May/June 2021 Magazine can be downloaded - WORD PDF




Brandon Parish Magazine
May/June 2021

St. John’s Church, Brandon &
St. Catherine’s Church, New Brancepeth

St. John’s Holy Eucharist Sundays – 9.45 am,
                                            Mondays – 7.00 pm,
                                            Wednesdays – 9.00 am
St. Catherine’s Holy Eucharist Sundays – 8.45 am,
                                                     Thursdays – 9.30 am
Morning Prayer: Thursdays – 8.45am St. Catherine's church
Morning Prayer also by Zoom Tuesday and Friday at 8.45am.
Please contact Fr. Carl for an invitation.

Revd. Carl Peters: The Clergy House, Sawmill Lane, Brandon,
Durham, DH7 8NS. Tel: 0191 6803875,

Other Contact Telephone Numbers
St. John’s: David (Churchwarden) – 3789718; Carolyn – 6803875
St. Catherine’s: Joe – 3739927; Liz – 3731554

From the Registers

Funerals at St John’s church
5th March 2021 Alan Brown
15th March 2021 Olga Peverell
18th March 2021 Geoffrey Hughes
23rd March 2021 Christine Martin
25th March 2021 Margaret Rose Banks
29th March 2021 John Hudson
9th April 2021 Arthur Phillips
15th April 2021 Pamela Bloomfield

Funerals at Crematorium
11th March 2021 Arthur William Attle
12th March 2021 Vera Thompson
22nd March 2021 Nancy Emerson


Special Services
Ascension Day, 13th May: 9.30am Holy Eucharist at St Catherine’s church and 12 noon Holy Eucharist at St John’s church

The period 13th – 23rd May,
Pentecost Sunday -
is a time of special call to prayer,
‘Thy Kingdom Come’
See article later in the magazine.

Prayer for Our Churches: Tuesdays, 18th May and 15th June at 09.30 - 10.15, held on Zoom; for an invitation contact Bill Offler, Secretary Churches Together,
APCM (Annual Meeting) Wednesday May 19th 6.30pm
at St John’s church. This will be preceded by a short PCC to approve end of year accounts.

Priest’s Letter

Well overall a very sunny April! It’s had its wintry moments, but apparently it’s been the driest April in 60 years and I’m not surprised with the ground so dry. We need water of course and looking at my weather app on my phone, it looks like we’re going to get plenty of it in the rainy days ahead.

In our garden we have a pathetic excuse for a ‘pond’ in the shape of an old washing up bowl, set in a hollow in the grass. I keep it fresh, replenishing it regularly. It’s lovely to see the various creatures drink from it and seemingly bathe in it. Birds, squirrels and even our cats drink from it. The other night as it was growing dark, but in a rather lovely light, I watched a hedgehog drinking from it. It lingered for a while and had a really good drink before it headed off to another part of the garden. It was great to see the beloved creature, under threat but very much alive there.
So yes, water is life giving and we all know we wouldn’t last long without it. Physical sustenance is essential. Jesus asked for a drink of water from a Samaritan woman who was drawing water from a well. His physical body presumably needed it and Jesus was tired as we hear from his journey. The woman was shocked that a Jew would ask a Samaritan for water, as they didn’t normally have much to do with Samaritans. She said to him. ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’
Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’
The Samaritan says to Jesus,
‘Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?’
He answers, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

We hear then how the Samaritan woman still wants this water that Jesus speaks of, in a physical kind of way.
‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to drink water.’

Jesus of course is talking about a different kind of water that gives us a different kind of sustenance. The water we drink in this life is a wonderful gift of creation and when there is a lack of it in some parts of the world, it’s a source of hardship and suffering.

So yes, water is precious indeed. It’s life giving!

But how much more life giving then is the living water that Jesus gives us? Later in the Gospel of John chapter 7 when Jesus is in the temple, we hear him say in a loud voice,
‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of water shall flow from within them.’

Do we want to taste that water?
Are we thirsty for a new life our wonderful but flawed world cannot offer us?
Well then let’s go to Jesus and quench our thirst with the living water he offers us through the Spirit.
And when we’re with Jesus, tasting the living water, we might just want to linger for a while and enjoy his life saving presence.
For there we can pour out before Jesus all our pains and anxieties and find healing and peace in his most precious and life giving wounds.

Alleluia! He is risen!

Fr. Carl

St. John’s Hall

St. John’s hall is slowly opening.
The guiding groups are back on three evenings a week using the outside area. Dianne Proudfoot is having private dance lessons. Slimming world are using the hall until the Legion reopens. Also operating are Hartbeeps on a Tuesday, little movers on a Friday and children dance lessons on a Saturday during May. The fitness classes can hopefully return after May 17th.
Hopefully everything else will be back later in June. Any queries, please call Lesley on 07846542035.
Prayer Points:
As we rejoice in this Eastertide and the period including Ascension, Pentecost (the ‘birthday’ of the church) and Trinity Sunday, maybe you would like to pray for some of the needs of the world and our community:
• For the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in India, Brazil and other countries with large numbers of infections and deaths. While giving thanks for our vaccination programme pray that all Western governments will be generous with supplying vaccines to less well-off countries.
• For all those in need at this time, for the work of the food bank in Brandon, and particularly their hope to open the drop-in centre later in May. Pray that they will get the volunteers they need to run this well.
• For our contacts with Schools, particularly New Brancepeth Primary where we ran a ‘Teams’ Open the Book session, telling the story of the Road to Emmaus. Also for Fr. Carl’s contacts with Browney, Silvertree and others.
• For our church congregations as we slowly get back to unrestricted services. Pray for God’s guidance and inspiration for Fr. Carl, our Church Wardens and PCC as we work out where God is leading us for the future.
• For the Annual Meeting on 19th May, that we will be drawn together in fellowship and hear what God is saying to us at this time.
• For the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ prayer initiative, 13 – 23 May. That we will all be inspired and others will come to know Christ.
• That the Christian Aid week will result in a large increase in funds to help the World’s poorest people.

The website Thy Kingdome Come has many resources to help churches and individuals to pray.

In particular there are two booklets: Novena and Prayer Journal.
A Novena is nine days of prayer that usually encourages us to pray with a particular intention.
Before you start
• Prayerfully choose five people to pray for, and pray during these 11 days that they would know the transforming love of Christ.
• Set a time each day when you will take a moment of prayer. You need only about 10 minutes.
In the past many have found this booklet very helpful.

The Prayer Journal is new this year, written by ArchBishop of York, Stephen Cottrell. He says,
‘This booklet is intended for everyone. Each day there are a few things to read, a prayer to offer and then an invitation for you to make your own reflections on what it means to follow in the way of Christ.
You don’t have to write anything down, but you may find it helpful. Don’t worry if this isn’t you.
Just ask God to help you see clearly how you can follow Jesus and who you can help’.

You can download either of these from the website, but we are ordering a number of booklets for our churches. If you would like one or both please collect them from the back of the church, or contact Fr. Carl (you might like to make a small donation, e.g. 50 pence).
“In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities."  Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.

This year's Thy Kingdom Come will happen from 13th - 23rd May. During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will:

• Deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ
• Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus
• Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness

After the very first Ascension Day the disciples gathered with Mary, constantly devoting themselves to prayer while they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Through the centuries Christians have gathered at that time to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
‘Thy Kingdom Come’ picks up this tradition.

We are praying that the Spirit will inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our friends and families, our communities and networks.

Whether you have joined in ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ before or not, we invite you to take part – along with churches from over 80 different denominations & traditions in nearly 90% of countries (172) around the world.

Christian Aid Week is coming:
10th - 16th May, 2021

Christian Aid exists to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. There is a particular emphasis this year of the effects of climate change.

Rose’s story illustrates this:
Rose is caught in a cycle of climate chaos. From severe drought to flooding, extreme weather robs her of what she needs to survive: a reliable source of water. Rose strives to provide for her grandchildren who live with her.
In times of drought, Rose sets out on a long and dangerous journey every morning to collect water for her family. She walks on an empty stomach. ‘Because I am old, I can’t walk very fast. When I get home I just rest in the evening. I have no energy to do anything,’ Rose says. ‘I believe God gives me strength and helps me persevere. I pray God will help people to help me.’
Christian Aid are developing earth dams to catch water when rain does come so that communities like Rose’s can have water in dry periods. With a reliable source of water, people like Rose would be free from long, painful journeys. They would be able to grow fresh vegetables to eat. And they would be able to protect themselves from the dangers of coronavirus. With such dire need, every last drop of water that falls in Rose’s community is precious.
This Christian Aid Week, will you stand with people like Rose for every last drop and help them fight the climate crisis?
See Christian Aid Week Resourcesfor more information.
Give: Use envelopes available in church. If you are unable to collect one, contact Liz Gregory-Smith, 0191 3731554
Challenge yourself: Take on the 300,000 steps challenge this May whilst getting fit and raising vital funds through sponsorship by friends.
Quiztian Aid: This fun filled online quiz is suitable for all of the family will be held on Saturday 14th May.
Tea Party: Host a tea or coffee meeting in your garden (up to 6 people).
Tesco Collection: We hope in July we can make a collection as we have done in the past. Can you volunteer to collect for an hour or so? More news later.