Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Death of Percy Golledge

We note with sadness Percy’s passing, and our prayers go out to Edith and the family at this time. The funeral will be on Wednesday 13th January, and we intend to live-stream it on the website for more people to attend safely than can gather in church that morning.

Two special birthday thank-yous!

Mary Hall wishes to thank the Church Family for her 90th birthday gift, the bowl of Hyacinths are already showing flower buds a promising sight of Spring quite soon. Thanks also for all the kind enquiries during my stay in hospital after a very unfortunate accident at home, Diane Burton proved how important good neighbours are to us all
Mary Hall

Vera Mitchison would like to thank the Church Family for her 90th Birthday gift a beautiful bowl of spring bulbs which are very much appreciated. Looking forward to when we can all meet again at Church .
Thank you God Bless you all
Vera Mitchison

Your Christmas Greetings to one another [26 so far…]

Please send us your Christmas Greetings to the Church congregation family and we will display them here…

‘The Church Stewards send you their warmest greetings for a very blessed Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year,  hoping that it will not be too long before we are all back together again in our Church. Please take care and stay safe.
 From : Ralph & Olive,  Keith & Lucy,  Christine,  Clifford, Vanessa, 
Abbie & Connor and Millie’

Joan Miller wishes all Homemakers a Merry Christmas, thanks Joy Howson for passing on the greetings.

Best wishes to everyone for a Happy, if different, Christmas, and all the best in th New Year, when we hope it won’t be too long before we can meet again. Jack and Kate

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Holy Christmas and a Peaceful and Hope-filled New Year With our love, Keith and Lynda

Bishop Auckland congregation – God’s blessings for 2021 Alistair (Newton Aycliffe) – Thank you for the support

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! Magda, Darren and Zianna.

“To all our friends at ‘Homemakers’ – Wishing you a very Happy Christmas – and stay free of COVID!!” Hazel and Michael (T) xxx

We wish all church friends a happy and healthy Christmas and look forward to seeing everyone in the not too distant future. Ian, Ellenor and Alistair McDougall.

Keith and Audrey send their best wishes to everyone for a Peaceful, healthy Christmas with renewed faith and hope for 2021.

Christmas wishes to everyone. I’m looking
forward to when we can exchange news over a cup of tea.  Best wishes from Milton and Eileen

Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year! Margaret and Frank T.

Wishing everyone at Bishop Auckland a very happy and peaceful Christmas. Lorna, Lichfield Staffs.

A very happy and healthy Christmas and 2021 from Ruth and Peter

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy Christmas from Margaret C.

Joan & Robin would like to wish everybody a happy and peaceful Christmas. Stay safe, God bless.

I would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas; especially those who keep us up to date with daily newsletters and work so hard to keep us informed. They are so appreciated. Thank you. Ruth Baker

Happy blessings be with you all at Christmas and throughout 2021.  Ena (L)

Joy and peace to you all.  Love and best wishes from Trudy and David Beadle.

Philip wishes you a happy but safe Christmas, and looks forward to seeing you all together soon and to hearing you sing.

Ann (H) and family send happy Christmas wishes to friends at church.

Audrey (H) wishes you all a happy Christmas.

Christmas blessings from Ivy and Tom.

Margaret (K) sends all best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Christine (L) wishes you all a blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Wishing you all a healthy and peaceful Christmas where ever you may be keep safe until we can all meet again in our Church
God Bless
Diane Burton

Wishing everyone at church a Joyful Christmas and that 2021 will see us all back together at church greeting each other as we always used to with warmth and affection.  With best wishes to you all
 Pat Hall

Ho ho ho from Di and Michael LEEDS
Can’t wait to see you all
Soooooooooooooon said the .
Have the best Christmas possible and keep faith all will be well.
Sent with sanitised love xx

Homemakers Christmas Conundrums

Can you find the Christmas Carols/songs without using a Hymn Book or computer. No prizes, just to amuse.

  1. Woman’s violet charms cadet (4,4,4,2,9)
  2. Man weary again (4,2,1,6)
  3. Raises the whips (1,3,5,5)
  4. A rich snake waits (10,5)
  5. Ho-Ho tingly (1,4,5)
  6. I bin terminated whelk (2,3,5,9)
  7. Sun on riotous baby (4,2,1,3,2,4)
  8. Robin then thing (4,2,3,5)
  9. The cameo clamp intu right Enid (2,4,4,3,8,5)
  10. May ale fill the coofu (1,4,3,2,8)
  11. E maids tint snows where (3,4,3,7,4)
  12. TNT heir fellows (3,5,6)
  13. I care tecing doormen joshi (4,9,3,7)
  14. Main clanger adder (7,2,1,6)
  15. Light sent in (6,5)
  16. Wash tins glades (2,4,8)
  17. Which shed laws pethered (5,9,7)
  18. Gona mint log (4,4,3)
  19. Carol vent rocy (8,5)
  20. Blinger joke L C L (6,4,4)

Thank you to those who supported this appeal

A big thank you to all who participated in the ‘Count Your Blessings’ fundraiser.  A cheque for £430 from our Circuit has been sent to the District Treasurer for the Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) district project COCO.  Once again thank you.                                                                                                                      Audrey and Olive.

Postage stamps

This has been a very difficult year for everyone, if you do receive Christmas Cards which have been posted please remember I am still collecting all used stamps including any foreign ones these are then sent to Great North East Air Ambulance. I could collect these from you during January give me a ring (01388 602169). God bless Diane Burton

Advent Letter

from the Chair of District

Dark of the night, my guide,
fairer by far than dawn when stars grow dim!
Night that has unified
the Lover and the Bride,
transforming the Beloved into him.
(St John of the Cross)

Dear friends,

The great sixteenth century mystic, St John of the Cross, founder of the Carmelite Order, used Song of Songs as a foundational text for his exploration of God. As the text above suggests, he imagined the search for God as being intimate, like the quest for a lover, taking place under cover of darkness.

As we enter the season of Advent, we may feel that we have been searching for God under cover of darkness for some time now. The past few months have been hard for all of us. We have travelled along a difficult road with our churches and communities and we know that the pandemic will continue to have an impact upon us long after the virus has been brought under control. For many of us this brings uncertainty about the future. We find ourselves in a place we have not been before and we do not necessarily know what to expect in the future. What will the new picture of church look like? It feels a bit like being handed an incomplete jigsaw without even knowing which pieces are missing.

I wonder though whether the journey through Advent might offer us some clues. The gospel lectionary for Advent Sunday (Mark 13:24-37) presents us with an image of discipleship unmoored. Here are disciples living in the midst of crisis, uncertain about the future, in a situation they have not experienced before and wondering what to expect and how to respond. The picture is unclear. The only certainty is that God is with them in the midst of the experience and they are encouraged to wait, to be patient, and to continue in their daily duties – by which I understand the patterns of discipleship which in Mark means primarily following the way of the cross (it is no accident that chapter 13 comes immediately before Mark’s depiction of the passion of Jesus).

Yet in the midst of the darkness and the uncertainty there is an image of hope.

‘Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its tender shoots appear and are breaking into leaf, you know that summer is near.’ (Mark 13:28)

We began lockdown in Spring, just as creation was tenderly breaking into new life. I wonder whether we are being asked to engage in something similar this Advent. Are we being called to long for a new spring in the lives of our churches and communities? Are we being called to attend patiently to the deep wells of discipleship as we wait for signs of the fig tree breaking into leaf?

Discipleship in a time of trouble need not be a source of anxiety about the future. It could be a time to journey and to meet with the Beloved in a more profound way; an opportunity to put things into perspective and remind ourselves that as we step once again into God’s ways that the new picture will emerge bit by bit – the best of all is, God is with us.

Last weekend, Debbie and I went walking near Bishop Auckland. Without realising it at first, we discovered that we were walking part of one of the new ‘Saints Trails’ which have been created across the North East. It was a reminder of ancient ways and modern innovation but also of the importance of journeying. As we pilgrim through this time of darkness, I pray that you may dwell deeply in the assurance of God’s presence, the hope of Christ, and the challenge of the Spirit. I hope and pray that in our Advent adventure, God may open up a new pilgrim way within and before us.

Yours in Christ,

The Revd Richard Andrew | Chair of the Darlington District

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