St Ninian's and St Andrew's URC

We are located at Chanterlands Avenue, Hull HU5 4DJ

St Ninians and Andrews URC









St. Ninian's and St. Andrew's considers itself a church that is open to exploration of faith. The members hope to build on our proud history of our non-conformist forebears by being a church where honest questions receive honest answers. We are also proud to be the only Church in the area who perform same sex marriages.

We are the only church on Chanterlands Avenue - near the bridge, opposite the garage - and strive to be at the heart of the community.

We usually worship at 9.30 on Sundays and our service is traditional. 

All welcome at any or all of our services

  • Monday (fortnightly) in ACR: Ladies Circle at 7.30p.m.
  • Tuesday in SAH – Tea and Toys 9.30am to 11.30 am. Suitable for mums and child minders along with their children. Term time only. 
  • Tuesday in SAH - 7.15-9.15 p.m. Rack-a-Back Morris dancers
  • Wednesday in ACR: 2.00-4.00pm: St Ninian's Needlecrafters
  • Wednesday in SAH – 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm Rainbows. Term time only.
  • 7.00 pm to 8.15 pm Brownies. Term time only.
  • Thursday  in ACR 1.15 pm to 3.15 pm Creative writing group. (Most Thursdays, term time only.)
  • Thursday in ACR - 4.30-5.30 pm Squirrels. Term time only.
  • Thursday in SAH5.00 pm to 6.00 pm Beavers. Term time only.
  • Thursday in SAH - 6.15 pm to 7.45 pm Cubs. Term time only.
  • Thursday in SAH - 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm Scouts. Term time only. 
  • Friday3rd Friday in the month in ACR. Trefoil Guild 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm. 

 In addition to these, the  Rainbow Pre-School, which meets every weekday during term time and is available to 2-4 year olds, has exclusive use of St Ninian's Hall.

The Creative Writing Group

 We are delighted to welcome back to our premises the Creative Writing Group who meet on Thursdays at 1.15pm.  The group temporarily left us in search of another venue, but couldn’t find anywhere as convenient and welcoming as our Avenues Community Room. We are pleased that their regular booking is now re-established, noting that they will be very happy to welcome any new members.

 St.Ninian’s Needlecrafters

Here at Needlecrafters we're very good at multi-tasking! Not only are we producing poppies for November, we're also stocking up our basket of pocket crosses. If you haven't already got one, they will be available in the porch very shortly.

Tea and biscuits are still available to anyone who pops in on Wednesday afternoons!

                    Mary Young

Ladies Circle

Monday 3rd June at 7.30pm.   “Tel-el-Fara” by Kevin Hara

                                                    Kevin is a floral designer and florist.

Monday 17th June at 7.30pm.    “My working life at Beverley Minster.”   

             Presented by Steve Rial who will be bringing books for sale.

  If anyone fancies joining us, please do. Always a warm welcome awaits you.

  Hazel Hoggard   

Memories of May Day and Whitsuntide celebrations

The front cover picture on the May Team Newsletter appeared to rekindle some childhood memories of May Day events in years past. It seems that some local communities linked their May Day celebrations with Whitsuntide activities, including parades, dancing, festivals and the annual crowning of the 'May Queen'. Thank you to everyone who shared their memories.


  When Hazel grew up as a child in Ulrome, it was a yearly tradition to have celebrations and Sports Day on 24th May. “All the children in the school had a part, and as you got old enough you became the May Queen, all dressed up in a long white dress with a crown adorning the head and carrying a scepter. We held a procession all around the village and people came out and stood to watch us all. The next year you became the retiring Queen, someone else in line became the Queen. This was followed by the Maypole Dancing - such fun doing all the different patterns.”                                      Image courtesy of Hazel Hoggard


Hazel recalls that if you were not the Queen you did poetry in front of everyone, jumping out on to the Village Green dressed up in various costumes appertaining to the poetry you recited. “I was the ‘Spirit of May’ one year and was dressed up in a green outfit, Then it was sports in the field, and after that tea in the Village Hall with catering by the village people, and what a spread! We all looked forward to this day. The Vicar and his wife played a big part in all we did at the school.”

Pam remembers joining the annual Whitsuntide parades in Goole. The children piled onto somewhat precariously balanced chairs on farm wagons (probably horse-drawn) and very little thought was given to health and safety.



Although Mary grew up in a rural community in Cumbria, she has no recollections of May Day parades, but can remember attending Summer carnivals. Kelvin’s childhood was spent in Cottingham, but he was too shy to be involved in any celebratory events! He does however remember his parents taking him to several annual ‘Grand Whit Monday Carnivals’ at the “Sailors’ Orphan Homes” on Cottingham Road. The grounds were much bigger than they are today and featured dramatic arena displays and entertainment.


Here at St.Ninian’s (as we were called until 1980) the annual May Festival was a major feature in the church calendar. It took place during the first or second week in May with performances running over several nights. It was the highlight of the year and involved the vast majority of the Sunday School children, plus youngsters from the uniformed organizations. The May Queen was chosen from the Sunday School teachers, who then chose her retinue, complete with crown bearer and sometimes a herald. The Queens had pride of place during the show sitting on 'thrones' at either side of the stage.


 Image courtesy of  Herbert Ballard kindly supplied by Christine Brewer  (1963)

Christine remembers from her teenage years how Kath McLachlan and Margaret Stevenson put together the first May festivals and Jean recalls how for many years these spectacular performances were produced by Mary Kilvington with rehersals beginning in February. Costumes were made by parents and if you couldn’t sew, someone else would help out. Come the big week, the church was transformed: the stage was extended; blackout curtains put up at the windows (including the ones high up at the back of the church).  This involved (usually Malcolm and Bryan) climbing onto the ACR roof!). Bryan and Malcolm were also joint stage managers.


For many years we had Maypole Dancing and oh the taffle that generations of children got into. Janet remembers trying to teach the Maypole dancing, sometimes having to dash onto the stage to untangle ribbons - but it was usually alright on the night. The 'little' chairs - you remember those small wooden chairs - were brought through from the Youth Hall (the prefabricated hall we had before St.Andrew’s Hall) so that the smaller members of the audience could sit at the front. For many years Herbert Ballard, a professional photographer based on Chanterlands Avenue, took the photographs of the Queens and their retinues until it became cost-prohibitive.

 We’ve not discovered who the first May Queen was, but Lynne has the honour of being the last one (1986 or 1987). So today she can quite rightly claim to be the reigning May Queen !!



 Image courtesy of Jean Franks (1964)


Whilst every effort has been made to reproduce these photographs accurately, we apologise for any deterioration in quality due to editing and duplicating. A booklet of some of the prints will be available to view in the ACR. The pictures are larger so you may be able to identify more people! 


It's back!

People's Art Gallery 2024

We will be holding another People’s Art Gallery at St.Ninian’s & St.Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Chanterlands Avenue, Hull, on Sunday 30th June and Sunday 07th  July.  in conjunction with the Avenues Open Gardens.  

Please see full details on the 'Community Events' page of this site.

The Northern Lights

Last month we were offered the rare opportunity of viewing the famous Northern Lights from our own gardens in Hull and East Yorkshire. One of the many photographs has been reproduced on the front cover of this newsletter. (see above)

 The Northern Lights - or aurora borealis - appear as bright, swirling curtains of lights in the night sky and range in colour from green to pink and scarlet. There are also the Southern Lights (aurora australis) which are seen in latitudes near the South Pole. The lowest part of an aurora is typically 50 miles (80 km) above the Earth's surface. The highest part could be 150 miles (240km) above the Earth.

 Both the Northern and Southern Lights are caused by charged particles from the sun hitting gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. They occur around the Earth’s poles when the solar wind carrying the particles interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. The most impressive auroras occur when the Sun emits really large clouds of particles called "coronal mass ejections".

 Different gases produce different colours when energised. The two most common gases in the Earth's atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen. Oxygen atoms glow green - the colour most often seen in the Northern Lights. Nitrogen atoms emit purple, blue and pink. These colours are seen less often because nitrogen atoms are harder to energise than oxygen atoms. Only a really big ejection of solar particles produces this kind of display as we saw last month. Sometimes the Northern Lights are scarlet. This is the colour seen when oxygen is energised by solar particles at very high altitudes.


Christian interpretations of the Northern Lights reveal fascinating connections between these celestial wonders and spiritual symbolism. Bright light and the Northern Lights in biblical symbolism represent divine truth, wisdom, and communication from God, (Gen.1: v.14). Auroras also symbolise the presence of God’s divine revelation and hidden truths. They can be associated with spiritual awakenings and renewal. Without doubt this wonderful nocturnal visual phenomena reminds us of the vastness and overwhelming power of God’s presence in His created world.