benjamin arrivesOn the exact anniversary of Benjamin’s first service in our parishes, we held a celebration Evening Prayer at St Cuthbert’s Beltingham, with top secret plans to surprise him when he arrived for his usual 5.15 pm service.  More than 30 parishioners got themselves into the church in excellent time, with cars all cunningly hidden, so that when Benjamin arrived, he was greeted by the Very Rev’d Michael Sadgrove who led the service, and took the opportunity to give thanks for all that Benjamin has done since he arrived.  After a rousing final hymn, Autumn Days when the grass is jewelled, the event took on a changed direction, as it was a splendid opportunity to celebrate Benjamin’s 40th birthday, complete with cake and candles, and the unexpected appearance of Steph and the children.  With tea and scones, and birthday cake and prosecco, Benjamin must have wondered when the surprises would end!

cake and card