Celebrating Candlemas

The Feast of Candlemas falls on 2nd February, forty days after Christmas. It marks the final event in the gospel account of the infancy of Jesus when, as a first-born male child, he was presented in the Temple at Jerusalem in accordance with the law of Moses, and was recognised by Simeon and Anna as God’s promised bringer of salvation. The name of the feast comes from the tradition of lighting candles, to recall Simeon’s words that Jesus will be “a light to enlighten the nations.” We will be observing this tradition as part of the service in Holy Cross Church, beginning at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday 2nd February.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

18th-25th January 2022

As we are unable this year to meet in person for prayer, please continue to pray as you are able for the restored visible unity of the universal Church.

Lord Jesus, you were the first to pray for the unity of your disciples. We want to make your prayer, ‘that they may all be one,’ our own: ‘Father, just as you are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me’. We pray to you for the unity of Christians, in Haltwhistle, Greenhead and beyond, according to your will, and according to your means. May your Spirit enable us to experience the suffering caused by division, to see our sin and to hope beyond all hope. We make our prayer in your name. Amen.

Another local clergy appointment

After a gap of some 18 months a new vicar, the Revd Dr Martin Naylor, begins work in the Allendale group of parishes on 23rd January. He will also take over the role of Area Dean of Hexham Deanery (of which we are part) from the Revd Andrew Patterson. Martin was previously vicar of Batley in Yorkshire. We look forward to meeting him and offering him a warm welcome in due course.

Epiphany Service

The Feast of the Epiphany was celebrated in great style on 6th January with a fully choral Eucharist at Holy Cross. The music was led by the chamber choir, Antiphon, to whom grateful thanks are due for their inspirational performance. There was choral music by J.S.Bach, Harold Darke, Heinrich Isaac, Peter Cornelius and Josquin des Prez. Our very own organist, Anthony Wood, provided the accompaniment, and we sang the hymn “As with gladness men of old” to a brand-new tune written by Chris Simmons.  It must be quite a while since there’s been a service like it locally! Members of the choir commented on the beauty of the building and the warmth of their reception. All in all, a very good “do”!

Another local clergy appointment

Generous God, we give thanks that under the guidance of your Holy Spirit you have called Stephen to be the priest and pastor of our parishes. Be with him and Jo, his wife, as they prepare to join our communities, and with us as we prepare to welcome them into our lives. Bless the people of the parishes who are preparing to say farewell to them. Sustain them, as you have sustained us, with hope and perseverance for the time ahead, as you continue to call us all into the mission and ministry entrusted to us by your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.