|A BIT FROM ME
After our summer break, welcome
to our September newsletter.
Firstly, thank you to so many readers who wrote
praising BBC-Radio 4's "Sunday Worship" programme on 18th August. Led by
Rev Canon Dr Sarah Hills, the new Vicar of St Mary's Church on
Holy Island, exploring the theme of pilgrimage and peace. The programme
is available on the BBC-Radio 4 website: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007pwd .
I regret that we were unable to let you know in
Some readers may have visited the new church
website: www.stmarysholyisland.org/ to
discover that during the last week in August we celebrate our
founding saint: St Aidan Apostle of England (see the above
picture). Indeed, I write having just returned from the well-filled
chancel of St.Mary's Church on St.Aidan's day. Perhaps you
were amongst the audience to witness the splendid performance
of Canon Tristram's dedication 'Shadow of Aidan' acted out in
the church on Friday evening. Very well done to all who took
part. Celebrations culminate on 1st September with a Sunday
Eucharist and a procession. If you're in the area do come along. Whilst the area forecast is an occasional shower - the
Holy Island island frequently misses out...
Apart from a prolonged wet start to August,
very much like the rest of the country we've had some really
glorious weather. Fortunately, in the super-hot spells, we're lucky
to be an island where there's usually a beach and
cooling onshore breeze. If you visited the island over the summer
holiday period I hope you didn't find our car parks too brimming to find a convenient parking space, Visitor-wise, I wouldn't be surprised if
numbers in 2019 reached record levels.
Across the river Tweed, In
nearby Scotland, school holidays are already over. During the next
couple of weeks other children in the UK will be returning to
school after their summer break. And the island will
begin to experience a different visitor demographic. Within weeks we shall start
to see duck and geese arrive from northern climse whilst our swallows
and other species will follow the sun into
the south. This morning I noticed that Dr.Petts (DigVentures) is visiting again
with a group from Durham Uni - presumably to
resume their achaeoligcal dig in Sanctuary Close. Whatever the season - photographers
always abound on the island. Now we will see
a few more of the elderly element. Now we shall see
twitchers, twitch; birdwatchers leaning over our
walls determining migrating species types; men in leather hats
at twilight settling into the reed beds and wetland gullies. As it
is written: "In my Father's house there are many
mansions... " And Holy Island will
see all and look forward to welcoming them.
Of course, with the change of season the nights are getting
longer. We always caution visitors to check for a safe crossing. Lindisfarne
Causeway is a very remote and vulnerable part of the
county. There is absolutely no protection from the weather. When a
gale blows you sometimes can't even hear a person shouting in your
ear; if you try use your mobile phone there will be difficulty
in hearing or being heard; standing and walking against a gale
can be almost impossible. But when it gets dark as well it can be darker
than you ever imagined - particularly when there's cloud cover. If
there's water on the road it's almost impossible to judge its depth...You know it makes sense
to check the causeway crossing times . Take
heed of the warning signs. If you or you see someone who
seems to be getting into difficulty get in touch with the coastguard by phoning the UK emergency number: 999.
Please be a safe and welcome visitor.
Welcome to our new author Andy Denton (for our Lindisfarne
Nature Reserve (Natural England) and thank you to all our
authors for their contributions this month.
Enjoy our newsletter. We look forward
to getting in touch in October.
Author Event - St Cuthbert's
Centre, Holy Island
Sunday, 22 September
Join Katharine Tiernan, author of historical
novel Cuthbert of Farne, and Mary Low, author of St Cuthbert's Way:
a Pilgrim's Guide (new updated edition), for an afternoon of
readings, talks and informal
2.30 Author talks and
3.45 Open house: chat and book-signing
£4 to include refreshments, pre-booking
|HOLY ISLAND CofE FIRST SCHOOL
During the last week of term here at Holy Island C of E First
School, three memorable events took place - all in a day - a beach
service, a visit from a BBC film crew and our grand garden
The children, families and staff from Lowick joined us on the
island and we met with Revd Sarah Hills on Jenny Bell's beach for
our end of term celebration service. The service was around the
themes of St Aidan, love, trust and kindness. The children sang
sweetly - accompanied by the seals and the salty breeze. Thank you
Sarah, this was a lovely way to give thanks for all the fun,
friendship and wonderful learning that had taken place over the last
We then had to do a quick change into our Viking costumes because
the BBC had arrived to begin their filming. You may remember that
last October, during our Viking topic we all dressed as Vikings and
'raided' the monastery. Chris Jackson from the BBC heard about this
as he was researching a documentary he is making for BBC Four about
the history of Holy Island and Bamburgh. He spent some time in
school filming a lesson and then asked us if we would re-create our
Viking Raid. The children were very excited to be asked to crouch
down on the beach and then run (loudly!) towards the presenter as he
talked about Vikings. The children loved being part of the filming
and enjoyed all of the re-takes which meant that they could be very
noisy Vikings again and again! The programme is due to be shown
before Christmas so I'll let you know when we can watch it.
We then returned to school and were met again by Sarah Hills
along with families and neighbours for our garden opening. Our new
garden, funded by our federation with Lowick and created by John
Moore his Perennial Gardener team, is beginning to take shape.
Scarlett-Beau and Lily-Ella worked very hard at our garden club
during the last few weeks of term to get the raised beds ready for
planting. They planted leeks which were kindly donated by Sheila and
David Lishman and sowed seeds for salad crops and herbs. It
was soon time for Sarah and our head, Rebecca Simpson to cut the
ribbon and declare our garden open. There was a special mention for
Karen Ward who received a certificate from the RHS School Gardening
scheme for her outstanding contribution to school gardening, and our
thanks were given to her husband Richard for all his generous help.
Scarlett-Beau and Lily-Ella also presented my husband, Carl, with a
thank you card for all of his hard work clearing and preparing the
garden. We were then delighted to welcome our guests into the
garden. Everyone agreed that the garden is such a special place
where we can learn through growing and planting our own food and
flowers. I must also mention our meadow area on the side of the
field, planted by the girls, which continues to buzz with colour as
the summer goes on.
I'm looking forward to another busy year here on the island and
at Lowick - I'll keep you informed on our playground improvements
and the exciting new trim-trail which will be arriving in a few
|THE CROSSMAN HALL
It seems a long while since I coordinated thinking and finger
punching on the keyboard, so if my brain overtakes my fingers please
excuse my lack of practise due to the long summer holiday allocated
by our very generous Editor.
The hall fitness area has been well used by those who enjoy
pounding treadmill mill and/or riding the exercise bikes.
Gillian D has been actively working on behalf of the hall with
the Parish Council to secure a pool table and it should be in place
soon. Well done Gillian.
Social activities have been well represented during the summer.
The most important being a Coffee Morning held in support of James
Douglas. James, an Islander, works for British Airways and enjoys
This year he is fund raising for Cancer Research and is competing
in the Berlin Marathon on 29 September 2019, and he knew he would be
well supported by the Island Community raising money for Cancer
A Coffee Morning was held and as usual the town turned out and
raised 990+GBPs to help him on his way. Well done to all and the
sponsorship will support research into cancer control, a disease
that has touch so many of us. Well done James.
Another two successful Coffee Mornings have been held fund
raising for local Charities.
Additionally, there were four religious meetings, including
Tyneside's West African Church Picnic.
Two concerts held by
'Pipes & Fiddles' and they were followed by a weekend Wedding
celebration and finally a local Family that is well scattered got
together in the hall for a summer Gathering.
Forthcoming Event Borders author Alistair Moffatt, will be
launching his latest book 'To the Island of Tides' a journey to
Lindisfarne, in the Hall on Wednesday 11 September 2019, commencing
19:30 Entry £10.00!
He ran the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a while before he moved
on to become director of programs at STV and now lives back in the
David O' - Contact email@example.com
the new Crossman Hall website: firstname.lastname@example.org
|OUT OF AFRICA - WONDERFUL PAINTED LADIES
We tend to think of butterflies as pretty but rather weak and
delicate creatures flitting around the flowers and shrubs in our
village gardens and probably not moving very far. After all, with
those paper-thin wings how could they anyway?
But this summer on the island we've been treated to an invasion
of some really beautiful, fast-flying and highly migratory
butterflies, Painted Ladies. They've been present locally in their
thousands and nationally probably in their millions.
These highly colourful insects, one of the world's most
successful butterflies, originate in North Africa where they breed
in arid desert-edge habitats in the shadow of the Atlas
Every year some migrate to Europe so we can usually expect to see
a few in most summers. But perhaps once in a decade their numbers
build up and up, forcing them to move en masse to find nectar-rich
On such occasions instead of just a few moving to Europe they
spectacularly burst northwards out of Africa in their tens of
millions. They might look small and fragile looking but they are
tough and take part in one of the world's biggest migrations.
They rapidly cross the Mediterranean and fan out right across
Europe. Some even reach the Arctic Circle, 3,000km north of their
African breeding grounds. Some cover double the distance
travelled by the most famous migratory butterfly of all, the
Monarchs of North America, creatures we've all seen on our
To us these very welcome summer visitors are Painted Ladies.
Elsewhere in Europe they have similarly very attractive names. In
France they are "La Belle Dame". In Scandinavia they are
"Belladonna" while in Spain they are "Bella Dama o Cardero" which
translates as "Beautiful Lady of the Thistles"- because of their
habit of settling to nectar on thistle heads.
They breed as they go which results in wave after wave of fresh
and bright new Painted Ladies emerging to pour into our gardens and
anywhere else offering feeding.
The last such huge invasion occurred in 2008 when an estimated 11
million Painted Ladies arrived in Britain. In April that year Hazel,
Michael and I were in northern Majorca. One fine and breezy
morning we visited a huge marshland nature reserve rich in
birds. Standing high on wooden platforms giving panoramic
views over miles of reed-beds, shallow lakes and canals, we
immediately became aware that everywhere we looked Painted Ladies
were whizzing past. All were heading steadily northwards at high
A month later back home we began to see the results - hundreds of
both faded and tattered insects, presumably the African pioneers,
and fresh, newly emerged offspring, gracing the gardens and being
attracted particularly to our buddleia bushes even through the
flower spikes were just starting to flush with blue and purple.
This summer the first wave of Painted Ladies appeared in early
June. The first I noticed were exploring the bright Wallflowers at
the base of Osborne's Fort on the Heugh. The group comprised six
rather drab and faded specimens, presumably among the first to reach
us from Africa. The same day I found a further small group at the
north end of the Straight Lonnen, again faded creatures.
|Painted Lady by Tom Tams |
At about that stage, the North East branch of Butterfly
Conservation began to report similar sightings from other coastal
localities. Things then pottered along quietly with comparatively
small numbers of Painted Ladies continuing to be regularly seen
right across the country.
Then in late July things really started to happen with a huge and
sudden influx into the region. The butterflies appeared in their
hundreds at dozens of locations, particularly along the coast.
Locally, the lads out fishing reported Painted Ladies flying low
over the wave-tops past their boats. Others appeared on the
Farne Islands. On the island, on a very warm and sunny July
27th, around 18 were suddenly in our back garden in Crossgates,
homing in on the buddleia.
The same day we noticed at least 30 on a single rich dark purple
buddleia overhanging the wall of the garden at the Lindisfarne
Hotel. Right through the village people reported similar gatherings
of these lovely insects.
All of those we noticed at that stage were bright and fresh
insects, presumably the latest generation of the species. Since then
many of them seem to have moved on with that instinct to keep
travelling northwards probably involved. This has left only small
numbers around the village during August and into September.
I hope that if you saw them you enjoyed them. After all, if past
experience is anything to go by it could be another decade before
they appear in such numbers again..
I mentioned recently that the Wind Indicator at the castle hadn't
been quite right and that we had a plan to sort it out, well sort it
out we have. This month a couple of colleagues from Cragside -
engineer Robin and volunteer engineer Peter - popped across for a
morning over the tide to spend cleaning and lubricating the
Before they could begin their work though, the night before we
had the not-considerable task of exposing everything, not least
getting the panel itself off the wall in the Entrance Hall. As I
said last month, there is nothing complicated about how the panel is
attached, but everything is complicated about getting it down
safely. For one thing, the panel has been designed for that space
and only that space so finding somewhere just to put the thing is
always a challenge. With a couple of step ladders, two screwdrivers,
four people and a load of pairs of cotton gloves to protect the
gilt-work frame, we lifted the panel down and safely rested it
against the fireplace with the help of some sponge blocks and
plastazote foam. Upstairs in the East Bedroom, we lifted 10 or so
floorboards (all short lengths admittedly) which give access to the
mid-point of the mechanism, where is makes a turn under the floor
and heads for the wall, where it again turns through 90 degrees
before heading up to the roof. The engineers would need access to
all three points in order to carry out their work.
The first task the following morning was to cordon off the area
so the work could be done safely, but in full view of our visitors.
We always try to do this sort of thing in front of the public as it
is the core stuff, but where 100-year old, 2.5-metre-wide paintings
and big ladders are involved there must be some precautions. Robin
and Peter inspected the lower part of the mechanism before clearing
out the void in the East Bedroom floor space. They were then able to
clean the metalwork and lubricate the bearings and gearing. We did
discover there may be a problem with the rod heading to the roof in
that it might be taking unnecessary weight which has caused it to
bow - every rotation you can hear and feel it scratching the back of
the wall (no wonder folk used the think the East Bedroom was
haunted!). We may need to do further work to resolve this one. Once
the mechanism was done we could get the panel back up - as above but
in reverse - and then I had the honour of going on the roof with my
'nudger' (and long pole with a pair of cotton gloves taped to the
end - patent pending) to calibrate the Wind Indicator. Once I'd
nudged the vane into the direction the wind was blowing, the
engineers secured the pointer back on the panel. We just got it
pointing South-South-West when, appropriately, a fair old shower
blew over from that very direction, driving us inside to a
well-earned cup of tea.
That was good job done on what otherwise was a quiet day at the
castle, and with the weather and tides that has been an all too
common occurrence this summer so far. There have been some busy days
though and that will I'm sure become more normal in the coming weeks
for the whole island. It was also lovely to go along to the
Community Archive Open Day at the Reading Rooms a couple of weeks
ago - what a triumph that project has been, and I look forward to
making use of the archive and hopefully contributing to it in the
|WHEN THE WHALE CAME
When we first came for Holy Island
family holidays in the 1970s, we used to stay at the Lindisfarne
Hotel. I was about eight or so and to me and my sisters it
felt like we'd arrived in holiday heaven.
The Lindisfarne Hotel, originally built in 1903 by two spinsters,
is a grand, brick-built Edwardian property. To us, it was like
staying in a stately home.
Back then though its new owners (Clive and Sue Massey) faced a
mammoth amount of work.
They had the daunting task of trying to revamp the building and
bring it up to date.
The guests' hot water was still being heated by an old coke
Still, when you're eight, you're far less
interested in hot water and much more interested in the chance to
explore the island's beaches. And thanks to our parents'
enthusiasm for all things wild, we couldn't get enough of them;
hunting out different birds, shells, fossils, flowers, even
We quickly discovered which beaches delivered the best finds:
Cuthbert's Beach for fossils, Coves Haven for rock pools and
the waters off Emmanuel Head for leaping salmon and giant white
mesmerising birds called Gannets.
An early encounter was finding a huge Gannet sheltering on the
beach not far from the castle. As bird folk know, they're not
a common sight on Holy Island's beaches. So coming face to face with
one boasting a wing span of over 6ft was a big shock.
The Gannet must have been tired
because it didn't look injured and it didn't fly off, even though
I'd obviously surprised it. I was just gobsmacked by its
beautiful sleek feathers and its bright beady eye.
I ran back to the hotel as quickly as I could to get the folks to
come and see my amazing discovery.
Luckily for us (a trio of budding naturalists) Sue and Clive were
also keen to hear about what new things we and their other guests
were finding. And one morning there was some amazing news. On
the wild north shore a huge whale had been washed up on the beach.
We were used to coming across the odd dead seal....but a whale...
this was of David Attenborough proportions.
We all quickly donned our wellies and headed for the shore, where
we clearly could see the outline of the huge body.
It must have been over 20 feet long and had a massive tail. Back
in those days Google wasn't around to help with identification and
it was well beyond our beginner bird and flower books.
The general feeling amongst the fast gathering crowd was that it
was either a Humpback or Minke whale.
Thinking about it now, I suspect it was a Humpback. They're
described as rather lumpy animals that can reach lengths of up to 17
metres and this one was certainly lumpy.
The drawing below shows a comparison between a Humpback
(top) and Minke (bottom).
|Illustration by Charles Melville Scammon
As you can imagine, the day the whale came
was a big event and nearly 50 years on it's still the only one I've
ever seen on the island. Today its photo is proudly displayed
in the Oasis Coffee Shop - the café that Clive and Sue downsized to
when they finally sold their lovely hotel.
In the café you can also find some of Clive's artistic work in
the shape of his great map of the island - 'Find Your Way Around The
Holy Island of Lindisfarne' - with all 'our' beaches marked on
In revisiting the whale, I also discovered that it's not the only
giant to have been washed up on Lindisfarne's shores.
1932 a huge lobster was discovered.
According to a newspaper report in the Tamworth Herald of 2 April
1932, it was over 3 feet long!
Now that's a lot of lobster.
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
This year continues to fly along at what seems close to warp
speed, as the long summer days fade and the nights begin to get
longer. As I write this another hefty, blustery rain shower is
pummelling the window signalling a change to more autumnal weather.
It is change that is something that is ever present on the reserve.
The shorebird season is mostly finished with large numbers of
fledgling birds from Lindisfarne and beyond using the reserve as a
staging post before beginning their epic migrations south. On the
flipside, thousands of waders and wildfowl are massing in the high
artic waiting for the right weather to move en masse to their winter
home... Lindisfarne. Already large flocks of Redshank and Curlew are
descending on the mudflats with numbers increasing every week.
Our events programme has been in full swing this summer with
shorebird crafts for children held at the Windows on Wild
Lindisfarne building as well as disseminating the key messages of
reserve to adults. We have been making flappy terns, Lapwing
puppets, butterfly masks and making huge numbers of badges. There
has also been guided walks, rockpool rambles and seal watches. For
more information visit lindisfarnennr.blogspot.com where a full list
of our upcoming events can be found.
The annual battle with pirri-pirri burr commenced as several
groups have been out, clearing the seed heads from the main paths
and desire lines within the dune system. This is done systematically
every year to hinder its ability to easily spread into other parts
of the reserve and beyond. The usual messages of keeping dogs on
leads and removing all the burrs from your clothes before leaving
were given to tourists encountered. It seems like a thankless task,
but there is something oddly satisfying looking back along a clear
path that was carpeted with burrs just an hour before!
Another constant battle is with the tide of plastic waste that is
continuing to wash up on our shores. A number of litter picks have
been carried out on the island itself and there are others planned
over the coming month. We ask that you please take all rubbish with
you when you leave the reserve. If you would like to take part in an
organised Beach clean there is one scheduled on 14th
September. We meet at the snook car park just before 10am (gloves,
bags and litterpicker provided).
We normally see a few painted lady
butterflies around the reserve every year but this year was a little
bit different. Painted ladies make a multi-generational migration
from Africa every year and early news reported good numbers further
south. The weather on the continent aided their migration and
breeding with scorching weather and southerly winds pushing them
ever northward towards our doorstep. In the last week of July they
finally arrived in numbers that haven't been seen in over a decade.
Clouds of these exquisitely delicate aeronauts could be seen on
every flower around the reserve. Recently more people have become
aware of using nature as a form of therapy and I can definitely
concur that there is something that is stirred in your soul when you
see these incredible mass migrations!
Lindisfarne & Newham
|THAT BLOODY BURR
|Pirri Pirri Burr - photo Andy Denton
"That Bloody Burr" is a comment often heard when walking past
visitors in the Snook Car Park and along the Sand side Road.
Those of you who walk in the dunes anywhere from Snook Point to
Emanuel Head during the summer months will have met this invasive
alien plant that produces a flower head that fastens harpoon like to
clothing and in particular dog fur.
Pirri Pirri Burr or to give the plant its proper name Acaena
Novae-Zelandiae is a low growing tough plant, native to New Zealand
and S E Australia and grows over large areas of the Islands dunes.
It can grow in large clones or singularly and produces multiple
fruits. The fruit is the burr that readily spears and clings to
clothing, shoe laces and fur. It has also been observed sticking to
the downey feathers of a small number of ground nesting fledging
birds and stranded exhausted homing Pigeons.
If you look closely Pirri Pirri Burr fruit you can see multiple
barbed tips of the fruit that all too readily lock into clothing,
fur and occasionally feathers.
When walking in the dunes when the burrs are present, the only
way to protect your clothing is to wear wellingtons. Sadly many
visitors who park at the Snook or along the Sand Side Road let their
dog(s) out for a run and find to their cost when the dog comes back,
its coat is matted with burrs. What a sorry sight to see a long
haired dog covered and the owner trying desperately to comb and
brush out the Acaena. During the grooming process a dog can become
distressed, and those who know the Island, keep their dog(s) on a
leash and only let them run free on the sands.
How and why Lindisfarne? Pirri Pirri Burr was accidently
introduced into Britain by the wool trade importing fleece from New
Zealand and Southern Australia for the wool industry. If you know
your local history you will recall that scattered along the Tweed
Valley were numerous woollen mills and back in the early 20th
Century much of the mill waste, unless it had a value, was discarded
into the River and the natural process flushed the waste downstream,
clusters of Acaena have been recorded around Melrose and Gala.
The Burr/seed head being tenacious found growing space along the
river banks and mature plants produce viable seed. The seeds could
then have become attached to the feathers around the hoof of
tinker's horses and pony's and then as the traveller brought his
goods across the sands to sell on the Island, the seed set on the
Snook and has spread across much of the dry dune land.
It has been suggested that Lindisfarne has the largest Acaena
population in Great Britain, but I'm not aware of any recent
distribution survey(s) and that may have changed. But I do know the
dunes are well contaminated and the Burr is one of the first plants
to re-colonise bare areas following a dune fire. But the threat to
more special Island plants is low, the burr prefers older dry dunes
and most of the more interesting plants grow in the damp dune
In the mid-sixties the Nature Conservancy began small scale low
volume weed killer trials in an attempt to identify a method to
manage this problem. Having identified a chemical control and the
volume of herbicide required. The method of application was then
examined and the plant was treated with herbicide using a paint
brush to apply a correct dose of weed killer. That treatment was
successful and selective with little or no by-kill, but crawling
through the dunes on hands and knees was hugely labour intensive and
Next method of application, we used a knapsack sprayer.
This time using a weaker solution of chemical to limit damaging
spray drift impacting on non-target species and it was concluded
that 2 or 3 applications of chemical was required to kill the burr,
but the side effect of using a knapsack sprayer on other vegetation
was unacceptable. There was some suggestion that after treatment and
die-off the open bare area(s) were vulnerable to erosion during the
The conclusion was that although we had established that, at the
time, the only herbicide then available, 2-4-5T would control this
vigorous woody plant. (For those with long memories may recall
2-3-5T was the base chemical for Agent Orange used in Vietnam,) We
were concerned that careless application would have a serious impact
on the other more specialised rare dune vegetation, as well as cost
an arm and a leg so the project was put on hold.
So for now it looks like we have to live with that "bloody burr"
and the considerable nuisance it causes to people and pets who walk
in the dunes.
If you are biosecurity concerned and have contaminated clothing,
bag it and burn it when you get home, there is no way to remove all
of the seeds you are carrying on your clothing and they will
If you have a dog with fur matted with Acaena seed, it will be a
long hard task that could take several days to remove the
contamination and its likely seed will be spread.
|NORTHUMBERLAND AND COAST AONB
Crypt Open Days for the Feast of
Saturday 31st August is the feast day of St. Aidan,
the gentle inspirational monk who, in 635AD, together with St Oswald
brought Christianity to northern England. In celebration of his
feast day, the Bamburgh Bones team will be hosting two open days of
the Crypt of St.Aidan's [ Bamburgh! ]on Thursday
28th and Saturday 31st August, 11.00am - 2.00pm.
The open days will be a chance to visit the beautiful
12th Century crypt below the chancel of St Aidan's church before the
new interpretation and access are installed. The open days also
presents the opportunity to learn more about the Heritage Grant
funded Bamburgh Bones project and find out about a variety of
volunteering opportunities. Guides will be on hand to explain the
amazing Anglo-Saxon heritage of Bamburgh and the lives of the 110
individuals now laid to rest in ossuary boxes in the second crypt,
as well as explore some of the colourful characters interred in the
Entry is free and via an external staircase at the
north end of the church.
|FROM FORD & ETAL
Etal Show - Sunday 1st September
Taking place on Etal Showground, this annual event is
now in its 83rd year. A wide range of horticultural, craft and
children's classes, food and craft stalls, children's entertainment,
beer tent and a range of attractions on the show field including
archery, vintage vehicles, live music and more promise to make this
a great day out. Gates open 12 noon. Admission £4.00,
children and parking free.
Etal Live Music: "Union Jill"
- 7th September
Sharon Winfield and Helen Turner, from York, are
singers, instrumentalists and songwriters showcasing a variety of
strong songs in an upbeat style. Playing their own material, they've
established an appealing stage presence and gathered an ever-growing
fan base across the UK. They mix traditional folk instrumentation
(guitars, mandola, concertina) with an edgy contemporary feel and
powerful vocal delivery. Their material embraces historical themes
and contemporary issues; personal experiences and protest songs.
They have an on-stage banter that you only get from two women
sharing a stage.
Doors open 7.30pm, music begins at
8.00pm. Bar on site. For more information or to buy
tickets in advance contact Steve or Helen on email@example.com/
Flour Festival, Heatherslaw Cornmill
- 22nd September
Following the success of last year's Flour Festival,
the event will be repeated this year. Admission to the Mill is
free and there are free activities for children including baking at
2.00 and 3.30pm.
There will be hands-on activities, milling
demonstrations and competitions. There is also an adults'
breadmaking workshop (10am-1pm) followed by a light lunch.
Cost is £25.00 per person and places are limited so please book in
advance by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of all the above can be found at www.ford-and-etal.co.uk
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND HILDA
||Rev Ray Simpson|
Seven members of the Community of Aidan and Hilda were
among the speakers at The Celtic Summer School held in Durham in
Ken McIntosh, from USA, first led an Open Gate retreat
on 'Fresh Water from an Ancient Well'. He new book is entitled
Reading the Bible the Celtic Way: the Peacock's Tail Feathers. This
comes from Scotus Eriguena, who taught that there are as many ways
to read the Bible as there are colours in a peacock's feathers:
instead of using the Bible to put everything in boxes we should use
it to open windows.
Venues included three churches and the cathedral for a
concert by Iona the band, led by Dave Bainbridge, who has the bench
on the Heugh dedicated to his late sister Mo. Holy Island
residents who took part included Mary Fleason who led an art
workshop, and Andy and Anna Raine for an evening of interview and
Graham Booth came from the Shetlands to talk about
Soul friends, and our academic advisor, Professor Ian Bradley, of
St. Andrews' University, gave a roller coaster of researches into
the Celtic Christian tradition. David Cole, a regular Open
Gate retreat leader, has become our first monk, and spoke in his
green habit about meditation and silence. He will lead a retreat at
The Open Gate September 16-20 on Befriending Silence. Greg
Valerio runs a farm in Sussex with a group named Saint Columba
Society, and challenged us to work the land with respect for
A cathedral canon welcomed us with a reading from Bede
about Saint Hilda recognizing the gift of song given to the
illiterate cowherd Caedmon. We were encouraged to release the
songs locked in every human heart.
|FROM OUR CHURCHES
||Rev Canon Dr Sarah
Hills & Rev Rachel Poolman |
We hope you have all had a good summer so far - whether you have
been able to have a holiday or have been working hard on the Island
, or trying to predict what the weather was going to do next.
For all the Island churches it has been a busy time of welcoming
pilgrims and visitors; these encounters are a constant reminder of
our shared Christian faith and purpose. As the 2 full time resident
ministers on Holy Island we each have a calling to offer pastoral
support and a listening ear to all those who seek it, whether they
are residents or visitors, and whatever their understanding of
Since Sarah's arrival, the two of us have increasingly enjoyed
working together and are aware of the many ways in which our roles
complement each other. One of the early outcomes of this was our
shared worship on St Cuthbert's Day back in March, and also the
different services we were able to offer during Holy Week and
Easter. Since then, we have set up 'Prayers for Peace' - a
shared service every Thursday in St Mary's at 5.30pm. Many visitors
have commented how refreshing it is to see the different traditions
You may also have heard the Radio 4 Sunday Worship broadcast from
Holy island on August 18th - if not it is available to listen
again via the BBC website ! This was a wonderful opportunity for
those involved in the Church of England and the United Reformed
Church here on the Island to reflect to a huge audience that we are
all God's children and called by God to be one.
We are also both conscious that St Cuthbert's and St Mary's and
their congregations have played an important part in the life of the
Island and that we are building on a long history here of
cooperation and mutual support.
As we come towards the end of the summer season we will be
reflecting more on ways to build on this
relationship. From next month in this publication
we plan to alternate writing this opening letter whilst continuing
to keep everyone informed of activities at both churches.
Each church has a facebook page and a website where you can get a
flavour of what goes on and how we interact with people locally and
around the world. We would also be very pleased to hear your
ideas about what you would like to see the churches contributing to
life on the island. Do be in touch!
St Cuthbert's Centre (UnitedReformed
'Be still and know that I am God' (Psalm 46 v
From the expansiveness of the skies
feathers of the sparrow
from the rhythm of the waves
falling of the leaves
from the undulating horizon
journey of the sands
the Spirit calls us
constancy of change
the intricacies of creation
complexities of life
at one with ourselves
that is around us
and with the Divine
where clamour is calmed
souls are fed
and with hope
A reminder that there is a collection point for the Berwick Food
Bank in the porch at St Cuthbert's Centre. The summer holidays
have put a financial strain on families whose children usually
receive free school meals, and the start of term means finding money
for uniform etc..
The food bank is currently particularly asking for donations of
adults and childrens toiletries, tinned meat and tinned
vegetables. They also try to keep a stock of cat and dog
food. All donations are welcomed !