Despite overcast skies and threats of rain, the churchyard clear up at Henshaw moved what seemed like tons of leaves – all carefully taken away and put into leaf bins to make leaf mould. Some of this is used each year to feed the yew tree at Beltingham, thanks to the hard work of Libby Scott. A good number of helpers turned out and included Libby’s daughter and her baby – our youngest helper yet! After an hour an a half of sustained activity, a cup of tea and coffee was welcomed by the team.
On 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!
What a splendid feast we enjoyed at the General Havelock in Haydon Bridge for our joint parishes Harvest Supper. Jo and her team produced an outstanding collection of dishes for our delectation – including crayfish, ribeye steaks, duck, fish, sticky toffee pudding, bread and butter pudding, ice creams and a lovely selection of cheeses.
There was a brain aching quiz, where the table with John Harrison, ace quiz master in Haydon Bridge, emerged as the winners but they were closely challenged by others. The raffle prizes included a dinner for four at the General Havelock, a gift voucher for Michael’s shop in Bardon Mill, and biscuits, chocolates, toiletries and wine.
Many thanks to Jo and her team for a really great evening.
On Friday 27 October at 7pm there a Food and Film night at Haydon Old Church.
In the atmospheric setting of Haydon Old Church we will be showing the 1929 silent-classic "The Phantom of the Opera"
Tickets are £10 and are available by calling 01434 684376.
Parking will be available and please remember to wrap up warm and bring a torch to find your way in the dark!