Salvation Army

Church and Community Centre

News Items for the years 2004/2006

             Click on each picture to reveal an enlarged version

Wednesday and Thursday 6th/7th December 2006
Christmas Toy Packing

here for more detail and photographs

Sunday Morning 3rd December 2006
Toddlers' Carol Service

This Sunday morning was for the very young who attend our Toddlers Group twice per week. As is usual at such events you just cannot control the actors and actresses. However, whether singing their favourite choruses of taking art in the Nativity play they all seemed to enjoy themselves. Photographs by kind permission of

Weekend 18/19th November 2006
Senior Band Weekend

Band weekend saw the visit of "Festival Brass", a group of musicians from various Corps around the Territory gathered together by S/L Julian Bright of Peterborough Citadel. Such a group coming from widely different locations in the country cannot possibly meet together very often to rehearse and this writer knows personally that some of the members had not seen the music until the Saturday afternoon. That such professional performances were produced speaks volumes for the skill and dedication of the instrumentalists. The following table shows the personnel of the group.

Saturday evening got off to a great start with introductions via a CD before "Come Follow the Band" introduced the music. The programme included much original music and special mention must be made of the two soloists for the evening, Daniel Beattie (Euphonium) and Chris Gomersall (Trombone). Bedlington Songster Brigade supported.

Meetings on Sunday were an inspiration. Again suitable music featured heavily, but the message was plain. The opening item from the band being "I will enter His gates". The testimony of Martin Blessed was particularly helpful. For his message Julian used his experience in the travel industry to ask us to get rid of our excess baggage because this can only inhibit our closeness to our Lord.

The Afternoon meeting commenced with "Fanfare To Worship" by Festival Brass. Again testimonies featured, this time in a question and answer session where Julian asked Daniel, Dean, Richard and John a series of questions. The message given by Julian was again clear. In an act of symbolism the congregation was invited to come and drink of the Water of Life. This was followed by a DVD showing of the ISS singing "The Well Is Deep".

All together a very enjoyable and inspirational weekend. Thank you Festival Brass.

Weekend 14/15th October 2006
Young Peoples Annual

On Saturday Young Musicians from Bedlington, Middlesbrough Citadel, North Shields, Shiremoore, South Shields, Thornaby, Sunderland Milfield, Sunderland Monkwearmouth and Wallsend met at Bedlington early in the morning to commence a day of intense rehearsals for an evening programme to celebrate Bedlington's YP Annual Weekend entitled a "Singin and Blowin". Special guests for the weekend were Sue Blythe from Margate and the ISS for the singers, Stephen Hanover, Bandmaster at Regent Hall and principal horn in the ISB for the blowers and Alison Dare, the Divisional Childrens' Officer from Newcastle City Temple to conduct the Sunday meetings.

Thursday 12th October 2006

The children from Bedlington's Community High School selected The Salvation Army as their charity to donate their harvest produce offerings. Captain Andrew Huggins, along with Deputy Bandmaster Brian Story, who, until retirement a short while ago was a teacher at the school, went along to receive the gifts.

Weekend 16/17th September 2006
Harvest Weekend

At the commencement of Harvest Weekend the Corps enjoyed a Fun and Fellowship evening. Various talents were displayed from an emotional simple song of testimony from Joanne, singing from her wheelchair, to a very competent production of a multi-media presentation of his family by young Jason Wearmouth. At the conclusion of the talent night Lt. Colonels Trevor and Margaret Davis, who were leading the weekend's meetings. conducted a short epilogue before we all adjourned to the YP hall for refreshments and social fellowship. The pictures below are of those taking part in the talent night. Apologies for the variable quality. Lighting conditions were not ideal.

Sunday's meetings were centred on the goodness of God in providing for us. During the singing of the first song the young people brought their gifts of fruit and vegetables. We tried to understand why so much of the world lived in poverty and near starvation while the remainder had more than enough. An amusing part of the morning meeting was when Lt. Col. Margaret brought Captain Andrew and YPSM Denise to the platform and asked the young people present to chose a flower, a vegetable and a fruit which they would use to describe them. A rose and dandelion featured in the flowers (no prizes for guessing to whom they referred). Vegetables mentioned were a turnip and carrot while for the fruit the peach was named amongst others.

Saturday 9th September 2006
Bedlington Junior Musicians visit Ashington

Our Junior Musicians treated the soldiers and friends of Ashington Corps to a programme of varied items on the occasion of the Corps's Harvest Festival weekend. Major Marlene Bingham, who was conducting the weekend's meetings gave a short bible message. The young people of the band and singing company presented their items with great confidence and those supporting them were very proud. Bandmaster Ian Burn stood in as the leader in the absence of the YP Band Leader and he interspersed all items with relevant comment, often quite amusing.

Saturday/Sunday 1st/2nd July 2006
Songster Weekend

For Songster Weekend we enjoyed the visit of a musical party from various Corps in the territory. From Bedford Congress Hall Andrew Launn and his wife Margaret had been the principal organisers. Andrew's sister is a soldier at Bedlington Corps. Other guests were Melanie Alliss and S/L Helen Beavens from Coventry, Richard and Jo Mackintosh from Chelmsford and Kevin Sandford from Northampton East. For the Saturday evening Andrew Maycock (bass guitar) and Ashley Durrant (percussion) from Middlesbrough assisted. Thanks must go to the group for a musical feast, often exhilarating and always very thought provoking. There was especial appreciation for Melanie's skilful accompaniments. Words of testimony were very helpful, providing ample evidence of the real purpose behind all the group's items, to praise God and to preach His word.

Saturday/Sunday 17th/18th June 2006
Corps 128th Anniversary

The weekend meetings were conducted by Captains Mark and Andrea Sawyer. On Saturday afternoon we held the annual Summer Fayre. All was set up in the gardens of the Corps when the rains came in abundance and all had to be moved hurriedly indoors. By the evening the weather had cleared and the planned historic walk of Bedlington took place as planned.

Sunday's meetings were full of challenge. In the morning meeting, during which Mark Lightley was commissioned as Assistant Corps Treasurer, we were invited to "Fly up like the eagles" and in the evening worship of the "Servant King" was the theme. To remind us that we were celebrating a 128th Birthday there was a party atmosphere as a game of "Pass the Parcel" was enacted, bringing relevant messages as each layer of wrapping was removed. During this meeting Keith Lightley was commissioned as Corps Sergeant Major. The powerful message resulted in a number of fresh consecrations at the mercy seat at the conclusion of the meeting.

Wednesday 26th April 2006
Men’s Fellowship Tour of Newcastle

Saturday 22nd April 2006
St George's Day and the Queen's 80th Birthday

About seventy members of the corps met to enjoy a social evening of fun, games and food to celebrate the Queen's 80th birthday and St George's Day. Great patriotism was displayed during the evening both by flag waving and singing of patriotic songs and if ever there was evidence that you don't have to be drunk to be crazy, this was it! Click here to hear patriotic singing and click here for the Gay Gordons.

Easter Weekend 14th - 16th April 2006

The weekend meetings were conducted by Majors Michael and Joan Parker from THQ. Good Friday meetings were at 10.00am and 7.30pm, the evening meeting being the culmination of the 24/7 prayer week. It was introduced by the worship group, who brought some most moving and well presented songs, which, together with readings and testimony during the meeting, led to a time of rich blessing. During the afternoon the band led a procession of witness in Morpeth. Sunday meetings, conducted by the visitors, involved local soldiers and saw the hall packed almost to capacity. A number of visitors were welcomed. On Sunday morning Major Mike spoke on the theme, "So there are no lost causes", reminding us that we should never give up on any problem we encounter because, with the acceptance of the Lord Jesus, they can all be resolved. In the evening meeting Major Joan spoke on the theme "Do you see" illustrating her talk with images which mean different things to different individuals. During this meeting relevant music, which brought much blessing, was presented by the Senior and Junior Bands, the Songster Brigade and the Singing Company.

Sunday 9th April 2006
Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday meetings were full of praise and just as the followers of Jesus 2000 years ago waved palms and cheered him on the road to Jerusalem, so we waved our palms and banners.

Friday 7th April 2006
Launch of Prayer 24/7

The hall had been transformed into an area which allowed easy access to a number of "prayer stations" around the walls for this round the clock seven day prayer vigil. These "prayer stations" dealt with prayers for a number of separate subjects, amongst which were, "Encouragement", "Local Subjects", "International Subjects" and "Other Communities". In another part of the building was a room set aside for quiet meditation, where suitable music and reading matter were available. A chart had been provided in the foyer of the hall for people to volunteer to be responsible for being present for hourly slots around the clock for seven days. Miraculously these slots were quickly filled up and the faith of the organisers rewarded.

Sunday 2nd April 2006

Sarah Ellen Dixon, who is No. 2 on the Corps Roll, celebrated her 80th birthday with friends and soldiers prior to joining in the evening meeting.

Sunday 27th November 2005
Commissioning of Helen Rogers as a Senior Soldier

Picture shows Helen with Mission Secretary Colin Doyle holding the flag, Captain Andrew Huggins and Recruiting Sergeant Olive Lightley. Helen's soldiership is the result of a number of years of prayer for her by family members and friends. There was hardly a dry eye in the hall as she witnessed to that fact. Click HERE to read Helen's moving testimony.

Saturday 27th August 2005
Wedding of Rachel Dixon and Neil Lightley

Sunday 19th June 2005
Corps Anniversary Weekend

Today five new local officers were commissioned. The picture shows (L/R) Assistant Corps Sergeant Major Philip Doyle, Mission Secretary Colin Doyle, Recruiting Sergeant Olive Lightley, Adherent Secretary Sheila Dixon Captain Sharon Huggins and Home League Secretary Major Marlene Bingham.

Sunday 15th May 2005

Visit of the Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women's Ministries Commissioners Shaw and Helen Clifton

Morning worship on Pentecost Sunday was celebrated with the presence of the Territorial Commander and his wife, supported by Divisional Leaders, Majors Mervin and Margaret Baker and Corps Officers Captains Andrew and Sharon Huggins. The Territorial Commander led worship and Mrs. Clifton gave the address based on Acts Chapter 2 - the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles and the birth of the Church. She emphasised that everyone could and should be involved As they are filled with the Spirit: witness isn't left to a select few. Reference was made specifically to the input of women in the ministry. Commissioner Shaw Clifton presented a time for the children focusing on the SA Year for Youth in 2005. Helpful musical contributions were made by the band and songster brigade. Colin Doyle gave a forthright witness to the presence and leading of the Holy Spirit in his life. Afterwards, fellowship was shared over a cup of coffee when there was opportunity to speak with the Commissioners. The worship was most helpful, much blessing was received by the sizeable congregation.

Sunday 17th April 2005
Commissioning of Philip Doyle as a Songster and presentation to Ellen Dixon

First picture shows Philip with S/L Brian Dixon and Captains Andrew and Sharon Huggins. Second picture Anne Greenacre, Captain Sharon, Ellen and Dora Doyle

Sunday 5th February 2005
Young Peoples' Anniversary

The young folk entered into the spirit of the theme which was "Shrek!. A number of them took part in a sketch and Rachel Wearmouth gave a very moving testimony. The YP Band and Singing Company took their part.

Sunday 10th October 2004

This was the occasion of the enrollment of four new Junior Soldiers The picture shows YPSM Denise Doyle and Captain Sharon Huggins with Charlotte and Chloe Arkle, Emma Sanderson and Corey Tweddle

Friday 11th June 2004
Installation of Our New Corps Officers - Captains Andrew and Sharon Huggins

This installation service was conducted by our Divisional Leaders, Majors Mervin and Margaret Baker and was attended by local civic leaders and Father Neil Fitzpatrick.

Weekend 22nd/23rd May 2004
Retirement of Corps Officers

Retirement Cerificates were presented to Majors Norman & Beryl Armistead by - The Divisional Leaders - Major Baker after 46 years of loyal service to the Army. Majors Norman & Beryl have served in both Corps and THQ appointments including periods in the Literary Department and in the Scotland Secretariat. Major Norman will continue with his role as the editor of Flame magazine as well as taking on other similar roles in retirement. the couple are retiring to a bungalow in Cayton, near Scarborough. Special guests for the weekend were Jean White from Gloucester and Kenneth and Chris Smith from Shildon.

Saturday Afternoon Retirement Tea - with Friends & Family with Gifts & Tributes from the Corps and a photograph of the Census Board Local Officers.

Sunday 16th May 2004
Commissioning of Jonathan Doyle and Garry Soulsby as Songsters

Picture shows Jonathan and Garry with Major Armistead and S/L Brian Dixon

Saturday 28th February 2004
Corps Review Workshop

The aim of this review was to look at the mission strategy of the corps and to develop a mission-driven programme to meet the needs of today. The question implicit throughout was, how effective is our present discipling and nurturing programme and how can this be improved? In other words, it was concerned with developing a relevant, balanced and integrated ministry in harmony with the Army's mission. To this end it examined, among other things, the relationship between Sunday worship and the wider weekday activities of the corps, and in particular, sought ways to attract members of the "extended family" to the heart of the corps. In order to achieve this, those present divided into four groups to discuss Nurture and Discipleship, Evangelism and Outreach, Worship, and Service and Resources. It was suggested that the corps' Mission Statement be revised and that a Vision Statement be written. The supreme desire throughout was to, under God, achieve the goal of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), and to glorify God in all we do.


Group Facilitators (left to right) Jeff Gray - (Evangelism and Outreach) Claire Dixon (Worship) Keith Lightley ( Service and Resources) Heather Gray ( Nurture and Discipleship)

Julian Bright



Songster Leader

Chris Avison



Currently studying Trumpet at The Royal Welsh Academy

Jason Beattie

Soprano Cornet

Norwich Citadel

Gavin Brown



Saturday Only

David Wilkinson


Sunderland Millfield

Saturday Only



Sunderland Millfield

Saturday Only

John Ward


Sunday Only

Richard Craik



David Hall



Dean Jones


Lower Eardly

Chris Gommersall



Currently studying trombone at The Royal Academy of Music

Guy Peverell



David Lockwood

Bass Trombone


Bass Trombonist of HM Welsh Guards

Daniel Beattie


Norwich Citadel

 Corps Youth Secretary

Martin Blessett



Assistant YP Band Leader

Jon Whitmore