SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL MAGAZINE
1st October 2016|
- A bit from me...
- Readers letters
- The birds of holy island - by Ian Kerr
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Swallows at home and afar
- Natural England Lindisfarne NNR
- News from Ford & Etal
- From the community of Aidan and Hilda
- From the Vicarage
- Parish Diary
- Pause for thought
The Birds of Holy Island by Ian
|A BIT FROM ME
Dear 'Friend of Lindisfarne',
Welcome to our October issue of Sitezine
I was going to begin with saying, 'the first
autumn leaves have begun to fall along the avenue leading into the
village' but as I write, out of an azure blue sky, a gale has
started to blow - so considerably more will be lying by the time it
In addition to our ezine (!) this day
will be marked in history as the culmination of the Rosetta suicide
mission with a controlled landing on its comet, a distance
of some 448 million miles. The surface of the comet is
unchanged since the beginning of our solar system and preliminary
data is already changing opinion on the origin of life on
earth. Well done the 'European Space
recognise the picture (right) as the beach adjacent to Lindisfarne
Castle's lime kilns. Yes, that smudge on the horizon is Bamburgh Castle!.
Since beginning man has been fascinated by
stones: using them for missiles, clubs, carving or in our case
building mounds. Sand castles on a sandy beach are easily maintained
by the tide. However, whilst conceived in fun,
piles of stones, some reaching 2 metres in height,
are perceived as a public risk - as well as
increasing the difficulty in land maintenance. Clearance is expected to begin shortly.
Ian's article on swallows seems to have struck a chord in all
of us. It has been responsible for almost doubling the amount of feedback this
month and tempted me into sharing some of these and
some general comments in 'Readers Letters'. Additionally, I hope you
also enjoy the review I have included on his new book 'The birds of
Speaking of reader
feedback: where possible we keep in mind those 'interests' you expressed
when you registered your free subscription. All authors welcome feedback. Please keep it
In this issue I
am delighted to be able to present information from the
'Parish Church', 'The Community of Aidan and Hilda',
'Lindisfarne Castle', 'HI's Bird Expert', 'Natural England' and 'Ford & Etal
Estates' before finishing off with a 'Pause for Thought'
feature from Kate. Unfortunately, this month David has sent his
apologies but expects to have an even more informative report
(!) on the 'New Village Hall' next month. Similarly, having only just
returned from her sabbatical to her Holy Island Manse, Rachel also sends her
Wishing you a healthy and happy start to autumn until we get
in touch again on 1st November.
God Bless - Geoff Porter
Many thanks for the E- magazine. Your time and effort is really
appreciated! It's informative and covers a wide spectrum of
interests we are looking forward to coming back to Lindisfarne.
Jim & Ann H (Basingstoke
Ed: Thank you for writing in from Basingstoke. In a previous
life I used to work just up the road from you in Farnborough. Our
writers will be pleased to hear your comments. Wishing you a safe
and comfortable journey.
But I find the link to the Facebook comment re
service personnel as offensive to our refugee friends and consider
its inclusion in the magazine inappropriate.
M L T
ED: Hello MLT Many readers are
entirely sympathetic to the comparisons drawn between the treatment
given to those whom our government put in harm's way on our behalf.
I'm sorry that you found this insert inappropriate to
HI from South Africa. I have just read your
newsletter, and was particularly interested in Ian Kerr's
About the swallows, or lack of swallows. We have a nest at
our front door, and a swallow pair have
used it for the last 6
years - since we have lived here. They have bred their young each
year, and we
look forward to hearing and seeing the new birds
shortly. We live on the North Coast of KwaZulu
Natal in a place
called Salt Rock - we can see and hear the sea from our front
veranda - not your
mostly calm sea, but big breakers year round.
Ian might be interested to hear of a place called Mount Moreland,
just a few kms away that has a
beautiful viewing area where
interested folk gather for Sundowners, and watch the barn
descend en masse to roost for the night. A truly awesome
sight - it gives me the shivers when-
ever I see it.
Thank you so much for your Newsletter, we love reading it, and
being reminded of 2 wonderful
visits. Once staying on the Island
at St Aiden and St Hilda guest house, and a second time we brought a
group from S.A. On a Celtic tour, looking at the roots of our
Christian faith - my husband is an Anglican priest
Jane P (South Africa)
Ed: It's lovely to hear from SA and your
descriptive text. 'My swallows' excitedly lined up with the
local squadron on 16th September on the power lines at the bottom of
our garden. Kate reported that there seemed to have been a very late
brood still cohabiting in the Church last week. Hopefully,
they're migrating safely down through the south of the country,
thence mainland Europe and the Sahara..... See you next year.
Hello, all at Lindisfarne! I just had to e-mail you about
our swallows over here in California. All of my 80 years here
in my home state I have experience the return of the Swallows (up
from Argentina) annually (March) to the Mission in San Juan
Capistrano, CA. They are the "cliff swallows." Well,
they finally packed it up in the Mission area and moved to another
location, a country club/golf course in neighboring Chino Hills,
Calif. But this story did not begin or end in the present....I
brought up an article written by a Dr. Charles Brown, and he reports
that the swallows have been lured by music, fake housing
arrangements, etc. over the past 3 decades!!! Independent
rascals aren't they?
The scoop I received was from a
Ms. Samantha Gowen, a journalist with the Orange County Register
newspaper, Calif. the Mission San Juan Capistrano is located
in Orange County, CA.
We have been well into the 100
degrees for almost all summer up here (northern California) so that
could be why we have trouble with lack of the birds, at least this
year. I do have ONE hummingbird left that seem to love my
"bottlebrush bush." Another interesting oddity is the
dwindling of the bees and wasps in the past 6 years. Things
I gave Samantha Gowen your connection
and I hope that we can figure out the whys and so forth of the
God bless you all...
Barbara B-R (Redding, California)
Ed: Good to hear from you again Barbara. It's interesting to
hear of a possible musical perception. T
here is certainly something about swallows that
has international appeal. You mention the dwindling number of bees and
wasps. One thing concern in last week's news was the appearance of the
'Asian Hornet'. Apparently it takes only a few to annihilate a whole
bee colony by nipping off their heads. Not good news for the bees,
the crops that they pollinate or humans that eat the crops...
Dear Mr Kerr
Thank you for your interesting piece about swallows on Holy
Island. We have just returned from a holiday to Gatehouse of Fleet
and, as well as seeing many red kites, an osprey and mute swans, we
have never seen so many swallows. At Threave castle a very low nest
on the toilets allowed us the watch the fledglings being fed at
close quarters. A local lady told us that they appear each year on
the 21st April and then leave on the 13th September. It must seem a
bit depressing when that occurs but a great boost in April. We were
wondering if the swallows on Holy Island have a similar calendar?
Great! info and news.
Gary W [garyw....@gmail.com]
Ed: Hello Steve. Glad you enjoyed the ezine. You have an
interesting email address for a Steve....
Thank you so much for another excellent edition of the H.I.Times.
I thoroughly enjoy reading it each month and it keeps me in touch
with what is going on. I can't get to the island very much because
of my financial situation so appreciate being able to keep in
May I mention one thing so that you may alter your
database. In the Church calendar you have the founder of Church Army
as Wilson of Carlisle. The founder is actually Wilson Carlile. His
surname is Carlile (spelt differently from the place).
Again, thank you for a great publication each
Lesley S (Cumbria)
Ed: Thank you for writing in, Lesley. We're delighted to hear
that folk are checking our Church calendar. Whilst Kate supplies the
data - it's my fingers that get carried away on the keyboard and
make the mistakes....
Hi we no longer use this e-mail address - if you want to contact
us try Tim.Pain@ymail.com or
Thanks Tim and Ailsa
Ed: Hello Tim and Ailsa. If by any chance you are reading
this at the address you installed in our database our auto-mailer
will be unable to act on your instruction. If our mailer
sends to an address that no longer exists it receives a failure
message and removes the offending email address from our database.
Information on cancelation and changing email addresses is at the
bottom of your newsletter.
I miss Lindisfarne SO MUCH And love
receiving Lindisfarne Calling.
Valerie S [@spdlc.org]
Ed: Dear Valerie, if it weren't for
readers like you there wouldn't be a newsletter. Thanks for
I'm very much enjoying reading your magazine.
My wife & I ( in our mid-sixties ) live in Belfast and we
plan to take our car over to Cairnryan may/June of next year for a
visit to Northumberland/ Holy island.
We plan to stay for 3/4 nights and would like your recommendation
of the best places to visit/stay in the area.
I would appreciate any assistance you can give us.
Charles T (Belfast)
ED: Thank you for writing Charles. The
website lists accommodation on the following webpages:
Holy Island (Lindisfarne) : www.lindisfarneaccommodation.com
Region : www.berwickaccommodation.com
Region : www.bamburghaccommodation.com
So far as places to visit I suggest that
you make a start here: www.lindisfarne.org.uk/general/
Of course, you will want to spend much of
your time on the island but Northumberland is a huge and
largely rural area and a car is certainly an advantage if you want
to get around. To make the most of your time here take a moment
to check the causeway open times. Many folk choose Holy Island to be
their base for exploring Northumberland - with the ability to
occasionally strike out to Newcastle or Edinburgh which are barely
60 miles away.
When visiting friends on Holy Island a couple of weeks ago, I
took this photo at 9 am on the Heugh
and managed to catch one of
the many swallows circling and swooping. Thought you might
it for the Holy Island Times.
With best wishes
Tom G (Clevedon - North
ED: Hello Tom and thank you for your photo
which I had edited to suit the newsletter format. I love the
silhouette and backdrop and am sure many of our readers will
appreciate it too.
|THE BIRDS OF HOLY ISLAND - by Ian Kerr
The front cover showing the island's most important wintering wildfowl, pale-bellied Brent Geese, caught
by Mike Hodgson passing in front of the Castle.
330 Island bird species and we're still counting!
The sheer wealth of our island birdlife and
much more besides is revealed in a new lavishly illustrated hardback
book on which our regular wildlife contributor, Ian Kerr, has been
working for the past two years.
A total of 330 species of birds, some from
as far away as Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South Atlantic,
America and Canada, have so far been recorded on the island and the
surrounding flats and Ian believes still more are to be found.
The the book also contains anecdotes with a
wildlife them, new and fascinating details about the island's
natural history and the 18th, 19th and 20th century characters who
were involved in it.
The book has more than 50 colour pictures,
both of birds and landscapes, taken for the publication by
some of the north's finest wildlife photographers. There are also
newly commissioned maps which include recent developments such as
the Window on Wild Lindisfarne at the Rocket Field, the Heugh
watchtower and the new hide at the Lough.
The Birds of Holy Island has been produced
by Nature Guides, a natural history publishing company based in
London and founded by Max Whitby of Skylark at Chare Ends. The
company specialises in creating high quality print and digital field
guides for the international market. Among products is a digital
version of the famed Collins Bird Guide, the "bible" for
birdwatchers throughout Europe, as well as apps covering
butterflies, moths, bumblebees and dragonflies.
The new publication is a successor to Ian's
very much more modest 2007 soft-back book which is now out of print.
Ian says that, surprisingly, a lot of previously unpublished
historical information about the island's wildlife has come to light
after lying forgotten in various regional archives. It has now been
incorporated in the new publication.
|This stunning dark wintery morning scene of frozen island fields and the Castle was caught by Fiona Barclay of NatureGuides.
Because of the island strategic location for
migrating birds, the book details a staggering 45 species of waders
which have occurred and 24 species of migrant warblers, some many
thousands of miles from their normal haunts.
In addition, new species to the island are
being recorded almost annually. Others not seen locally for a
century or more had also been found. The latter included a
spectacular White-tailed Eagle which caused panic among the geese
and waders as it soared over the flats in autumn 2014, the first
local sighting for over 130 years.
Ian adds: "The need for a completely updated
book has been apparent for some time and I'm delighted that Max and
his company have taken this on. The book has a real feeling of
quality about it and the editors, designer and printer have done a
Max said that the book was aimed at those
with a real love of Holy Island and its wildlife.
"For anyone planning a visit the book will
be an invaluable guide to appreciating the unique landscape, its
special place and the profusion of rare birds that makes the area
such a magnet. For anyone who loves Holy Island and its wild birds,
this engaging and extremely knowledgeable account offers a lasting
memory of Northumberland's greatest natural treasure."
|One of our wintering Short-eared Owl helpfully poses on an island wall for Max Whitby of NatureGuides.
The book is now available at the
'Lindisfarne Centre' and the 'Holy Island Post Office', price
£14-99, or direct from NatureGuides Ltd., 3 Warple Mews, Warple Way,
London, W3 0RF. Full sales details are on the company's website, www.NatureGuides.com
Before any of the planned works at the
Castle can go ahead, the important job of emptying its contents
needs to be completed. We want the contractors to be able to work
unimpeded, but also don't want anything in the Castle to be at risk
of unnecessary damage. This job falls into two distinct parts; the historic collection
and the rest. The historic collection part might sound the most delicate and fraught
with risk, but actually this will probably be the easier of the two.
I say 'easier', but that by no means makes
it a simple task just to be dealt with on the day. A huge amount of
planning is required to get these items away safely and carefully;
from making sure we have a record of everything, to making sure we
know where everything was so it can be returned to the correct place
at the end of the project. Along with this documentation-side of the
job, we will also be cleaning every object before it goes into
storage, and also carefully packing items - mainly the smaller ones
- into crates. Various protective materials will be used in this
process; acid-free tissue paper, bubble wrap, and Tyvek - a
waterproof fabric-like material but which allows water vapour to
escape; making it ideal for historic collections. Each item will be
individually labelled and put into a crate which will itself be
labelled. Each crate will have a list of its contents and the room
they came from. We are using 130 plastic crates to take the small
items out of the Castle, and apart from their annual inspection,
they shouldn't need to leave their crate until they return to the
Castle. The large furniture mostly comes apart just like a modern
flatpack unit, but there are some items which
will be tricky to remove such as a 3 metre long walnut table and
two large rugs; which will need to be rolled onto drainpipes to carry.
Some items in the Castle have never been
recorded as historic collection items even though they probably are,
so we are taking the chance to add them to our records. These are
things like shelving, coat hooks, plate racks, wooden window seats,
curtain brackets, and of course, portcullis weights. In the past
they wouldn't have come under the description 'portable collections'
which got something accessioned, but as a way of keeping track of
everything, they will finally be added. On the back of this, we will also be creating
records for some historic items which are staying in the Castle, but also have
never had individual records such as doors, brick floors, and wooden wall panelling.
The physical part of this job won't get
going until we close on the 31 October, but in the meantime we will
be training up our volunteers and chipping away at preparatory jobs
like photographing all of the rooms (wall by wall) to get a good
record of what was where, creating records for those items mentioned
above, and checking our current database to make sure we haven't
missed anything (or for items we didn't know we had!) This job is
going to involve a couple of dozen volunteers and staff along with
the specialist handlers who will do most of the heavy lifting down the ramp.
Alongside the preparation work, all we can do is hope for kind weather.
If anyone would like any more information on this aspect of the Castle Project or
indeed the wider works going on here, then please do get in touch.
email@example.com // @NTLindisfarne // 01289 389903
| WHERE HAVE ALL OUR SWALLOWS GONE?
When I wrote a month ago about it being a
poor year for Swallows on the island and more generally across
Britain, I never dreamt of the international reaction my piece would create.
Swallows really do seem to be the favourite
birds of so many people. Regular readers from South Africa and the
United States, as well as elsewhere in Britain, have been in touch
about their own
From South Africa, the wintering area of
nearly all Swallows from Western Europe, Jane Peattie, wife of a
retired Anglican clergyman, tells me that pairs have bred for the
last six years above the front door of their home in Salt Rock on
the northern coast of KwaZulu Natal. I'm presuming they are members
of one of the extensive species of African
Just as fascinatingly, close by her home, at
a spot called Mount Moreland, is a huge roosting area for Swallows
wintering in the area. These are European migrants and it's not
inconceivable that some of our island birds could be among
"It's a beautiful viewing area where
interested folk gather for sundowners and watch the Swallows
descending en masse to roost for the night. It's a truly awesome
sight which gives me the shivers whenever I see it," adds Jane who
twice visited to our
It sounds like my idea of a great evening,
sitting with a drink in hand watching such a spectacular sight. It's
something I once managed in northern Mallorca where Hazel and I
attended a barbeque close to a spot where there was a huge reedbed
roost of literally hundreds of thousands of Swallows pausing to feed
up and rest during migration.
Barbara Byington-Rosner from Redding,
Northern California, says that she always looks forward to the
return each spring of their local Barn Swallows, the North American
race of our own very familiar birds.
Like ours, they winter a long way south of
their breeding range, in their case down into South America as far
as Argentina, making a round trip similar in distance to the 20,000
miles covered annually by the island birds.
She also mentions a problem which is causing
increasing concern in Britain and Europe. "One oddity is the
dwindling number of bees and wasps in the past six years. Something
That sharp decline in some of our most
familiar insects seems to be a very widespread problem, particularly
in the developed world. It has been blamed on the use of some
pesticides whose use is currently banned although some in
agriculture are fighting against it. Without vital pollinating
insects I think we're all going to be in big trouble.
From much nearer home, Peter Boyd has been
in contact about a summer holiday around Gatehouse of Fleet in
Dumfries and Galloway where he said he had never seen so many
Swallows. If that was the case that beautiful corner of south west
Scotland seems to be the exception to the rule this year.
He reports that local people told him that
their Swallows turned up annually around the 21st of April and
departed around September 13th. He wondered if our island Swallows
were quite as regular. The answer, I'm afraid, is no. Arrival and
departure dates are entirely dependent upon the weather and whether
or not birds have had an easy migration. The earliest I've seen a
Swallow on the island is the 5th of April. Birds reported during
March usually turn out to be Sand Martins which are always much
early spring migrants.
During autumn some of our island Swallows
are often still feeding broods in the nest into late September but
nearly all have departed by mid-October.
|Swallows on the Heugh - Tom Gowling
However, there was one very odd instance in
2006 where an adult male Swallow lingered around the village into
early December. He presented a strange spectacle as he hawked for
insects - or at least attempted to do so - over the Heugh with a
wintry background of snow lying on the Cheviots on the western
horizon. I think that his built-in navigation system had for some
reason failed making him unable to migrate. Sadly, he was eventually
found dying, presumably from starvation, on a window ledge in the village.
As I mentioned last time, far fewer than
normal Swallows managed to get back to the island in the spring with
the resultant decrease in the number of breeding pairs. I also
mentioned that those which did breed seemed to have done well.
That was very noticeable around the village
into mid-September with large numbers of birds gathering,
particularly on their favoured overhead wires. I spent a bit of time
scanning through these gatherings and it was gratifying to see that
the majority were juveniles, further proof of a successful season.
These gathering almost certainly included birds on the move,
indicating a good season further north into eastern Scotland.
On sunny but otherwise chilly days I also
noticed that many Swallows were gathering out of the wind on
east-facing roofs and window ledges in the village. Again, most of
them appeared to be youngsters, lounging in the sheltered warmth
before continuing their southward journeys.
Here's hoping they have a good migration
down to South Africa. It would be nice to think that Jane might even
see some of them in that spectacular roost she described!
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
We mentioned in the last edition our shorebird season had been very productive and the final figures are now in. There were a good number of little terns throughout the Reserve with a total of 37 scrapes and an amazing 42 fledged. Looking back over previous years our fledgling numbers for 2016 were the second highest since 2000. We also kept a close eye on other breeding shorebirds and arctic and common terns had a great year with 150 pairs. Ringed plover and oystercatchers have been struggling recently but we hope to have a closer look at what we can do to help them on the Reserve in the future.
We have been out last month to do our annual count of seals around the sand flats and mudflats of the Reserve. We only do this a couple of times in the year so that we minimise disturbance however we had a count of 2,600 which is a lot lower than the 4,000+ last year. We often have seals hauling out around the Reserve and you may come across seals in groups or individuals near to where you walk. If you do come across them please keep your dog on a lead (their bite can be harmful to dogs and humans) and keep a clear distance -we recommend at least 50m but this might not be always be possible.
There are a couple of harbour seals who enjoy fishing and hauling out near to the causeway. We get quite a few calls about seals in this area as visitors think they are hurt or injured. In fact they are just resting but we do check them regularly. The seals here get quite a lot of attention and we have put out signs asking visitors to keep their distance.
We had our first returning light bellied brent at the beginning of September. They breed in the High Arctic, primarily Svalbard, east Greenland and Franz Josef Land. The Reserve is home to approx. 50% of the world population with Denmark accommodating the remaining birds. During the early 20th century the population numbered around 50,000 birds until a massive loss of the key Zostera beds on the continent and/or human over-exploitation resulted in a massive collapse of the population to 1500-2000 birds in the early 1970s. This year at Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve however Brent numbers are now up to 1200 and can be seen regularly flighting in at the causeway. Pink-footed geese have arrived back last week and we are seeing around 400 at Budle Bay on a high tide roost. Wigeon numbers are increasing and on our last WeBS count we had 1100 along with pintail and teal.
Reserve Warden, Beal Station,
Tel: 01289 381 470
Mhairi's blog and facebook page can be found at http://lindisfarnennr.blogspot.co.uk/
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
8th & 9th October -
'Looking Back' old skills fayre at Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre,
10am-4pm each day.
Adults £5.00 children 2.50
16th October -
Farmers Market, Hay Farm
Heavy Horse Centre, 10am-4pm.
1st-30th October -
Wildlife Photography Exhibition by Ron McCombe in 'the Poultry Shed'
opposite Heatherslaw Cornmill. Open
daily 11am-4pm. Free admission.
24th-31st October - The
Scarycrows will be out and about around Ford, Etal and
Heatherslaw. Follow the trail and
help choose the winner!
26th-30th October - Family
fun with hair-raising hallowe'en games, activities, trails and
competitions at various venues across Ford & Etal. At the
time of going to print activities are being finalised - visit www.ford-and-etal.co.uk/events
for full details or contact the Visitor Centre on 01890 820338, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lady Waterford Hall:
From 18th September until 30th October Jane
Jackson of Bright Seed Textiles will have a display of cards and
work in the artists' cabinet at Lady Waterford Hall. Pop along
to have a look -
you won't be disappointed!
Heatherslaw Mill Site and the
Lady Waterford Hall, Ford are open 11am-4pm during October, closing
for the winter on Sunday 30th.
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
Last month I welcomed the new Precentor at
Bradford Cathedral and discovered Paula Thompson-Fearnley's Art
Exhibition, "The Footsteps of Aidan" next to the Saint Aidan Chapel.
Paula tells me that the exhibition will be at
St. Aidan's Parish Church in Bamburgh from the 12th of October until
the end of November 2016. There is comprehensive information
available on her lovely blogsite - www.paulathompsonfearnley.zenfolio.com/blog.
Dr. Peter Harbison, Ireland's renowned
archaeologist, has sent us a signed copy of the new issue of his
book Irish High Crosses which is now in our library. This could be
basis for a good tour through Ireland.
A pilgrim from South Africa who has brought
a number of groups here has been
very ill. He has circulated this prayer:
Circle me, Lord
Breathe wholeness into
my shingles-frazzled nerve ends
Breathe healing into every
part of my being
That I may be wholly yours
and serve you all of my days.
Another regular pilgrim prayed for this
suffering man at St Columba's Holy Well high on the mountains at
Glen Columcille. The pilgrims prayed for our patient in that place
because it was 'an extremely thin space with potency of
presence and promise
of blessings to come and to follow.'
Our new Open Gate wardens Kevin and Lesley
are now here and look forward to meeting you. In October Mark Winter
leads a Looking at Birds retreat and David Cole leads a
Learning to Grow like Celtic Saints retreat.
The International Community of Aidan and Hilda
|FROM THE VICARAGE
||Revd Dr Paul Collins|
The Autumn Equinox is now behind us and the days progressively
shorten until we arrive at the Winter Solstice. As the seasons
change we give thanks for the differences they bring in weather and
light and colour; and for the different foods which each season
Late Summer and Autumn are in particular times of harvesting -
bringing in the fruits and foods which the summer season has
produced. These changes of times and seasons and these gifts we
receive from the earth of our foods have long given rise to moments
of festival and thanksgiving.
The Christian Tradition like many others acknowledges and
celebrates these changes and gifts - particularly in a spirit of
thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for the harvest, for the bounty which the
earth produces to sustain life and enable us to thrive, turn our
minds to the Creator of the bounty and the earth which delivers it.
The Creator whose bounty and overflowing provision is witnessed in
the myriads of stars of the night sky.
The bounty of the Creator sits in sharp contrast to the behaviour
of the human creature when we see the footage of Aleppo or 'the
Jungle' at Calais on our screens.
Our sense of thanksgiving for the bounty which the creation
produces is a very important value for us to embrace and to allow to
shape the meaning of our lives. And a very necessary extension of
this thanksgiving is for all our human sisters and brothers - an
extension of our thanksgiving for food and the bounty of the earth
to the whole sentient creation and above all to all human beings.
Only when we can give thanks for all human life and every human
being will there truly be a 'harvest thanksgiving' which celebrates
the bounty and love of our Creator God.
| PARISH DIARY
||Revd Dr Paul Collins|
|Remembrance Sunday (13th November): Service in St Mary's at 10.45am followed by laying of wreaths at the war memorial on the Heugh.
|Sunday 27th November:
|Sunday 4th December:
||The Parish Eucharist 10.45am - visit of Bishop Christine of Newcastle
|Sunday 11th December:
||Christingle Service at 4pm
|Monday 12th December:
||School Christmas Performance at 5pm
|Saturday 17th December:
||"Journey of the Magi" - a Christmas Story for all ages at 11.30am in the Village Hall - this is a ticketed performance - details of ticket sales in the next edition
|Thursday 22nd December:
||Service of 9 Lessons and Carols at 5.30pm
|Saturday 24th December:
||Christmas Midnight Eucharist at 11.30pm
|Sunday 25th December:
||8am Holy Communion (BCP)
10.45am Family Service & Holy Communion
|PAUSE FOR THOUGHT
||Revd Canon Kate Tristram|
ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER.....
'All things work together for good', said
St.Paul dangerously, and added 'for those who love God'. Is he
then one of those horrible people who, when you are feeling all
worried and worked up about something, tell you they know it will be
all right. Of course they don't, and it helps nobody to say
it. The world is not so made that everything always turns
out all right.
So two thoughts that may help a bit.
First, it is surprisingly common for people to look back later and
say, 'I'm now very glad I didn't get that job... or that exam result...
or that particular friendship... because what has happened instead
seems to me so much better.' So sometimes things are working for good
without our help.
But secondly, sometimes there are things we
can do. Many years ago, in the early days of space travel, I heard a
speaker give this illustration. She asked us to imagine a
multitude of tiny darts, like needles, orbiting the earth. Each
needle represented a tiny bit of evil. She said it was our job to
intercept as many as we could. We say to the needles, 'You
stop here.' If necessary let them stick into us, but don't
pass them on. Of course it's painful. But to accept pain, even
this kind of trivial pain, can be part of a human vocation.
So, the next time a needle comes hurtling round, intercept it.
It will hurt, but the whole created world will be a little bit better for having
one needle less.