Sunday, 24 June 2012

Deanery Confirmation @ St. Cuthbert's

This evening we celebrated the Confirmation of 25 members of churches in Lanchester Deanery. Torrential rain didn't daunt any spirits, though apparently the church sprang three leaks in the course of the service - one  member of the congregation was seen to leave his seat to return with a bucket.

Sadly no picture of this. But here's the newly-confirmed group with the Bishop of Jarrow:

And this is our own Parish Group (including our youngest candidate - from St. John's):

Finally the Vicar dared trust someone with his camera to take this picture:

Sadly there are no pictures of the wonderful buffet which parishioners provided in the Hall - but it was a wonderful occasion, and many thanks are due to so many people who have worked terrifically hard all weekend!

Catching up #2 - St. Cuthbert's Summer Fair

Yesterday, Saturday 23rd June, didn't bring the best of weather for our Parish Summer Fair. Though it wasn't really any worse than any of the other Saturdays of June! Undaunted, stallholders set up all their wares in the Church Hall - with so many customers it was barely possible to move at times.

Teas proved as popular as ever at the crowded tables - and React Theatre Group provided entertainment sharing stage-space with the Tombola.

All in all a wonderfully successful afternoon enjoyed by all. Many thanks who worked so hard to such brilliant effect!

Catching up #1 - Olympic Strawberry Teas

The Olympic Flame came right through both our parishes of Benfieldside and Castleside on Saturday 16th June. The relay entered County Durham in Shotley Bridge, greeted by thousands of spectators - Shotley Bridge Village Trust's Blog has lots of pictures and videos of the event.

Runners took the flame right up through Blackhill. Strangely (?) it was then driven round Consett. But from there the runners took their turns again as the flame came down through The Grove and Moorside into Castleside, right past St. John's Church, where it turned up the road towards Rowley. So we were well-served by the opportunity to "Line the streets."

St. John's Church took the opportunity of gathering crowds to put on Strawberry Teas. No attempt at putting them on in the church garden - but the prospect of sitting down out of the wind and rain brought in lots of happy customers - and every tea was sold!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Olympic Anticipation and more...

"You can tell it's the first day back after the half-term holiday," said a deputy headteacher after I finished this morning's school assembly. For me it was certainly challenging as I tried to keep the interest of nearly a hundred 4 to 7 year olds - and I could only agree: "Well, I'm glad you've got them for the rest of the day!"

Perhaps it was the subject I took (fish and fishermen called to be disciples). As I drove to school I passed the notices which have appeared along the main roads of both my parishes warning us of severe delays and road closures next Saturday as the Olympic Torch Relay comes to County Durham. Maybe I should have talked about the Olympics - though I suspect I'd have had only about as much success in failing to quell the various hotspots of post-holiday conversation.

But certainly Olympic  anticipation is in the air. The Torch enters County Durham over the bridge into Shotley Bridge at 16.04 on Saturday 16th June - and then it's uphill through Blackhill to Consett. Leaving Consett the Torch is carried through The Grove, Moorside and Castleside then turning left at St. John's Church towards Rowley (there's a timing of 16.54 at Gill View, so presumably about 5p.m. at St. John's.). So I'm really pretty chuffed that it's going the full distance through both our parishes.

And both parishes are celebrating. In Shotley Bridge the Business and Community Partnership has activities and celebrations throughout the afternoon from 1p.m. - more  about this on the Village Trust's website and its poster. In Castleside the school has activities through the morning - and in the afternoon St. John's Church is offering Strawberry Teas from 2.30p.m. (another poster here).

Meanwhile the sermons section of this blog has been updated - and you can go direct to Rosie Junemann's sermon for yesterday by clicking here.