Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Old Year's Night

31st December 2014
Looking towards the horizon and hoping that next year will be easier than 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Indoor tranqillity

Tuesday 30th December 2014
Most of my photographs are of the countryside in which I feel so at home; but this is the scene in church at the moment (throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas) where I enjoy the stillness as I start the working day with prayer. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday and more Church!

Sunday 28th December 2014
The snow has almost melted when we come out of Elsdon church at midday after the baptism service.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day

Friday 26th December 2014
A band of mist lingers along the valley of the River North Tyne

A traditional Boxing Day meet...
...attended as usual by Father Christmas!

Christmas Day

Thursday 25th December 2014
The chainsaw sculptures of Mary, Joseph and (in the crib) Jesus arrived just in time for Christmas with the help of some strong volunteers.  (In the last few years I have dragged helpers out of the shops to manhandle the figures out of my horsebox  --  including members of the Border Hunt, policemen, local bar staff, followers of the North Tyne Hunt and various other assorted farmers and their families.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Wednesday 24th December 2014
A few of the hundred people who gathered for carols round the Christmas Tree on the Millennium Green at Otterburn....eating mince pies afterwards under the crescent  moon.

Meanwhile, at St Cuthbert's Bellingham the Christingles await the evening congregation of another hundred or so worshippers who packed the church.
     After that service I had two or three hours at the rectory to complete preparations for Midnight Mass, which was attended by about thirty people.  Other services were conducted by my colleagues  at Woodburn, Falstone and Elsdon, not to mention at the Roman Catholic and Methodist/United Reformed churches  --  and Christmas Day is yet to come.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Unusual Christmas presents

Monday 22nd December 2014
Freddy gave me a homemade glitter "snowstorm" with a church inside.

An anonymous donor produced a present for Molly... replace the tail that Indie had chewed off her mother!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Starting young

Sunday 21st December 2014
S.T.A.R.S (Sunday Toddlers And RelativeS) tell the Christmas story, showing the shepherds visiting the baby Jesus in a manger outside the inn at Bethlehem.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Carol Service

Friday 19th December 2014
This year it was the turn of the Romans Catholics to host the Bellingham Village Carol Service.   The picture shows a representation of the Nativity outside St Oswald's Church in a specially built stable scene.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nativity in Otterburn

Wednesday 17th December 2014

The week of school Christmas Nativity plays

Tuesday 16th December 2014

Before the dress rehearsal of "The Midwife Crisis". 
 The Midwife is late getting to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus; but when she gets there she realises that HE doesn't need her as much as she needs HIM.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Tree Festival in St Cuthbert's Bellingham

Monday 8th December 2014

The Advent Ring of candles
shares the chancel with Christmas trees from some of the schools.

Wonderful tailor-made STARS to represent the community:

The pharmacy star

The newsagent's star

Happy Valley Chinese takeaway



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Otterburn pre-Christmas Fair

Saturday 6th December 2014
Announcing the prize winners  --  but it looks more like people in a waiting room.  Perhaps that's appropriate for Advent when many of our neighbours are impatiently looking forward to Christmas... and church-going Christians remember that we not only celebrate the first coming of Jesus amongst us as a historical person but also prepare for the Second Coming when we meet Christ in a different way (which we cannot yet understand).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Proper December

2nd December 2014
On the way to Wark

Midday mist over the North Tyne near Bellingham

 I have been driving around delivering Advent calendars to a couple of dozen families and enjoying the views.