Salvation Army

Church and Community Centre

News Items for the year 2008

Click on the pictures to reveal a slide show.

Sunday 21st December
Presentation of gifts to Social Work Men's Hostel

Over the last few weeks the sounds coming from the Sunday School seemed a little different from the usual sounds. It was the sound of four sewing machines, for the members were busy making toilet bags for the sixty-nine inhabitants of the City Road Salvation Army men's hostel. Members of the Sunday School wanted to do something to brighten up the lives of some under privileged people over the Christmas period. They made Christmas cards for each man and collected enough money to fill each bag with suitable toiletries. The pictures show some of the children as they presented the gifts to Les. Richardson, the Director of the hostel.
Thanks are due to everyone who supported the youngsters by either sponsoring or donating their time and expertise and of course to the children who worked so hard to make sure the men had a great Christmas.

Tuesday 16th December
Sorting and packing gifts

This morning in our Church building we witnessed a band of volunteers frantically sorting out gifts for the deprived children of the borough. These toys and other gifts were the sum of gifts from our own congregation and a number of other areas significantly including Asda and Superdrug. The gifts were being sorted for suitability for the children nominated by local social care staff. Each bag is to be specifically labelled for a named child and the organisation for such a venture started several weeks ago. The cheerfulness with which the volunteers went about their work was great to see and their reward is bound to be in the knowledge that many children who would otherwise not receive any gift this Christmas will this year have some lovely gifts to wake up to on Christmas morning.

Sunday 7th December
Dedication Service and Civic Launch of the Toy Appeal

The morning meeting saw many visitors who had come to witness the dedication ceremony of the infant daughter of Garry and Victoria Burn. Garry is the oldest son of our bandmaster Ian and his wife Isobel. Constance Grace Downing Burn seemed to enjoy the ceremony and did not display so much as a whimper as Major Peter Clark accepted her on behalf of the Salvation Army and in particular the Bedlington Corps.

The evening meeting was devoted to the launch of the annual toy appeal. A number of visitors were present as were the Mayors of Wansbeck and Blyth Valley, both of whom spoke of the support they are glad to give to the work of the Salvation Army. During the service a local ITV feature of our Christmas toy appeal was shown. Click here to see this clip on youtube. One of the pictures shows Major Karen Clark and Sheila Pattison, the Community Care Ministries Secretary, showing off the tremendous support given by the congregation in the giving of toys.

Weekend 29th/30th November
First Weekend of Christmas 2008

The weekend got off to a first class start with the Christmas Bazaar which raised a significant increase on last year's event. An excellent lunch was enjoyed by many. On Sunday morning the band was playing Christmas Carols at Kirkley Hall (see pictures) so our congregation was somewhat depleted. However, a blessed time was enjoyed by all present.

On the Sunday evening Churches Together in Bedlington joined us for the First Sunday in Advent Service. Leaders of other Churches gave readings from the Scriptures and a very thought provoking and sometimes amusing address was given by one of the visiting ministers.
Following the service all were invited to join Graham and Shelagh Skipsey in the adjacent hall for tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits. This was the farewell party for Graham and Shelagh who are emigrating the the USA where they already have two daughters waiting for them. Graham and Shelagh will be sorely missed from our Corps fellowship and we wish them well in their new venture. The pictures below capture the moments when we met together in this way.

Sunday 23rd November
Commissioning of Junior Musicians

During this evening's meeting Major Karen Clark made reference to the workings of the Holy Spirit in our Young People's Corps. The Sunday School attendance has more than doubled in recent months and the work of the Youth Club is seeing youngsters seek further commitment to engage in Corps activities. Junior Musician certificates were presented to Edward Binns for YP Band and Singing Company and to Cory Tweddle for the Singing Company.

Monday 3rd November
Recognition of Help Given in Morpeth

click here to see how Bedlington Corps was recognised for its help during the terrible floods of the weekend of 6th and 7th September.

Sunday12th October
Young Peoples Corps Anniversary

This was a day when our junior soldiers and their teachers were to the fore and as usual we were blessed by the messages and participation of all the young people and particularly some of the very youngest. In the morning the leader was Young People's Sergeant Major David Wearmouth. His central theme was 'The Mind' and he showed how our minds are so important when learning about life and the direction we should take. The evening meeting was led by Louise Elliott and she introduced various items that the youngsters had been learning at their joint collaboration with the corps at Ashington and Newbiggen. During the day annual prizes were presented
The pictures capture some of the moments during both meetings particularly the début performances of Cory Tweddle and Edward Binns. Apologies for the poor quality of some of the pictures. The photographer had an off day!

Weekend 27/28th September
Corps 130th Anniversary and opening of new Community Buildings

Corps 130th Anniversary celebrations were led by Lt. Col. Roger Rasmussen who had been, with his late wife, the officers at Bedlington over 30 years ago. The weekend commenced with an outdoor service during which the new Community Building was formally declared open by the Colonel. Many soldiers, friends and community leaders were present to listen and take part in the service and the sun shone brilliantly on this special occasion.
Following the official opening everyone filed in through the open door to fill all of the new halls and to enjoy a buffet tea. Following the tea and after a suitable time to digest the many goodies that had been prepared we enjoyed a thanksgiving festival which was ably compered by Major Ray Begley, the Northern Divisional Director for Evangelism. The programme included items from the Band, Songsters, YP Band, Singing Company, the Timbrels and DIV, the dance group from the Youth Club. A special item was a Tenor Horn Solo by eight year old Edward Binns.
Sunday meetings were led by Majors Peter and Karen Clark while Lt. Col. Rasmussen was the special speaker. His messages were plain to understand and a number of re-dedications were made. There were moments of humour but the prevailing theme was worship and the presence of God was felt throughout the weekend.
During the evening meeting thanks were expressed to many people who had helped to make the weekend such a success. Especial thanks were expressed to Majors Peter and Karen Clark who, for quite some time have had many difficulties to contend with concerning the new development.

During the Colonel's relatively short stay of two and a half years at Bedlington over thirty years ago, he performed the marriage ceremony of three couples who all still soldier at the Corps. The picture shows the Colonel and, from the centre, Olive and Keith Lightley, Susan and Colin Lightley and Shiela and Brian Dixon.

Weekend 6/7th September
Community Service In Morpeth

Following the disastrous flooding in the centre of Morpeth the Salvation Army's emergency planning was called into action. At around 6.00 pm the Community Services Officer at the Army's Divisional Headquarters was contacted by the Morpeth authorities asking for assistance. It quickly became evident that more help was needed and at about 10.00 pm Majors Karen and Peter Clark were contacted to see if help could be available. Within a few minutes contact had been made with a team of volunteers who were able to provide help through the night. Pairs of volunteers were able to provide cover in three hourly slots until they were able to stand down during Sunday afternoon. The pictures, which were taken after the flood level had receded, show some of the devastation left in its wake and of the help the volunteers were able to provide in terms of counselling and practical help.

View a PowerPoint Show of the terrible destruction Click here if you need a PowerPoint viewer

It's now Thursday after Sunday's terrible flood and The Salvation Army is called out again. This time to provide refreshments for the many workers, volunteers and local residents at one of the worst affected areas. The couple in one of the pictures watched the destruction of their house from their holiday hotel in Majorca. There are old folk living in an upstairs flat which mercifully was not damaged, but they are afraid to go out for fear of slipping on the muddy roads and pavements. Many taking advantage of the tea, coffee, bacon and sausage sandwiches and cakes could not understand that they were not expected to pay for them. This was Christian love shown in a very practical way.

Letters of thanks and appreciation for the dedication of Bedlington Corps folk have been received from the Chairman of Northumberland County Council and The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters. To view these letters please click on the following. Letter from County Council. Letter from DHQ

Friday 5th September
Band at The Gideons' Friends Evening Meeting - Alnwick

In what seems to have become an annual visit, the band enjoyed the fellowship of the meeting of The Gideons. As well as accompanying some good singing, the band was able to provide a varied number of pieces of music which was appreciated very much by the large congregation. A very moving testimony to his change of life from one of the congregation told of how he has found an avenue of service by visiting Acklington Prison. We witnessed a detailed presentation of the work of The Gideons in distributing bibles and testaments to people in Africa. It was indeed an eye opener for many of us. The meeting finished by providing refreshments and an opportunity to understand more about the work. Click on the photograph below to show members of the band and their families enjoying a cuppa and a sandwich or two before heading back home in some appalling weather. Conditions.

Sunday Morning August 24th August
Thanksgiving Service

As the date for the official opening of our new community halls approaches evidence already shows signs of success in our reaching out to the community in Bedlington. A local family with no previous connection to the Corps approached Major Clark with a view to having a thanksgiving service for the birth of their lovely son. Of course, the Major was very pleased to be able to offer that service and as a result the Sunday morning congregation was augmented by about thirty-five family and friends, who all seemed to engage fully in the whole service. The pictures below show the thanksgiving service and the signing of the register by parents and godparents.

Monday July 28th to Sunday August 3rd August
Olympic Summer Club

During the week 6 to 13 year olds met to take part in themed week of song and dance, cookery, painting and many other activities under the guidance of a number of volunteers. This was a repeat of a very successful week last year when the theme was "The Ugly Bug Ball" but this year featuring the Olympics

Sunday's afternoon service

Our usual Sunday afternoon service was a little different from the usual in that as many of the youngsters who attended the Olympic Summer Club as possible took part and presented some of the song and dance that they had learned during the week. Major Peter Clark, the Corps Officer, reminded the many parents and grandparents who attended that all the presentations were accomplished with only a total of seventeen hours rehearsal. The pictures show many of the items that took place. The congregation, comprising a majority of parents and grandparents, are seen to be enjoying taking part in the service also. The Olympic theme was prominent in all items and the culmination of the afternoon was the medal ceremony. Unlike the Beijing Olympics, where only the first, second and third winners will be presented with medals every child was presented with one. And how they all deserved them.
Thanks were expressed to all the parents and grandparents for allowing their children to take part in the club event and also to the many volunteer helpers, all of whom members of the Bedlington Corps of the Salvation Army. Prayers were expressed for the continued working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these lovely children. A Christian welcome waits for them all and for their parents and grandparents.

Sunday June 29th
Visit of Maidenhead band to Northumberland
Five into One Does Go

Maidenhead band visited Northumberland for a very busy weekend of activities during which they campaigned at no less than five corps, Ashington, Anwick, Bedlington, Cramlington, and Newbiggin. This report concerns the Sunday afternoon meeting at Bedlington, where a full hall listened to an afternoon of blessing, entertainment and quite a lot of laughter, The meeting was preceded by songs from Bedlington Songsters and following a rousing opening song Major Peter Clark introduced the band and its leader for the weekend Commissioner Alex Hughes. Bandmaster Stuart Hall, who hails from Newbiggin, then took over as compere of the programme.
The programme was varied. Modern swing style pieces were predominant but there was something for everyone including the final item Army of the Brave. A slower, more devotional duet was played by the oldest and youngest cornet players in the band Graham Collier and 16 year old Timothy Gray. The programme featured two very contrasting items. Firstly Liam Parker, the corps' youth officer, tried to teach three pressed volunteers how to act. Bandmaster Ian Burn did not need much teaching and the interaction between the two had the congregation reaching for their handkerchiefs as tears of laughter rolled down their cheeks. Liam is 19 years old. He started his acting career with the Star Makers stage school, Reading, Berkshire. (The same stage school that Kate Winslett started from). He has appeared in a number of films including some of the Harry Potter series. Secondly the beautiful voice of the Bandmaster's son Adam was heard. Although singing in German the music still spoke to the heart. Adam has just completed his 2nd year of a 4-year Music and German degree at Cardiff University. For his 3rd year he will be studying music in Germany at the Freie Universität, Berlin starting October 2008. He received a choral scholarship for the cathedral choir in Cardiff, which incidentally he declined so that he could spend time singing in a wider variety of choral styles within the Cardiff area. He receives vocal training via a joint programme between Cardiff University and the Welsh National Opera. He is a member of the university chamber choir and has made numerous guest appearances with choirs in and around South Wales. Adam is also a budding composer as demonstrated by the band's playing of his swing number featuring a bass trombone solo and a reference to his Newbiggin seaside roots.
Ashington and Newbiggin songsters joined forces to provide some lovely singing and Commissioner Alex Hughes provided a bible reading and commentary at the close of the meeting.
We understand that the band arrived back in Maidenhead at 1.00 am on Monday morning. We hope that they were not too tired and happy in the knowledge that they provided blessing and enjoyment to many people up here in Northumberland. Thank you Maidenhead band.

Saturday June 14th
Toddlers Sports Day Coffee Morning

The salvation army toddler group decided to break from the norm on Saturday the 14th of June and held their first annual toddlers sport’s day coffee morning. The event brought in many toddlers who would normally only come into the building during toddler times and with them came families that had never even stepped into our building before. The day included magic shows, games, delicious home baking and sports activities for all the family. A fantastic day was had by all and an extra bonus…during all the fun and entertainment £365 was raised for the Corps’ funds. Thank-you to everyone who supported this special day.

Sunday June 8th
Commissioning of Ross Floyd

Just prior to Ross going to work in an Army Music Camp in the USA for the Summer he was commissioned as a Senior Bandsman complete with new hair style as the pictures show.

Saturday June 7th
Flag Day in Newcastle

The band played in Northumberland Street - Newcastle to support the annual Flag Day. Many contacts were made and blessings received. Geoff Platt of NCT kindly videoed the band and the results are duplicated here with his kind permission. Follow the links to view his videos.

Video 1 Video 2 Video 3 Video 4

May 10th/11th
Adult and Family Ministries Weekend

Adult and Family Ministries Weekend meetings were led by Commissioner Dr. Ann Woodall and commenced on the Saturday evening with a Corps family meal where some ninety people sat down to a meal arranged and served by ladies. The meeting that followed had an international theme when the Commissioner was able to share many of her experiences whilst travelling to various Salvation Army territories. Of particular interest was the Sally Ann project where ladies in South India had developed profitable businesses from money loaned to them by The Army to support the community. The Commissioner also brought a display of articles that had been made by groups from Africa as well as South India.
On Sunday morning the message was introduced in mathematical terms, the Commissioner being well versed in the subject, demonstrating the integration of the family of God under the shadow of His wings.
The evening meeting dwelt on the coming of the Holy Ghost when the disciples spoke in tongues. We were encouraged to go out and talk to the people we meet in the sort of language they understand.

April 17th
Awards Evening at County Hall, Morpeth

Songster Ivy Watson was recently honoured by the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland at an awards evening held at County Hall, Morpeth. Her award was The Chief Scout’s 50 Year Long Service Decoration for her work with scouting in Bedlington and the district of Wansbeck. In actual fact she has served for fifty-three years, thirty-six of which were as Cub Leader at the Corps. A remarkable achievement.

April 16th
Men's Fellowship tour of St. James Park

Twenty-one members of the Men's Fellowship enjoyed an hour's guided tour of St. James Park. This was a memorable occasion for all, perhaps especially for one Tottenham supporter amongst us! (At least his club had some silverware to be displayed). For the many season ticket holders amongst us it was an opportunity to visit parts of the complex not normally seen. For others it was an eye opener to see the sheer magnitude of this fantastic stadium. Our guide had a great sense of humour, some of which should not be reported here for fear of him being sued for slander!

April 7th and 8th 2008
SP&S Road Show visits Bedlington

A wide selection of uniform equipment and casual clothing, CDs and DVDs were available as well as uniforms that had been pre-ordered by folk from surrounding corps. In spite of there being few customers present when our photographer arrived there was a brisk trade over the two days.

Easter Monday 24th March 2008
Corps walk at Bolam Lake and dinner at "The Dyke Neuk"

Two walks were planned. One estimated to take about three hours and the other under an hour. These pictures, for whom we thank Graham Caffull, were of the brave ones who took the three hour walk.

Easter Weekend 22nd/23rd March 2008
Visit of a party of cadets from the William Booth Training College

A party of cadets from the William Booth Training College left the college early on Good Friday morning for the long journey to Bedlington to conduct Easter weekend meetings. Many blessings were received throughout the weekend and powerful testimonies touched the hearts of many listeners. The Good Friday morning meeting was led by the Corps Officers, Majors Peter and Karen Clark. A united evening meeting was held at Ashington, where soldiers and friends from five Corps in the Division met for an inspiring meeting led by the cadets. Cadet Dafne Castro e Lemos led the meeting and likened the assembled congregation to a Territory Congress in her native Portugal, where there are only five corps in the whole territory.
On Saturday morning the cadets distributed hot cross buns and hot drinks in the centre of Bedlington from the Division’s emergency vehicle, while a small ensemble from the corps band played familiar Easter hymns. A similar activity took place at Blyth in the afternoon.

During the morning meeting Allan Robson was enrolled as an adherent. Following his enrollement by corps officer Major Peter Clark, Allan spoke of his joy in becoming a part of Bedlington Corps. He thanked the congregation for making him feel so welcome and explained that his decision had been made several months ago but that family health problems had not allowed the enrollement to take place sooner.

The message of a risen Saviour was enthusiastically portrayed by the cadets during Sunday meetings following which all were invited to socialise and enjoy coffee and hot cross buns before thanking the cadets for their hard work and wishing them a safe journey back to college.

Weekend 15th/16th March 2008
Partners in Mission Young Peoples Fun Day

Saturday the 15th of March saw a very significant day in our area’s P.I.M’s (partners in missions) programme as it was the first area wide Kids Funday that many could remember. Over 60 children and leaders, from Ashington, Bedlington, Cramlington and Newbiggin attended the day, which comprised of dance, drama, crafts, cooking, singing, sports and much, much more. The children were then encouraged to take what they had learned back to their local Corps and share it with families and friends.

On Sunday evening there well over 70 new faces in various meeting across the area as a result of the children inviting others to “come and see” what they had learned. We would like to thank all of those that helped make the day possible and give all the Glory to God for moving in the lives of our area’s Young people.
At Bedlington it was good to see parents and friends of the children joining in the action songs which the group had learned and one little toddler couldn't miss out on a bit of the action. During the meeting nine of the young people read from bible passages describing the "Fruits of the Spirit", the text used being taken from Galatians 5:22 -23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."