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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Rector Sue’s last Sunday Service

It was an emotional service with a full church this morning as Rector Sue conducted her last Sunday Eucharist with us. Rector Sue did a very rousing sermon based around Bernard Gilpin which gave us all lots of encouragement to carry on with the good work we are already doing and keep her legacy alive. She spoke about Generosity, Inclusion, Love & Laughter, (fighting)Injustice & Nurture. Distributing holy communion to the gathered congregation was very moving for both Sue and those who received and there were a good few tears. However, there was also celebration and thanks in speeches from church warden Simon, Councillor Juliana Heron, the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides and the Lord Lieutenant. Young church had been working on a marvellous farewell gift which you can see in great detail in the photos below. We ended our farewell in true St Michael’s style with tea, coffee and a gorgeous cake baked by Simon and decorated by Damien.

Farewell Lunch at the Kepier Hall

We had a marvellous turn out at the Kepier Hall today for Rector Sue’s farewell lunch. As usual the Next 900 team cooked up a fabulous meal for everyone to enjoy and there were lots of memories shared. John Lambton produced a wonderful presentation of Sue’s life history and time spent with us and there were gifts and thank you speeches. It has been a 10 year period packed with all sorts of amazing events and achievements for St Michael and All Angels under the inspirational leadership of Rector Sue and we wish her every

happiness and success as she moves on to new adventures and challenges in Wales.

Space4 says ‘Goodbye & Good luck’ to Rector Sue

On Thursday 14th June Space4 hosted a special lunchtime event to say a fond farewell to Rector Sue before she heads off to be an Archdeacon in Wales. Old faces and new gathered to share memories to wish the woman, without whom, there would be no Space4. An idea on the back of an envelope, vision and drive made our church community project a reality nearly 5 years ago. More recently when our position in our current home came under threat, it was Rector Sue who negotiated with the powers that be to secure us a lease and three years security. We are very sad to see her go but happy that she will be sharing her many talents and taking on new challenges. No one every imagined the success that Space4 has been, probably not even Rector Sue and we will carry on the good work as part of her legacy to Houghton le Spring.

Bryony’s Licensing

On Monday 30th April 2018 a group from church and Space4 boarded a coach and headed for the delightful village of Barlborough in Derbyshire to be part of Bryony’s licensing service.  We received a warm welcome from Bryony’s new parishioners and some absolutely delicious home baked cakes.  The service was full of history and tradition and we all felt a huge sense of pride to have been part of Bryony’s formation.  We will miss her but send her out to do God’s work as the Rector of Barlborough and Clowne with every blessing.

Bryony’s Farewell

Bryony had her last Sunday in Houghton on Sunday 8th April.

It was with heavy hearts and fondness that we sent her off after her last Eucharist with a fantastic lunch, generous gifts and really delicious cake! 

We all had a great time (and plenty of tears) and hope Bryony and Paul enjoy their new parish as much as we did having them in ours.

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). 

PRESS RELEASE

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.