Tuesday, September 30, 2014

After the Harvest Supper

Saturday 27th September 2014
A lovely morning which started with feeding the horses and continued with Morning Prayer in church, followed by returning cooking pans to the provider of the shepherds' pie (who had catered for a hundred) and tea towels to the Town Hall and innumerable other post-event chores.  Owing to someone's indisposition, I had to arrange for a substitute to conduct one of tomorrow morning's church services and decided to fill in for Evensong at Elsdon myself.  Then it was a matter of preparing for tomorrow's Harvest Thanksgiving at Bellingham and for the baptism of a farmer's baby daughter at the service, as well as for the Parish Communion at Thorneyburn.  Not a very early night!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Harvest Supper

26th September 2014
Jack Famelton acknowledges applause for his playing of the Northumbrian pipes at the Harvest Supper in the Town Hall organised by the three Churches for the local community.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The first of the Harvest Festivals

21st September 2014
St Cuthbert's Corsenside
with some of the non-perishable gifts for the People's Kitchen in Newcastle

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Village Shows

Saturday 20th September 2014

Exhibits at the Leek and Flower Show on West Woodburn green

Presentation of prizes

Friday, September 19, 2014

Better Together

Friday 19th September 2014
After bed late and a quick morning check on the internet, I reported to my husband "It's Better Together". "What a relief!" he said, as I set out for Morning Prayer.
     My parishes are bordered by miles of forest stretching to Cumbria on one side and by Scotland where two of our schools go for swimming lessons and where various parishioners (in Kielder and Byrness, for instance) go for the doctor, the vet and their nearest facilities of all kinds  --  which are nearer to them than Bellingham where I live.  The rest of Northumberland lies to the south east of these parishes of North Tyne and Redesdale.  In private life, Edinburgh is the only city that we visit when we have time off  --  like many of our neighbours.

Monday, September 15, 2014

PCC meetings every evening

Thursday 11th September 2014
"I wonder if I can eat this":  Indie's reaction to most things

     For me it was the first three in the next round of PCC meetings.  (The statutory minimum for each parish is four a year plus the annual meeting.)       Tuesday was Elsdon; Wednesday Falstone with Greystead and Thorneyburn; Thursday Horsley with Byrness:  all variations on the theme of ministry (worship and pastoral care), repairs to buildings, planning for events in the community and the ever-present financial problems.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Is this really happening?

Tuesday 9th September 2014
St Cuthbert's Elsdon
where there was a farcical moment in the PCC meeting as it was agreed that we needed to move the lawnmower from its current storage position in order to allow room to get to the switch to turn on the organ.  "The mower really ought to go in the shed."  "Yes, you're right, but..."   There was a chorus of "The shed needs a floor"
     I had not long come from a hospital visit in my capacity as Rural Dean filling in for a parish priest going into retirement.    I made a phone call to ask if they had Tommy Nixon in hospital and was told he was on Ward 4.  There I was directed to an elderly man wearing an oxygen mask who had two visitors sitting by his bed.                                        
     I felt rather awkward as I didn't recognise him or them, but they looked pleased so I plunged on assuming that he was Tommy.  "Bill" said his family.  "Bill Nixon."      "Ah...but you're from Wark, aren't you."  "No, from Hexham" .......and the patient removed his mask to say "Thank you for coming, Father".  It doesn't matter to me if someone calls me "Father"; at least it shows a familiarity with the clergy.   So I simply asked how he was getting on and was glad to hear that he was improving.   I said a prayer and gave him a blessing and commented "Now I'd better go and find Tommy Nixon", to which he responded "Thank you, Father.  Good bye, Father."
[P.S. In case you've strayed onto this blog page, I should say that I'm a woman and was wearing a skirt.]

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WW1 Commemoration at Bellingham

Sunday 7th September 2014

Suddenly we're carried back a hundred years
outside St Cuthbert's church Bellingham

and horses arrive from local farms, requisitioned for War service.
See WW1 Commemoration page for more pictures

St Cuthbert's Festival Walk

Saturday 6th September 2014

Above Elsdon looking westward

[More pictures on Events page]

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wedding at Wark; assembly at School

Friday 5th September 2014
St Michael's Wark (from across the river earlier in the year)

The Middle School assembly was in preparation for Bellingham's centenary Commemoration of the start of the First World War.   We hope that some of the students will be able to take part this Sunday in the re-creation of three of W.P.Collier's photographs taken in Bellingham in 1914.

My private Harvest Thanksgiving

Thursday 4th September 2014
A few of the sixteen pounds of Victoria plums that I picked in a few minutes after today's funeral
This must have been the first time that I have ever been handed a teddy whilst saying the Prayer of Commendation over the coffin.   I held him as we prayed a farewell to great-grandma; but just as I started to pronounce the Blessing, Freddy said "Want him back now" and I came as near to laughing during a funeral blessing as I ever have.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Drawing breath

Monday 1st September 2014
Little Miss Independent
(who may have a name change because "Amazing Grace" is already registered with Weatherbys)
I have been working on rotas, finance, funeral preparations and planning for WW1 commemorations.