May 2020 Signpost Magazine

In our continuing efforts to keep in touch with as many people in our parish we are pleased to be able to continue to publish our monthly Signpost. As with the last edition we are trying to distribute this months church magazine to as many people as we are able while following Government guidelines.
This means we will publish the Signpost online again on our website and distribute to as many people as possible. Please follow this link to read May’s Signpost
Feel free to share with friends, family or neighbours you think would enjoy reading the Signpost. If you know anyone without access to email, missing their copy would you please telephone or text your request to Malcolm Foster on 07860 250300 and we will try our best to get copies to them. If you would like to have an electronic copy sent to you automatically, email with your request.
A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition and a special thank you to Malcolm (editor) and Steve for all the last minute effort to get it published.

With my continued prayers and very good wishes.


Friends of Houghton Parish Church Trust – April 2020 Update




It is with great regret that the Trustees have had to cancel the Friends Annual Musical Weekend in May which was going to be a feast of amazing talents from new and well loved performers.   We are very aware of this dreadful pandemic affecting all our lives, therefore you will not be surprised by this decision. 

It is our intention to postpone the delivery of the already prepared Annual Report until such time as it is deemed safe to do so.  The Trustees are hoping that all our loyal subscribers to the Friends will continue to support the great work that has been achieved through the Trust.

As many of you know, the Friends Trust is committed to opening the Church daily throughout the summer months.  To this end a new notice board has been ordered to advertise the Church opening times.  This would have been ready for the beginning of the season, but has had to be postponed until Church reopens.

In the meantime, all the Trustees wish you a safe passage through these life changing times.  


If anyone would like to join the Friends, please contact George Peebles, our membership secretary on (0191)5841628.

Easter Egg Parade 2020

We have loved seeing the response from everyone getting involved and sharing with us their egg-tastic designs! Below are pictures of a few of the first eggs from the children of Young Church, 2nd Houghton Guides, Space4 and from our congregation! Keep sending us your eggy designs and we’ll keep sharing them – Easter doesn’t end till 31st May.

George Peebles, Organist Celebrates 30 years!

It was a delight to enjoy some of George’s favourite hymns at our Parish Eucharist this morning as we celebrated 30 years as our organist and musical director.  After the service he was presented with gifts and cards and we all got to enjoy a cake that looked too good to be cut and a glass of something sparkling.  Huge thanks to George for all his dedicated hard work and the joy he brings to our worship through music.

Boxing Day Dip

Well done to our fabulous four who braved the freezing sea at Seaham on Boxing Day morning to raise money for Church funds. Well done, we are thankful to our dippers and to all who sponsored them. Thank you.

Community Christmas Day Lunch at the Kepier Hall

Thanks to some funding from the Community Chest Sunderland City Council Fund, ELCAP Transport and a small team of hardworking volunteers we were able to serve 27 people with a delicious hot Christmas Dinner this year. The feast was added to by Alex & Carol Scullion who collected food from Aldi on Christmas Eve bringing us two geese and some delicious desserts among other items. We also had three gorgeous Christmas cakes made and donated to us. Rector John and his family joined us to provide some seasonal singing and help to serve the food.  St Michael and All Angels PCC provided funding to purchase a small gift for everyone who attended.





Advent and Christmas 2019

Here are a selection of photos from Church over the Advent and Christmas period. We all enjoyed the lovely tradition of Posada – Mary and Joseph travelling around homes in the Parish – this included a night at a real inn (The Wild Boar).
We had the beautiful candlelit Advent Carol service to begin the season and enjoyed a Christingle, Crib Service, Alternative Community Nativity, Traditional Carol Service and a wonderful Eucharist on Christmas Morning.

Houghton Feast 2019

We’ve had another fantastic Feast this year in Church. We had a Market, a Civic service, ‘Favourite Hymn’ Community singing and concerts. Thanks to everyone who attended and to those to helped back of the scenes to make it such a special week!

Holy Week 2019

We’ve had a great Holy Week here at St Michael’s.  Thank you to all those who worked so hard in preparing the Church for Easter or for contributing in any way to our worship in Holy Week and Easter.  

The Licensing of The Reverend John Barron

On Sunday 17th March at 3.00 pm the Church was packed with John’s family and friends, members of his now old Parish, fellow Priests and the wonderful people of our Parish. We were all there to celebrate John’s Licensing. The service was a lovely blend of traditional Oaths and blessings with a great mix of hymns – the Anthem sung by the Choir was a particular highlight. The wonderful Sermon from the Bishop of Durham, Rt Reverend Paul Butler, reminded us to serve and be served, and to look not inwardly but towards those who need help. The service ended with some quick notices from John and then we all headed up to the Kepier Hall for the bun fight!

Our thanks go out to all the people who made Sunday such a success, to those making the pies, buttering the sandwiches, getting us all seated, serving the tea, proof reading the service sheet, providing the beautiful music – and for everything else that goes on behind the scenes.

We look forward to journeying with John on his new phase of Ministry and wish him well!