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Chocolate calendars, numbed shopping malls, new oil deals, and an unHoly Land. Dare we pray the prayer of Advent? Dare we not? It is easy to become disillusioned, despairing almost, of the direction of travel that we, as a global species, appears to be taking. Western society seems infatuated with technological ‘progress’ irrespective of cost …

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A Letter from Bewcastle – December 2023

Dear Friends, So another year draws to a close. If you’re like me, you’re left wondering where it has gone. It doesn’t seem that long ago that 2019 was the new year. Even 1980 doesn’t feel that old! But, when you look back, so much has happened, both internationally and locally this year. The war …

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Pearl Diving

For over 2000 years Japanese women, known as ama, have descended to depths of over 30m underwater, in a single breath lasting over two minutes, in search of pearls. They descend into the darkness where all colour has vanished. Only silence, shadows and outlines remain. It is a place of extreme cold and danger where …

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New Folk Session

Starting a new folk tunes session (not a singaround) at The Black Lion, Hethersgill on the last Monday of the month, beginning 30th October 2023, 7.30pm (not Xmas Day, which is the last Monday this year!). Maddy Prior will try and join us when she’s around (including the first session). Anyone welcome to come along …

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Apple Pressing 2023

Greenholme, Saturday 7th October, 2-4pm. Come along, bring all the apples you can manage, and some containers for juice, and join the fun. We’ll wash them, cut them, macerate them and press them. The juice is always just the best – as fresh as can be! Everyone welcome, no cost. You can find us here.

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A Letter from Bewcastle – October 2023

Dear Friends, Each morning before breakfast, whatever the weather, I go out for a walk, taking the dog, and often my binoculars. Its when I offer my Morning Prayer, using ancient prayers of the Hebrew people and the Church, and then pray for all of you, as parishioners, some by name, depending on circumstance, others …

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Bewcastle Benefice Newsletter – September 2023

Distraught, one of our children rang recently to say that her beloved Lurcher with whom for 11 years she had shared just everything, had come to the end of her days.“ I’ve had to ask the vet to call “.Those of you who have pets will know exactly how she felt… The benefice newsletter for …

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Beth-El – House of God?

Duplicity. Abraham complies with his wife’s scheming and then denies his firstborn. Isaac is tricked by his second-born with the help of his mother’s plotting. Jacob indulges his wives’ bitter rivalry, and so spawns the twelve tribes of Israel. The Patriarchs of Israel are a sorry bunch, for whom ‘integrity’ was not a word that …

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A Letter From Bewcastle – August 2023

Dear Friends, The long summer holidays are here. For some. Gone are the days when the break from school was needed so children could help with the harvesting. But still the tradition lingers on – the highlight of the year for so many children, and a childcare headache for so many parents. For gone, too, …

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The Stories We Tell

‘Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. A long time ago…’ We love stories. From our earliest days to old age we love listening to, and telling, stories. They are how we make sense of the world around us, how we first encounter ‘others’ in our imaginations, and they are how we form our collective …

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Cataract of God

‘Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls’ shouts the psalmist through the drenching thunder. So many of us are nervous souls, battered down by cares and worries, apprehensive for loved ones or ourselves. The experience of hurt and disappointment has left us timid and small. The adventure of childhood has long since …

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A Letter from Bewcastle, June 2023

Dear Friends, “That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, Lest you thought he never could recapture The first fine careless rapture!” Those words are immortalised in Robert Browning’s poem, ‘Home-Thoughts, from Abroad’, which some of you know off by heart from school-days years ago! The poem celebrates the English countryside in Spring, …

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Lord and Lady

A friend recently wrote: I thought I’d share my response as its an area at the heart of what it means to be fully human, ie made in Christ’s image. The passage is both beautiful and profound, and speaks of the depth and longing that I believe exists in each one of us, if we …

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A Common Treasury For All

In 1649 to St George’s Hill A ragged band they called the “Diggers” Came to show the people’s will. They defied the landlords, they defied the laws; They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs. ‘We come in peace’ they said ‘to dig and sow. We come to work the lands in common And to …

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Bewcastle Benefice Newsletter

The May 2023 edition of the Bewcastle Benefice newsletter is now available here. The Forgotten Lands Family Festival is taking place on 26th-27th May, next door to Greenholme at Stones Barn (The Steppings). Apart from much fine music, there will be a Celtic Evening Liturgy, including Taizé songs, in The Barn here at Greenholme at …

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