Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Hallow e'en"?

Thursday 31st October 2013
Where could this be?

Not everyone knows that "Hallow e'en" is a short form of "All Hallows Even", in other words the evening before All Hallows Day (or the Eve of All Saints Day).  [hallow...holy...halo...]  So we're getting ready for the coming celebrations when we give thanks for all the saints.
     The harvest pumpkin which ended up in  Thorneyburn was carved to give a reminder in St Aidan's church that 31st October should be a preparation for rejoicing at the people who light up our lives and lead us to God:

"All is safely gathered in"

Sunday 27th October 2013
Members of the congregation after the Harvest Thanksgiving

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday preparations

Saturday 26th October 2013
Sweet-natured, convalescent Molly with her autumn halo

It's a day of preparations for a baptism and for the final church Harvest Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Between the rain

Friday 25th October 2013

An autumn picture for Laura in hospital missing the fells

Zooming in on the Lone Pine on the horizon
I think I'm right that the farmer's wife had a small pine seedling ready to plant in her garden when she discovered that her husband had taken it to replace the previous Lone Pine.  His explanation was that it was important to maintain the traditional landmark.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The last school harvest celebrations

Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th October 2013
Off to talk about Harvest with the North Tynies.
The last school harvest celebrations of the season were in St John's Church for Otterburn First School and in Bellingham First School.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Good weather for frogs

Monday 21st October 2013
As I open the gate into the glebe, a lovely shiny frog plops down  a step away from me and sits enjoying the drizzle.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Harvest at Otterburn

Sunday 20th October 2013
"Potato People" made by the St John's Otters and offered at the altar in thanksgiving for our gifts (including the harvest gifts of fruit and vegetables and our own God-given gifts such as the children's artistic and creative gifts)
[Photograph by John Crichton]

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Saturday 19th October 2013
Trees outside Otterburn which always fascinate me.
[See "Thought for the day" page]

Monday, October 14, 2013

A school Harvest celebration

Monday 14th October 2013
Before the service

After the service

Harvest services

Sunday 13th October 2013
The peripatetic pumpkin has reached St Aidan's Thorneyburn!
After Elsdon's Harvest Thanksgiving Eucharist in the morning, Thorneyburn had an informal evening Harvest service rounded off with the now traditional "soup swap" in which everyone enjoyed the soups that other people had brought to the service.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday 12th October 2013
The last flourish of summer
Various callers including Churchwardens bringing offers of assistance and a parishioner showing us an album recording the first year of the Bellingham Community Orchard.  Otherwise the customary steady preparations for tomorrow's services.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Seeds of autumn

Friday 11th October 2013
St Aidan's Club went on an after-school walk to gather wildflower seeds suitable for scattering in a meadow.  I was kept fully occupied guiding my little group towards the most appropriate seeds (avoiding docks and thistles) and keeping an eye open for approaching traffic whilst being told how to translate words by a young Polish boy.  It was quite restful to return to the school building to tell Jesus' parable of the sower whilst the children ate oaty flapjacks to complete the session with its harvest theme.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Friends' Quiz

Thursday 10th October 2013
My raffle prize from the quiz and supper organised at the Cheviot by the Friends of St Cuthbert's Bellingham in aid of the building repairs.  (To join the Friends, leave your contact as a comment!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A reunion

Tuesday 8th October 2013
A warm autumn morning when the light catching the silver birch made me wonder how much it had grown since we came here seven years ago.
After turning Molly out and saying Morning Prayer in church, I went off for a three-hour meeting of Rural Deans with the Archdeacon.  Home to sorting out various things before Evening Prayer,  stable duties and then going out to supper with a friend visiting from Sussex whom I hadn't seen since the days of Trilby (Molly's predecessor but three).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vacancy for a Team Vicar in North Tyne and Redesdale

Thursday 3rd October 2013
Otterburn Vicarage
If you are interested in coming to minister in this wonderful part of rural West Northumberland, see

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A remarkable mixture

Tuesday 1st October 2013
Molly recovering after surgery on her foot
After leaving her at the equine clinic, I took the horsebox to Hexham for its MOT.  Whilst that was being done, I walked up into town to visit the exhibition of embroidery inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels  --  and ended up buying a small work of art.  Down at the testing station again, I collected the smug horsebox and met some parishioners over lunch at the livestock mart.  One phonecall to the vets resulted in no news and the second in the information that Molly was in the course of being treated.  The day ended with great relief at having her safely home.