On Tuesday July 10th, ten of us gathered in the beautiful setting of Shepherd's Dene Retreat for a "Day of Reflection". This was a follow - up to the contemplative meetings held during Lent.
Our thoughts and discussions were led by Gill Alexander. Doreen Palmer and Jenny Sadgrove also led sessions on different aspects of prayer.
Some of our time was spent outdoors in the extensive grounds surrounding the house.
Everyone agreed that it was an uplifting experience to be able to share our time and thoughts in such a relaxed atmosphere.
Surrounded by family, friends and visiting clergy, our Curate Gill presided at her first Eucharist on Saturday 7 July following her ordination the previous week. At 5 pm, St Cuthbert's Beltingham in the sunshine was the setting for the service, followed by drinks and afternoon tea in the church grounds. The Rt Rev'd Dr Nicholas Chamberlain, Bishop of Grantham, was the preacher. At the end of the service, there was a presentation of gifts to Gill. Many thanks to all who worked to make this such a joyful and memorable occasion
On another lovely sunny day last Saturday, St Cuthbert's Church Haydon Bridge held its church fete. There were cream teas, competitions (flowers in a jam jar, guess the weight of the cake), produce and plant stalls, a raffle and tombola, and plenty for the children to do. This was also an opportunity to check out the display board with the architect's drawings showing how the Church could be developed to provide greater amenity. God's Tent was also pitched in the churchyard,
Gill Alexander, our Curate, was ordained on 1 July at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle at 10 am. The Cathedral was filled to capacity, with aboiut 1000 people there. There were 13 ordinands from across the Diocese to be priested, and Gill was first in the alphabetical list. Each kneels in turn before the Bishop, who lays hands on the candidate's head. Then other supporting clergy come forward and also lay on their hands in a giant huddle, while the Bishop says "Send down the Holy Spirit on your servant Gill for the office and work of a Priest in your Church", and presents each with a Bible, saying "Receive this book as a sign of the authority given you this day to preach the gospel of Christ and to minister his holy sacraments".
At the end of the very impressive service, there is then an opportunity for the newly ordained Priests to greet their friends in the square outside the Cathedral. In lovely summer sunshine, there was a great buzz of laughter and conversation, with many able to greet friends from across the Diocese.
Gill will preside at her first Eucharist at a special service at 5 pm on Saturday 7 July at St Cuthbert's Beltingham, where the preacher will be the Rt Rev'd Dr Nicholas Chamberlain, the retired Bishop of Grantham . There will be refreshments after the service. Parking is available.