Rector’s Letter

Dear Friends,

This year’s Houghton Feast is an extra special one, falling as it does in the 500th anniversary of the birth of our Rector Bernard Gilpin which we’ve been celebrating all year. We have chosen to focus on three aspects of Gilpin’s life: Faith, Generosity and Service. Gilpin founded Kepier School, he fed the needy of the town every fortnight from Houghton Feast through to Easter by roasting an ox (an act commemorated through the Ox Roasting at Houghton Feast every year) and he cared enough to travel throughout Northumberland to people, who had never known the care and support of the Church. Do pop in to church during the celebrations to view our Gilpin 500 exhibition and special documentary in which Roger Elsey, biographer of Gilpin, is interviewed. You can even read Gilpin’s will for yourself and see why his uncle told him he would ‘die a beggar’!

Not only have we wanted to shine a spotlight on this remarkable man but we have also sought to inspire the people of Houghton to undertake acts of faith, generosity and service to impact our community for the better. We have done this through a variety of special events in Church and the Kepier Hall, in working with our local schools and through our Community Project Space4 (look out for us in the Feast Parade). Our work at Space4 is directly part of the legacy of Bernard Gilpin who had a special regard for the needy people of Houghton. We seek to emulate Gilpin’s generosity by reaching out through Space4 – do take the opportunity during the Feast to find out more about what we do.

Houghton Feast this year is the culmination of all our celebrations – let’s be inspired this year to continue Gilpin’s legacy of Faith, Generosity and Service, so that our community is transformed.

I hope you and your families have a wonderful time celebrating Houghton Feast 2017 and commemorating the life of Rector Bernard Gilpin.

With every good wish,

Rector Sue