Sunday, April 30, 2017

Varied services

Sunday 30th April 2017

The bishop and musicians in the organ gallery at Holy Trinity Church, Horsley
The morning's services were a traditional Sung Eucharist from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer with grown-up sermon at Bellingham followed by a Family Eucharist at Falstone with plenty of active participation from children reading, leading prayers and acting out part of the Gospel story (whilst my address was less formal and illustrated).  In the afternoon I acted as Bishop's chaplain for the service celebrating the blessing of the restored organ at Horsley in Redesdale

Friday, April 28, 2017


Friday 28th April 2017

An imaginative depiction of Jesus's Resurrection suggests the different reactions of  the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb.  The one on the right, with closed eyes and spear in hand, misses the action.  The one in the middle peeps out from behind his shield, trying not to be noticed as he watches the Risen Christ standing above the sepulchre.  The one on the left watches openly, his shield lowered as he honestly faces the truth and witnesses the Risen Christ.  It's a good reminder of how we all vary in our response to the Gospel story and to the presence of the divine in our lives.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Term begins

Monday 24th April 2017
The promised photographs of the "Palm Sunday" procession following the donkey to "Jerusalem" (St Cuthbert's Church)


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tiny tragedies

Saturday 22nd April 2017
This is the track of the tiny tragedies, where the drying wind has reduced the large puddles to silt and the last tadpoles left alive remain wriggling in the mud...
but a little further on, the lambs benefit from dry weather in their first weeks since birth.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The days are drawing out

Friday 21st April 2017
Eight o'clock on Friday evening after bringing the horse in for the night and before ringing the funeral director

Our first crop of the year

Thursday 20th April 2017
     The second picking of rhubarb  --  to simmer with brown sugar?   ginger?   orange juice?  
     Off to make some more visits in the parishes before deciding

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Day

Sunday 16th April 2017
Celebrating new life, a fresh start and the hope that comes from the Easter message of Christ's resurrection


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday

Saturday 15th April 2017

On the way to church to make the Easter Garden
Starting with protective covering for the floor and rocks to build the cave which will make a tomb for Jesus...
adding some moss and beginning to place plants in the garden
A cross made for the hill of the Crucifixion
"Messy Church" lives up to its name

Illustrating the journey from the dead earth at the foot of the Cross where Jesus died on Good Friday to the new life and hope of the Resurrection where his disciples met the Risen Christ on the first Easter Day
[See the completed Easter Garden tomorrow!]

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Friday 14th April 2017

No decorations in church on the most solemn day of the Christian year when we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus
"Peaceful, calm, dignity" was one of the comments in the visitors' book today

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Holy Week pilgrimage

Monday 10th April 2017
We joined the Bishop of Newcastle and her colleague,
the Bishop of Berwick, on their pilgrimage to the four corners of the diocese.  We were lucky with our day as the weather was springlike
 and primroses flowering on the banks as we came down from St Oswald's church, Heavenfield, towards Chollerton and on to Humshaugh for tea.

In the evening the Northern Cross pilgrims arrived in Wark to cook supper and sleep in Wark Town Hall on their way to Lindisfarne in time for Good Friday.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter Holidays

Friday 7th April 2017
The school gather to meet the donkey who is to lead the procession to church for the end-of-term service in which we recall the last week of Jesus' life on earth. 
     Off we go, commemorating Jesus "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem, riding humbly on a donkey.
[picture by Catherine Connolly]
The School ushers waving palm branches in the procession past Bellingham Town Hall:
[picture by Edwin Wilkinson]

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bank day

Wednesday 5th April 2017
This facility now appears for a few hours on Wednesdays, somewhat to the consternation of my horse  --  who is not so large.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Not an April Fool

Saturday 1st April 2017
"A bit lacking in the ear department" was an owner's description of her donkey.  These ears belong to a horse; but I have spent the last two weeks carrying out virtual auditions for a suitable donkey to lead the school procession from School to Church for the end-of-term service which neatly coincides with the weekend of Palm Sunday.
     Others who didn't get the part of Jesus' mount were the six-year old which is too feisty and liable to buck or kick without warning...the two 8-month-olds from Ireland who are too immature for the responsibility...the nice donkey who refuses to be parted from his bad-tempered friend...the rescue donkey who is too nervous to cope with the big occasion...etc etc!
     I'm glad to be able to announce that a donkey by the name of The Right Honourable Horatio Donk has agreed to be our guest of honour!