Dear Friends,

Celebrating God’s Love

Recently, led by a small and dedicated team, we have been trying to discern what God might be calling us to as His people in this parish. We’ve done this by listening to one another and to the community in a series of interviews; finding a ‘useable history’ in the church’s past and its traditions handed on to us; studying the social and demographic statistics of our patch and by attending to scripture together. We have experimented with making partnerships with groups and organisations beyond the church – despite the severe restrictions of Covid- and we have learned afresh that God’s activity is not confined to the church building (or indeed those who attend it) but that He is wonderfully at work in our town and wider community bringing life, joy and healing to us in a myriad ways. Our task, as ‘church’ is to celebrate God’s Love wherever it is seen: to point to it, hold it high and rejoice in it.

We feel we can do this in three ways. By –

  1. Working in partnership with those who bring life to the community.
  2. Celebrating God’s gifts in creation, his children and his work in this place and
  3. Creating space(s) for people of all ages to grow in faith and worship.

Some of the fruit of our work will be seen in the upcoming Community Music Festival through which we are working with hundreds of musicians to bring the community back together post Covid through the medium of music. We have a partnership with the Northern Dales Richard III group in its infancy and new links with those who share a concern for the environment are being forged. Members of the congregation are working to support the Teesdale Lunch Clubs and a tentative proposal from the churches across Teesdale and Weardale may well see a Parish Nurse being employed to work in the area to offer Christian support and health care alongside and over and above that offered by our local surgeries. We still hope to build on the many links created with a worldwide audience through our joint Lottery project with DigVentures.

There is much going on. The Spirit is moving. Our task is to follow where He might lead.

Alec