Friday, July 13, 2018

"Rural strand"

Tuesday 10th July 2018
A day in Wooler for a church conference looking at hardship in rural communities 

and admiring the entrance to Butler Court (named after the Northumberland social reformer Josephine Butler)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Schools and bicentenaries

Friday 6th July 2018
Looking down from Thorneyburn church over the Tarset valley to see if the school are on their way...

...and, chattering in excitement, here they come  ...  for a morning at St Aidan's:
We started by wondering why the church had been built in the middle of nowhere and then searched the graveyard for the oldest headstone we could find.  1838.  (Some were too worn to read.)  So the church must have been here for at least 180 years.  Inside, recalling that every parish church is supposed to have a Bible on its lectern (so that all parishioners have access to Holy Scripture), we worked out from the Roman numerals on the title page that the church was dedicated in 1818.  We noted the naval coat of arms which gave us a clue as to the origin of this building:  it was built along with the neighbouring rectory to provide a living for a naval chaplain demobilised after the Napoleonic Wars.   
     After looking at the font, the altar, the tapestry depicting Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples (when he instituted the practice of Holy Communion) and at the paten and chalice used for the bread and wine of Holy Communion, the children and accompanying adults knelt for each of them to receive a blessing before they went on their way happy and calm.
     The two hundred years of St Aidan's will be marked in the bicentenary celebrations at the beginning of August.
     Meanwhile Otterburn First School is celebrating its bicentenary this weekend.  So I made my way from Thorneyburn to Otterburn to enjoy their exhibition and the children's excellent singing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The aftermath...

Sunday 10th June 2018
The aftermath of Messy Church
To help us think about the Holy Spirit being active but invisible, like the wind, we blew up balloons and fixed prayers of thanksgiving to them:
We also blew bubbles to represent our prayers floating to God and assembled windchimes which depend for their music on the unseen wind (which one little girl likened to the "breath of God"):
The wind instruments accompanying "The Spirit lives to set us free" had to be heard to be believed.

Friday, June 8, 2018

More planning

Friday 8th June 2018
From Thorneyburn churchyard
Greenhaugh School had a first briefing on the remarkable history of St Aidan's Thorneyburn in preparation for their contribution to the bicentenary exhibition.  (Imagine being sent as Rector to this location after life as a naval chaplain in the Napoleonic wars.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Thorneyburn bicentenary

Tuesday 5th June 2018
Spot the builder!
I found him putting the final touches to repairs (in time for this summer's celebration of the 200th anniversary of St Aidan's Thorneyburn) when I called for a baptism register after taking an assembly at Greenhaugh First School.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sunday worship; Monday admin.

Monday 4th June 2018
Horse chestnut tree in flower: a brief interval away from the computer and writing desk