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: