MESSAGE: Giving can be a help to us all

The Three Wise Hoovers of Rothbury, Little Baby Cheeses, the Gingerbread Crib and, of course, The Knitivity. So hard to choose a favourite from among the displays in Rothbury shops and church as part of this year’s Christmas Festival. They all made us smile; which was just as well given the blast we had just received from Storm Desmond. Despite the weather, locals and visitors enjoyed a brilliant weekend. It takes more than high winds and floods to stop Northumbrians from having a party.

With a New Year it is a good time to look forward. Sometimes it takes sheer perseverance and determination to see beyond the obstacles and difficulties facing us.

In January, a long-awaited project finally gets under way in Rothbury; the restoration of the 150-year-old pipe organ Lord Armstrong of Cragside gave All Saints Church. Perseverance and determination, teamwork and generosity have proved a winning combination in overcoming all sorts of unexpected challenges. It’ll be a race to see which project finishes first, the organ or the landslip!

With so many of the things that can come along to trouble and divide us, disputes between nations and neighbours, it helps to think of and celebrate the qualities of teamwork and generosity that achieve so much in our communities. Both qualities depend on our giving way or giving away. Two good things to ponder this Christmastide and to set us on a positive start to a Happy New Year.

In the meantime, Christmas blessings to you all.

The Reverend Michael Boag,

Rector of Upper Coquetdale