Notes from the Vicarage – March 2018

Dear Friends

I wanted to thank everyone who supported the Moving Mountains Mission in any way, prayers, practicalities, planning. It was wonderful to work together Anglican and Methodist /URC and reach out to our communities in a variety of ways.

The team from Newcastle were really lovely and supportive of all we had panned. We were fortunate to have such a great group in Bishop Christine, John, Izzy and Mark. The pub crawl was an interesting experience but showed us how welcoming Dalton and Askam people are, and we met some lovely people who were quite happy to talk to us. John Sinclair, one of the visitors form Newcastle even performed a lifesaving miracle on the gold fish in the Red Lion.

The day in schools was also a great success. George Romney, Our Lady’s, St Peters and St Marys School as well as Dowdales were visited. In each school the children were receptive and some of those visiting the schools then connected with some of the young people on the Sunday too. Bishop Christine and Izzy went to Coronation House and met with a group of people who lived there, thank you Freda for setting that up, we enjoyed tea and chat together.

The Friday evening events were good, I missed the Flower Arranging but have heard how great it was in lots of ways, Mark Wroe enjoyed being in the minority and commented on the impressive skill of Ros Harrison both as a flower arranger and an evangelist. The quiz at Askam was good fun, it would have been even better with more people but thank you to those from our church communities who attended. It was an opportunity to engage with a number of people who we don’t often engage with. During the evening there was the opportunity for some of us to share the beginning of our faith journey and the importance of our upbringing.

It was a pity the Saturday brought rain as we had planned to have a large prayer banner and stand on the street inviting people to share any subjects for prayer. Inside the atmosphere was warm and busy! Again lovely conversations and the team form Newcastle shared how they got their ‘Inner Refreshment’. Bishop Christine spoke about lifting people up to God in your hearts and minds. We had a quiet moment to allow folk to do just that – God was at work.

The afternoon saw Messy Mother’s Day when John Linney and many helpers engaged with the families who came to make gifts and cards for someone they love. We told the story of the Forgiving Father showing that we all belong to God’s family and God loves everyone no matter what.

The Tea Dance at Askam was a great success. Those present were overwhelmed by the generosity of the church folk who had provided a scrumptious afternoon tea and thanks to Bill for organising the dancing. A good time was had by all.

The evening saw more dancing and the clog dancers where excellent. The Blood Bikers story about the work they do was interesting and Bishop Mark (Bishop of Berwick) shared his experience as a blood biker along with the Christian message that Jesus is the life blood for the whole world.

The services in our churches were well attended with families and children taking part. Mothering Sunday was celebrated well in our communities.

Some of us finished the weekend tired but elated that we had seen God at work in our churches and in our communities.

Please pray about what next.

Annual Meetings 8th April

Advanced notice that our Annual Meeting will be after the Sunday morning service at St Mary’s Dalton on April 8th at 10am There will not be a service at St Peter’s we will worship as one parish. Please do come as we look back at last year and look forward to the future together.

Firstly make sure you are on the electoral roll. If you see yourself as belonging to the church in Dalton or Ireleth with Askam then sign up! – Forms are available at the back of the church. You have till next week (25th March) to sign up before the annual meeting.

The business of the first meeting which is a very short meeting will be to elect our Church wardens. It is the tradition of this parish to have 4 church wardens. The role of Church Warden is legally and practically vital in the life of the church. Ultimately, the Church Wardens are responsible to the Bishop for the conduct of services, the church finances, buildings and the provision of occasional services such as weddings and funerals. In practice, this responsibility is shared with the vicar who remains responsible for the vision and direction of the church and its spiritual health and mission. This requires a close working relationship of mutual trust and respect.

Wardens are expected to cooperate with their vicar – even though they might not agree with him or her! In addition, the wardens provide pastoral care for the vicar and her family. Accordingly, the church wardens must be spiritually mature and have leadership and practical skills to offer.

The second meeting deals with the running of the Parish; we receive the various reports and have the opportunity to ask questions.

We also elect new members to the PCC. The PCC is the body which agrees policy and vision for the church communities. We work together to ensure the buildings are in order and decide how we spend the money we are entrusted with. We also think about the future and how we work with others in and for the communities we serve. It is a privilege to serve on the PCC. We usually meet on the first Tuesday every other month in Dalton – Please do sign a nomination form if you are interested in being a member.

This year we need 4 new members so please think and pray is it you? Do you know someone who would be good – give them a nudge.

During the Annual Meeting this year we will get the opportunity to see the plans for the repairs at St Peters and the upgrade of the centre.

Do please come I would love to see you all there – and there will be cake!


Blessings to you all, your friend

Ruth Crossley