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Category: North East

Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle

I have very vivid memories of visiting Auckland Castle as a sixth form student beginning to wonder about my vocation to the ordained ministry in the Church of England. At a young people’s gathering in the Throne room of this imposing building I remember the Bishop of Durham, John Habgood, addressing us in a simple and direct way and asking us to consider how best we could use our lives for God. In retrospect this may well have been a…

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Durham

Durham

 “Grey towers of Durham,  Yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles,  Half church of God half castle against the Scot, A nd long to roam these venerable aisles,  With records stored of deeds long since forgot”. Sir Walter Scott

Social Justice?

Social Justice?

A piece of research published today reveals a clear north-south divide. The Tees Valley in general and Middlesbrough in particular are places which became rich on heavy industry.William Gladstone famously went to the original town hall in Middlesbrough and proclaimed it an “infant Hercules”. Go to the same spot now and you find a sad, boarded-up building surrounded by wasteland and a few abandoned, crumbling houses. The area found it increasingly hard to compete in global markets and, over time, government felt…

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Durham Miners Gala

Durham Miners Gala

 Last weekend I travelled north to Durham for the Miners Gala ( or better known in those parts as the Big Meeting) – here is my sermon for the day and some pictures taken by Trevor Smith – for which many thanks! The Davy Lamp Kelloe and the Banner being processed down the Village The Hundredth and First Miners’ Festival Service Saturday 10 July 2010  Durham Cathedral  Luke 10.25-37 And who is my neighbour? Who do you think you are?…

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Durham Miners Gala

Durham Miners Gala

A quiet Saturday has gven me the opportunity to do some thinking and planning for an invitation to preach that has given me a great deal of pride and pleasure. On July 10th I shall travel north to preach in Durham Cathedral for the One hundreth and first Miners Festival Service in Durham Cathedral. A Homecoming and back to my roots ! Gladly I also mark 25 years of ordained life on 29th of June when the Bishop of Durham…

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On the Road

On the Road

I travel upto Durham today to see my parents and catch up before Christmas – the card drop will save a fortune and Christmas isnt Christmas without on of my mothers cakes! this is a special year for them – on Christmas eve they celebrate 50 years of marriage. The north feels so much part of me – even though I havnt lived there since 1979. I love the cold wind that blows in from the north sea – the…

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Bede

Bede

  Today we commorate The Venerable Bede Almost everything that is known of Bede’s life is contained in the last chapter of his Historia Ecclesiastica, a history of the church in England. It was completed in about 731, and Bede implies that he was then in his fifty-ninth year, which would give a likely birth date of about 672–673.  A minor source of information is the letter by his disciple Cuthbert which relates Bede’s death. Cuthbert is probably the same…

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Memory Lingers Here

Memory Lingers Here

  I sat in Newcastle City Centre on a Friday morning amidst the great cathedrals of that place – the shops and cafes full of worshippers and looking quite satisfied with their commitments to these rituals. I picked up my mug of fair-trade coffee and sat outside in the square watching the world go by. Warmed and encouraged by the sun there was a sense of cheer in the air. I am never very sure about what to make of…

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Angel of the North

Angel of the North

 A short visit to see my parents in the North East gave me a welcome re connection with this amazing, varied place. The A1 north of the Durham services station offers sign  postings to some of the most significant places in my life: Kelloe and my birth place Spennymoor and the long daily bus journey to school Durham and that magnificent Cathedral where I was ordained Consett and my first Curacy and further North to an icon that needs to…

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