Church celebrates a special birthday

Members of the Acklington Community Team with one of the many displays in the village hall and church at the weekend which celebrated the 150th annicersary of St John The Divine church.
Members of the Acklington Community Team with one of the many displays in the village hall and church at the weekend which celebrated the 150th annicersary of St John The Divine church.
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SPECIAL celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of a village church have been hailed as ‘magnificent’.

The festivities took place in Acklington over the weekend to honour the milestone for the Parish Church of St John The Divine, which was erected in 1861.

The two-day commemorative event proved a fitting tribute and was fine reward for the months of hard work which went into planning the sesquicentennial celebrations.

Curate at St John, the Rev June Barras, said: “It has been a really memorable occasion. People will be remembering this for years. We will produce an archive so that we have a record of this memorable occasion in the life of our church.

“It just went together so well. It was magnificent.”

The celebrations, held on Saturday and Sunday, included a grand draw raffle in aid of church funds, music and various displays including art and craft and photographic exhibitions.

One of the highlights was the unveiling of a silk anniversary wall hanging.

Created by parishioners, it depicts stories from the Bible and formed the centrepiece of a display in the church.

There was also a parish communion and baptism on Sunday morning before the celebrations were rounded-off by a songs of praise service later that day, which was attended by the Duchess of Northumberland and Sir Alan and Lady Beith, among others.

The celebrations involved all aspects of the community, including children from the village school, as well as groups, organisations and the prison.

Rev Barras said there was a fine turnout, which included the relatives of a former vicar of the church, who came from around the country, including London, to attend the event.

“It was a fine community effort in both preparing and supporting the celebrations. Everybody’s hard work was rewarded by the superlative result,” said Rev Barras.

The church’s vicar, Rev Canon Janet Brearley, was unable to attend the celebrations due to poor health.

Rev Barras said: “The only down side of this event for all of us here was that she was unable to be there with us and share it with us. We missed her.”

See Northumberland Now supplement for an anniversary special.