Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter rain

Wednesday 21st December 2016
"Every cloud has a silver lining"  --  and here a hint of gold.  This was after Molly and I had got soaked in a wet headwind on the fell.  She was tied up in a farm stable whilst I went in to visit someone home from hospital.

The first big village Carol Sevice

Tuesday 20th December 2016
 Transporting hay for animal feed
The work goes on and I talk about various concerns with different people as I go around the parishes before the evening's Carol Service at St Cuthbert's Bellingham.

Friday, December 16, 2016

End of term

Friday 16th December 2016
A glimpse of the sun rising above Bellingham as I walk back to the Rectory after Morning prayer and collecting the newspapers. 
      The First School ended their term with a Carol Service in St Cuthbert's, a congregation of about a hundred including those parents who could fit church in between work.
The school contribution to the Christmas Tree Festival with the angels above and the snowmen below cleverly represents the relationship between heavenly and earthly as Jesus came to share our human life.

To the furthest reaches of the parishes

Thursday 15th December 2016
To the north-western extremity of my parishes, about twenty miles up the valley  for a burial of ashes in the mists of Kielder churchyard (behind the yew trees).
     The morning had been in Bellingham with a Communion service and then the Middle School Carol Service for 130 children and ten adults.  Some excellent reading and singing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Tree Festival

Wednesday 14th December 2016
In the foreground is the church's Prayer Tree with the reminder that "Love came down at Christmas" and people's prayer messages about what is on their hearts and their resolution to let God purify their hearts.
     Then a great variety of other imaginative decorations:

The Post Office/newsagent with stamps and crayons...
the W.I. with knitted Christmas puddings and threaded button baubles...and the Scottish accountant in his fir-tree kilt, calculator to hand and financial tips at foot.

The Cheviot Hotel's Christmas tree is made of corks.
Behind is the North Tyne Flower Club

Bellingham in Bloom celebrating a gold award

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Visit from the police

Saturday 10th December 2016
Outside the gate on my way to Morning Prayer I found a bank card on the ground.  My return to the Rectory was delayed by an impossibly difficult noticeboard which wouldn't open.  I had to keep trying so that I could remove the out-of-date notice of church services and display the new one about tomorrow's Family Service during the Christmas Tree Festival.  [See Events page.]
     Back home, I rang the nearest hotel to ask if the owner of the bank card was staying there.   No, said the manager, but our local policeman had called last night asking the same question.  The gentleman had been drinking rather a lot and needed the policeman's guidance to find the way to where he was staying.
     I rang the police on 101 for a non-emergency matter.  They tracked down our local policeman who came and collected the bank card and drove off to give it to its owner who was due to leave Northumberland today to return home.
     Where else could something like this have been sorted out by 9.15 in the morning?

Tidied up

Friday 9th December 2016
 Yes, you were right!
And poor Molly went out looking as though she had taken her trousers off but kept her vest and scarf on:
At least she should now avoid catching a chill in the unseasonably mild weather, whilst I'm off having lunch with the others in the North Tyne and Redesdale Team, visiting school, arranging Christmas Tree for church etc etc!   [See Events page for details of Bellingham Christmas Tree Festival.]

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Puzzle picture

Wednesday 7th December 2016
What is it?
I had to break off from this task to go to school where the six schools of the "mini partnership" gathered for a pre-Christmas day of activities.  My part was to prepare them for Christmas itself by explaining and lighting the Advent ring.

The evergreen foliage represent eternal life.  On each of the four Sundays of Advent we light one more red candle, remembering the light, hope, joy and peace of God.  The white candle will be lit on Christmas day for the light of Christ, the divine entering into human life and showing God's love for all people everywhere.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mist and music

Monday 5th December 2016

On the way to Horsley up the Rede valley before a concert from First School pupils in connection with the refurbished organ:
Back through the misty frost:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Late apples

Wednesday 30th November 2016
Yesterday's last picking of apples (Red Falstaff) in the frost

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Advent to Christmas

Tuesday 29th November 2016
After feeding the dog and the horse and saying Morning Prayer in church, I was back in time to turn the horse out in the paddock (above) before churchwardens came for  preliminary planning of Thorneyburn's Carol Service.  Then off to Bellingham First School for an Advent assembly and back to the Rectory in time for a meeting with the Deanery Development Officer.  Quick horse exercise at lunch time 40 minutes), delivery of some Advent calendars to families who have had children  baptised this year, Evening Prayer in church; and the evening at Corsenside PCC.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Births and deaths

Monday 28th November 2016
It's been a week of travelling around in connection with funerals and baptisms.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Where is my marriage certificate?

Thursday 24th November 2016
Spider's web on a frosty morning
I couldn't find my marriage certificate until I asked my husband who had filed it away years ago!  I needed it for formal identification at a school where, as a governor, I had to have a DBS check for safeguarding purposes.  Nor did I know my National Insurance number, but I was able to ring the Church authorities from the school office to ask what it was.  This took up the time between this morning's celebration of Holy Communion and a bereavement visit.  Next appointment: a possible candidate for Confirmation, coming for a conversation about the Christian faith.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mourners in the mud

Tuesday 22nd  November 2016
After the funeral I went to ask the farmer to bring a tractor to tow a car out of the mud.  It was a good service in St Cuthbert's  at Corsenside which has no electric power supply, so  no lighting, heating or organ.  The church was lit by candles and we sang  four hymns accompanied on a trumpet, as we thanked God for a life which we now entrusted to God's eternal care  --  and then went away to get warm!

Winter sets in?

Monday 21st November 2016
Walking to church for Morning Prayer in the frost was the calmest part of the day.
After that, it was rushing from one meeting to another all day ranging from planning a Middle School Carol Service to sharing ideas on a heritage exhibition for 2018.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is launched at Leaplish beside Kielder Water with the arrival of Santa Claus in a sleigh pulled by reindeer...

... and the making of Christingles representing the Light of Christ illuminating the darkness of the world:



Friday, November 18, 2016

Seasons changing

Friday 18th November 2016
The frost has come, the leaves are gone, and we're moving forward from autumn into winter.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Remembrance Sunday

Sunday 13th November 2016
Almost too good to eat: the poppy-decorated cake served after Messy Church in Falstone where the children had done Remembrance themed crafts and shared in making a frieze representing Jesus the Good Shepherd of Psalm 23

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...thou art with me..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Down the valley

Tuesday 7th November 2016
Down the valley to Hexham for an evening session of school governor training

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Waiting for a friend

Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Molly and I met a friend on my day off for a short outing together on a bright autumn morning.  Returned to the Rectory for all the things that are saved for a day off, like gathering windfall apples before the last grass mowing of the year.  Didn't get as far as making the apple jelly.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

All Saints' Sunday

Sunday 30th October 2016
Rector and Server after the Eucharist at St Peter's Falstone

We all enjoyed the morning's celebration and felt encouraged by the example of the saints, not only official ones like St Thomas (honest), St Peter (spontaneous), St George (fighting evil) and St Teresa of Avila (spiritual guide), but also good people down the ages like Sir Nicholas Winton who arranged the Kindertransport for children to escape from Nazi occupation in 1939.  We prayed for Syrian and other refugees today.

Monday, October 24, 2016

In hospital abroad

Monday 24th October 2016
Here is a reminder of the October sun shining in this corner of Northumberland for any parishioners in hospital.

The baptism

Sunday 23rd October 2016
Following the baptism practice for the two year old on Friday, we had the actual baptism in the Sunday service for him and his baby brother at St Aidan's Thorneyburn.

Parents and Godparents

Friday, October 21, 2016

Different preparations

Friday 21st October 2016
On the way from showing a two-year-old Thorneyburn church in preparation for his baptism ... to a visit about school governors ... and then on to collect Traidcraft material for the church stall selling fairly-traded goods.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A good morning

Thursday 20th October 2016

After Holy Communion in St Cuthbert's and a cup of coffee in the cafĂ©, it took me an hour to walk about 400 yards home because I was delayed by chatting with so many people.   Time well spent!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What a variety!

Sunday 16th October 2016
Messy Church harvest in the afternoon after two morning services which were (1) a Book of Common Prayer (1662) Sung Eucharist with sermon in Bellingham and (2) a Rededication Thanksgiving service for All Saints' church Woodburn after the restoration of its roof  (and a different sermon).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A bumper crop

Saturday 15th October 2016
It's not a very big tree (Red Falstaff) and it's weighed down with fruit this year. 

So is the Scotch dumpling
and the James Grieve
Even the Cox and the pear for the first time since we planted them

It's very exciting
   How are we going to use all this fruit without wasting it?  Everybody else has plenty this year.
That's the kind of problem which faces farmers when there's a glut and the prices fall.  But rarity value puts prices up when they haven't got the produce to sell.
     I'm glad we sent our incidental profit after the Harvest Supper to Farm Community Network.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cheerful parish visiting

Monday 10th October 2016
You never know what you'll find your parishioners doing... but the baptism is all arranged.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Enjoying the morning sun

Sunday 2nd October 2016
After a frosty night, being turned out in the sunny paddock was too enjoyable for Molly to bother turning to face me  --  but notice her ear cocked back towards me:

Friday, September 30, 2016

Harvest Thanksgiving

Friday 30th September 2016
An exciting few minutes outside gathering fresh fruit and feeling ready to celebrate with a Harvest Thanksgiving service.  (The next one will be 9.30 at St Cuthbert's Bellingham this Sunday.  A week later comes the Soup Swap evening service at St Aidan's Thorneyburn!)

Falstone Harvest celebration

Sunday 25th September 2016

Falstone celebrated Harvest with hymns, prayers and a shared lunch in the village hall, where parishioners brought non-perishable contributions to donate to the Food Bank.