Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Newcastle on Tyne District Visit

I was deeply blessed by sharing in the Farewell Service for Revd Leo and Charlotte Osborne in Newcastle cathedral is named after St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors and boats. This may reflect the cathedral's position on the northern heights above the River Tyne. It was originally a parish church, built in 1091. It was built close to the line of Hadrian's Wall through Newcastle, which may have passed through the churchyard, but unfortunately the exact location of its line through the very centre of the city is currently lost. Close to the south of the cathedral is Newcastle Castle, which gave the city its name, and which was itself built on the site of the Hadrian's Wall fort of Pons Aelius. The Norman church was destroyed by fire in 1216 and the present structure was completed in 1350.

Here is Revd Martin Turner discussing with Charlotte and Leo the finer points of the service. Martin and Leo were at Wesley College together and have been chums ever since. I remember the late Revd Raymond George telling me about their antics when I went to Wesley - they were even a legend then!

As one of his final tasks as the General Secretary Revd Dr Martyn Atkins was the preacher at this service - he preached an excellent message about ministry perfect for the occasion. the verger who Martyn is talking to celebrated his birthday that day and had a cake and candles produced and we sang to him in the vestry
This was the view I had of Leo from my seat he sat before the Lords table and looked really peaceful the organ thundered out but there was also an excellent worship band for the contemporary songs.

    The Cathedral was packed and a real sense of gratitude prevailed i felt very blessed to be part of it. The Bishop Rt Revd Frank White was so kind and understanding he spoke beautifully of Loe and Charlottes ministry received bread and wine from Leo and then shared with the rest of us in distributing the elements, a great sign of our unity.

    The district Choir sang really well some of the items were quite tough to sing but they did really well the acoustics are really good in the cathedral
    What an unexpected joy to meet up again with the Revd Cynthia Hardman and her lovely husband, we were at college together and hadn't seen each other since her testimony is gloriious and we both had tears as I recalled her parents now in heaven but came to my room for tea once and her Dad had dealt in secondhand furniture and told me that a table I had picked up for £5 was Spanish Mahogany it still has a pride of place amongst our possessions and I always think of him. She is from Chesterfield originally the church with a twisted spire or as Cynth would say 'it looks like a witches hat thats been pulled though a hedge backwards!!' 

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