Salvation Army

Church and Community Centre

News Items for the year 2007

Click on each picture to reveal an enlarged version

Monday Evening 31st December

Nursery Rhymes fancy dress social evening

A Corps social evening to welcome in the New Year was a great success. Thanks are due to Shiela and Brian Dixon for organising the event and to George and Brenda Nichol for their hard work in preparing a delicious meal. The pictures below capture some of the atmosphere on this very enjoyable Corps event.

Sunday Evening 18th November

Dedication of Our Officer's Grandson

Louise, a daughter of our Corps Officers, and her husband John have quite recently come to live in the UK having been living in Oklahoma, USA together since they were married. Zackary, their first born had been dedicated there but, due to distance, their chosen God Parents were not able to attend. So this dedication featured both Zackary's admission to the cradle roll and Michael's dedication. The pictures show them with their extended family.

Sunday Morning 18th November

Enrollement of Adherents, Junior Soldiers and a Bandsman's Commission

This mornings meeting saw the enrollement of Ken and Winifred Gulliver as Adherents, The enrollement of Jessica and Edward as Junior Soldiers and the Commissioning of Keith Oxley as a Bandsman.

Ken spoke on behalf of his wife as well as himself when he expressed their deep love of the Salvation Army and in particular the family of friends they found at Bedlington Corps.

Jessica and Edward listened attentively after reading their pledge Major Clark explained what was involved in being Junior Soldiers. Later in the meeting Jessica helped with a practical demonstration of how Jesus chose his disciples and Edward read the bible with great ability expressing it in a way beyond his years.

Keith had not been an active bandsman for many years but encouraged by the bandmaster Ian Burn and persuaded by Major Karen Clark's plea for us to witness beyond the confines of our building he decided to don the uniform again. He spoke of being the youngest YP Band Member when commissioned as such 63 years ago and now had become the oldest member of Bedlington Band.

As mentioned earlier the sermon took the form of a presentation of placards to be worn by 14 bandsmen. The placards bore the words to describe attributes of character, such as "Shy", Troublesome", "Untrustworthy" and "Good Church Goer". Jessica then had to say whether she would like them in her team. Lo and behold there were only two whom she would have picked. When the placards were turned round it was clearly seen that the attributes were all biblical attributes of the Disciples. The only two chosen by Jessica were not chosen by Jesus, demonstrating that Jesus can use us whatever our character.

Sunday 11th November

Enrollement of Ross Floyd as a Senior Soldier

Ross Floyd had been enrolled as a Junior Soldier at Bedlington on Armistice Day twelve years ago and on Armistice Day 2007 he was enrolled as a Senior Soldier. He spoke of considering Senior Soldiership for more than a year but was quite content to continue to support the Junior Corps. At the age of nineteen he decided it was time to make the decision. He wondered whether twelve years continuous Junior Soldiership was a record.

Friday Evening 5th October

Planned Giving - A programme which encouraged the people of the Corps to think about their giving to God when it comes to finance as well as their giving in time and skills.

The planned giving programme was run by the Corps for the Corps with the guidance of an invited specially trained consultant.

The programme gave the opportunity over two weeks to examine their habits and attitudes, interests and priorities when it comes to the use of financial resource.

Following the teaching the Corps came together for a meal, a lovely occasion with good food put together beautifully by some friends from the Crossroads Church in Ashington.

The whole programme was well and truly scripturally based, Gods word used as the firm foundation. After the meal there was opportunity to hear about the developments of the programme.

The spiritual impact it had on the Corps revealed that over the next three years there could be a substantial increase in the Lord's work in the community.

The pictures were taken during the course of the meal.

Sunday Evening 16th September

New Commissions

This evening saw the presentation of commissions in the Songster Brigade. Claire Dixon was commissioned as Deputy Songster Leader, Isabel Burn as Songster Sergeant and Lesley Caffull as Songster Secretary. In presenting these commissions Major Peter Clark emphasised the need for good team work in such a group. In welcoming Rachel Wearmouth as a newly commissioned Songster Major Clark wished her much blessing as she undertakes this new venture in her life.

Prior to the commissioning ceremony Samantha Caffull demonstrated her musicianship by playing a beautiful flute solo.

Sunday Morning 9th September

New Commissions

This morning saw the commissioning of Jason Tasker as Corps Youth Secretary and Mark Lightley as Assistant Corps Sergeant Major. Mark will retain his additional responsibilities as Assistant Corps Treasurer for a short while.

During the meeting Major Karen Clark used a chart with two large concentric circles. The congregation, even the young children, were invited to sign their name or make their mark in the inner circle to illustrate that we are all one family in Christ. The outer circle was left vacant to allow room for new members to the fellowship who are to be added as a result of the contacts we are to make during the Annual Appeal.

Sunday Evening 26th August

Enrolment of Isabel Reid as a Soldier and husband Les as an Adherent

For a number of years Isabel had sought for a faith. As a young woman in the Royal Air Force there were times when she thought she had achieved it but it was to lapse soon afterwards. After marriage and having a young family she again attended church with the children but somehow what she sought just did not seem to become available. As the family grew up Les and Isabel decided to foster children. Having young children to look after she found her way to the Salvation Army Toddlers Group at Bedlington. That was a turning point and before long she was running the group and felt the growing satisfaction of the responsibility and became an adherent of the Corps. Some two or so years ago whilst visiting the home Captain Andrew Huggins asked if she would like to consider Soldiership. To Les's surprise she said yes. Andrew, bolstered with confidence now, then turned to Les and asked if he would consider becoming an adherent. This time Isabel was surprised when he said yes also. This evening's ceremony saw the culmination of that initiative when Les signed the certificate of an adherent and Isabel, resplendent in full uniform, was enrolled as a Soldier. The pictures capture the event and show the family that supported.

Sunday Morning 26th August

Transfer of Commission

After some fourteen years as Corps Treasurer Colin Lightley has asked to be relieved of the responsibility. Major Peter Clark thanked him on behalf of all with whom he had worked over those years before presenting Shelagh Skipsey with her commission as the new Corps Treasurer.

Week Monday 23rd July - Sunday 29th July

6 to 13 year olds fun time and Ugly Bug Ball Service

During the week

The Sunday evening service

Sunday 22nd July

Dedication of Rachel and Mark's five children

Rachel had been a junior soldier of Bedlington Corps and now brings young Jamie to the Toddlers group on Wednesdays and Fridays. One day we trust he will join his older three sisters who regularly attend Sunday School. With her partner Mark they chose to have all five of their children dedicated to God at the Army. As Jamie only knows about playtime at the Army he amused us all with his inquisitiveness and sometimes with his protestations. However, the ceremonies went off well with each of the children having supportive God parents. The picture shows Major Peter Clark, Mark and Rachel with (left to right, back to front) Jamie Jay, Frazer Walter, Keira Emma-Jo, Cameron Gerrard and Keeley Jade

July 2007

During the last two or three weeks a number of new positions within the Corps have been recognised. Philip Doyle relinquished his position of Assist. CSM to be commissioned as the Corps Secretary. At the same time Graham Skipsey was commissioned as CSM. Philip and Graham are seen with Major Peter Clark. The following week Shiela Dixon, having relinquished her positions as Adherents Secretary and Songster Sergeant was commissioned as Assist. Corps Secretary. During the same ceremony Songster Doreen Dixon was transferred to the Songster Reserve. The picture shows Shiela with the Corps Secretary Philip Doyle and Major Peter Clark.

3rd July

Appreciation afternoon

An Appreciation afternoon was held at Bedlington Corps to which all helpers in the Luncheon Club were invited. 30 people attended and shared fellowship, food and also had some fun.

During the afternoon 4 volunteers who have recently retired, namely Jean Goerd, Ann Hogg, Audrey Laverick and Elizabeth Raisbeck, were presented with Certificates of Appreciation and gifts for their dedicated service totalling almost 80 years.

Sunday 27th May

Pentecostal Praise - Visit of Laksevåg Brass Band from Norway

The band is a competing band in Norway and has a number of Salvationist members. It is one of the finest brass bands in Norway and had been on a short concert tour of the North-East of England. Its final concert was at Bedlington where they were made very welcome and refreshed prior to the planned return to Norway on the night ferry. However, due to the ferry company cancelling the sailing they ended up having two days for sight seeing in Newcastle courtesy of the ferry company.

From the very first notes played we knew we were in for a musical feast. The gentle relaxed style of bandmaster Tom Brevik's leadership brought out some outstanding music in the opening number, 'Prelude' from the Holberg suite by Edvard Grieg. Berit Amland proudly introduced the band and reminisced on her earlier visit to the Corps. The band's soloists excelled in their individual items. Tenor horn solo, 'The Piper of Dundee', by Captain Anne-Grethe Amland, flugal horn , 'In Heaven', by Jarnfrid Thunes, trombone, 'Movements 1 and 4 from Sonata No. 1', by Benedetto Marcello by Hilde Grytten and cornet, 'Share My Yoke', by Arnfinn Rønneberg. Hilde Grytten and Captain Anne-Grethe Amland sang a duet often featured in Norwegian Sunday schools. Band pieces included Dean Goffin's 'Symphony of Thanksgiving', a brilliant piece of music sadly not heard much these days and they concluded with the William Himes march 'Rolling Along'. Captain Anne-Grethe Amland read from the Bible and gave a suitable message towards the conclusion of the festival.

Bedlington Songsters very ably supported the band with 'O Happy Day', 'Look Up', 'Under His Wings' and 'Compelled By Love'.

All together a great Pentecostal Praise. Thank you Laksevåg Brass Band.

Sunday 1st April

Enrolment of Rachel Wearmouth as a Senior Soldier

There had been great excitement in the Wearmouth household during the week before Rachel's enrolment as a Senior Soldier of Bedlington Corps. The enrolment was conducted by Majors Steven and Christine Perkins. The Major had dedicated Rachel when she was born some seventeen years ago when he and his wife were the Commanding Officers at Bedlington. Many friends and relatives supported Rachel on this special day, especially two school friends who stood behind her as she knelt at the Mercy Seat to sign her Articles of War. Rachel spoke of the joy she experienced as this day had come at last.

On this Palm Sunday the meetings were conducted by Majors Steven and Christine Perkins and as the first picture shows we were encouraged to wave our palms. (Coloured flags in this instance.)

The other pictures show Rachel with Majors Steven and Christine Perkins, Major Peter Clark and Recruiting Sergeant Olive Lightley, who had led Rachel through her Soldiership lessons.

Sunday 11th March

Installation of Majors Peter and Karen Clark

The installation service for our new Corps Officers was conducted by Major Suzanne Fincham. Before the ceremony there were words of welcome from Bandmaster Ian Burn, who used footballing analogies to illustrate how the corps was ready for good management to help us into the Champions League, represented the Senior Corps, while the Young People's Corps was represented by Bandsman/Assistant Young Peoples Sergeant Major David Wearmouth and his son Jason. Major Karen Clark responded and at first started to speak in Russian. The Majors' last appointment had been to Moscow and Jason had said that the young people were keen to learn all about their Russian experience. After the installation ceremony Major Peter Clark gave the message during which he expressed his desire that their ministry in Bedlington would be fruitful and that corps growth would be seen.

When the Corps suffered the loss of officers the Divisional Staff were very supportive, none the least was Divisional Leader Major Suzanne Fincham. She immediately committed to conducting every Sunday morning meeting until new officers could be appointed. This was a tremendous commitment in view of the possibility that that would not be until July. Her devotion is even more appreciated as latterly she has had the worry of her husband, Major Melvyn, being taken ill. Songster Sergeant Sheila Dixon presented Major Suzanne with a bouquet of flowers in the Corps' appreciation.

The pictures below were taken during the ceremony.

Band Weekend February 24th/25th

Visit of the International Staff Band - Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb

All too soon Band Weekend is over. Or is it? It is some twenty-six years since the band was last at Bedlington and the folk here had been eagerly looking forward to and praying for this weekend for many months as had the Staff Band and we believe lasting good for the corps will be the result.

The weekend started rather disastrously for the band when the coach failed to turn up for the long journey North. It transpired that the company had the following weekend booked for the event. Will heads roll? However, an ever resourceful band secretary, Kevin Ashman, quickly secured the services of a large white van to carry the instruments and gear while a somewhat smaller coach than usual was made available for the band personnel. Fortunately the speed enforcement officers were not in evidence on the journey as the driver tried to make up for lost time.

For the Bedlington folk, who were totally unaware of the earlier drama, the weekend got off to a rousing start in a packed Blyth Community College concert hall with ‘Concertante for Cornets and Band’. The acoustics in this rather basic hall were remarkably good and every detail was discernable. It was obvious from this opening item that the band was on top form.

It is not often the baritone is used as a solo instrument but soloist Gary Rose demonstrated the instrument’s fine tonal qualities when he presented the beautiful ‘Hymn from Adiemus’.

The programme contained music to suit all tastes from the rousing modern compositions such as ‘Kerygma’ by Steven Ponsford to the descriptive music of the late Leslie Condon’s ‘The Present Age’.

The band’s soloists were all on excellent form with Kevin Ashman’s very demanding ‘Concertino on a theme by Richard Slator for Cornet and Band’, Derick Kane with ‘Canaan’s Land’ and Damian Wileman’s vocal solo beautifully accompanied by himself at the piano. Special mention is deserved for Bandmaster Dr Stephen Cobb’s youngest son, Philip as he played the quite unashamedly entertaining number Kenny Baker’s ‘Virtuosity’. His sheer brilliance and technique bode well for his future musical career.

Lt. Colonel Trevor Davis’ thought provoking words as he read the bible and commented on it were, as usual, delivered in a way that communicated well with the audience.

Following the Benediction the band presented as an encore an item that seems to have become traditional for this purpose, Ray Farr’s arrangement of Bach’s ‘Toccata in D minor’. Sheer brilliance once again.

Following the opening song the Sunday morning meeting commenced with prayer led by Damian Wileman. Lt. Colonel Trevor Davis’ message was spread over four or five separate short comments on the theme of ‘Shelter’ each comment separated by appropriate congregational song or music from the band. The testimony of Kevin Coates was particularly moving as he opened his heart to explain how he is having to manage many changes in his family and working life. Bedlington Songsters brought blessing as they sang ‘Spirit of the Living God’. The meeting concluded, somewhat unusually, not with a congregational song but with music from the band. Brian Bowen’s ‘My Comfort and Strength’, played under the leadership of Deputy Bandmaster Derick Kane, brought the meeting to a close reminding the congregation of George Herbert’s paraphrase of Psalm 23.

The Sunday afternoon festival took place in a packed Bedlington Corps hall. Again the programme featured music for all tastes. Two Eric Ball ‘oldies’ appealed particularly to the writer and some of his older colleagues, ‘Sound Out the Proclamation’ and ‘Songs in Exile’, while ‘Rolling Along’ (William Himes), ‘Everlasting Praise’ (Nicholas Samuel – one of the band’s percussionists), ‘Hosea’ (John Larsson and arranged by Bruce Broughton) and ‘Supremacy’ (Dean Jones) provided exciting listening for all. The band’s featured soloists for the afternoon meeting were Garry Fountain, who displayed his brilliance as a soprano cornet soloist with Andrew Blythe’s arrangement of Mozart’s ‘The Queen of the Night’s Aria’. Andrew Justice’s technical brilliance on the trombone was once again demonstrated in Leslie Condon’s ‘Song of Exuberance’. The testimony of Steven Hanover whilst being typically amusing was very open and helpful for this mixed congregation of Bedlington folk.

The home singing company, all three of them plus their singing company sergeant, sang confidently and tunefully a lovely new song, 'Nothing But Thy Blood'.

So ended a very enjoyable and blessed weekend the results of which we have faith to believe will not end there.

Some additional pictures taken during the weekend are shown.

Churches Together in Bedlingtonshire

Report of a meeting attended by Corps personnel on 15th February at St. Cuthbert's Church by John Laverick

The Salvation Army is one of six churches in the town of Bedlington forming the Churches Together initiative.

While the main function of the initiative is to explore common ground among the participating churches, opportunity exists for the churches to present a united voice in influencing the local Council to listen to what the Christian community felt were the main issues concerning the Bedlington town area.

Stage 1

Questionnaires have been completed and the results collated and a number of meetings held resulting in the following areas of concern being identified.

  • Physical regeneration of Bedlington town
  • Economic regeneration
  • Social regeneration
  • How can the voice of faith communities contribute to informing the Council’s priorities for Bedlington town?

Stage 2

The second key aim was to hold an event to discuss these issues.

The event took place on Thursday 15th February 2007 at St Cuthbert s Parish Church, preceded by a visual display by all six churches of their present community involvement along with a buffet meal.

The guest speaker was Mr. Robert Stephenson, Chief Executive, Wansbeck District Council, who gave a presentation on the recent regeneration of Wansbeck District, including Bedlington town area. Mr. Stephenson pointed out that opportunity exists for members of the faith community to join and thus have a voice on the Community Area Partnerships and the recently formed Town Heritage Initiative. He welcomed anyone writing to him with their concerns or ideas.

The meeting concluded with a question and answer session.

A debriefing meeting will be held on Monday, 26th February at 7.00pm at Trinity Church.

Some pictures taken at the meeting are shown.