Archbishop of York pops in to Bamburgh

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu with Seahouses resident Linda Thorburn at St Aidan's Church in Bamburgh. Picture by Crest Photography
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu with Seahouses resident Linda Thorburn at St Aidan's Church in Bamburgh. Picture by Crest Photography

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, joined the congregation and friends of St Aidan’s Church in Bamburgh on Sunday.

He led and preached at a service of Holy Communion and to rededicate two newly-restored hatchments.

Atchbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, with Rev Teresa Walton at St Aidan's Church in Bamburgh. Picture by Crest Photography

Atchbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, with Rev Teresa Walton at St Aidan's Church in Bamburgh. Picture by Crest Photography

The restoration follows a successful appeal for help to repair and conserve the historic items.

Bamburgh resident Charles Baker-Cresswell, who took the lead in the restoration appeal, said: “I am delighted that our appeal has gone so well and we are able to conserve two of the hatchments within St Aidan’s Church. They provide a valuable glimpse into our local history, as much as gravestones, monuments and stained glass windows do.

“I would like to thank all those who contributed to the appeal and to praise the work done by Annabelle Remnant who has undertaken the restoration – she has done a fantastic job and the hatchments are safe for many years to come.”

The two restored hatchments date from the 1700s and are in memory of Sir William Forster and Thomas Forster.

A hatchment is a coat of arms painted on canvas and surrounded by a broad black-painted wooden border, often hung over the door of a person of distinction who had recently died. After a period of around six months it was moved to the local parish church and hung high on the wall to remind the congregation to pray for that person.

The tradition of hanging hatchments in parish churches to commemorate distinguished figures after their death began in the early 17th century.

While many hatchments still hang in English churches, the installation of a new one is now a very rare event although, in 2011, a new hatchment was installed at the church to commemorate the late Captain Joe Baker-Cresswell, father of Charles, who died in 1997.

The event precedes a busy few days in the Diocese of Newcastle which is welcoming the Archbishop of York, 26 bishops and their visiting teams from today to Sunday for its Pathways Mission, beginning on Holy Island.

It will start with a commissioning event on Holy Island led by the Archbishop and attended by the bishops, including the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman, and the Bishop of Berwick, the Right Reverend Mark Tanner.

Nearly 300 events are taking place across the region, organised by parishes and deaneries to strengthen their relationships with local communities and how faith and Christianity can touch lives.

Pathways Mission is part of the Diocese of Newcastle’s five-year vision, growing church bringing hope.

The events include the blessing of fishing boats at Craster, Bishops for Breakfast in Etal village hall and a service commemorating the Battle of Flodden at Cornhill.

Events will also take place in Warkworth, Norham, Glanton, Weldon Bridge, Amble, Lucker, Kirknewton, Ingram, Longframlington and Beadnell, among other locations.

The weekend ends with three Celebrating Hope events at 4pm on Sunday, including one at St Michael’s, Alnwick. All welcome. The others are in Hexham and Newcastle.

Visit www.pathwaysmission.org.uk/events for details about the Pathways events.