Friday, May 31, 2013

An unusual variety

Friday 31st May 2013
Performers gather in the "Green Room"
I managed to get the horse  exercised before meeting a
couple who had come from London via Edinburgh to
discuss a wedding.  Another couple arrived from Kent
via Rothbury where they had been to a funeral, came to 
Evening Prayer in Bellingham (which was also
attended by two walkers on holiday from Kent)
and then joined us at Lanehead for the.......

Tarset Ceilidh Band's debut

Eccentric preparations

Thursday 30th May 2013
St Aidan's Thorneyburn as a stage set for a scene from an outdoor production of Jane Eyre
We met to work out where people could stand without intruding on the graveyard: one of my less predictable activities amongst the more normal celebration of Holy Communion for Corpus Christi, calling on a Churchwarden, chairing Elsdon PCC and meeting a parishioner who will be sending out invitations for the licensing of the new priest in the Team.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nothumberland County Show

Monday 27th May 2013
Quite an early start to travel down to the Tyne valley to complete the setting up of the Churches Together stand in time for 9 o'clock
     Since the Show has a new location this year, we chose the theme "Finding your way" and displayed a map of the showground as well as pictures relating to the spiritual journey through life.  As well as our customary prayer pool, we had stones which visitors could add to the pile to build a cairn to show others the way through unfamiliar country.

Northumbrian pipers at the Church stand

All creatures great and small
Pyrenean Mountain Dogs 

Preparing sheep for judging

Trinity Sunday

Sunday 26th May 2013
River North Tyne from the Rectory glebe
 Holy Trinity Church Horsley celebrated their Patronal Festival with Parish Communion at 9 o'clock, when I spoke about the ancient Celtic tradition of invoking Father, Son and Holy Spirit throughout the day in the course of all activities.
     I just got down the Rede valley and across to the North Tyne valley at Chollerton in time for the Deanery Confirmation at St Giles' Church.  Then to Hexham, realising that I couldn't complete the day without getting petrol before returning via Wark and Bellingham to Evensong at Elsdon.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bellingham Community Fair

Saturday 25th May 2013
Bellingham bluebells (2011)
Today has been a beautiful day (with an afternoon that looked like this picture) with a temperature of 17, after 3 degrees and frost in the morning.  I still haven't had time to sort out how to upload photographs onto the new computer, being stretched enough by producing a few items for the St Cuthbert's Church display at the Community Fair and then attending most of the day to help show that the Church is present, available and supporting the community.  Then an en evening of Sunday preparations.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday 22nd May 2013
The forsythia is not as good as this this year, but I have too much to do to spend time on the photographs and computer.
Just gearing up to an intensive two months of activities, starting with the Northumberland County Show on Monday (the Bank Holiday) and going on to weddings, the next rounds of PCC meetings, preparing for the Lindisfarne Gospels' exhibitions, school events, church fairs, end of term and all the local Shows before St Cuthbert's Festival and settling into the new term in September  --  to say nothing of fund-raising and major church repairs.

More catching up

Monday 20th May 2013
Last year's picture of the River North Tyne at Bellingham (waiting for me to sort out the technology on the new programme to upload the current scene)

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Sunday 19th May 2013
The Giant's Causeway
Yes, we have been on holiday to Northern Ireland.  The first picture was looking out to sea from Glen Ariffe, "Queen of the Glens of Antrim", the second looking out to sea from Glenluce Castle and this one looking out sea...
     Now it's back to answering 127 e-mails and telling the families of toddlers the story of Jesus' Feeding of the Five thousand, which fits nicely with the end of Christian Aid Week and its house-to-house collecting in aid of communities struggling to get enough food.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Second clue

In case you couldn't recognise the location of yesterday's picture, here's another clue:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back on-line

Friday 17th May 2013

Does anyone recognise this scene?

It's not Northumberland.  We're back and the computer is back on-line but I cannot access my e-mails.  So if you're reading this and wondering why you haven't heard from me, perhaps you'd like to leave a message here as a comment!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spring in the Deanery

Tuesday 7th May 2013
Making sure that Molly has something to eat before  I go to
St Mungo's church, Simonburn to meet the Churchwardens for the Rural Dean's inspection and talk over issues affecting the parish.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bank Holiday Monday

Monday 6th May 2013
Whilst other people do ordinary "bank holiday" things,
the bridegroom waits for his wedding in St Cuthbert's Corsenside and the weather is fair  --  which means that there's enough light to see without elecricity in the small church on the hill in the middle of a farm.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wedding rehearsal between Sunday services

Sunday 5th May 2013
St Cuthbert's Corsenside

The birds are back

Saturday 4th May 2013
Riding over this farm I heard curlews and skylarks after the first cuckoo lower down the hill and later a peewit down in the valley.

Impossible to organise my days

Friday 3rd May 2013

I was expecting a quiet morning but there were two long phone calls, one from a parishioner who believes that the Church fails to communicate effectively with people, but who responded to my writing in a local magazine that there is much in life that we don't notice: "It's a reminder to take Easter seriously and sense what lies just beneath the surface of life, just over the horizon or just through the mist."

Friday, May 3, 2013

Families at School and Mothers' Union

Thursday 2nd May 2013
Ready for 10.20 assembly, I had time to admire the alphabet of local life on the hall wall at Bellingham First School.
(They had managed to find something suitable for each letter of the alphabet until they reached Z!)

     In the afternoon I went down to the southern end of the Deanery to talk to the Mothers' Union at Humshaugh about the Deanery pilgrimage to Canterbury.  Difficulties with projecting the photographs made me forget some of the significant things that I had intended to mention, but everyone has off days and they were very hospitable.
     A newly elected Churchwarden came to see me in the evening to talk over what we may helpfully do in her parish.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

St Philip and St James

Wednesday 1st May 2013
May Day in a parishioner's Spring garden ....but still no leaves on the trees.  The Feast Day of St Philip and St James ....but I didn't manage to attend the service, being trapped in my study sorting out the computer and then on the phone making arrangements for two funerals (which I cannot conduct myself), a service of prayer and dedication after a civil marriage and numerous other things before going off to Greenhaugh First School to take an assembly.  Back Bellingham and after Evening Prayer I met a couple for marriage preparation, a cheerful way to spend the early evening

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The last APCM

Tuesday 30th April 2013
Yesterday's formal duty was the Rural Dean's.  Today it was the Team Rector's.  We all have to remember which hat we're wearing when there are so few people to do everything.  The Secretary broke off her minute-taking to give her report as Churchwarden.  The Treasurer (her husband) presented the formal accounts, then the Electoral Roll Officer's report and the reports of the Parish Representative on the Team Council and the Deanery Synod.
     We do have a real life as well; but these proceedings are a legal requirement  --  and it's a relief to have completed the last of the six (one for each parish).  

Rural Dean's inspection

Monday 29th April 2013
St Giles, Birtley in late May last year
A triennial inspection of registers and other church records was due; but took less than an hour since there was nothing controversial and the capable Churchwardens have been looking after this church for years.