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Online edition of our Parish Magazine - for St. Cuthbert's Church, Benfieldside serving the commujnities of Shotley Bridge, Bridgehill and Blackhill, near Consett
1 Parish of St.Cuthbert, Benfieldside Sunday Worship 10.30a.m. SUNG EUCHARIST (every Sunday) Evening Service (as announced) Please check the Calendar for changes to this pattern each month Messy Church 3.30p.m. in the Hall - 3rd Tuesday of the month Weekday Worship Morning Prayer: As announced Midweek Eucharist: 10.00a.m.Thursday (not 9th or 16th February) Parish Office Arrangements for Baptisms, Marriages, etc. should normally be made with the Vicar - please phone or catch him at a service. For Spiritual Advice & the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), please contact the Vicar. Clergy & Reader Vicar: The Revd Martin Jackson St. Cuthbert’s Vicarage, Church Bank, Shotley Bridge 01207 503019 mobile phone: 0797 226 2412 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Reader: Mrs. Rosie Junemann 01207 583998 Parish web-site: saintcuthbertschurch.weebly.com Parish Blog: saintcuthberts.blogspot.com Please see the Calendar & Pewsheet for alterations to this pattern. 2 PARISH CALENDAR - FEBRUARY 2017 Thurs. 2 CANDLEMAS - PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE (Actual date of the Feast) 10.00a.m. Eucharist Sunday 5 4th SUNDAY BEFORE LENT (Isaiah 58.1-9a; 1 Corinthians 2.1-12; Matthew5.13-20) 10.30a.m. SUNG EUCHARIST Mon. 6 2.00p.m. Mothers’ Union AGM - at 86 Woodlands Road Thurs. 9 10.00a.m. Eucharist cancelled this week and next Sat. 11 District Bell-Ringers at St. Cuthbert’s - you may hear them! Sunday 12 THE 3rd SUNDAY BEFORE LENT (Septuagesima) (Deuteronomy 30.15-end; 1 Corinthians 3.1-9; Matthew 5.21-37) 10.30a.m. SUNG EUCHARIST Tues. 13 12.30p.m. “Second Tuesday” Lunch Club - Church Hall Wed. 15 7.00p.m. Meet the Bishops - Christ Church, Consett An opportunity for all to meet Bishops Paul Slater and Graham Kings who will join us for the ‘Talking Jesus’ weekend in March. Thurs. 16 10.00a.m. Eucharist cancelled this week - back next Sunday 19 THE 2nd SUNDAY BEFORE LENT (Sexagesima) (Genesis 1.1 - 2.3; Romans 8.18-25; Matthew 6.25-34) 10.30a.m. SUNG EUCHARIST Tues. 21 3.30-5.30p.m. “Messy Church” - join us! Thurs. 23 10.00a.m. Eucharist Sunday 26 SUNDAY NEXT BEFORE LENT (Quinquagesima) (Exodus 24.12-18; 2 Peter 1.16-21; Matthew 17.1-9) 10.30a.m. SUNG EUCHARIST Mon. 27 2.00p.m. Eucharist - in Derwentdale Court 7.30p.m. Sing Together - in church 3 MARCH Wednesday 1st March is ASH WEDNESDAY Join us for the Eucharist with imposition of ashes: 7.30P.M. SUNG EUCHARIST __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Thursday 2nd - Sunday 5th March Talking Jesus - Northern Bishops and a Mission Team join us! Thurs. 2 10.00a.m. Eucharist Fri. 3 2.00p.m. Women’s World Day of Prayer Look out for details of this service Saturday 4th March: “Come and See” 11am - 3pm Parish Open Day Our Parish Event in the Talking Jesus initiative Find out more what we’re about. Bring someone along. Bring yourself! A chance to learn more about our church and its faith - drop in & displays. Take a good look at our church and hall - refreshments & more! Sunday 5 THE 1st SUNDAY OF LENT (Genesis 2.15-17, 3.1-7; Romans 5.12-19; Matthew 4.1-11) 8.00a.m. Eucharist - BCP said, in St. Cuthbert’s 9.30a.m. UNITED EUCHARIST - Christ Church, Consett 10.30a.m. SUNG EUCHARIST - cancelled this week 3.00p.m. TALKING JESUS CLOSING SERVICE - Durham Cathedral __________________________________________________________________________ It’s an easy way to stay up-to- date with St. Cuthbert’s. Day- by-day news and pictures at facebook.com/benfieldside 4 View from the Vicarage Come and See! That’s the title we’re giving to an Open Day we’ll be holding at the beginning of March - see the full page advert on page 10! It’s our parish contribution to the Talking Jesus initiative which is bringing bishops from all over the North of England to share in doing just that - Talking Jesus. I think quite a few of us have felt a bit threatened at the prospect; all those bishops and being asked to think about what our faith means to us, and inviting other people to share it! So I wondered if the suggested title for our Open Day, Come and See, was an attempt to tone it down. Then I noticed the title that I’d suggested for use on the orders of service we’re producing for this month’s Holy Land Pilgrimage - it’s “Come and See: A Journey in the Steps of Jesus.” So I have no cause for complaint! Come and See - it’s a chance to invite local people to see what we’re up to at St. Cuthbert’s in both the church and the hall: lots is going on, there’s lots to be proud about, there’s lots that speaks about our faith. We’re asking people to help make the day happen and work. That’s something more than getting a few reluctant people to sign up to put on teas or keep a cold church open for the odd visitor. It’s an opportunity for us all. Come and See - the invitation is to us all. Please come in great numbers - just being there is the first things we need you to do - and bring people along. It’s not onerous but an opportunity! We’ve got the bishops and a team of ordinands from Cranmer Hall to do the “talking.” Come and chat with them (no heavy lectures). I’m going to be there and ready to talk about special aspects of the church - what do you see in those wonderful windows? what are those different features about? why have a font or an altar? I hope it will appeal to the curious. We should all be curious! Lots of people milling about, I hope - a new appreciation of why we are here. Come and See. That’s the invitation Jesus gave to the first disciples - we don’t know quite what he said or what they found. But it made a difference. That’s my hope too - for our pilgrims, and for us all. MJ 5 Mothers’ Union… Our AGM will be held on Monday 6th February 2pm at 86 Woodlands Road. Please join us if you can - to refresh your memory of the past year and help us to plan for the year ahead. Annual subscriptions are due again and it would be good if you could pay them at the meeting or as soon as possible. Sorry, but like most things, they have gone up again, to £17. This is made up of £16.50 to MU in London and 50 pence to Lanchester Deanery MU. While none of us enjoy having to pay any more, it still works out at less than 35 pence a week, which isn’t a lot to pay to belong to and support an organisation which does so much good both in this country and abroad. We will be supporting “Make a Mother’s Day” again this year, giving us, and any others who would like to join us, an opportunity to remember our mothers on Mothering Sunday (March 26th) - in a way which gives practical support to other mothers world-wide. Look out for more details coming soon. Like other groups at St Cuthbert’s, we have been asked to provide a display of what we do for the “Come and See” event on Saturday 4th March. Any contributions or offers of help would be very welcome. Mary Mitchell / Sheila Barnes _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2nd Tuesday Lunch Club … continues to provide food and friendship 12.30p.m. Tuesday 14th February 12.30p.m. Tuesday 14th March Open for Prayer: … will be suspended during the winter months But don’t stop praying! Look out for other opportunities for prayer together 6 Notes & News… North Durham Rotary Swimathon Start planning ahead (and training!) for this event at the Louisa Centre, Stanley on Sunday 21th May 2017. This event gives you the opportunity to swim and at the same time, support a charity or good cause. This is an event for all ages. You swim in a team relay, pool length (25 m) for 55 minutes. As a team you get sponsors. Half the money you raise will go through Rotary to help local charities. The other half will be given to your favourite good cause or charity. This could be your club or your church. (This is a hint!) The choice is yours. This link gives you all the information you need including access to a registration form where you can state your preferred time. http://eepurl.com/ctfUq5 Or if you prefer, make contact with me, Liv-Ellen Kennedy email@example.com 07960 192 393 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ 100 Club - Winners December 1st Prize £25 No.88 Jennifer Lambert 2nd Prize £15 No.36 David Rhode 3rd Prize £10 No.101 Alan Coates January 1st Prize £25 No.75 Bill Hudson 2nd Prize £15 No.53 Edna Hume 3rd Prize £10 No.90 Mandy Gray Subscriptions for 2017 are now due! Further details on how to join the 100 Club from our organiser, Jennifer Lambert, phone 01207 505018. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Even More Music! Looking ahead a bit, “The Durham Hymns” will be performed at Sunderland Minster - 7.30pm Saturday 18th March; and “Come & Sing - Stainer’s Crucifixion” on Saturday 1st April in St. Thomas’, Stanhope. More next month - information meanwhile from Mary Athey. 7 Holy Land Pilgrimage 2017 The Vicar will be one of the leaders among a group of twenty pilgrims visiting the Holy Land during February - 10 of us from or associated with St. Cuthbert’s and a further two from St. Andrew’s, Stanley; the remainder are from Newcastle, Heddon-on-the-Wall and Chelmsford. So we’re a diverse group - but with some common bonds. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel. And pray for the people we’ll meet: Israeli and Palestinian; Jew, Christian and Muslim. We’ll be staying in Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Geographically, the high point is Jerusalem (about 2,600 feet above sea-level) - but only a few miles away from there we’ll be dropping down to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth at about 1,200 feet below sea-level. “Take clothes as you would for winter in this country,” we’ve been advised. But the temperatures will change - possibly quite markedly - as we travel. How shall we be changed? That’s the purpose of a pilgrimage - to find out! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ SING TOGETHER 2017 Hymns and songs for Lent & Mothering Sunday Monday 27th February at 7.30pm St Cuthbert’s Church (Come early if you need to park!) All welcome! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Lent will soon be here. Ash for Ash Wednesday is made from Palm Crosses - so please hunt around & let us have yours by 26 February! 8 Messy Church December Messy Church fell on the Tuesday before Christmas so we were delighted to have 20 children and their parents/carers with us that day. A lot of fun was had as we talked about the birth of Jesus whilst making ice cream cone angels, cardboard shepherds, handprint sheep, crown cookies and more. The children also made Nativity snow globes to take home where I hope they would look at the pictures and remember why we celebrate at this time of year. The “Manger-in-an-egg-box” proved to be very popular too where small peg dolls, Mary, Joseph and Jesus, nestled in hay inside an egg box! Our celebration in church was great fun as we all took part in an inter-active Nativity! We took models of the Three Wise Men, a shepherd, the Holy family and a legless sheep (we didn’t have time to give him legs!) into church with us. They had been made from tubes which you find inside rolls of carpet an “dressed” by the children during our time in the hall. It is amazing how much we manage to cram in! We had a lot of fun making them and I hope you like them! I must give a special vote of thanks to both Keith and Jim who came to help in the kitchen that day. They had said they would come back at Christmas and we were extremely pleased to see them! I am writing this the day after our January Messy Church when we continued the story of Jesus’s birth with the story of the Wise Men. This time we were competing with 9 Computer Club and Craft Club run by the local schools, as well as a pantomime! However, it didn’t deter too many people and I think we saw 17 children with their carers. There seemed to be a ‘camel’ theme going on – peg-leg camels, camel cupcakes – even a challenge to see how many children, plus bedrolls, kettles and other camping gear, could sit on a huge picture of a camel which was taped to the floor! (Thank you, Lew!). Stars were important too, there were some beautiful woven stars, paint - splatter star pictures and a large 3–D star was constructed and can now be seen on our display board in church together with the star prayers the children wrote. We made crowns to remember Herod and made our own version of a marble-run to trace the Kings’ journey from their home to the stable via Herod’s palace. Christingles were also made and taken into church as part of our celebration time. We started our time in church with a king hunt – 10 kings were hidden with a letter attached to each one. The objective being to unscramble the letters to find out who came to visit Jesus! Martin read the story of the coming of the Wise Men whilst wearing a pipe cleaner crown. We had a great time! Then back to the hall for Sausage Casserole followed by jelly and ice cream! A meal fit for a king! Linda, Lynne and the Messy Church Team _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Our next session of Messy Church will be at 3.30p.m. on Tuesday February 21st when our theme will be “Noah”. It falls during half-term week so maybe you could bring along a grandchild or two!! 10 COME AND SEE! CHURCH, FAITH AND COMMUNITY At the heart of this community, who are we and what do we offer? AN OPEN DAY ST CUTHBERT’S CHURCH & HALL SATURDAY 4th MARCH 2017 11am to 3pm Look at the church in a new light Refreshments, displays, bells, music Have a chat with a Bishop! All are welcome! In association with the Diocese of Durham ‘Talking Jesus’ initiative 11 Deepen your prayer life… We have a great resource for spirituality at St. Antony’s Priory on Claypath in Durham. It’s an ecumenical community - and anyone can join in. Here’s something of what they are offering for this New Year: Saturday 4th Feb: Being the Beloved - a quiet day drawing on the life of Henri Nouwen. This day hopes to encourage each person's understanding and experience of how beloved they are of God. led by Janet Mc Hugh. 10.30-4pm Saturday 11th Feb: Together in Meditation. Two separate hours of meditation rooted in the Christian Tradition. 10am and 11.30am Tuesday 28th Feb: Lenten Quiet Day 'Beginning the Journey into light' This day will explore and reflect upon how we might use Lent to fast from certain things and to feast on others. Led by Chris Smith, 10.30 - 4pm Saturday 4th March: 'Finding the way home' This day will explore what we mean by a sense of home and will explore our belonging to our bodies, ourselves, each other and the Divine. Led by Tess Ward, 10.30 - 4pm Saturday 11th March: Together in Meditation (see above - 11th Feb) Saturday 18th March: 'Wonders of the Universe' A day to be open to awe, radical amazement and transformation as we consider the wonders of the universe we are coming to know. Led by Ruth Grant, 10.30-4pm Saturday 25th March 'The Love of Mary Magdalene' We will take time to reflect on Mary Magdalene and her Archetype. And we will consider Mary Magdalene as the embodiment of healing of the split between the sexual and the sacred. Sorry, but this day is for women only. Led by Suzanne Saoirse, 10.30 - 4pm Saturday 8th April Together in Meditation (see above - 11th Feb) A further mail with details of our Summer Retreats will be sent out shortly but info. can also be found on our website www.stantonyspriory.co.uk Or call us at 0191/3843747 A simple vegetarian lunch is provided on all our Quiet Days 12 Saints of the Month 6 February The Martyrs of Japan - courage in persecution Persecution of Christians in various countries is making the headlines these days. Believers facing such opposition might well find inspiration from the courage of the Japanese Christians of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. It’s the subject of the new Martin Scorsese film, Silence. The Jesuit Francis Xavier had first brought Christianity to Japan in 1549, when he persuaded Shimazu Takahisa, the daimyo of Satsuma, to give him permission to build the first Catholic mission in Japan. All went well at first, and the Japanese responded to the message of Jesus Christ more warmly than anyone could have foretold. By the end of the century, it has been estimated that there were nearly 300,000 baptised converts to Christianity in Japan. But soon the very success of the Japanese Church led it into trouble: its vibrant growth as an indigenous community believing a faith brought in from the West meant trouble. It was caught up in a maelstrom of tensions between the shogunate, imperial government, Buddhist monks, Shintoists, and colonial ambitions of Spain and Portugal. Gradually, the Japanese rulers came to see Christians as a threat. So Christianity was banned, and those Japanese who refused to abandon their faith were to be killed. Trouble flared at Nagasaki on 6 February 1597, when six European Franciscan missionaries, three Japanese Jesuits and 17 Japanese laity, three of whom were young boys, were executed in a form of crucifixion by being elevated on crosses and then pierced with spears. Within a year, more than 130 churches had been burned. The persecution subsided, then flared up in 1613. Japanese Christians were beheaded, burned alive or imprisoned. They responded with courage and a willingness to sing praises and preach the gospel even as they were led to their deaths. Such was the brutality of the persecution that by 1630 the Japanese Church had been driven underground, and was thought to be lost. So when missionaries arrived in the 19th century, they were astonished to find a community of Japanese Christians. It had survived for 250 years without clergy, churches, the Bible and only a sketchy idea of the Christian faith beyond one main thing: that Jesus Christ was Lord. 13 14 St Cuthbert's Book Club We meet on the last Tuesday of each month at 2pm in St Cuthbert's Church Hall (lower rooms). Join us to discuss books over a cup of tea or coffee. All are welcome. There will be a small charge to cover the cost of rent and refreshments. We try to vary the choice of books to suit all tastes. For the next few months, at least, there will be no need to buy books, as Consett Library have kindly agreed to loan us sets of books. The Secret Purposes - by David Baddiel It is 1935: Isidor Fabian, a liberal rabbi, walks the seven bridges of his city, reflecting on Jewish history, the nature of sin and mathematical enigma. Five years later, Isidor's communist son, Isaac, has fled Konigsberg for Cambridge with his wife, Lulu, and their infant daughter. But the progress of the war intensifies the resentment and suspicion directed at refugees, and Isaac is interned on the Isle of Man. There he meets June Murray, a Minister of Information translator determined to compile evidence of Nazi atrocities. Isaac's encounter with June has a lasting effect. Baddiel's insights into the ways in which men and women sustain and damage each other are profound and amusing by turns. An exuberant and compelling story of bigotry, displacement, love and loss, it deserves to liberate its author entirely from the category of "celebrity novelist". This book will be handed out on 31st January 2017 and discussed on 28th February 2017 Not My Father's Son - by Alan Cumming Alan Cumming is not smiling on the cover of his memoir. The man who loves to make us laugh is almost unrecognisably serious in black and white, touching one hand to his forehead as if he has forgotten something. Thankfully, for us, he's forgotten nothing. But not for want of trying- violence and the fear of it marred his childhood. 15 Split into four parts, Not My Father's Son tells the story of Cumming's appearance on Who Do You Think You Are in October 2010. The neat device enables him to delve into his family history and travel around the world in an attempt to discover the fate of his maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, killed in a "shooting accident " in Malaya in 1951. At the same time, and very much off-camera, he is forced into a quest to find his father and rethink his whole childhood when the unrepentant bully he grew up calling Dad makes a close-to-death confession. These two narratives intertwine and what links them both is Cumming's warm confiding tone. This book will be handed out on 28th February and discussed on 28th March. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ ASH WEDNESDAY is the beginning of Lent, & a Solemn Day of the Church Wednesday 1st March 7.30p.m. Sung Eucharist with imposition of ashes There’s also a 10a.m. Eucharist for Ash Wednesday at St. John’s, Castleside. Please make the effort to join us so that we can begin this holy season together. If you need transport, please let us know! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ We plan to run a Lent Study Course - look out for further details! And please support our Lent Appeal for the work of USPG… 16 Call the Midwife - How it’s relevant to the Mission Society we support At St. Cuthbert’s we’ve supported the work of USPG for many years - and we ask you to help once more with our Lent Appeal. And its work (albeit 50 years ago!) featured in a TV Christmas Special! Article by USPG General Adviser, Canon Edgar Ruddock… I had the privilege of being involved in advising the BBC over some of the details for the Call the Midwife Christmas special, set in a rural hospital clinic in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Because I had lived and worked there for some years during the 1980s, I was able to connect the BBC team with various people who had worked in clinics during the 1960s. As the screening of the programme approached, I was naturally apprehensive as to how accurately they would manage to capture the context and challenges of a mission hospital during those days. However, overall, I was impressed with the authentic feel the programme managed to convey as the programme moved along. Inevitably there were a few dramatic assumptions and liberties that had to be taken, but the setting, the conditions, the commitment of the staff, and the quiet determination of the patients all had a very familiar and authentic ring. I thought they did a great and very professional job! The loneliness and isolation of the lead doctor were deeply moving; the sinister backdrop of the ubiquitous apartheid security police had 17 a sadly realistic timbre to it. The willingness of the local staff and work force to do anything to make the clinic and its water supply work, was impressive. I did find it a shame, however, that all the good things that must have been happening prior to the arrival of the team from London were a bit lost in the narrative – and then the place was suddenly transformed in a matter of a few weeks. Missionary life never was, and certainly isn’t now, anything like that! It would also have been good to see a little more evidence of the local support staff in the clinic than we actually did. A good docu-drama about mission hospitals today would be very instructive of a changing approach to mission, and could also make excellent television! The heroes and heroines would be local people (or South-to-South Partners), and the transformation would be slow and deliberate – and probably a lot less dramatic. And the involvement of outsiders would be focused around developing local skills and leadership, and encouraging the local church in supporting its own mission hospital and clinics. USPG today supports exactly this very different model of community-based medicine. I wonder what would happen if local congregations here in Britain and Ireland began to explore how they could help transform their own local hospitals and clinics in these days of stress and pressure on the NHS? We would surely have a lot to learn from our partners in Africa. Having said all this, the witness of the Call the Midwife sisters and midwives, both in London and in South Africa, is a great reminder of the call to sacrificial service that is inherent in our gospel of God’s love being revealed as we become the hands and feet of Christ himself, in the twenty-first century. Bravo BBC! 18 A Priceless Find – by accident! Here’s an article by Canon David Winter concerning a place our Holy Land Pilgrims are expecting to visit - there couldn’t be a better time! 70 years ago this month a couple of shepherds in the hills above Qumran near the Dead Sea idly threw a stone into what they thought was an empty cave. When they heard the sound of smashing pottery they searched inside, and found the most important biblical discovery of the century. Their stone had led them to what became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, manuscripts of the entire Hebrew Bible except for the book of Esther, stored in clay vessels. The scrolls were the work of a religious community called the Essenes, who lived near that site before and during the life of Jesus. As scholars slowly unraveled them – and that task took decades - they discovered that they were handling manuscripts of the Bible which were hundreds of years older than any we had previously possessed. Most of the biblical manuscripts on which our translations had previously been based were copies of copies, carefully crafted in monasteries over the centuries by people dedicated to preserving the sacred text. But inevitably, in the process, there were occasional slips in the copying, and at times it’s obvious that those who were doing it didn’t understand the words they were copying. So, in February 1947, the world had access to a much older and therefore more accurate record of the Jewish Scriptures – the Bible of Jesus and the first Christians. The most remarkable thing is actually how few ‘mistakes’ there were, seeing the centuries of copying – and not one that seriously affects our fundamental understanding of the Bible. Those two shepherds 70 years ago ensured that we today have a Bible text which is as close to the original as one could ever hope to get. I’m glad they threw the stone into the right cave! 19 More music . . . Gibside Chapel Sunday 5th February: 1.30 – 4pm Music from local performers and choirs followed by Evensong at 3pm Free event (admission charges apply) Sunday 5th March: 1.30 – 4pm Music from local performers and choirs followed by Evensong at 3pm Free event (admission charges apply) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside Durham Cathedral Thursday 2nd February: 7.30pm Sung Eucharist for Candlemas by candlelight Cathedral Consort of Singers Saturday 4th February: 7pm North East Festival of Youth Choirs Tickets £7 (concessions £3) www.galadurham.co.uk Saturday 25th February: 7.30pm: Chapter House Durham University Chamber Choir Lobo Lamentations and Brahms Motets Tickets £10 (concessions £7, students £5) www.musicdurham.org/events The Sage, Gateshead Wednesday 22nd February: 8pm: Sage Two Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia A Capella – works by Arvo Pärt, Górecki and John Tavener Tickets £13 - 44 (concessions available) www.sagegateshead.com 20 From the Parish Registers Holy Baptism 11 December Jae Steven Hawxby Durham Road, Blackhill 18 December Emily May Thompson The Gables, Holly House, Shotley Bridge May they continue to follow Christ Funerals 7 December Stanley Seymour (90) Newlands, Blackhill 29 December Mark Roland Pinkney (88) Formerly of Wideopen & Shotley Bridge 13 January Olga Harris (91) The Briary, Shotley Bridge 20 January Muriel Watts (86) Ashfield Court, Shotley Bridge May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace Useful Church Contacts: Churchwardens: Linda Short, 9 Sherwood Close 503750 Carol O’Malley, 13 Spring Close, Ebchester 561884 PCC Lay Chair: Jan Worters, 59 Queens Road, Blackhill 506248 PCC Treasurer: Carol O’Malley, 13 Spring Close, Ebchester 561884 PCC Secretary: Glynis Bell, 7 Greenacres Road, S/B 501158 Church Hall: Linda Short, 9 Sherwood Close 503750 Magazine Orders: Jill Barron, Glastonbury, Benfieldside Road 504352 Magazine Adverts: Kate Johnson, Messenger House 507037 nty-first century. Bravo BBC! 18 A Priceless Find – by accident! Here’s an article by Canon David Winter concerning a place our Holy Land Pilgrims are expecting to visit - there couldn’t be a better time! 70 years ago this month a couple of shepherds in the hills above Qumran near the Dead Sea idly threw a stone into what they thought was an empty cave. When they heard the sound of smashing pottery they searched inside, and found the most important biblical discovery of the century. Their stone had led them to what became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, manuscripts of the entire Hebrew Bible except for the book of Esther, stored in clay vessels. The scrolls were the work of a religious community called the Essenes, who lived near that site before and during the life of Jesus. As scholars slowly unraveled them – and that task took decades - they discovered that they were handling manuscripts of the Bible which were hundreds of years older than any we had previously possessed. Most of the biblical manuscripts on which our translations had previously been based were copies of copies, carefully crafted in monasteries over the centuries by people dedicated to preserving the sacred text. But inevitably, in the process, there were occasional slips in the copying, and at times it’s obvious that those who were doing it didn’t understand the words they were copying. So, in February 1947, the world had access to a much older and therefore more accurate record of the Jewish Scriptures – the Bible of Jesus and the first Christians. The most remarkable thing is actually how few ‘mistakes’ there were, seeing the centuries of copying – and not one that seriously affects our fundamental understanding of the Bible. Those two shepherds 70 years ago ensured that we today have a Bible text which is as close to the original as one could ever hope to get. I’m glad they threw the stone into the right cave! 19 More music . . . Gibside Chapel Sunday 5th February: 1.30 – 4pm Music from local performers and choirs followed by Evensong at 3pm Free event (admission charges apply) Sunday 5th March: 1.30 – 4pm Music from local performers and choirs followed by Evensong at 3pm Free event (admission charges apply) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside Durham Cathedral Thursday 2nd February: 7.30pm Sung Eucharist for Candlemas by candlelight Cathedral Consort of Singers Saturday 4th February: 7pm North East Festival of Youth Choirs Tickets £7 (concessions £3) www.galadurham.co.uk Saturday 25th February: 7.30pm: Chapter House Durham University Chamber Choir Lobo Lamentations and Brahms Motets Tickets £10 (concessions £7, students £5) www.musicdurham.org/events The Sage, Gateshead Wednesday 22nd February: 8pm: Sage Two Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia A Capella – works by Arvo Pärt, Górecki and John Tavener Tickets £13 - 44 (concessions available) www.sagegateshead.com 20 From the Parish Registers Holy Baptism 11 December Jae Steven Hawxby Durham Road, Blackhill 18 December Emily May Thompson The Gables, Holly House, Shotley Bridge May they continue to follow Christ Funerals 7 December Stanley Seymour (90) Newlands, Blackhill 29 December Mark Roland Pinkney (88) Formerly of Wideopen & Shotley Bridge 13 January Olga Harris (91) The Briary, Shotley Bridge 20 January Muriel Watts (86) Ashfield Court, Shotley Bridge May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace Useful Church Contacts: Churchwardens: Linda Short, 9 Sherwood Close 503750 Carol O’Malley, 13 Spring Close, Ebchester 561884 PCC Lay Chair: Jan Worters, 59 Queens Road, Blackhill 506248 PCC Treasurer: Carol O’Malley, 13 Spring Close, Ebchester 561884 PCC Secretary: