Saturday, December 26, 2015

St Stephen's Day

Saturday 26th December 2015
Today's reading at Morning Prayer said that as St Stephen, the first Christian martyr, faced his accusers where he was brought before the  Council, "his face seemed to them like the face of an angel".
     I looked up and saw this depiction of confident serenity:

One of the people working on Christmas day!

Friday 25th December 2015
(The title means me not the teddy.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The respite didn't last long

Tuesday 22nd December 2015

Trusting that the electric fence will protect Molly from the River North Tyne flooding the bottom of the glebe paddock, I spent the day liaising with many different people (readers, musicians et al) over tomorrow's carol service.


Monday, December 21, 2015

A rare pause between storms

Monday 21st December 2015
     No physical rainstorms, storms of activity or other people's storming crises as the sun rises over the North Tyne at 8.40 a.m. after Morning Prayer in church.  I ate a rare uninterrupted bowl of muesli before the pace of the day increased.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas carols

Saturday 19th December 2015
     Today has been preparing for the Thorneyburn Carol Service at St Aidan's on Wednesday (23rd).  Yesterday was the Bellingham (ecumenical) Carol Service at the Methodist United Reformed Church.
Carols at the Calvert Trust, Kielder

Examining the knitted angels that have been distributed around the district to bring different messages of the Good News of God's love for all people.

     In between there have been Carol Services in schools  --  and held in the parish churches for West Woodburn First School, Bellingham First School and Bellingham Middle School, as well as a gathering for all these together with Otterburn First School, Kielder First School and Wark First School at which I enjoyed hearing their different songs and lit their Advent Candles for them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Molly's looking more like herself again

Tuesday 15th December 2015
A pity that my backing away from the horse made me shake the camera!  Anyway, there's a definite difference between now and October:
and riding along to exercise Molly, I met a parishioner running with her dog and was able to make some arrangements with her for next week's Christingle service.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Monday 14th December 2015

     Somehow the donkey got left out when I packed the figures for a visit to the pre-school.  The children had just decided that Mary would get to Bethlehem by going on a donkey; so I had to find one.  There he was in the stable scene.  So I perched Mary on that version of a donkey.  "She's riding the cow as well,"  they said.  "She's just practising in the shed before they go to Bethlehem"  --  and all was well.
     I hope that's not their lifelong picture of the Christmas story.  But it wouldn't really matter, given that St Luke and St Matthew have their own totally different versions!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Going to the source

10th December 2015
The river North Tyne at the bottom of the Rectory glebeland at Bellingham(picture taken in summer when I could get to the river's edge without the recent floods)

     At her inauguration service in two days' time our new bishop wishes to make use of water from the two sources of the River Tyne.  So I set off from Bellingham to drive the 43 miles return from here to the other end of my benefice where the river North Tyne rises.  Quite a quest!  [See page: Going to the Source]

Monday, December 7, 2015

Flooding near Bellingham

Monday 7th December 2015
Parkland not lakeland

St Nicholas' Day

Sunday 6th December 2015

Following the Winchester tradition of a boy bishop taking over the Bishop's duties on the feast day of St Nicholas, patron saint of children, we had a young parishioner leading the Family Service at St Cuthbert's Bellingham.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

No rugby at Tynedale

Saturday 5th December 2015
The Corbridge ground from the train on Sunday

Christmas Tree Festival

Wednesday 2nd December 2015

Ingenious Christmas Trees displayed by the schools

Messy church decorate their Christmas Tree

Tuesday 1st December 2015
Stars, bells and angels ready to go on the tree

Consecration in York

Monday 30th November 2015
A great and solemn celebration in York Minster as the new Bishop of Newcastle was consecrated