Christmas Services and Events at St Michael’s – dates for your diary


Join us in celebrating the greatest news of all this Christmas – God with us!

These are our Christmas Services and Events:

Tuesday 13th December, 7.00pm – Light of Life Service 

A service to remember loved ones and dedicate a light on our Christmas tree

Wednesday 14th December, 7.00pm – Gilpin Singers Christmas Concert

£3 entry, enjoy a varied concert of music old and new, get in the Christmas spirit!

Saturday 17th December, 11.00am – Carol Singing in the Wild Boar Pub

Meet us in the Wild Boar for some carol singing – wear a Christmas jumper!

Sunday 18th December, 3.00pm – Christingle

A magical family service – all proceeds to Children’s Society

Christmas Eve

3.00pm Interactive Family Crib Service – a chance to take part in a nativity play and sing some carols

7.00pm Our Traditional 9 Lessons and Carols Service

11.30pm Midnight Mass

Christmas Day

8.30am Eucharist

10.00am Festival Eucharist


Please share this information on Social Media using the buttons below. Thank you!

Come along to Open Table – a service for everyone Sunday 2nd April 7pm @space4hls #lgbtqia

After our launch in March our first regular gathering of Open Table – our inclusive service open to all is on Sunday 2nd April at 7 for a 7.30pm start at Space4 – ground floor Houghton Library (postcode DH4 4GB – park behind Houghton Library for free).

This month we are looking at the Last Supper through different eyes. Please share this with your friends. We look forward to seeing you!


A joyous day celebrating Generosity – Gilpin 500 Eucharist with confirmation

On Sunday 5th March we celebrated our remarkable Rector Bernard Gilpin in the best possible way – by sharing Holy Communion and seeing William and Terry (who first experienced the generosity of the love of God at Space4) confirmed by Bishop Mark.

Bishop Mark preached about the incredible generosity of God and encouraged each of us to consider at the end of each day those things we can thank God for – and see how it changes us into more generous people.

We also have dedicated a new banner and altar frontal for this special Gilpin 500 year and the children created a wonderful banner to reflect Bernard Gilpin’s characteristics.

Here are some pictures of the day taken by John Lambton.

A big thank you to the Next 900 team for the wonderful celebration lunch after the service!

Our new altar frontal painted by assistant Church Warden Thelma Steel. It features Christ in glory in the centre with Bernard Gilpin on the left and St Michael the Archangel on the right.

Our new Gilpin banner designed and made by Carole Cunningham


Gilpin 500 banner made by Young Church

Terry is confirmed by Bishop Mark

William is confirmed by Bishop Mark

Welcome to the family William and Terry!

Gilpin 500 Tudor Family Fun Day – part of Talking Jesus – picture gallery

On Saturday 4th March the doors of St Michael and All Angels church were opened to the public to step back into the time of Bernard Gilpin whose 500th anniversary we are celebrating this year. Visitors were treated to storytelling from the Bible (Gilpin was famous for his Bible teaching), Tudor cookery demonstrations – including a chance to taste the kind of food eaten at the time of Gilpin, learning to spin wool on a spinning wheel or drop spindle, lots of crafts and much more.

A big thank you to Dignity Funeral Directors for providing a musical accompaniment to the day with their charity Gavioli Organ.

Also a big thank you to all who helped to make the day such a great success – including all our visitors! Browse our photos below – taken by John Lambton.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Celebrate Bernard Gilpin with us this weekend 4-5 March – part of #talkingjesus

A message from the Rector:

Dear Friends 

On Sunday at 10am in St Michael and All Angels Church we celebrate the life of Bernard Gilpin. Bernard Gilpin strove to bring the Good News of Christ’s love to the people of Houghton-le-Spring in his own day. 

In the Service, as well as celebrating Gilpin, there will be a ‘key’ moment, a moment of grace filled transformation- a confirmation. Terry Carr and William Stott will be confirmed by Bishop Mark and we will pray that the Holy Spirit will flood their lives with holy joy. 

This moment of transformation is happening, because we at St Michael’s believe in spreading the Good News. We have created a Place of Good News, Space4. It is because of the encounters, support and friendship Terry and William found at Space4, that they are now asking God to transform their lives. 

Bernard Gilpin would be proud and I believe he stands with us, as we all support and pray for Terry and William on Sunday. 

So let us celebrate Bernard Gilpin, let us celebrate Space4, but most of all let us celebrate the transforming love of God in Christ Jesus. 

I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday. 

Rector Sue

Ashes to Go 2017 in Houghton-le-Spring – picture gallery

What began as an experience of our Rector Sue whilst on sabbatical in Washington DC in 2014 has now become an annual tradition here at St Michael’s. Once again we brought part of the Ash Wednesday service out onto the streets of Houghton-le-Spring – the opportunity to receive prayer and be ashed on the forehead with the sign of the cross – a reminder of our own mortality and the overwhelming love and forgiveness of God.

Why not take the opportunity this Lent for a fresh start with God? Have you been thinking of coming back to church? Come and join us, there will be a warm welcome.

As James writes in his letter: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)


Thank you to all who took part from chatting to people, asking for prayers and making the tea and coffee.

Below are some images from the day taken by Jorgie Carmichael – click on an image to enlarge it.

View a video of the day here:


Launching Open Table North East – safe sacred space for LGBTQIA+ Christians

You are warmly invited to be part of

Open Table North East.


Open Table is a safe sacred space for LGBTQIA+ Christians & all who believe in an inclusive Church.

Open Table aims to create a safe sacred space for you to explore your faith and what it means for you. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, you are welcome here.

Open Table shouldn’t need to exist.  Our vision is of a world where LGBTQIA+ people are fully included within our church traditions and communities. Until then, we will continue to nurture safe, sacred, inclusive space where LGBTQIA+ Christians can ‘come as you are’.

The first Open Table gathering will take place on Thursday 2nd March at 7 for 7.30pm at Space4, Ground Floor of Houghton Library, Newbottle Street, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 4GB.

Thereafter Open Table North East will meet on the first Sunday of the Month at 7pm – more details to follow. Find out more about the Open Table movement on the website here.

Please join our group on Facebook to stay in touch and find out more:


Part of the Talking Jesus Durham events:


Tudor Family Fun Day Saturday 4 March, 10am-2pm

Enter the world of Bernard Gilpin, Tudor Rector of Houghton-le-Spring

Saturday 4th March from 10.00am-2.00pm

in St Michael and All Angels Church, The Broadway, DH4 4DN

Join us for a free day of activities for all the family to include:

  • Storytelling
  • Crafts
  • Wool spinning demonstration
  • Tudor dance
  • Cooking demonstration
  • Refreshments

Bring the family and be inspired by the life of our former Rector Bernard Gilpin.

Part of the Durham Diocese Talking Jesus events.


Gilpin 500 Beer Festival 10-11 Feb – all you need to know #gilpin500

Our Gilpin 500 Beer Festival takes place in the Kepier Hall (behind the church on the Broadway in Houghton-le-Spring, postcode DH4 4DN) this weekend.

Tickets are £10, ring John Lambton on 07917 817879 to reserve tickets or buy on the door.

Ticket includes a commemorative half pint glass and 5 half pints of beer or cider.

Doors open Friday 10th February at 7pm.

Saturday 11th February the festival will run from 12noon with local band The Grumpies playing a gig at 7.30pm.

If you come the Friday night you can return with your glass on Saturday and have free entry. Further drinks tickets can be bought at £1.50 or 5 for £6.

9 ales are available to try and 2 ciders including our very own Gilpin 500 limited edition ale from Maxim Brewery.

We look forward to seeing you!Mini Beer Festival v3

Gilpin 500 is launched with cake and prayer!

2017 is finally here and along with it our year of commemorating and being inspired by our former Rector Bernard Gilpin. We launched our celebrations this morning at St Michael’s with a special cake and a prayer for Gilpin 500.

Our dedicated website for Gilpin 500 is here:

Join us for our events – download the calendar here and pray for God’s blessing on us and our town of Houghton-le-Spring using the words of our Gilpin 500 prayer:

God of love and compassion,

we give you thanks for the

life and witness of Bernard Gilpin.

May we be inspired to follow his example

of faith, generosity and service to

transform our community today;

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

a-prayer-for-2017 fb_img_1483882295991-01 fb_img_1483882291468-01