Bishop visits Warkworth parishes
Dozens of parishioners from Acklington, Shilbottle and Warkworth joined the Bishop of Berwick, Archdeacon of Lindisfarne and the Area Dean of Alnwick for a conference at the weekend.
Rev Helen O’Sullivan said: “The event was one of the first occasions where representatives of our three churches have been able to gather together since I was appointed vicar of the three parishes in 2019.
“The Covid pandemic has challenged us to re-evaluate. Our conference proved a great opportunity to debate some of our priority work themes such as ministry to children and young families, visitor welcome and the climate change agenda.
"We were also able to hear from the bishop and the archdeacon about the diocese’s ‘Next Steps’ plans for supporting rural parishes, including new training programmes to encourage church growth.”
Area dean Alison Hardy added: “It’s no secret that there will be fewer full-time clergy employed in the Church of England.
"This means we need to work hard to equip ordinary church members to carry forward our essential mission to rural communities. The engaged response and enthusiasm to co-operate of those attending at the weekend was very encouraging to me and my colleagues.
Diane Watt, lay chairwoman and conference organiser, said: “An important part of our weekend agenda was about how we can combine to share our knowledge, life skills and expertise.
"Each of our three communities has different needs and so there are different roles for each of the three churches to play. We discerned a number of specific themes that will guide our ‘Next Steps’ plans.
“The hard work starts here, as they say, but what a great way to begin!”