Salvation Army

Church and Community Centre

News Items for the year 2010

             Click on the pictures to reveal a slide show.

December 18th 2010
Caroling at Bedlington Market Place

In spite of the seriously bad weather the faithful carollers still played to the few brave shoppers in Bedlington.

December 2010
Annual Toy Appeal

The dreadful weather this Christmas with deep snow and plummeting temperatures caused many of the usual Christmas activities to be severely disrupted. However, the work of distributing many toys to underprivileged children in the locality, with the usual very generous gifts from local people and shops still went ahead. The slide show demonstrates this generosity

Sunday 5th December 2010
Service of Thanksgiving for Marley May Johnson

This was a very joyful morning for Corps Treasurer Keith and Recruiting Sergeant Olive Lightley as their granddaughter was received by Major Peter Clark during a service of thanksgiving for a lovely little baby girl.

Sunday 28th November 2010
Service of Thanksgiving for Harold Coleman V

This morning saw the presentation of the infant son of Anna Hall and Harold Coleman IV.

Friday 12th November 2010
Young People’s caroling at Widdrington Farm Shop

This year again our young people’s sections were invited to play and sing carols at the Widdrington Country Barn Farm Shop. It was a desperately cold and windy night but the youngsters seemed to revel in the experience. Christmas caroling seems to get earlier every year that passes. Below is a slide show which hopefully will capture the atmosphere of the event.

Weekend 23rd/24th October 2010
Harvest Celebration with Majors Melvyn and Catherine Jones

Harvest gifts this year had been requested to be of a durable type that could be used in making up suitable food parcels for the needy. The picture shows the display of goods donated.

The weekend commenced with a Saturday evening programme given by the Young Peoples Corps. The slide show below captures some of the atmosphere of a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Sunday meetings were conducted by Majors Melvyn and Catherine Jones and proved to be a very novel way of presenting the Gospel with much congregation participation. Major Melvyn's often confrontational style provoked a good deal of serious thinking. Thank you Majors Melvyn and Catherine for a very enjoyable time in your presence.

Sunday Morning 17th October 2010
Enrolment of Lisa Pollard as an Adherent

Further evidence of the growth of the church at Bedlington is another Adherent Member being accepted by Major Peter Clark. Lisa has quite recently decided that The Salvation Army is to be her future place of worship.

The pictures show Lisa with Major Peter Clark and Olive Lightley, who is the Corps’ Recruiting Sergeant.

September 2010
Farewell James and Welcome David

In September we said farewell to James, who had been at the Corps for six months as our Animateur. He is replaced for a further six months by David Phillips. David tells his story below.

“Firstly I would like to say a warm hello to all of the staff and worshipers of The Salvation Army Bedlington Corps and extend my greetings to all of those though out the network. My name is David Phillips and I have been invited to undertake the appointment of Animateur at Bedlington Corps as of 20th September.

As an Animateur I will act as a minister of the gospel to look after the community needs as stated by William Booths Prim directive. To be more specific I am involved with preparing and supporting local workshops held at the Bedlington Corps. It has been a very pleasant experience to have met a variety of customers. I particularly like being in the company of the members and staff at our Wednesday luncheon club. The workforce of the staff has also been diligent and I am also pleased to see the over sixties enjoying their meals.

During the course of my appointment I will look forward to the enthusiasm brought by our community. I would like to take this opportunity to express that if anyone needs assistance in any way I am always happy to help.

I would like to share my profound gratitude to Majors Peter and Karen Clark for their hospitality. I Have felt welcomed by their company. I would also like to echo my gratitude to the sponsors’ of the future jobs fund who have financed this appointment and to Richard Wearmouth for his comprehensive training which I have received from him. Thank you to you all.

Finally I will endeavour to further develop my diplomacy throughout the course of the future fund opportunity.

Yours Sincerely
David Phillips

Sunday Evening 19th September 2010
Enrolment of Gill Glass as an Adherent

Gill Glass was recently enrolled as an adherent at Bedlington. Following receipt of her certificate of recognition from Major Peter Clark she gave her personal testimony. She told of passing the Army hall on many occasions and reading the notice board and the scripture references that were on the posters. She felt drawn to start attending the meetings and sees this as continuing her spiritual journey.”

In the pictures are Major Peter Clark, Gill Glass and Olive lightly, the adherents’ secretary.


Sunday Morning 12th September 2010
Dedication of Grace Eve Lightley

The dedication service for Grace brought together many relatives and friends, some who had travelled long distance to be present. The hall was thus filled to capacity while Major Peter Clark led the meeting with the theme of ‘Grace’. During the ceremony Grace was seen to be sometimes awake and some times asleep, but she never murmured a single cry. Katherine Johnson, Grace’s cousin, read the bible message and Jamie Floyd, another cousin, read an amusing but relevant poem. Claire Tasker, Grace’s aunt, sang a solo. All in all a lovely dedication service.

Sunday Afternoon 1st August 2010
Coquet Churches Together

Bedlington Salvation Army Band had been invited to accompany the singing at this year’s Churches Together outdoor service at Harbour Road, Amble. Although in the midst of the holiday season the band did muster a very commendable number. It played some introductory music prior to the commencement of the service and accompanied all the hymns. The event was very well organised and attracted quite a large congregation as well as many holiday makers looking on. The weather was very kind for the duration of the service, but within half an hour of the benediction being prayed the heavens opened! So much for our English Summer. The links below enable viewing of a slide show and short video of the event.


Slide Show                    Video

Monday 26th till Friday 30th July
Summer Club

About 35 children between the ages of 6 and 12 (with a couple of exceptions) met from 9.00 to 12.00 noon to enjoy fun and fellowship. The theme for the week was “A healthy body and a healthy mind”. Split into several groups the children took part in outside and indoor sports, quizzes, bible study and cookery amongst others and it was obvious that they had a great time. The slide show below captures much of the spirit of the week.

Sunday Evening 18th July 2010
A Very Special Evening For Our Young People

For a number of months now the Corps at Bedlington has seen growth in numbers both in our Young People’s and Senior Corps and for that we give God the glory. Seven young ladies, all new to the Salvation Army and introduced via the Youth Club had been singing in our Singing Company for some time but had expressed a desire to learn to play an instrument. While these thoughts were in mind it so happened that during the re-furbishment of the building at Sacriston Corps instruments were discovered for which there was no foreseeable use. The Corps very kindly donated these to Bedlington and they were distributed to eight very eager young people. For several weeks now our halls have been filled with the sound of young people learning to play these instruments and it has been very encouraging to hear the gradual transformation from noise to music. This Sunday night was a very emotional one when these young people joined with the existing band and their helpers to present their first public appearance. The Band Leader, Neil Lightley, had not chosen a simple tune for them to play, no, they played ‘And Can It Be’ by James Curnow and played it very well. It was lovely to see parents and friends joining the congregation to witness this significant event. There was many a tear shed as we witnessed this lovely time together.

Saturday 10th July 2010
Community Health Fayre

The planning and implementing of this year’s Community Health Fayre was largely put into the hands of our Animateur, James McCaughey, so what better way to report the event than to use James’ experience in his own words.

“I have been asked to complete a review of the summer health fayre that was held on the 10th of July at The Salvation Army in Bedlington, Northumberland. I am able to do this from my experiences of not only attending the event but also as being one of those who planned and organised it.

Firstly, the objective of the event was to gather together a selection of organisations who work in the medical field maintaining good health amongst the public and private sectors. Then to get theses organisations to meet up on a given date and provide a drop in session to the public who would be attending the fayre. This was so that they could give advice and information on any concerns that they may have about a particular issue as well as to just generally raise the local public’s awareness about health and well being. We hoped to change some misconceptions people may have had as well as hopefully identifying any problems people may have been unaware of through some of the services that were provided on the day.

The other objective of the event was a little more generalised. This was to simply gather the local community together, be that the groups attending the event or the general public. This was so that we could help to add a little community spirit to the local community by getting people together and introducing them to one another. By doing so, people get to know who is who in their community and who they could go and see if they ever needed advice on a given subject. This is one of the reasons that we not only had health and wellbeing based groups attending such as doctors, but also the local police officer, friends of Gallagher Park etc.

Organising the event definitely had its highs and lows; however this is simply part of organising any event. The low parts of getting the event organised were when I had to chase companies and organisations round and round, getting passed from department to department and back again for an answer to the simple question ‘would you be interested in taking part?’ although I must add that the majority of organisation that I experienced this from ended up not attending the event due to their own decisions.

Then there was always the disappointment felt when a company turned down the offer to attend after being interested and giving me good feedback, namely saying that it would definitely be something that they would be interested in attending as it fitted in nicely with their ethos as an organisation. We also experienced a couple of disappointing moments a few days before the event was held when a small number of attending organisation decided to cancel at the very last minute. This naturally took the wind out of our sales as we were left to try and fill these gaps in the floor plan for the event with only a day or two to spare. However all in all I would say that the event went very well with only a few disappointments.

Organising the event also had its high points as well. These varied from getting confirmation from a group/organisation saying that they would like to attend the event and then placing them on the floor plan, with that sense of satisfaction as you see the floor plan slowly fill up showing you that you are almost ready for the day. This also goes together with the feeling after a planning meeting to review how much we had achieved with the planning stages, listing attendees and possible attendees. Giving yourself a feeling of achievement after seeing how much we had done as well as a sense of drive when you could see how much you still needed to achieve.

One of the other high points when organising the event was coming into work on a given day and finding a box of goodies had been delivered to the centre. This was a high point because the event was a totally free event and we wanted to be able to give away a variety goodies such as pens, stickers etc. So when I came into work and there was a box full of little extras to make the day go with a little bit more of a bang then that felt good.

However the highest point came from holding the event and watching it unfold successfully, the number of people who attended was great, as well as seeing the day enjoyed by all the different groups in the community. These varied from the toddlers enjoying the free balloons and face painting all the way through to the older members coming for the day out, a free choc-ice and a cup of tea. Seeing the day go well filled me with a great sense of satisfaction. As well as a sense of relief that all the planning, organising and time had been worth it meaning that the day was not a flop with nobody showing up, but instead a success.

So to conclude I will say that I have had fun organising the event, the positives massively out weighed the negatives. It felt good to have done something big while working here; to have a project that I could work on gave a sense of achievement as well as professional pride that it went well. It was also a good way for me to improve myself as I had never really done anything like it before. It provided me with an opportunity to develop my own skills and confidence within that sort of working environment.”

James McCaughey - 14/07/2010.

Sunday morning 27th June 2010
All Age Worship

On the eve of the world cup football match between England and Germany the Young Peoples’ Sergeant Major David Wearmouth led a morning service with the young people in mind. He very cleverly brought into his talks a number of bible references to football terminology, such as achieving a goal, penalties, team work and others. His preparation for the meeting must have taken some considerable time out of his very busy life and for that we offer thanks. The hall was decorated with flags and shirts which had been prepared by the Sunday School over the previous two weeks. An amusing part of the meeting was a penalty shoot out with the bandmaster in goal. The slide show below shows how this part of the meeting appealed to the youngsters present. Sadly the evening meeting did not have the same excitement but the blessings brought during the songs of praise meeting arranged by the bandmaster in some way made up for another humiliating defeat at the hands of Germany.

Saturday 12th June 2010
Summer Fayre

This year’s Summer Fayre was again well supported and included a variety of stalls. Lunches were also very popular and contributed to a very successful fund raising event.

Weekend of 5th/6th June 2010
Corps 132nd Anniversary

Corps anniversary weekend commenced on the Saturday evening with a Bar B Q. Sunday’s meetings were conducted by Majors John and Teresa Carmichael. The morning meeting was opened in prayer by Edward Binns while Linda Soulsby read from the scriptures. During the meeting Shiela Dixon was presented with her commission as Corps Secretary.

Weekend of 22nd/23rd May 2010
Songsters take part in the Royal Albert Hall Gospel Arts Concert

The long awaited trip to the Royal Albert Hall got under way on Friday afternoon when they all boarded the coach for the long journey South. A number of the Corps soldiery accompanied them. Overnight stays at the Toddington Travelodge helped to break the journey. Following the Saturday afternoon rehearsals and the concert in the evening the brigade led the Sunday meetings at Leighton Buzzard. The whole weekend was blessed with glorious sunshine and this enabled many reunions of friends as we traversed the RAH in between sessions. Blessings were received and given during two meetings at Leighton Buzzard and the kindness of the local Salvationists in seeing to the brigade’s physical needs was very much appreciated. Click on the picture below for a slide show of the weekend’s activities.

Sunday 9th May 2010
Candidate Sunday led by Divisional Leaders Majors Melvin and Suzanne Fincham

On Sunday morning the usually good congregation gave a warm welcome to Divisional Leaders Majors Melvin and Suzanne Fincham who were to conduct Candidate Sunday meetings. Major Melvin chose as the theme for the morning meeting “Life in God’s Service”. The young people were urged to listen to the whisper from God when all around them was seeming chaos. This was amply illustrated in a demonstration by the congregation issuing loud contrary instructions to two blindfolded young people. Chaos ensued but the message was plain.

In the evening Major Suzanne chose as her subject “The Introducer” and urged the congregation to introduce people to the Lord in whatever way they could using the biblical illustration of Andrew, introducing his brother Simon Peter to Jesus when Jesus called him Peter, the solid rock.

This had been a special day for two people. One of the soldiers of the Corps, who has been wheelchair bound from the dreadful disease of Multiple Sclerosis for the last ten years or so had decided to make a further commitment by donning her uniform again after many years. Although unable to stand to give her testimony she had prepared a presentation showing how she had once been so active in her work for the Lord.
Click here to see this presentation.
The second person was Jason Wearmouth who was recently made a Senior Soldier and now received from Major Fincham his commission as a senior bandsman.


Bedlington Corps takes on a Community Animateur

What is a Community Animateur? The following will hopefully provide some answers. It is taken from the Scottish department for regeneration.

Community animateurs help promote and organs the participation of local people in activities that help to make positive changes to their community. For example, intermediate labour market schemes, and Community Apprenticeship Schemes.

Potential uses
The role of the animateur is to provide a focus for increasing community involvement and input in development programmes in their local area such as regeneration schemes, health programmes, or crime initiatives. It can also be used to increase local skills and provide employment training. Animateurs also work with local voluntary groups to help them develop their work.

How it works
Animateurs are recruited from the local community and can receive fees and training for a fixed time period.

James McCaughey has been engaged to work within the Corps. Here is his story.

Well firstly I came to work for The Salvation Army through the job centre and the back to work fund set up by the government to get 18 – 25 year olds back into work. Before that I had been a plasterer since starting my apprenticeship at the age of 16. However with the building trade the way it was in the recession I was looking for a new job and was informed that there was a job in Bedlington. I attended an interview here at The Salvation Army and the next day I was informed that I had been successful.

The work I do here is pretty varied and I get to see all the aspects of The Salvation Army’s work that they do in the community, ranging from helping out with the parents and toddlers group and the youth clubs all the way thought to the over 60’s club and the luncheon club, as well as all the things in between such as setting the rooms up for different groups using the rooms, like the Northumberland care trust etc. I have also been given the task of organising this year’s summer health event with Louise Elliott’s help.

I would also say that it has been easy to fit in and settle down in this new job, mainly because everybody around me has been so nice and welcoming. Everybody has time to spare when I’m not too sure how to do something so everybody keeps me right. As well as the fact that it’s so easy to get along with people who belong to The Salvation Army. I’m now well into my stride here and I’m looking forward to working here for the duration of my position.

Easter Weekend 2010
Visit of the Regional Youth Band of South and West Netherlands

Our Easter weekend started with services on Friday morning and evening with the band and songsters supporting. The Regional Youth Band of South and West Netherlands, who were the guests for the weekend, presented a beautiful item, ‘We Are Not Alone’ in the evening meeting. This featured a solo flugal horn, beautifully played by Deborah Wolf and a section of the softer instruments of the band as bandmaster Daniel Rosenquist describes them.

A Saturday evening festival was given by the visiting band and all the music presented had an Easter theme. A powerful testimony from Hans Koffeman brought tears to many an eye besides the young man himself. The opening ‘Olympic Fanfare’ showed promise of the fine playing that was to come. Words of introduction came from Gert Kraaijfeld and he led the congregation in the singing of ‘God and God Alone’. It should be said that, besides the great brass playing, the capacity congregation were also in great voice. Dance by Annabel Stijvers accompanied the next band item before Deborah brought another flugal horn solo, this time ‘I don’t know how to love him’ from the musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Further items from the band included Eric Ball’s lovely meditation ‘Serenity’ and the majestic ‘Variations on the tune Macabeus’. This latter item rightly receiving a fine ovation. Towards the end of the meeting Major Heelien brought a short message based on the theme, 'Just carrying water’. A final encore was the march ‘Heralds of the Dawn’.

On Easter Day, under the leadership of Major Henk Heerlien, the band led the two meetings. How better to commence the meeting than to sing, ‘Christ The Lord is Risen Today’? The Easter message was the basis for all the items and again powerful testimonies from Remi Koskanp and Talitha van de Hoek were a feature, bringing much blessing to the capacity congregations. ‘They Could Not’ was a beautifuly played cornet solo brought by Marion Scholtens accompanied by band and piano. Annabel showed that not only can she dance but she accompanied herself at the piano whilst singing a solo. The memory of the visit to Bedlington of this very talented group of young people will remain with us for a long time.

Easter Time 2010
A School Award for Junior Soldier Edward Binns

This year, at his School’s Easter Egg Competition, Bedlington Junior Soldier Edward Binns dared to be different. His egg of Jesus on the cross won the first prize! What an egg-cellent way of telling his school friends about Jesus.

Sunday March 28th 2010
Commissioning of a new Assistant Singing Company Leader

Of recent weeks we have witnessed answers to prayer with the remarkable growth in our Young People’s corps. In particular the Singing Company, which has almost trebled in size. With the commissioning of Louise Elliott as Assistant Singing Company Leader we see the group growing in confidence and even introducing two and sometimes three part singing. May they continue to bless us with their singing.

Sunday March 14th 2010
Dedication of Jack Reuben Doyle

The hall was full to overflowing with friends of the Doyle family as Helen and Philip brought their new son Jack Reuben to be given back to God in The Salvation Army’s dedication service. Helen’s mother brought greetings from Crossroads church in Ashington where Helen’s early Christian upbringing took place.

Sunday March 7th 2010
Commissioning of New Singing Company Members

Of recent weeks we have seen wonderful growth in our work with the young people of our Sunday School and today we witnessed the commissioning of five new Singing Company members, Charlotte and Chloe Arkle, Helen Roberts, Alice Dunn and Jessica Sanderson. The picture in the slide show were taken during the ceremony where Major Peter Clark presented them with their commissions.