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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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.

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Epiphany House Blessings in 2017 – what does 20 + C + M + B + 17 mean?

Epiphany House Blessings in Houghton-le-Spring 2017


A part of church history is the custom of blessing homes at the New Year.

Traditionally at Epiphany, when we celebrate the visit of the wise men from the East to the baby Jesus, families hold a short service of prayer to ask God’s blessing on their dwellings and on all who live, work with and visit them. In this way, we invite Jesus to be a “guest” in our home, a listener to each conversation, a guide for troubled times, and a blessing in times of thanksgiving.

Houses are marked with chalk like this 20 + C + M + B + 17 – which is the year and the initials of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. C M B above the door, also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, Latin for “May Christ Bless this House.”

Blessed chalk was distributed at St Michael’s this morning, please ask a friend who came to bless your house or collect some chalk from church this week to bless your own home.

After you have blessed your own home, please offer the same to a neighbour or friend that we might share the love of God in our community.

Look out for the chalk markings around Houghton!

Here is how to bless your home:

Take the blessed chalk and mark on the wall above or beside your front door

20 + C + M + B + 17


The three Wise Men,
Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar

followed the star of God’s Son who became human
two thousand
and seventeen years ago.
May Christ bless our home
and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.

Loving God, bless this household. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and abiding in your will. We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.





Pictures from our beautiful Christingle Service – don’t forget our Crib Service at 3pm on Christmas Eve!

This afternoon we enjoyed making Christingles along with Delilah the Cow and Moses the Cat learning that Jesus was born so that everyone could know the love of God and shine his light in the world. Here are some pictures taken by John Lambton.

Don’t forget our Crib Service is at 3pm on Christmas Eve – all welcome!

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Light of Life service – remembering loved ones at Christmas

Tuesday 13th December, 7.00pm

Christmas can sometimes be difficult for those of us who have lost loved ones, especially recently. Every year we have our Light of Life service near the beginning of the season. This is a carol service with a moment’s quiet as we remember loved ones and dedicate lights on our Christmas tree in their memory.

It’s a service suitable for all ages and gives us the opportunity to remember those we love at this time of year when families and friends gather together.


After the service, each time you come along to church for our other Christmas services, the first thing you see as you walk into church is our Christmas tree with all the lights shining, reminding us of our loved ones.