Welcome to our October newsletter.
Fortunately, Storm Agnes fizzled to gale-force as it swept past. Many cars had chosen to maroon themselves on the island over the tide to await returning home after nightfall. During that pitch black night with gale-driven tides rushing under the bridge, it will have been a really noisy and nervous passage back - and a keen awareness of the bridge's damaged balustrades.
Even as I write today a moderate south-westerly is blowing while the Spring tide reaches its 5+Metre peak.
Those whose paid subscription for 'Holy Island Times' was previously withheld should now have received the PCC's new-look replacement. We shall continue to offer our articles written for Sarah to choose.
With schoolchildren back to school the daily cyber visits to our tidal page down to 424 per day reveals that autumn is upon us. If you are contemplating a visit do keep in mind that as nights close in, they're also getting colder! This is definitely not a good time of year to risk missing tidal openings. Please doublecheck the safe causeway crossing times. And do make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged in case you need to call for help
Visitors cannot fail to notice St. Coombs farm shop as they enter the village. Our picture shows just some of the Brigham farmland stretching along the Straight Lonnen from village to the Dunes. Regretfully, we must announce the sad loss of one of life's true gentlemen, Robert, whose funeral service took place in our island church on Tuesday 12th September. He is succeeded by his wife and family who continue to manage the farm and sell Holy Island produce.
Those visiting Lindisfarne during September may well have seen or even chatted to Dr David Petts and the DigVentures archaeologist team who resumed excavations in Sanctuary Close. We are delighted that David thought to send an article especially for you.
Thank you to all our authors who have given their time to present their monthly reports.
We hope you enjoy our October newsletter and look forward to contacting you next month.
PS: In connection with a news report on increasing youth knife crime, it was mentioned that the newly born don't emerge into the world with a desire to harm others... Between then and an occupied Ukraine, are centres practicing horrific torture on other human beings. Woefully, was it ever thus?
I always look forward to seeing the children after the long summer holidays - they seem to grow so much in six weeks! This September we have five children in our school. It's wonderful to see our numbers growing and we have three more children attending Lowick nursery which means when they're Reception age, they'll join us in our main school.
In July we had a very special assembly to celebrate our Year 4 leavers. As we are a first school, the children leave us for middle school at the end of Year 4. Scarlett-Beau has now left us to begin some exciting adventures at her new school. It has been an absolute pleasure to teach Scarlett-Beau over the last five years. It was very hard for us all to say goodbye but we know she will be just as amazing in her new school! We all wish Scarlett-Beau the very best - her new school is very lucky to be having her join them!
I think the most important news we have is that our school transport has now arrived. We are all delighted. It was delayed but we were able to use the Lowick community bus while we waited for delivery. The new vehicle is a nine seater and we love it! There's lots of space and it means we can all travel together over the causeway to and from Lowick school when the tide allows.
We have been harvesting runner beans and lettuce from our school garden and our broad beans are just about ready. We are also growing squash and onions and before the holidays we dug our potatoes. They were delicious! We are focusing on plants and their uses in science this half term and we are visiting a garden near Ford where Pippa Willits (who runs our forest school sessions) will show us plants that can be used for medicinal and healing purposes. This links nicely with our history which is all about the plague in 1665 and the great fire of London in 1666.
We will be visiting the Discovery Museum in Newcastle in November to take part in a workshop about the fire in Newcastle and Gateshead in 1854. We think it will be interesting to compare this event to the fire of London. We are taking part in a dramatic re-enactment, puppet making and story-telling which will be great fun I'm sure. I'll let you know how we get on!
Our website: www.lowickholyislandschools.org.uk
As we move into October the Crossman Hall will once again be available to the island community. Dig Ventures, the archaeological group will leave the week beginning 25th September. After tidying up etc the hall will be available for residents use from 28th September.
Whilst we welcome and need Dig Ventures business it will be good to have the hall back to normal.
October bookings for the hall are small, we have the Harvest Lunch on 8th, there are several enquiries to use hall, including a climate change pilgrimage / exhibition but nothing confirmed at the time of writing.
All the best, Sue Massey
We've just come to the end of another successful season of excavation on Lindisfarne - run by a team from DigVentures and Durham University. This is our eighth season of digging, and we only have two more planned, so we are very much starting to feel we are on the homeward stretch. Nonetheless, we are continuing to make important discoveries, both in the field and back in the laboratories and workspaces where we do our post-excavation analysis.
A good example of the value of this lab work is our improved understanding of the assemblages of animal bone we've found on site. Not surprisingly, these include the usual suspects- cattle, sheep and pig, but we also have evidence that the past inhabitants were eating a wide range of foods from maritime contexts. Fish bone identified includes cod, monkfish, ling, conger eel, haddock, tope shark, gurnard and ballan wrasse. Seabirds were also on the menu - and we have evidence that they were eating puffins, guillemots and gulls, and last year for the first time we found the bones of the now- extinct Great Auk. The last Great Auk lived in Iceland, where the last one was killed in 1844, but there are hints of Great Auk colonies on the Farnes in the mid-18th century. Other animal remains include whale and seal bone - possibly being exploited not just for their meat, but also their fat and oil. Perhaps the most surprising discovery was a fragment of turtle bone - we think that this may be the first time that turtle has been found in an archaeological assemblage in Britain.
In terms of site work, this season has been marked by an improved understanding of the earlier layers in our trenches. Most significantly this has included more exploration of the remains of a series of large stone structures, including a beautifully constructed culvert. These seem to belong to one of the earliest phases of activity - and may even predate the presence of the monastery. We are impatiently waiting the return of the results of some radiocarbon dating that will help us tie down the precise chronology for this phase. The major development this year is that we've also excavated a section of a large ditch that underlies these stone structures- and must predate them. Have we found prehistoric Holy Island? Hopefully further radiocarbon dates will help clarify this over the coming year.
We've also continued to explore traces of the large cemetery that covers much of the area to the east of the Priory. We still have yet to find the edge of the burial ground which was used throughout the early medieval period. We will be able to analyse the bone using a range of techniques including Ancient DNA and bone isotope chemistry, before returning them for reburial on the Island.
As ever the whole team want to extend a massive thanks to all those who live and work on the island, and have provided practical and moral support to us over the last month.
You can read past reports from our fieldwork and find out how to support our work by visiting our website: https://digventures.com/projects/lindisfarne/
David Petts, Durham University
MIGRATION AT BOTH ENDS OF EUROPE
October is always the month birdwatchers enjoy around the island because it's the period when huge numbers of birds pass through on their southwards autumn migration.
Most are from Scandinavia, Iceland, the Baltic and Russia but with some coming from as far away as Siberia to the east and Greenland and arctic North America in the west.
With the thousands of Redwings, Fieldfares, northern Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Goldcrests, Robins, Bramblings and common warblers usually come the real stars of autumn, the smaller eastern warblers caught up in the migration rush.
This is the period when birders are on the alert for goodies such as the regular Yellow-browed Warblers from the other side of the Urals and the much more rare and therefore highly prized Arctic, Pallas's, Dusky and Radde's warblers and other real rarities which usually occur either singly or in very low numbers.
While the island is enjoying this seasonal treat migration is, of course, also going on throughout the rest of Britain and Europe as literally millions of birds head towards their wintering grounds in Africa.
As everyone knows, I'm a dedicated fan of migration on the island but just occasionally I do like to travel elsewhere. This year my first overseas trip for a decade took me to the other end of Europe to see bird movements from an entirely different perspective.
With five colleagues, I had eight days of superb watching at the very southern tip of Spain around the medieval walled town of Tarifa, overlooking the mountains of North Africa, in full view just a dozen miles away across the Straits of Gibraltar.
The straits are the shortest sea crossing to Africa and so the area is a venue for huge numbers of birds seeking the safest and easiest route available. This particularly applies to many of Europe's breeding birds of prey, including eagles, vultures, buzzards and kites which rely heavily on hot rising air from baked ground creating the thermals on which they rely for effortless soar to great heights, often completely vanishing from view.
These big impressive birds do this without having to use valuable energy flapping their wings. They then simply glide onwards for many miles to reach the next thermals to rise again and repeat the process moving ever southwards towards their destination.
Thermals don't occur over water so birds seek out the shortest possible sea crossing, in this case the narrow stretch of water dividing Europe and Africa.
When winds and weather are favourable these soaring species can easily make their way safely across, often visible as only tiny specks high in the blue. But when winds or strong or cloud cover is unfavourable they don't attempt even this short crossing.
What is almost an avian traffic jam builds up on the Spanish side of the straits with many thousands of big raptors waiting impatiently for better conditions, naturally a sight which delights us bird-watchers.
Other big species, including Ospreys and harriers, which don't rely on thermals can usually, cross without such problems as can many smaller species including strong-flying Bee-eaters which can cross in just a few minutes.
Beautiful Bee-eater: a bird which could increase with our warming climate.Photo: Mike S Hodgson
This annual spectacle is what makes the straits one of Europe's top destinations for those who want to watch spectacular migration in action and has led to the creation of high watch-points, including the famous Observatorio Cazalla high on a hill above the old town.
On one occasion when we arrived more than 100 people with binoculars, telescopes and cameras were present and the parking area was jammed. Fortunately, that was exceptional and most of the time it was only moderately busy.
Spanish ornithological groups carry out regular migration counts at the site and on one day just before we arrived had logged a movement of over 7,000 Honey Buzzards making the crossing.
They are rare birds in Britain but are among the most numerous of European and Russian buzzards.
As their name suggests, their diet really does include seeking out the nests of wild bees, wasps and other insects.
We spent many happy hours at Cazalla and at a couple of other watch-points, including one with a very handy cafe, during our stay. After all, what could be better than sitting with a good coffee or a cold drink and watching flock after flock of Honey Buzzards and beautiful blue, green, orange and yellow Bee-eaters moving overhead across to Africa with iconic species including Booted and Short-toed eagles and Griffon and Egyptian vultures soaring right overhead in brilliant light? I can thoroughly recommend it.
Bee-eaters are fantastically colourful birds. They don't just eat bees but a full range of insects which they catch on the wing, just like our local Swallows. They're extremely rare in Britain although occasionally pairs do breed in tunnels which they scrape out in sandbanks, usually in quarries.
There have been breeding records from Durham, Cumbria and Yorkshire and with warmer temperatures more are occurring here. At the moment there is just one island record, a single over the Snook back in May 2007 but, as they say, watch this space!
Bee-eaters have a wonderful far-carrying call and you usually hear them before you see them. While we were there we had flocks of several hundred a day passing southwards, a lovely sight.
Every day we also had hundreds of Swallows moving past fast and low and always southwards. They were moving singly or in small groups and, seemingly whatever the weather, were heading straight out across the straits, next stop Africa.
I did wonder rather fondly if any of them were birds from the island. But with literally millions of Swallows on the move from right across Europe the chances seemed slim. But it's something you and I will never know. But I'd like to think I'd seen a few familiar faces or wings!
As the rain lashes against the castle windows it felt appropriate to write this month about the approaching winter, and the busy period the darker months have in store. I remember being told when I started here that I would always be busier in the winter than in the summer, and to a large extent that is true (although on a busy August day it is difficult to think that way). We tend to cram the winters with as much 'stuff' as is possible, and invariably things get shunted into the next winter and so on. Prioritising what to get down in that short period - four months on paper but less when you factor in Christmas and daylight issues - is tricky, often informed by what is coming next.
That is currently the situation with next season as we are coming to the end of Paul Rooney's two-year installation at the castle - Song After Nature. This will be replaced with Liz Gre's Embodied Cacophanies which will then run for the next two seasons. Not only will we be installing Liz's work into the Upper Gallery (the same room at the top of the castle facing the village used by Paul) but we are also refreshing the visitor experience in the rest of the castle. This will involve furnishings returning to the castle from store - some of which have been away from the building since as far back as 2015 - as well as new interpretation being brought into the castle rooms. Some of the interpretation is based on newly discovered archival sources which are changing the way we understand the castle's development, which is pretty exciting.
We have also got scheduled maintenance and repair works planned in for the winter. We have identified a set of rooms to be painted as part of the phased internal decorations work following on from the major restoration work a few years ago. We have had to take our time with this and let walls dry out and plasters/mortars cure properly. The environmental conditions here make this a long-drawn-out process, but it is the right approach to do this when the building is ready, rather than when we are. One area of note we are looking to paint is the notable blue wall on the west end of the Dining Room which is often fondly remembered by returning visitors. I have probably told this story before in the annals of this publication but for anyone at the back who missed it, basically the blue most of us are familiar with was put on the wall in the 1970s following the electrification of the castle. Two wall lamps were installed on the wall and then rather than 'chase' the cabling into the plaster, the electricians surfaced-mounted them and then they were plastered over (the cables, not the electricians). The blue on the original wall was replicated but was far too dark and not at all in-keeping. The blue itself wasn't really in keeping with Lutyens work at all, an architect who didn't really use bold colours like this - although apparently, he did like black. I do have a reference from Linda Lilburn from her time as housekeeper here that Mr Hudson had wanted to experiment with colour in the castle so it could be his doing... Hopefully over the winter we might be able to get an idea of what Hudson was going for.
Nick Lewis - Collections and House Officer
nick.lewis @ nationaltrust.org.uk
07918 335 471
AUTUMN AND WINTER AT LINDISFARNE PRIORY & MUSEUM
Well, this is a surprise, Autumn is here, and the winter season will be upon on us very soon! How did Spring and Summer pass by so quickly? Maybe it will be a little quieter as the weather begins to turn, even though I am writing this as I look out onto a gorgeous blue sky and lovely sunshine. Could be a cool breeze though making it feel a little cooler. A perfect autumn day.
We have welcomed thousands of visitors to the site over the season, some arriving via the causeway in a variety of motor vehicles, some walking the Pilgrim's way, others on the lovely boat trips from Seahouses, and many on trips from cruise ships. We have enjoyed seeing and chatting to them all! Their support is amazing and appreciated!
We have some wonderful comments from visitors about their visit along with the very funny, the unusual and the downright rude! Some comments that are repeated many times a day are, 'Henry has a lot to answer for', as most people still believe that he wrecked the Priory, he didn't as it was useful to him at the time. Another question is, 'Why is that arch at such a strange angle?', The answer is 'Because it is the one rib left from the vaulted ceiling' After a moment you can physically see that they have got it. It is a revelation to watch as they can then imagine what the whole nave looked like. It never fails to brighten my day. There are always many questions, about the site and an amazing amount about island life too. It is rare for any of us to have a 'bad day'!
Dig Ventures have returned once again to carry on with their brilliant dig. Hopefully we will all be able to see some of the fantastic finds in the future. I am sorry that I haven't had as much time as usual to follow all that is happening, but I will do my best to catch up. All of us at the Priory are still very excited with some of the most recent finds now in our lovely museum. We do hope that more will follow over the next few years. There are only two more seasons left here for Dig Ventures so let us all hope for some fantastic discoveries!
We will only be open at weekends after the 5th of November and will also be open between Christmas and the New Year. Please remember that if you are a full-time resident of the island, you and your family can enjoy free entry. Come along and visit, we would love to see you!
Sophie Howard - Site Manager
In the last few weeks we have had the first sight of Light-bellied Brent Geese returning to the Reserve quickly followed by Pink-footed Geese and Barnacle Geese. This heralds the change from summer to autumn as the mornings and evenings are often filled with a cacophony of noise as birds flight in and out of the Reserve. The weather has been changeable of late too from warm muggy days to windy cooler days as we slowly transition into autumn and winter.
We have now removed and packed away all the Shorebird infrastructure on the Reserve and now the dust has settled we can reveal it was a good breeding season. Little Terns nested at three different locations on the Reserve; fledging 104 young from 68 nests. Ringed Plovers managed to fledge 35 young from 27 pairs including two pairs right under the Heugh. The nests on the island successfully fledged 7 young. Without protection areas many of these birds simply wouldn't have the space to nest and raise their young so thank you to everyone for respecting the fencing. Now that the wintering birds are returning in their thousands please give birds space to roost and feed. Dogs still need to remain on leads or at close heel at all times on the Reserve. This is a year-round bylaw and not just in place during the nesting season. This is to protect the internationally important numbers of wildfowl and waders that fly thousands of miles to feed and roost on the food rich mud and sandflats of the Reserve.
From early October the cattle will once again return to the Links on the island; munching their way through all the rank grass that has grown over the summer. Keeping the rank grasses down is imperative to allow the rich floristic diversity in the dunes to flourish and using large grazing animals is the perfect way to do it. The sheep will also be returning soon to the Snook to graze on invasives such as Michaelmas Daisy and even a bit of Pirri-pirri burr.
Over the next few months our volunteer team will be out on force on the island carrying out various habitat management tasks. Much of the habitat management works have to be carried out over autumn and winter due to the prevalence of ground nesting birds and scarce botany flowering throughout the spring and summer months. We will be out removing lots of scrub regeneration cutting and raking dune slacks where grazing is not appropriate and removing invasive species from the dunes.
On October 21st and 22nd we will be staging our first Goose Festival. The aim of this is to show people the incredible wildlife spectacle of geese flighting in and out of the Reserve but also highlight what an incredibly special and important site Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is for the conservation of geese species. There will be several events over the weekend both on and off the island. Dawn choruses will be held at the Budle Bay platform from 7am - 9am on both Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd. Here you will be able to hear and see thousands of geese leave the Reserve in what is truly one of natures great spectacles as they pass right over your head.
Please keep an eye out on our social media pages or call the Reserve on 01289381470 for more information.
Andy Denton - Reserve Manager
Lindisfarne & Newham NNRs
I now have two robotic telescopes in Chile, that I control via the internet from the comfort of Holy Island. Both are hosted in a remote observatory, at high altitude in an isolated and inaccessible region of the Andes. Only a single neighbour is visible on a distant mountain peak. That building is the Vera C Rubin Observatory, which promises to transform astronomy when it becomes operational next year.
I mentioned this new observatory in previous columns. I wrote briefly then about the astronomer Vera Rubin, in honour of whom the facility is named. This time let me tell you more about the amazing telescope that is housed there.
The purpose of the new telescope, which is mainly funded by the National Science Foundation in the USA to the tune of £500 million, is to undertake a comprehensive survey of the entire southern night sky. This survey is known as the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). It will be carried out - not once - but thousands of times: repeated every three nights over ten years. This feat is made possible thanks to the largest astronomical camera ever built, enormous ultra-high-resolution optics and a lightning-fast mechanical system can throw the telescope weighing many tons around the sky with phenomenal precision.
Each night the 3.2-gigapixel digital camera will take a 15-second exposure every 20 seconds. Over 5000 of these frames, each covering a different small patch of sky, will be stitched together into a mosaic. In the course of its first decade, the telescope will revisit each patch approximately 800 times.
The torrent of data that will flow from the Vera Rubin Observatory is almost beyond comprehension. 100 petabytes of storage will be needed to archive it all. To put that in perspective, that is about 2000 times the amount of data in every book ever written.
Incredibly, the computing system that supports the telescope will analyse each frame in real time as the data flows in. Within just 60 seconds, the automated system will compare each image with previous recordings of the same patch of sky. When changes are detected, an alert will be issued. Millions of such alerts are expected to be sent out to astronomers around the world every night.
What will these alerts reveal? There are many possibilities, some difficult to predict. We can expect to discover tens of thousands of previously unknown asteroids in the Solar System. If there is a hidden ninth planet lurking somewhere out there, we should know with the first few weeks after the Vera Rubin Observatory comes on-line. Astronomers will be able to study supernovae, in our own Milky Way as well as in distant galaxies, just minutes after they first explode into visibility. A million are expected to be discovered each year.
Perhaps most excitingly, if the activities of alien civilisations can be observed from great distances, then this wonderful new telescope offers our best opportunity to date for detecting them. The coming years promise to be a golden era in astronomy.
Max Whitby, thevisibleuniverse.com
Have we made a cene?
Two things you've possibly never heard of: the word "Anthropocene" and geologists getting all hot under the collar.
First the word - Anthropocene - defined as the period in the history of the Earth when humans made their indelible mark on the planet. Yes, when geological time divisions are usually measured in tens and hundreds of millions of years, in an absurdly insignificant amount of time (an awful lot less than one million, and maybe just 73, years - since 1950!) we've managed to leave significant amounts of unsavoury evidence of our short open-ended tenancy of the planet.
So what is the evidence? Apart from the qualitative stuff that's in plain sight - the landfill dumps, river and ocean pollution, there's more quantitative evidence that scientists can measure. That sits undisturbed in mud on quiet lake floors but is also (currently) locked in the ice of Antarctica (and in peat bogs, oceans and corals). The list of the evidence is long and not so attractive. In addition to the obvious artifacts of our disposable culture elsewhere, the lake mud and ice records fossil fuel burning, metal smelting, fertiliser spreading, forest clearance, nuclear fallout, and oh yes, global warming.
A profane consequence of all this is that the geological community think that all this evidence marks a very substantial and dramatic change point in the history of the Earth - one that will leave a permanent record. It's called the global "Great Acceleration". The name for this division of geological time is the Anthropocene. But science being science we want to tie it down with precision and get it right and debate the detail, so things are not so simple. So while a sizeable proportion of geologists think the Anthropocene merits recognition as a formal geological time period - an epoch - others are less convinced. Not about the impact on the Earth we humans have made, every scientist agrees on that. No, its about agreeing when these changes started - was it the dawn of agriculture and forest clearance 12,000 years ago, the industrial revolution, or the atomic bomb? Then there's defining a place on the planet that is the "Golden Spike" - the place that best captures the changes. Right now the mud at the bottom of a peaceful 24 metre deep lake in Ontario, Canada - Crawford Lake - is leading the field of potential candidates. Add to that the argument that geological time divisions are usually measured in millions of years not decades and you have the ingredients for a fertile and febrile debate. For what it's worth, regardless of the formal decision about its start point, spike location and short-lived duration, most of us believe that the Anthropocene is not going to go away - we humans have left our mark.
Looking at the Anthropocene more philosophically. Whoever inherits our planet a few million years down the line, will they look back at our bit of the fossil record and judge that we - humankind, the self-proclaimed, most sophisticated organisms on the planet, the pinnacle of evolution (currently) - mucked up? We've still got time to put it right before our profligacy comes back to bite us? Well maybe do better in the future and put some of it right at any rate - and we can't claim ignorance any more, we know it's happening. But how many of us do you think have the resolve to put the E in Environment before the E in Economy? Answers on a postcard to your democratically elected representative.
On St. Aidan's Day, August 31, a group from Berwick joined Northumbria members of The Community of Aidan and Hilda for a celebration of St. Aidan, following the Holy Communion service at St. Mary's, around his statue in the churchyard. Then we walked to the heugh for four 'sea change' spiritual; exercises. These included how we may 'pour oil on troubled waters', heal broken places, and turn back destructive invasions.
Following a coffee break members went to a packed Prayer Room where Amy Haynes, of the USA, took her first vows.
Everyone who took part was invited to join the campaign to make Aidan the patron saint of the UK or of 'The Isles' - the eight administrations in The British-Irish Council including Dublin and the Channel Isles.
Revd. Ray Simpson - Books, blogs, info: www.raysimpson.org
Founding Guardian, The international Community of Aidan and Hilda
TWO BATTLES OF PICTS
The first battle was in 84AD. The Roman Empire existed; the southern part of Britain (Britannia) was ruled by the Roman governor Agricola, an experienced army general who believed that it was his job to try to conquer the north. What we call the Scottish Lowlands was easily conquered, but the Northern Highlands?? Agricola marched north with three legions and some auxiliaries. His opponents are usually called "Caledonians", a mixed group which certainly included ancestors of "the Picts", and the place of the battle is known as "Mons Graupius" (the origin of the name Grampians). The result of the battle was a resounding victory for the highly disciplined Roman army. Agricola would have preferred to go further north without delay but sadly the Roman Emperor, jealous of his military fame, recalled him to Rome. The Caledonians were free to regroup and resettle the land that had been taken. The highlands were never to be conquered.
The second battle we deal with today was even more decisive. It happened in May 685 AD. The intervening centuries had witnessed the fall of the Roman Empire and, in Britain, the rise of the Kingdom of Northumbria to dominance. The Pictish lands had also settled into larger kingdoms. So this battle was between King Ecgfrith of Northumbria and King Brude of Pictavia. Ecgfrith was a seasoned and war-hungry warrior. It was he who provoked the battle by leading his army north to do what the Romans could not, to conquer the highlands. His failure was spectacular. The Picts had learned the art of luring their enemy on by showing themselves in small groups and then disappearing. We must imagine the fighting, when it occurred, to be hand-to-hand armed with swords, spears, axes and shields. The days of cavalry fighting had not yet come. Warriors would group round their local warlord and were often found dead with him in the centre. This indeed happened to Ecgfrith whose body was recovered from the centre of his band. The result of the battle seems to have been the almost total slaughter of the English. The consequences were decisive. No English army invaded again. The great days of Northumbria were over. But so were the independent days of the Picts. The Scots from the west side of the country managed to unite with them into one kingdom of Scotland and Picts gradually disappeared.
The Coat of Hopes is a patchwork pilgrim coat.
Made, worn, and walked by many hundreds of people during and since the pilgrimage on which it was created - from the south coast of England to the gates of COP 26, and to the UN climate summit 2021, in Glasgow. The Coat is now on its return journey to its starting place.
The Coat is made up of pieces of blanket into which people along the way have worked their griefs, remembrances, prayers and hopes for the place they call home.
It walks ever calling those who encounter it, or who share it, into the present. Supported by its warmth (love) - to bear its weight (responsibility) so that each might "wear the promise that we all belong together" as we seek to respond with our whole self to the climate and ecological emergency.
Between 3rd to 19th of October the Coat of Hopes:
will be resting, whilst on display at the Village Hall on Lindisfarne.
Please join us on 4th & 18th of October:
sharing story, making space for questions, and conversation about how we might respond to these times of concern, with an opportunity to wear the Coat. All are warmly invited to walk with the Coat of Hopes on its ongoing journey.
To find out more, visit www.coatofhopes.uk
please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to do so
+ our Youtube video +
A Harvest prayer based on Galatians 5 verses 22-23 But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Dear God our Father, thank you for always being with us through all the
seasons of the year.
Thank you when you comfort us in the cold and dark of Winter,
Thank you when you rejoice with us in the new life and hope of Spring.
Thank you when you enjoy the warmth and colour of summer with us.
Thank you that you give us so much in this Autumn season.
Thank you for the beauty all around us and for the abundance of ripening
fruits and seeds
Thank you for giving to us so generously.
We thank you for fruitfulness in all its forms.
Help us to develop our spiritual fruitfulness.
May the fruits of the spirit blossom and ripen in us
Father please fill us with love, joy, peace and patience.
Help us to show goodness and kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self
control in all our interactions with each other.
May these fruits grow in us so that we can serve you and each other better.
St Cuthberts Centre
As I write, there is a gale blowing outside ... autumn seems to be upon us. But it is also bright sunshine and not yet cold, so lots to be thankful for!
Harvest Festival is a time in the church's year to be thankful to God for his bountiful gifts of creation, and to our fishermen, farmers and all who provide our food for us. The Harvest festival service is at St Mary's on October 8th at 1045am - all are very welcome! And please do come along to the village's Harvest lunch in the Crossman Hall at 1pm on that day. It will be lovely to share this celebration with you!
As we celebrate all the good gifts God gives us, we also remember those who haven't got enough food to put on their tables in our country and across the world. And we hope and pray that the climate crisis can be eased by our actions, locally and globally.
We are also coming into the season when we remember those who have gone before, those we love and see no more. November 2nd is All Souls Day, and we will be having a simple service in St Mary's at 2pm that day to come together and remember those who have died. Come and light a candle for those we remember with love, and please do let me know the names of those you would like remembered in that service.
With every blessing