As always 2020 looks like being a busy year for St Nicholas. There will be more concerts this year, more social activities, the Friends of St Nicholas have announced a wide and varied programme of music and talks. Our local community continues to use the church and hall for events, bringing in much needed revenue. Once again our church seems to be of interest to film companies as a location for filming, again a source of much needed revenue. Our debt counselling service Crosslight, now a separate charity, continues to support those struggling with debt. Our Development Appeal committee continues to work hard to find funds to complete our stone repairs., our flower team are preparing for another fantastic Flower and Music festival in late September. Some of us will be travelling in the steps of the Northumbrian Saints as we embark on a prayer walk from Alnmouth to Berwick in May. During Lent we will be looking at the theology and spirituality of some of our most famous hymns. In short there is a lot going on. It’s wonderful that we have a small, but very enthusiastic and dedicated band of people who make all this happen, it’s wonderful that we have a dedicated group of people who serve and sing at our Sunday mass, we really could do with more volunteers. So… if you have experience in web design, editing, finance, graphic design, children’s work, community engagement we really would love to hear from you. Many hands make light work, if we had just a few more volunteers we could do so much more.
I have just finished watching both episodes of the BBC Two programme ‘Exposed: The Church’s Darkest Secret’ which focused on the Peter Ball case and I found it utterly sickening. Individuals at all levels of the Church have expressed their shame and horror at the covering up that has been allowed to continue over many years, despite many letters and reports of abuse. However, shame is not enough – we also have to learn lessons and effect real and sustained change. Our Parish Policy Statement on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults is on our website, along with contact details of Kate Frayling, Safeguarding Officer. Safeguarding is on the agenda of all our PCC meetings and all PCC members are obliged to undertake safeguarding training.
We pray for all those whose lives have been affected by such terrible abuse and thank those who have had the courage to speak out and report such activities.
With every blessing