Salvation Army

Church and Community Centre

News Items for the year 2009

Click on the pictures to reveal a slide show.

December 20th 2009
Corps Carol Service

The Corps carol service once again attracted a full congregation where everyone could enjoy a good sing. No band or songsters to take part but, thanks to the hard work of Rachel on the piano, we were all kept in good tune. A spot in the service for anyone to ask for their favourite carol was very popular and it included a lovely solo from a very young member of the congregation as she sang ‘Away In A Manger’ so beautifully in tune.

At the conclusion of the service several of the corps members presented a tableau depicting the manger scene with the angel Gabriel standing over the stable as the Kings and wise men brought their gifts. A very moving and fitting presentation on which to send us home, or to the adjacent rooms for tea, coffee and mince pies.

December 6th 2009
Civic Carol Service

Half an hour before the Corps Civic Carol service was due to commence the hall was nearly full as an eager congregation prepared to enjoy a good sing. The guests for the evening were Councillor David Woodard, Chairman of Northumberland County Council, Mr Alisdair Gibbs-Barton, Deputy Mayor of Blyth Valley, Mr Ken Brown, Mayor of Morpeth and Mr George Todd, Deputy Mayor of Bedlington and the St Bedes R/C First School choir of about forty young children. Councillor Woodard spoke warmly of the work of the Corps in the area and of The Salvation Army generally while the congregation enjoyed contributions from the children of the choir and the junior and senior musical sections of the Corps.

The service also offered the opportunity to donate toys for the annual appeal to help provide a Christmas present for the deprived children of the area. Sheila Pattison, who has coordinated the effort for the last ten years, explained how the names and addresses of children of the area are provided by the Social Care authorities and how a team of volunteers meet to pack, label and distribute the presents.

December 6th 2009
Carols in Bedlington Market Place

At the local Council’s initiative it was agreed to hold the Sunday morning meeting as an outside carol service in the market place at Bedlington. Sadly there was very little sign of support from the public but several people emerging from their Sunday morning shopping expedition to Tesco’s stopped for a short while to listen and some take part in the carols.

November 22nd 2009
Dedication of Shoe Boxes for Samaritan’s Purse appeal

This evening’s meeting was centred on the annual Samaritan’s purse Shoe Box appeal. Major Peter Clark compared the journey of Mary and Joseph from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem for the annual census with that of the shoe boxes from Bedlington to various eastern block countries for deprived children. Tracy Binns read the story of Mungo Bear as he travelled in a shoe box to eventually be cherished by a deprived child in a foreign country. Sheila Pattison, who has coordinated the appeal for the last fourteen years, explained how the charity was started some twenty years ago in Wrexham, by a man who had been touched by the stories coming out of Ethiopia at the time.

To view a short film about “Operation Christmas Child”
click here.

November 15th 2009
Slimming World present cheque to Toddlers group

Sheila Knox, an adherent of the corps at Bedlington, has been hiring one of the halls for the Slimming World club which she runs. The ladies of the club were introduced to the Toddlers Group which meets in one of the other halls and learned that they were wanting to purchase some soft play equipment. They agreed to arrange a collection to help make that purchase possible and collected £90.00. The
pictures in the slide show below show the cheque being handed over to Louise Elliott, one of the leaders of the Toddlers group.

November 15th 2009
Dedication of gifts to Mombasa Children’s Orphanage

Instead of the traditional harvest gifts of fruit and vegetables, the congregation at Ashington were asked by The Salvation Army's Children's Home in Mombasa to support their work for the second year running. Following the crates of stationery and school uniforms that the corps sent to Kenya last year, the children's home requested that the corps help out with blankets and bed linen for the children this year. In south-east Northumberland the "A-B-C" Partners in Mission link between corps is very strong, and both Bedlington and Cramlington were keen to join in the project. The three corps worked hard to provide nearly 200 blankets and sheets for the home, and by doing so raised the profile of the Army's work in the area. The culmination of this harvest appeal was a joint African Celebration meeting at Bedlington led by Majors Peter and Karen Clark (Bedlington). Bedlington Band, Songsters and YP Band provided African-themed contributions to the meeting and the Singing Company even sang in Swahili! A drama group from Cramlington also took part in the meeting, powerfully highlighting the importance of fair trade. CSM Steve Gibson (Ashington) explained how Ashington's link to the Children's Home had come about through a family holiday to Kenya where the Mombasa Central Songsters had led an open air at their hotel, and he thanked the congregation for making such a positive difference to the lives of the children. Major Clark spoke about how the project has not only enabled the three congregations to come closer together, but gave thanks to God for the way in which other groups who meet within the wider programme of the three corps had been willing to participate in helping the children of Mombasa at harvest time.

November 13th 2009
Bedlington Junior Musicians at The Country Barn

A chance meeting of one of the corps’ soldiers with the proprietor of the Country Barn Coffee shop in Widdrington Village led to a request for some carol playing and singing on the evening of the establishment launching its Christmas fayre, including traditional Christmas lunches. The junior musicians of the corps duly provided that service and gave an extremely good account of themselves in spite of difficulty reading their music in the dark. There was considerable interest from many who passed through the shop and cafe.

November 8th 2009
Enrolment of Jason Wearmouth as a Senior Soldier

Friends and family members of Jason ensured that the hall was full for his enrolment as a Senior Soldier. In his testimony Jason spoke about his belief in the power of prayer but that he had learned that God does not always answer prayer in the way we would wish. He cited his prayer for new young people to come to Sunday School. This was answered positively quite soon afterwards. However, he was disappointed that God had not seen fit for his prayer for Newcastle United to remain in the Premiership.

October 25th 2009
Enrolment of Fiona Hall as an Adherent

Fiona was introduced to the Salvation Army through the CAMEO club about one year ago where she enjoyed the fellowship and the craft work that takes place there. She felt so welcome there and felt comfortable with the members. She was invited to come along to the meetings. She had always been a Christian but had not attended a church for a long time. Fiona lives in Cramlington where she receives carer support due to he epilepsy and has spent some time in and out of hospital. She has a wonderfully infectious smile and is an asset to out congregation.

October 3rd/4th 2009
Harvest Festival Weekend

Harvest Festival weekend was led by Lt. Col. Ray Kirby and commenced on the Saturday night with a festival of music by the band and songsters. Vocal and instrumental solos were well received and enjoyed by an appreciative congregation. The Colonel’s message served to introduce the topics that he would be speaking on during the Sunday’s services.

Instead of a traditional harvest display of fruit and vegetables the display was in two parts. Firstly a harvest of the hands. In other words a display of items that had been created by the skilful use of hands. This included knitting, cross stitch, painting and model making. Then there was a display of blankets and sheets that had been donated to be sent to a Salvation Army Children’s home in Mombasa, Africa.
Click here to find out more about this home.

During Sunday’s meetings the Colonel spoke from various passages of scripture but homed in on Psalm 104, which he explained provided adequate guidance for our preservation of all the things we need to sustain life and our planet. During the evening meeting, to draw attention to the plight of the starving in a world of plenty, young Edward Binns entered the hall dressed as the Dickensian Oliver, distributed to the congregation cookies and biscuits and then presented himself to the Colonel as he asked for more.

Altogether an excellent Harvest Weekend. Thank you Colonel Ray Kirby and all who contributed.

September 2009
The Corps has a new Community Development Coordinator

At the beginning of the month a new Community Development Coordinator was appointed to the Corps. Richard Wearmouth has been a Salvationist at Bedlington all of his life and this appointment sees a complete change in occupation for him, but one we believe is God inspired. Click here to read Richard’s testimony.

Sunday 30th August 2009
Ross Floyd wins an award

At the Northern Divisional Music School this year Assistant Corps Sergeant Major Ross Floyd was awarded the Clarence Adoo Trophy for the Best in Brass. This is one of several awards given for the various disciplines undertaken at the school. The award is not won in a competitive environment. As Clarence himself says the school leaders take into account a number of things, The student would be assessed during the week on their contribution to the respective main study that they take part in. They have an audition at the start of the week and then are monitored with progress made during the week. Then finally they look at how the student has entered into the spirit of the week coupled with the ethos of the school. Congratulations Ross! Although the award was formally presented to Ross at the school Major Clark thought that the congregation on Sunday evening would like to see the trophy and to congratulate Ross on a fine achievement.

Week August 17th to 24th 2009
Summer School

Some twenty-five children attended this year's Summer School where the subject of the week was "Super Heroes" A mixed range of activities was undertaken. Pizzas and marshmallow people were made and several indoor and outdoor games were played. The children's creative capabilities were demonstrated by their creation of masks and kites. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the week was when they all went down to '20 Acres' to fly their kites, even if one did get stuck up a tree. Bible study was undertaken during the week in which heroes in the bible were highlighted.

Sunday July26th 2009
Enrolment of Shirley and Keith Knox as Adherents

Shirley has been hiring one our new halls for some time for her slimming group at the Corps and got to know Salvationists through this. Both she and Keith have had past connections with the Salvation Army. Keith knew Walter Doyle from West Sleekburn and Shirley's Grandmother used to attend the Salvation Army. Giving her testimony after the enrolment Shirley spoke of the welcome they felt when attending their first meeting and their subsequent decision to make this their place of worship and to be so involved as to become Adherents.

Wednesday July14th 2009
Luncheon Club Appreciation Afternoon

An ‘Appreciation Afternoon' was held at Bedlington Corps on July 14th to which all the volunteers in the Luncheon Club were invited. Twenty-eight people attended and shared fellowship, food and fun. Among our volunteers are friends from other churches in the locality who willingly assist us in our service to our members.
During the afternoon Certificates of Appreciation and gifts were presented to six volunteers who have recently retired, having given many years of dedicated service.
Three of the retirees had given unstinting service since the inception of the Luncheon Club twenty-six years ago. Namely Gordon Lightley, Joan Tweddle and Jean Scott.
The photograph shows, from Left to Right, Major Karen Clark, Ivy Watson, Barbara Kennedy, Pauline James, Gordon Lightley, Joan Tweddle, Jean Scott and Sheila Pattison Community, Care Ministries Secretary.

SaturdayJuly4th 2009
Community Health Fayre

On Saturday the 4th of July the Salvation army in Bedlington held its first community health fayre. Professionals from various health groups, as well as the emergency services and much more gathered to present their services to the people of Bedlington. In total over 30 organisations were represented. Over 350 people attended the fayre, partly due to the beautiful weather we were blessed with. People left with bags bursting with freebies and literature, including some great scripture based booklets and cards. Many of the professionals that held tables have praised the event even going as far as saying it was "The best community event to be held in Bedlington for a very long time". Thank-you to all those who attended the event and especially to the team, led by Louise Elliot, who worked endlessly to ensure the event was a success.

Click on the picture to see a slide show of the event. If you need a Flash Viewer installed on your computer click here.

May 2009

Songster Ivy Watson is awarded the highest honour the Scouting movement can provide.
Click on the picture below to read all about the award.

Sunday 10th May
Commissioning of Ross Floyd as Asst. Corps Sergeant Major

Good Friday 10th April

The Band leads a procession of witness and accompanies hymns for a service
SimonWearmouth has captured some of the atmosphere during this march of witness in Morpeth. We thank him for allowing is pictures to be used on this web site. Click on the links below.

Video 1 Video 2 Video 3

Sunday 28th March
All Age Worship

Sunday morning we carried on the theme of safari animal’s featuring Noah, played by our deputy bandmaster Brian Story and supported by other band members. We were delighted to see so many of the toddlers and their families in worship with us. Click on the button below to witness some of the fun in worship.

Friday 27th March
Toddlers Safari Sponsored Toddle

On Friday the 27th of March all fifty of our toddles set out on their “Safari Toddle” they were raising money for The Salvation Army building fund. Many of their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts came to cheer them on. Each room of the building was decked out to simulate part of a safari; we even had one room that looked like an aquarium, noises and all. The amount raised so far is £1370 however the final total is expected to exceed £1,500. We want to say thank you to the parent and toddlers group for their support in this event. There was a lot of work went on before the event to which we have to say thank you to Arleen and Louise who are the leaders of this group. To see what they all got up to click here to watch a slide show.

For additional pictures click below.

Wednesday 4th March
Ladies' Fellowship

This evening the ladies' fellowship held an Indian night. This was arranged by Ann and Val who are members of the Ashington Salvation Army. They have within their congregation Indian Christians worshiping together. Ashington corps is very much a part of the Indian families, which means that they are invited to all their major events, weddings, birth celebrations etc. At this meeting Ann and Val shared all these lovely experiences which were on a grand scale. They provided a taste of the traditional food, and assisted the ladies at putting on the traditional Indian dress. It was a night of fun. To see pictures of these events please click here.

Sunday Morning 25th January
A New Venture

Great things are happening at the Corps. We are seeing growth in all aspects of our activities, especially in our Young People's Corps where attendance at Sunday School (Club) has virtually doubled in recent months and some of the young people have expressed a desire to attend the senior meetings also. Furthermore, the use of the new community rooms has seen a further interest in our worship activities, resulting in new people attending the services. In order to recognise these changes a new venture commenced this Sunday morning, when the senior congregation was augmented by members of the Sunday Club. As the pictures below will show, the young people took an active part in the meeting enabling the Singing Company to be enlarged significantly. It is planned that this venture will be repeated on the last Sunday of every month.

Sunday 11th January
Changes at the Corps

Today saw a couple of appointment changes. Firstly Colin Lightley was commissioned as the Corps Quartermaster. Major Clark explained the various duties of a quartermaster and praised Colin for his evident care for the buildings. Colin will be responsible for the upkeep of the buildings, ensuring they are always clean and fit for purpose and maintained to the highest standards.
The appointment of Colin Doyle as Corps Sergeant Major was made necessary as a result of Graham Skipsey emigrating to Dallas, Texas. Shelagh, Graham's wife, had already travelled to Dallas just before Christmas. Both Graham and Shelagh will be greatly missed at the Corps. Major Clark thanked Graham for his significant contribution to the Corps and wished them both well for the future. Graham in reply said that Bedlington Corps would be noted as an important part of their life and one which would always remain with them.
Unfortunately no photographs were able to be taken at these ceremonies.