Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Newcastle District Visit

It was a delight to have Alison visit the Newcastle District (my home District) and what better way to begin than with a rather massive cooked breakfast before crossing the causeway to visit Holy Island for a District Quiet Day. Rev Leo Osborn organised and hosted a wonderful weekend for us both.

We were joined by 90 people from around the District on a gorgeous autumnal day enjoying each others company and God's creation.

Walking around Holy Island the views are breathtakingly beautiful. Locally the island is rarely referred to by its Anglo-Saxon name of 'Lindisfarne'. Following on from the murderous and bloodthirsty attack on the monastery by the Vikings in 793AD, it obtained its local name from the observations made by the Durham monks: 'Lindisfarne - baptised in the blood of so many good men - truly a 'Holy Island'. Its more appropriate title is 'The Holy Island of Lindisfarne'.

Alison provided two reflection sessions on the theme of 'Listening to God' in St Mary's Church after which folks either joined me on a prayer walk or spent time reflecting.

No visit to Holy Island would be complete for me without calling in to see my friends Mark and Mary Fleeson in the Lindisfarne Scriptorium. Alison and I are using Mary's wonderful artwork throughout our year in office, all of which is resourced be her praying with scripture based around the Celtic tradition.

Sunday morning I went off to preach at a Circuit Service in Westoe Methodist Church in South Shields whilst Alison preached at Fulwell Methodist Church.

It was great to able to share in worship with Alison at a Circuit Service in Brunswick Methodist Church where I work alongside Rev Eden Fletcher and Chris Carroll, Lay Pastoral Worker. The Newcastle City Temple of the Salvation Army joined us as they do every Sunday evening and we heard from Rev Rob Hawkins about the work of the Holy Biscuit Art Gallery in Shieldfield, a re-furbished Methodist Church which is now engaging with the Arts community, Rev Peter Rand told us about St Andrews, Benton plans for a Lay Witness weekend and Diego Melo our Circuit Youth Worker enthusiastically spoke of the Hot Chocolate Project reaching out to young people in the East End of the City.

At the Newcastle Central and East Circuit Service Alison and I were delighted to launch Traidcraft's Big Brew Project a national initiative encouraging schools, churches, workplaces and any other organisation, to host a Fairtrade tea party event anytime during Fairtrade Fortnight 2011. Whether you simply put the kettle on and invite people along or you use it as an opportunity to put on a large event ranging from a cafĂ© to a carnival, Traidcraft's Big Brew has something for everyone. Big Brew aims: To raise awareness of the difference we can all make to the lives of tea producers by: * buying Traidcraft Fairtrade tea * campaigning with Traidcraft for more Fairtrade products * supporting Traidcraft’s vital development work through donations.

Alison and I are joined by Rev Eden Fletcher, Superintendent of the Newcastle Central and East Circuit and Rev Leo Osborn, Chair of the Newcastle District and President designate.

Celebrating Good News was an event held in Brunswick with 17 groups attending creating a market place area with 8 of the organisations offering 10min talks which were inspirational. We heard from Street Pastors, Scarpa (Project for Runaway young people under 16), Gap (Girls are Proud, working with women caught up in the sex industry), Help and Hope(asylum seekers), Common Ground(asylum seekers) and were sung to by an amazing choir called 'Recovery Rocks' a singing group formed by recovering alcoholics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Eunice. It's great to hear of so many different projects linking with the community.
Evryone, including you, takes stunning pictures of Lindisfrane the light is so good.