Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Bellingham Show

31st August 2013
A view from the Church stand
[For more pictures see Events page]

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Falstone Show

Saturday 24th August 2013
After yesterday's funeral of a popular farmer at Bellingham where the congregation of three hundred overflowed into the road, we were all glad to see each other in the lively setting of Falstone Border Shepherds' Show.  [More pictures on Events page]

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Planning again

Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd August 2013
Flowers spring up on the drained glebeland
but I'd like to know what they are!

      Meanwhile, my colleague and I meet to discuss plans for harvest, Christmas and all kinds of things in between. 
     There are e-mails about parish magazines, service timetables and a funeral;  phone calls about school transport, candle orders and baptisms; letters about gravestones, PCC minutes and tree surgery; callers to discuss wedding preparation and horse feeding. 
     I make a few visits in the parishes and attend the Thursday morning Communion service reinstated in the re-opened church.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Parish visiting

Monday 19th August 2013
Molly enjoys her personal lawn
I went by car to arrange a funeral.

Return to St Cuthbert's

Sunday 18th August 2013
The title refers to the first service back in St Cuthbert's Bellingham after the roof repairs; but overall I had four services in three different churches which all had St Cuthbert as their patron saint.   
     At 9.30 Parish Communion at Bellingham was the 1662 Book of Common Prayer service, the same service they celebrated there hundreds of years ago when the church was rebuilt after the Border reivers had burnt it down.
     At 11 o'clock we had a simple modern version of the Family Communion at St Cuthbert's Corsenside.
     At 3 o'clock it was STARS for the under-5's at Bellingham; and at 5.15 we had a burial of ashes at St Cuthbert's Elsdon.

A Question of Framing

Saturday 17th August 2013
Ingrid Pollard introduces her end-of-residency exhibition
in the studio at High Green

Visitors are fascinated by the photographs and the concept of framing: what do we include within the frame  --  visually and in our lives?  Who comes inside our frame?  What do we see when we look in as outsiders?  And what are the views looking out from our windows?  Only the dog fails to appreciate this art:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Flying the nest

Friday 16th August 2013
Whilst the swallows summon their courage to fly out of my stable, I'm off to bless the marriage at Holy Trinity Horsley:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Escape from the Rectory

Thursday 15th August 2013

A view of Cheviot in the distance on the way to Rochester where there was a rehearsal for tomorrow's service and where I met the Confirmation candidates for some study of St Mark's Gospel.

Increasing chaos at the Rectory

Wednesday 14th August 2013
This is my study full of things that belong in church.
We're due back inside St Cuthbert's Bellingham tomorrow for the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but the internal plaster removal has taken longer than expected and things which had been scattered around the Rectory were in the way in the other rooms.  So here are the box of Communion books, the flag, the various church hangings, the fair trade goods ready for Sunday, the framed list of incumbents, the altar cloth..... 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Beautiful sky delays my drive home

Tuesday 13th August 2013
On the way home from Otterburn
after a meeting with Parish Councillors about land adjacent to the churchyard

Is this work?

Monday 12th August 2013
On the way to Otterburn.
They came to look at me; so I took a picture of them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Three perfect children!

Sunday 11th August 2013
At this morning's Parish Communion at St Cuthbert's Corsenside we had the baptism of two children, with calm and happy behaviour from three-year-old Robson and from Jacob aged nearly six months.

And at Thorneyburn in the afternoon, it was Olivia's turn to be the picture of composure a month after her first birthday. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday means preparations for Sunday

Saturday 10th August 2013
A noisy twittering from the stable rafters...

...turns out to be a nest of swallows

Marriage, baptisms, pilgrimage...

Friday 9th August 2013
The two sheep have just jumped back over the wall from the A68 and the fast main road to Scotland looks remarkably quiet for a moment.  I had come to Corsenside to make some preparations for Sunday's baptism; went on to Thorneyburn to do the same there.
     This was after a meeting with a recently engaged couple, a vist from a Churchwarden about a bank mandate, the delivery of some Traidcraft (fairly traded) goods to sell after church services and fielding various phone calls.
     In the afternoon four of us met to begin planning our proposed hosting of a pilgrimage to Bellingham Deanery.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Age and youth

Thursday 8th August 2013
A variety of objects to stimulate a conversation about prayer with the young people preparing for Confirmation.  That was the afternoon's activity after my return from a funeral at the crematorium and a service of Thanksgiving at St Oswald's.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A day away for the Deanery Clergy

Wednesday 7th August 2013
A path at Shepherds Dene Retreat House where the clergy of Bellingham Deanery spent a day together, taking it in turns to lead whatever activity each of us chose.  [More to come]

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Tuesday 6th July 2013
No celebration of the Feast of the Transfiguration
in St Cuthbert's church Bellingham
In preparation for Thursday's funeral we realised that we need extra hymn books.  And where were they stored after their removal from St Cuthbert's?  The solution was to borrow from Corsenside.  After a (part fund-raising, part social) tea party in Otterburn, we went up through the farm to St Cuthbert's Corsenside and found that only a few books had been brought up to the "summer church" from Woodburn.  So we travelled down to All Saints to say Evening Prayer there, collect the rest of the books and spend the evening with a Churchwarden at Woodburn. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

St Oswald's day

Monday 5th August 2013

I attended a funeral at Byrness on a day of steady rain.  This is a reminder of the possible tranquillity following the storminess of emotions around death, funeral and burial.

     Yesterday we marked St Oswald's Day since we were holding our morning service in St Oswald's Roman Catholic church.  The set reading included Jesus's teaching against greed. So it seemed relevant to mention St Oswald's generosity and to tell the story of his giving to the poor his rich food with its silver dish.
     In the evening a couple came to begin to prepare for marriage.
This afternoon I have been working out the September service rota, which means a great deal of consultation. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

St Oswald's Pilgrimage & Redefest

Saturday 3rd August 2013

Fields above Acomb
Went down to Hexham to join the annual St Oswald's Pilgrimage via St John Lee to St Oswald's Church, Heavenfield.  Enjoyed good walking weather (clear and warm with a cooling breeze),  congenial companions and no responsibility!  [For more pictures, see Events page.]
     After returning up the North Tyne valley, I went over to the Rede valley to call in on Redefest taking place in good weather this year.  Then back to Bellingham to prepare for Sunday.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Catching up again

Thursday 1st August 2013
A slightly unexpected place to come across a load of timber
but probably the driver leads a life as unpredictable as mine.
      One series of phone calls related to a couple planning their baby's baptism (christening) and finding it difficult to fix a date when the wife who is a nurse is free at the same time as her husband who is a waggon driver.