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.

St Cuthbert's Festival

Friday 1st September 2017
St Cuthbert's Festival weekend began with a talk and reflections "on St Cuthbert's Way" after walking from Melrose to Lindisfarne at the beginning of May

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Wednesday 30th August 2017
Purple loosestrife on the Rectory glebe where I found a beautiful big green frog with dark markings who looked just like the orchid leaves.  But it hopped under the foliage  before I could photograph it.
Then the honey bees flew off, leaving just one bumble bee in the centre of the picture:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Elsdon Fair

Monday 28th August 2017
Ice cream cones as a reward for a hard afternoon's barbecuing..

...and Zebedee comes home with second prize in the "Golden Oldies" class of the Dog Show

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Bellingham Show

Saturday 26th August 2017
They don't look real but they are!

Setting out entries in the "industrial tent" before the Show opens
The Church tent ready to welcome anyone looking for free rest and refreshment

Watching stick dressing   


serving homemade lemonade and elderflower cordial
A father entertains his twins with toys
Stunt horses in the main ring, demonstrating action...
...and resting between film takes!

Packing up our tent after serving 140 glasses of homemade elderflower or lemon drinks, and providing toys and straw bale seating for countless others

Friday, August 25, 2017

The church stand goes up

Friday 25th August 2017
Loading toys for bored children, straw bales for tired adults and drinking water for allcomers

Unpacking the Church tent

Up goes the structure...

...but it looks like a dull day ahead of the man holding up the tent.

Bellingham Show preparations

Thursday 24th August 2017
Eventually some jam to put into the Show was all potted at about 11.15 at night.  It had to be fitted in between other activities like conducting a Communion service and preparing a powerpoint presentation.  There might be time to tidy up the jars' appearance!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Falstone Show

Saturday 19th August 2017
The weather offered a welcome contrast to
last year:

The climbing wall was patronised by some very young climbers:

and everyone patronised the family firm for organic burgers:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Planning again

Thursday 17th August 2017
A fine view of the Cheviots on the horizon behind the heather as I drive over to Otterburn for a meeting.  Later, on my way up the North Tyne valley to Falstone for another meeting, it's less open country, still lovely.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time for a rest

Wednesday 16th August 2017
I'm having a day off  --  and it looks as if the bull is too!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rehearsed and impromptu!

Friday 10th August 2017
The font at St Aidan's Thorneyburn
     The rehearsal was more of a preparation for two children who had asked to be baptised.  So we went to the church to talk about what would happen on Sunday.
     When they left with their parents, four older people looked in as they were passing during a country drive.  We got into conversation and ended up singing hymns in the wonderful acoustic, finishing with a very nice tenor solo!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sorting sheep

Wednesday 9th August 2017

Why the concentration of sheep who could have spread themselves over a large area?
They are the ones who have just been released, leaving the selected ones in the pen:

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The weekend completed

Sunday 30th July 2017
Wedding flowers at St Cuthbert's Corsenside
All Sunday services for this parish  take place in this, the Summer Church, in August.
For me, Sunday was 9.30 at St Cuthbert's Bellingham followed by an 11 o'clock baptism in the Family Service at St Peter's Falstone, lunch with the congregation at Kielder, tea with The Friends of St Cuthbert's Bellingham and an evening of tidying up!