Friday, December 29, 2017

Seasonal scenes

Friday 29th December 2017
Molly at home whilst I go off on foot to arrange a funeral

The snow decorates our tree more effectively than the lights do, as I set off for a birthday party at Tarset Village Hall.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Boxing Day

Tuesday 26th December 2017
Santa Claus comes to the Boxing Day meet

Christmas Day

Monday 25th December 2017

Just what I wanted!

Meanwhile, packed houses for Christingle Service at Bellingham, Midnight Mass, Family Eucharist and the Parish Communion at Thorneyburn.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Before the Carol Service

Saturday 23rd December 2017

Delivery day!

Saturday 23rd December 2017

So far the deliveries received at the Rectory have been firewood,  a Christmas tree, a load of vegetables and photographs of the school procession led by Mary, Joseph and the donkey on the way to church.   I have collected and delivered 80 oranges for the making of Christingles and am now expecting bales of hay.  Next I'll deliver readings for tomorrow's  Christingle Service and then go off to Thorneyburn for St Aidan's Carol Service.

Friday, December 22, 2017

End-of-term Carol Services

Friday 22nd December 2017
Mary and Joseph and the donkey lead the way back to school after the carol service in church.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Winter dawn

Saturday 16th December 2017

The rising sun reflected in the River North Tyne    

 For me it was a day of preparation for four services tomorrow, as well as delivering my share of cards around the parish publicising Christmas services.

A day of school

Thursday 15th December 2017
...making the surface lethal

Shut in because of ice...

I went off to take a school assembly, share in a school Christmas lunch, attend a school dress rehearsal for the nativity play, and visit a school staff meeting

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Reading in bed

Wednesday 13th December 2017
It's supposed to be my day off, but there's too much to do as we move towards  Christmas and the end of term activities  in all the schools.  No special outing for the dog who has decided to take the newspaper to bed with him. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Frozen waterfall

Monday 11th December 2017
The temperature has risen from minus 10 to minus 3
but Skittering Linn is still frozen.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter on the way

Friday 8th December 2017
The temperature drops sharply as the sun sinks behind the fell just after 3 o'clock

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Tree Festival

Thursday 7th December 2017
My day was as varied as the decorated trees   --    with a Communion service, a re-arrangement of a wedding, a potential candidate for Confirmation, a request from the local paper for an article, a meeting of the Team Council...and visits to the Christmas Tree Festival.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Feast Day of St Nicholas

Wednesday 6th December 2017

The Christmas Tree Festival in St Cuthbert's Bellingham began on St Nicholas' day.  Hence the theme of the Church's Prayer Tree:

Many visitors have been adding their prayers (written on "bags of gold"):
Sunday 10th December 2017
More prayers on the Prayer Tree by the time of the service to end the Bellingham Christmas Tree Festival  (which was squeezed into a busy afternoon between Messy Church at Falstone and Advent Parish Worship at Thorneyburn)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

At Peace

Thursday 9th November 2017
A peaceful place for a burial (at Newbrough) which was followed by a funeral (at Bellingham).  The morning had been a school assembly on Peace and Remembrance; the evening was a charity trustees' meeting to award grants to students from Corsenside.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

All Souls' Day

Thursday 2nd November 2017
After an All Souls' Day Communion service with the lighting of candles in memory of the departed,
on the way to a funeral visit...
...the view illustrated what the mourner said: "There is so much joy to be had in life."

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Days off this month

October 2017
A walk in the Cheviots to Yeavering Bell

and a ride in Kielder Forest:

More Harvest Thanksgivings

Friday 13th October 2017
Decorations symbolically include traditional fresh produce, but in the current state of affairs most gifts are non-perishable donations for the Food Bank.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The first woman at the baptism

Sunday 8th October 2017
In the sun outside the church door before the baptism  the baby's mother handed me this pretty packet, saying "I think this must be for you".  I was delighted to be the first woman that she saw on arrival at the church  --  which meant that according to local custom I received the little bag containing sugar, cake and coin!  (I forgot to ask what exactly they each represent.)  The baby slept peacefully throughout the service (including through four hymns), only murmuring approvingly at all the most holy moments.  He clearly matches his patron saint, Aidan.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

After the Harvest Thanksgiving

Monday 25th September 2017
We hope that after the Harvest Thanksgiving service the church still looks attractive and that everyone feels welcome:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Not just a haven

Thursday 21st - Friday 22nd September 2017
On the strings hanging from the gazebo pupils could hang their "big questions".
 For these older children there were also reflections on people in need, especially hungry or homeless.  The cardboard box was supposed to be big enough for one child to crawl into.  I overheard these boys say it would be warmer and less lonely if two people shared the shelter.

Moving the Reflection space

Wednesday 20th September 2017
A helper preparing the Time for Reflection (as it moves to the Middle School) is caught in the mirror as she sets out the "Fizzy Forgiveness" materials.  Around the mirror are encouraging cards which tell a child looking in the mirror "You are special", "You can do it", "You belong", "God loves you"...

The children were amazed to find a normal classroom so transformed  --  and being allowed to rest in the "holy"  (that is, set apart) corner was a very popular non-activity.

Time for Reflection

Monday 18th - Tuesday 19th September 2017
The First School children were invited to spend time making models of things that made them happy for which they were grateful.  They could also stick autumn leaves onto paper and draw other beautiful things.
With help they could do up zips to bring together friends who had fallen out with each other or put fizzy tablets into water and forgive whoever had hurt them as they watched the tablets/hurt dissolving away.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Parish visiting

Wednesday 20th September 2017
    Amongst other calls, I made one to the vet in Bellingham to ask for advice about the dog  --  who then was booked in for an important appointment.  [Picture from Orchard House Facebook page]
Image may contain: 1 person, sky, horse and outdoor

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Interval between the rain

Wednesday 13th September 2017
Near Hallington at the southern end of the deanery

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Home again

Saturday 9th September 2017
Molly surveys Bellingham after her summer holiday

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Term begins

Tuesday 5th September 2017
The great Cattle Take-over

Wherever I drove, the cattle ruled the road.  Still, I managed to visit three schools to ask what help the Church could provide this term; and I also attended a meeting about developments at St Cuthbert's Elsdon.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Our local St Cuthbert's Trail

Saturday 2nd September 2017
We walked our local St Cuthbert's Trail from St Cuthbert's Elsdon (where we had breakfast) to St Cuthbert's Corsenside (lunch) and now (looking down to the valley of the River Rede) on to Bellingham for prayers at St Cuthbert's Well  and in St Cuthbert's church before tea.