News and Updates
Christmas in the Wiske Benefice
Saturday 4th December:
10am-12noon: Christingle workshop
Great Smeaton Church. A fun morning of crafts and activities preparing for the Christingle Service on Sunday. All welcome.
5th December (2nd Sunday of Advent):
4pm: Christingle - Danby Wiske
5pm: Christingle - Appleton Wiske
5pm: Christingle - Great Smeaton
19th December (4th Sunday of Advent):
11am: Carols - Great Smeaton
5pm: Carols - Appleton Wiske
6.30pm: Carols - East Cowton
7pm: Carols - Danby Wiske
Christmas Eve (Friday 24th December):
4pm: Crib Service - Danby Wiske
4pm: Crib Service - East Cowton
We are having our usual collection of gifts (unwrapped, please) for the children and mothers at Darlington Family Help. Toiletries and edible goodies go down well with the Mums; toys, games or gift vouchers with the youngsters.
7pm: Carols - Birkby
11.30pm: Midnight Communion - Appleton Wiske
Christmas Day (Saturday):
9.30am Christmas Communion - Great Smeaton
Letter from our Clergy
They’ve started already, the Christmas adverts. They will have you believe it’s all about the “stuff”.
Stuff to give, stuff to eat and drink, and stuff you need as life is not perfect without it.
We’ve just been through Cop26 and if we learnt anything, it’s that a lots of stuff they are trying to sell to us is made using the limited resources of the planet Earth, using lots of other stuff to transport it around the world (and apparently that’s not working very well so, there may be a shortage of some stuff, so you had better buy it now!) adding to climate change.
And stuff seems to be so addictive, we discover very quickly that it only satisfies for a short while and then we feel the need for more new stuff. And a lot of the stuff we buy is designed not to last too long! So, we need to go out and buy more (and you can even do that painlessly nowadays, just go online and using electronic payment, we hardly need think about it!).
Yet as I think about the last couple of Christmases, the thing I really missed the most was the people. Spending time with family, relaxing, laughing (ok occasionally, it is stressful as well) meeting up with friends and spending time together, meeting up with people at church and at community events. It’s the people that make a good Christmas really.
At the heart of the Christmas story is that simple idea that God, in Jesus, comes to live with us. To love us and share life with us, to laugh and cry, to join in the ordinary, the mundane, the extraordinary and the wonderful. One of the words used to describe Jesus is Emmanuel, literally ‘God with us’.
God’s Christmas gift to us wasn’t something but someone. His present is his presence with us. My prayer is that you will have a peaceful, joyful Christmas and that you can share it with lovely people and know the blessing of Jesus’s presence with you.
St Peter - Birkby
Priest in Charge: Revd. David Bartlett
Secretary: Margaret Owens
The Church is open several times a week.
Services are usually held twice a month,
on 2nd and 4th Sundays in the month.
2nd Sunday - Holy Communion -9.00am
4th Sunday - Morning Prayer - 9.00am
We usually follow the Book of Common Prayer
The Benefice of the Wiske is a group of 5 churches, located in the NE corner of the Diocese of Leeds. Our Benefice comprises several small villages and hamlets near the River Wiske which are largely rural in character, but are also commuter villages, as agriculture, though still important, no longer employs many people and most work in Northallerton, Darlington or Teesside. The population has a high percentage of retired people. There is a Church of England (VC) Primary School in East Cowton and primary schools in Great Smeaton, North Cowton and Appleton Wiske. A Youth Group meets every other Friday during term time at All Saints. The Benefice has a Priest in Charge, supported by retired priests and lay readers.