Haydon Bridge celebrated its first Harvest Market on Saturday 23 September, with stallholders set up inside St Cuthbert's Church, offering fruit, vegetables, honey, preserves, plants, beer, and more. Children were making bug hotels, bird feeders and Autumn leaf crowns in our big bell tent, and the pop-up St Cuthbert's Cafe were serving hot bacon sandwiches and refreshments. Harvest games included butternut squash skittles and a very popular leaf sensory bin with sweets hidden inside! A big thank you to everyone who supported the event and gave donations. See you next year!
Many of you will have seen the horrendous aftermath of Hurricane Irma as it scythed through the Carribbean and on to Florida. What you may not know is that we have a connection with the British Virgin Islands through our parishioner, Mary Dickinson. Mary and her husband Stephen lived for many years on the Islands, where Stephen played a distinguished part in island life, and represented the Islands here in the UK. Our two parishes therefore resolved that our church collections from today, 17 September, should be sent to aid the relief effort in the British Virgin Islands. The scale of the suffering there is very hard for us to comprehend, but for islanders grappling with no shelter, no water, no electricity, high day time temperatures, lack of food, loss of livelihood, severe threat of cholera – and the list could go on – then our small effort to help is a gesture of recognition of the suffering there. Even the trees have had their bark peeled off by the strength of the wind. If you were not able to be in church today, but would like to recognise the plight of the British Virgin Islanders, then Mary Dickinson has given us a reliable website which is recommended by the British Virgin Islands Community Board, where you can make a donation – https://www.virgin.com/unite/
We held a series of events over the weekend of September 2 and 3 to mark the Feast of the Translation of St Cuthbert. With a St Cuthbert’s church in both of our parishes, this celebratory weekend has become a tradition. These dates are the closest to the date when Cuthbert’s body was finally laid to rest in his shrine in Durham, following over a century of journeying from Lindisfarne. Tradition has it that Cuthbert’s body rested on the sites of both Haydon Old Church and St Cuthbert’s Beltingham as the monks were carrying the body from Holy Island. Our weekend began with Morning Prayer at Haydon Old Church, followed by a pilgrimage walk in glorious weather to Beltingham, for Midday prayer. The walkers then had a very well deserved lunch at Michael’s shop in Bardon Mill, and rested before Choral Evensong, sung by the Herdwyck Consort at 6 pm in Beltingham. Their “a capella” singing, in the beautiful setting of our ancient church was greatly appreciated by a large congregation. The evening ended with a supper at the Old Vicarage. Next day, we celebrated with a Joint Patronal Eucharist in St Cuthbert’s, Haydon Bridge.
We have so many helpers in all of our churches, whether people clean, or do flowers, or play the organ, or help clear up the churchyards, or polish the brasses, or set up for services, or help at Messy Church or Storybook church or sing in the choir – all these aspects of help and support represent an amazing resource for our churches. And so to say thank you to our helpers, we held a tea party in our Parish room in Henshaw on Tuesday 5 September, where 24 of us gathered to enjoy a tea that would have put the Ritz Hotel to shame. This was a most social and convivial gathering , with good conversation and friendship.
Just a short note to let you know about a road closure at the turn off from the A69 to Beltingham.
The bridge over the Tyne is closed for repairs from 4 September for 6 weeks (toFriday 12 October) Monday to Friday between 0900 and 1600. This will affect St. Cuthbert's at Beltingham for funerals and weddings during the week. The diversion via Haydon Bridge and then Langley Castle is about an extra 8 miles (depending where you are travelling from) over narrow country lanes and a steep hill. You should allow an extra 20-25 minutes for journey times.