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


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Don’t let Good Friday be just another bank holiday! Join us at 11am for Stations of the Cross

Good Friday services 11am & 2pm at St Michael & All Angels, Houghton-le-Spring

This Good Friday, plan to come to church and rediscover the true meaning of the day with us with our powerful Stations of the Cross service. We gaze at 14 images of the journey Jesus takes from the Garden of Gethsemane, his walk to Calvary and his sealing in the tomb. We pray, sing and give thanks. Join us at 11am – all welcome, even if you haven’t been to church for ages or have never been before, we would love to see you, this is for you.

Then at 2pm we have our traditional service of the Liturgy of the Cross, a stripped back service where we focus on the meaning of the cross.

Special Announcement

We are delighted to announce that Rector Sue has been appointed to be the new Archdeacon of the Gwent Valleys and Director of Mission in the Diocese of Monmouth (Church in Wales). 


Exciting times lie ahead for Monmouth Diocese, with the introduction of the Reverend Canon Sue Pinnington MBE as Archdeacon of the Gwent Valleys and Diocesan Director of Mission.

Canon Sue joins us from the Diocese of Durham and brings with her a wealth of experience perfectly suited to take on the challenge of the newly created position.

Not at all daunted by ‘leading the way’, Sue, jokes: “My current parish has had a named Rector since 1131 – but I became the first woman Rector in 2008! As parish priests every role is new to us at the beginning.”

Currently Rector of the large parish of Houghton-le-Spring, Sue is excited by the combined role and is looking forward to using her extensive skills and experience to help more people encounter the love of God.

She explains: “If someone had said to me six months ago that I would be moving to South Wales to become an archdeacon I would not have believed them! But God calls us to serve and that’s the joy and challenge of ministry.”

But with her work with communities in the Durham Coalfields and in post-industrial Bradford, she can see parallels with the work that needs to be done in the Gwent Valleys and describes it “as feeling very much like home”.

Sue explains: “Mission needs to be shaped around these communities and it starts by listening well and building good relationships. I know I have a lot to learn, but I feel empowered by the Holy Spirit and excited about the challenges ahead.”

Sue has already held several senior positions within the Church of England and was awarded a MBE in 2010 for her work in leading a multi-million pound community project at Cottingley, West Yorkshire.

Bishop Richard, Bishop of Monmouth Diocese, says: “I am delighted to welcome Sue to the Diocese. This is a bold new venture for Monmouth as we create a new archdeaconry to focus on the mission and pastoral needs of the Gwent Valleys. I promised investment and I think Sue, with her skills and generous spirit will lead the way and help us secure necessary funding for projects to support the church and community. All the Bishop’s Staff are looking forward to working with Sue.”

It is hoped that Canon Pinnington will take up her new post at the start of July.

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

Mothering Sunday service – 10.00am 11th March 2018

We hope you can join us as we celebrate Mothering Sunday this week at our Parish Eucharist at 10.00am. Our Special Collection is for the Mothers’ Union Make a Mother’s Day Appeal. You might like to buy a gift in memory of your mother or for a mother you know from the Mothers’ Union website:

Wi-Fi Wednesdays comes to Houghton-le-Spring!

At our popular drop-in centre, Space4 in Houghton-le-Spring, Jorgie Carmichael, a volunteer trainer says:

“We are excited to be launching Wi-Fi Wednesdays at Space4. Every Wednesday we will be open between 12noon and 1pm to help you with any query about using the internet and technology. We know how frustrating it is to not have someone to just show you how to use technology, be it a laptop, smartphone or tablet like an iPad – we’re here to help. We can help you get an email address, help you if you’ve lost a password, show you how to use Facebook or to download an app. Someone we helped said that she felt like she ‘had wings’ after been shown how to skype and email her family abroad. Learning how to use technology can really give you a new lease of life and connect you with people all around the world.”

As part of Wi-Fi Wednesdays Space4 will be running a series of free courses (funded by Sunderland City Council) through the year including: Internet Safety, A Guide to Facebook, Fun with Photos, Family History and more.

You don’t need to have a computer or have any prior knowledge to attend (you can use one of ours) but feel free to bring your own laptop, smartphone or tablet with you.

The first course will be Internet Safety and will start on Wednesday 28th February at 10.00am-12noon at Space4 (under Houghton Library on Newbottle Street).

The course will be a free, fun and friendly guide to staying safe online:

28th February Week 1: Basic introduction to Internet Safety

7th March Week 2: Email and Passwords

14th March Week 3: Social Media safety

21st March Week 4: Online shopping and banking

Ring 0191 512 0676, email, drop-in to Space4 or send us a message on Facebook to book your place. Places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.

Notes for Editors

Space4 is a community project run by people from St Michael and All Angels Church and local volunteers that offers a safe space 5 days a week with one to one support, discreet groups, and community activities aiming to enable people to navigate life’s challenges for themselves.

Find us on the ground floor of Houghton Library, 74, Newbottle Street, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 4GB. Find us on Facebook:

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.