Sunday, April 26, 2015

Good Shepherd Sunday

Sunday 26th April 2015
The Bible reading in this morning's service was about Jesus as "the Good Shepherd".  After lunch I drove off for a discussion about school governors and passed Andrew coming down off the hill where he and his dog had been checking the sheep.  how appropriate  --  and genuine.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Thursday 16th April 2015

Molly relaxing in the glebe paddock
(I celebrated Holy Communion, had a Standing Committee meeting about church lighting and got together with my fellow pilgrimage planners to review the last week.)

Back to "normal" life

Wednesday 15th April 2015
The pilgrims have gone, leaving a little sign of a bright week. and I return to parish visiting, taking Holy Communion to the housebound, filling in the record of weddings for the registrar, liaising with funeral directors and other familiar activities

The pilgrimage ends

Tuesday 14th April 2015

Morning Prayer at St Cuthbert's Elsdon with the youngest pilgrim kneeling beside the vicar

Nearing the end of the pilgrimage

Monday 13th April 2015
We gathered for a day on rural ministry under the award-winning west window of St Christopher's church at Gunnerton with its Christian colour symbolism:  the royal divine purple at the centre of life connecting with the red of Christ's blood, the blue of baptismal waters, white for purity, green for growth in the spiritual life and the gold of heaven (fulfilment in unity with divine love)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

BBC filming

Friday 10th April 2015
Molly and I deserted the pilgrims to film for BBC Songs of Praise
to be broadcast this Sunday (19th April) at 2.25 p.m.
[photograph by Mary White]

Friday, April 10, 2015

Space and freedom

Thursday 9th April 2015
The pilgrims spent the morning walking from the fell down to the North Tyne valley to a background sound of skylarks and one curlew.  We were conscious that the basic lie of the land won't have changed in the thirteen hundred years since St Cuthbert was in this area.  Could he have travelled this very same way?

As we came down off the fell, we spotted the other group, who had walked the less wild route,  a field and a half ahead of us...
...and were welcomed to eat our picnic together back in civilisation.
[More pictures soon on Events page]


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The pilgrims arrive

Tuesday 7th April 2015
The youngest pilgrim has his tea early while waiting for the others to arrive from Cuddesdon in Oxfordshire.

BBC visit

Monday 6th April 2015
We've done more than one recce for hosting the Expanding Horizons pilgrimage and another recce for our coming deanery pilgrimage to Iona.  Now BBC Songs of Praise does a recce with me for the impending programme with a theme marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Pennine Way.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Sunday 5th April 2015
The Rectory glebe flowers at Easter
[See Thought for the Day page]

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Messy Church makes the Easter Garden

Saturday 4th March 2015

After lighting a candle, saying a prayer and singing a hymn, the Messy Church families hear the story of the last week of Jesus' life on earth  --  from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday through the horror of his death by crucifixion on Good Friday and the lonely sorrow of his disciples to the new hope and sunny joy of Easter Day as Mary Magdalen witnesses him alive after the Resurrection.
     We keep the picture of colourful new life nearby to help us design the Easter Garden:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Living through Good Friday

Friday 3rd April 2015
What has happened to the Rectory gateway and wall?

It can be a profound and testing experience to spend Good Friday mulling over the death of Jesus, his self-sacrificing life and the cruelty that human beings can show.
     This year the testing experience was less profound but more surreal.
     I rode Molly out of the driveway just as a fire engine came past with blue lights flashing.  We made a quick escape to the left before the sirens started.  After an hour's exercise we came over the bridge towards Bellingham only to find police turning traffic away.  Cars were doing three-point turns and a large delivery vehicle was stationary with the driver in conversation with the police.
     Hoping that the manoeuvring cars would let us through, I overtook the HGV, only to be stopped by the police:
" The road's closed."
Me: "But I live there."
PC: "You can't go through."
Me [pointing] "But that's my house."
PC: "I know where you live.  The tarmac's exploding."
Me: "Is my husband all right?"
PC: "I don't know.  Is he in the house?"
Me: "I don't know."
After a bit more of this, and a bit of riding to and fro to avoid turning cars and resume the dispute, I insisted that my house was this side of the second "Road closed" sign and before the parked fire engine.
     A brisk trot took me to my gateway  --  which turned out to be a pile of rubble.
     Meanwhile, my husband, who was all right, had answered the door to a stranger and seen the police cars, hoping rather hard that there hadn't been a riding accident.  No, just a car and caravan turning round in the entrance to our drive.
     All this was caused by some electrical fault underground in connection with the recently buried broadband cabling.  We thought rural life was inconvenienced by the lack of high speed broadband.  But the lack of a through road for any traffic including pedestrians and horses) was even more of an inconvenience.
     I only just made it to church for the Good Friday devotions with a few seconds to spare.