. I am sure I have missed someone out of the list but the joy and pride in Lizzie’s achievements was plain for all to see.

The Bridge Church added its voice and words of congratulations as the bus moved slowly passed to be followed by what looked like hundreds of enthusiastic cyclists of all ages.

As the bus continued on its journey there were banners outside pubs and on shop fronts as well as crowds of people all sharing in the happiness of the occasion.

In the Market Place there followed speeches from Lizzie herself, her coach, the Town Mayor and our own John Eveleigh and then hundreds queued to get Lizzie’s autograph.

By this time of course the rain had stopped.

Two days later I discovered Lizzie in “Hello” magazine with pictures of her receiving her medal and a short interview. It seems her team colleagues have dubbed her "Elizabeth the First” in recognition of her being the first medal to be won at London 2012.

So, Lizzie, is going to be gold in Rio.

(August 2012)


This article appeared on the Church Website and on the main United Reformed Church Website.

The Bridge United Reformed Church in the Yorkshire market town of Otley is celebrating the silver medal won by Lizzie Armitstead in the Women's Road Race at the 2012 London Olympics.

Lizzie grew up as part of the Bridge Church family where she was in Junior Church and the Bridge Church Scout Group. Her parents, John and Carol, are church members and Lizzie's grandfather, the Revd Jeff Armitstead is a retired URC minister.

Leading up to the Games, members of the church all signed a card which they sent to Lizzie, wishing her well. The congregation rushed home from morning worship to watch the race and after an exciting and nervous afternoon, saw Lizzie perform brilliantly and take second place.

Evening worship, led by the minister, the Revd Anthony Gardiner, had already been arranged as a “Sing Olympics”, with perhaps the hope that the church might be celebrating, and hopes were fulfilled as they celebrated the first medal of 2012 for the GB Team.

Church Treasurer, Andrew Howard, said: "Many of the church members have known Lizzie since she was a baby, and have watched her progress over the years. We are all absolutely thrilled that one of our own has had such success."

The Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, Moderator of the General Assembly of the URC, added his congratulations: “This is a wonderful personal triumph, in which we are all delighted to share” he said.

(July 2012)


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