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

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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

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Holy Week and Easter at St Michael and All Angels, Houghton-le-Spring

Journey with Jesus and the disciples to the cross and beyond

Holy Week gives us an opportunity each year to journey with Jesus and the disciples to the cross. If you only come along to Palm Sunday and then Easter Sunday you will totally miss the richness of this profoundly spiritual pilgrimage. As we journey, we will want to take in the sights, smells and sounds of first century Palestine. We will be helped to enter into the mystery of Christ’s passion by focusing on the senses in our services through the week at which the Reverend Bryony Taylor will be our preacher:

26th March Holy Monday Eucharist 7pm

Smell‘The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.’  John 12:3

27th March Holy Tuesday Eucharist 7pm

Sight‘And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ John 12:32

28th March Holy Wednesday Eucharist 7pm

Taste‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ John 13:26

29th March Maundy Thursday Eucharist 7.30pm

Touch‘Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.’  John 13:5

30th March Good Friday                  Stations of the Cross 11am;    Liturgy of the Cross 2pm

31st March Holy Saturday               Easter Vigil with lighting of the Paschal Candle 7pm

1st April Easter Sunday

Eucharist 8.30am

Parish Festival Eucharist with Baptism 10.00am

Festival Choral Evensong 6.00pm

Broken – a course about real life and real faith – Wednesdays at 2.30pm in Lent @space4hls

Broken: a course about real life and real faith inspired by the BBC drama Broken starring Sean Bean

Join us at Space4 during Lent on Wednesdays at 2.30pm for a special course based on the BBC drama Broken written by our Curate Rev’d Bryony Taylor with Fr David Twomey and Mother Rebecca Tobin.

Come to as many sessions as you like – each session is stand-alone but connected. You do not have to have seen the BBC programme Broken to take part.

The sessions are:

21st February     Beauty in the ordinary
28th February     Loving the unlovable 
7th March           Guilt and shame 
14th March         Impossible Situations 
21st March         The power of Holy Communion
28th March         Is the church still relevant and needed today?

Space4 is on the ground floor of Houghton Library on Newbottle Street, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 4GB.

There is a sign up sheet at church for people to express interest – alternatively email Rev’d Bryony to book your place by clicking here.

Ash Wednesday in Houghton-le-Spring – start Lent well on 14th Feb #ashestogo

Ashes to Go is returning to the Broadway in Houghton-le-Spring for the fourth year! This year Ash Wednesday falls in Half Term so we will be out offering the opportunity to be ‘ashed’ with a cross on the Broadway from 11am until 1pm in the centre of Houghton. The Parish Church will be open where all are invited to come and light a candle, pray, share a burden and ask for help to get closer to God at the beginning of Lent. Children and adults are welcome to come into church and find some space to be still.

On Ash Wednesday 14th February there will also be two services of Holy Communion – one at 10.00am and one at 7.00pm – all are welcome.

How will you get closer to God this Lent?

Here’s a video we made at a previous ‘Ashes to Go’ event:

Why Ash?

Life often gets messy and we end up hurting other people or ourselves.  We do and say things we regret or we don’t do things that we should have.  We all need the opportunity to acknowledge our sorrow for our mistakes, to say sorry and to be forgiven.

On Ash Wednesday, the Christian Church offers us that opportunity.  By taking time, even if it’s just a few moments, to seek forgiveness from God and our fellow human beings, we can begin to wipe the slate clean, have a fresh start.

The ash cross on our forehead is a symbol of our sorrow and our desire to be forgiven.

Ash Wednesday is a day full of hope, because each one of us can find a new start in the love and forgiveness of God.  Ash Wednesday is the start of the Christian journey towards Easter and the ultimate act of love: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

We welcome you to join us on this journey: you never know it might change your life.

May God bless you and all those whom you love,

St Michael and All Angels Church

The Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring

“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you”                                                                                                                                     – James 4:8, The Bible

The wise men brought gifts – what gifts can we bring in 2018? Introducing the Parish Giving Scheme

This month we celebrate the season of Epiphany, the arrival of the three wise men or magi bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.

We recognise throughout this Christmas period the importance of giving and receiving gifts.  We are very blessed at St Michael’s that so many people support our mission and ministry through the gift of financial support. And so on behalf of the PCC and myself, I want to say a very BIG Thank You for your generosity and commitment to the life of St Michael’s and God’s mission in Houghton.  Every penny we receive makes a difference and everyone is valued, without you we couldn’t open our doors to all the people of Houghton.

This month we are changing the way we account and manage the church’s finances by joining the Parish Giving Scheme.  This will let us access up to date accounting software, to manage our cash flow and allow you to set up a more secure way of giving via direct debit. It will also streamline our Gift Aid status with HM Revenue and Customs. Information sheets are available in church and the Church Treasurer, Lynn Scott, will be at many services to answer questions and help in anyway she can. Managing our money in the best way possible will allow us to concentrate on our mission and ministry here in Houghton.

Thank you for all your support of St Michael’s as we begin a new year full of hope and promise.

With every good wish to you for a Happy and Blessed 2018

Rector Sue

How does the scheme work?

We had a magical time at our Christingle services this year – photo gallery

As ever we had a wonderful time at our Christingle services – one at 3pm for families and then a grown-up look at the Christingle at 6pm.

We hope you can join us for our other Christmas services on Christmas Eve:

3pm Crib Family Service – come and be in our nativity play

7pm Traditional Carol Service

11.30pm Midnight Mass

Here are some photos from the Christingle services, all proceeds raised went to the Children’s Society. Photos by John Lambton and Bryony Taylor.

Christmas Events and Services at St Michael & All Angels, Houghton-le-Spring #GodwithUs

We hope you will join us for our Christmas Celebrations this year – there is something for everyone!

Tuesday 12 Dec 7pm – Light of Life – dedicate a light on our Christmas Tree to a loved one and sing some carols

Wednesday 13 December 7pm – Gilpin Singers Christmas Concert

Sunday 17 December

3pm Family Christingle Service – make a Christingle orange to take home

6pm Engage with Christingle – a Christingle service for adults

Christmas Eve – Sunday 24 December

3pm Family Crib Service – come in a Nativity Play costume or use one of ours!
7pm Traditional Carol Service
11.30pm Midnight Mass 

Christmas Day Monday 25 December 

10.00am Festival Eucharist

Light of Life service Tues 12 Dec, 7pm – dedicate a light on our Christmas Tree

We will be lighting the Christmas tree on Tuesday 12th December at 7.00pm and we would be delighted if you could join us.  Each light on the tree will shine brightly for those special people whom we love but see no longer during the Christmas season.  The Service will be a mixture of Christmas carols, readings and a time for special prayers and remembrance.

This is a special way to remember and give thanks.

Forms to make a dedication are available in the Signpost magazine or at church (and will be available on the night). For each dedication you will receive a special card.

Remembrance Sunday Services – 12th November 2017

Join us for our Service of Remembrance Sunday 12th November.

8.30am – Eucharist

10.15am – Remembrance Sunday service with laying of wreaths at the cenotaph at 11.00am

6.00pm – Choral Evensong

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.