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  • Support The North Lakes Foodbank!!

    Please support The North Lakes Food Bank

    Supporting our community for 10 years, with compassion, love and hope since 2009.

    North Lakes Foodbank, Lorton St Methodist Church Lorton St, Cockermouth, CA13 9RH Tel -Mob: 07502 311 452 Tel:-Landline 01900 823854

    Please support this Charity as a number of people across Cumbria rely on their support, especially in this difficult time.

    There may be a food collection Point near you the contents of which are taken up to Cockermouth regularly by volunteers. If so, please purchase your food donations from the shops local to you so that we also support our local communities.(St Bega’s Church in Eskdale) is one collection point that is not yet on the Foodbank website) Otherwise, the website gives full details of how you can support them and also has a map of the food Collection Points and Distribution Centres in the North Lakes. Our centres are all open as their normal hours with the exception of Whitehaven which is closed on a Wednesday for the foreseeable future.

    In the meantime, please continue donating vital food supplies
  • Benefice Safeguarding Policy and Contact Details of Parish Safeguarding Officers and Support Organisations

    Promoting a safer church

    OUR COMMITMENTS

    1. Promoting a safer environment and culture
    2. Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Church
    3. Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
    4. Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
    5. Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
    6. Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.

    IF YOU ARE CONCERNED
    that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused or presents a risk to others, please seek advice from a Safeguarding Advisor or if necessary report the matter to the Local Authority Social Care Services or the Police without delay.

    For further Information go to:
    https://www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/promoting-safer-church-safeguarding

  • Letter From Rev. Angela Overton-Benge

    Letter from Rev Angela Overton-Benge

    In the church calendar we have left Eastertide behind and we are now in the season of Trini-ty. Eastertide begins with Easter Sunday and the pure joy of the resurrection. It comes to an end with first the Ascension of Jesus to heaven, followed ten days later by the giving of the Holy Spirit. This day we now call the feast of Pentecost but for most of my childhood it was called WhitSunday or Whitsun. I remember being kitted out with new shoes and socks and perhaps a dress, bought with the Co-op dividend money. In many places there were Whit Walks or Marches, which were great occasions in a local calendar for many communities, may I say mainly in the North of England.

    However, whatever the name, it truly is a great occasion in the church as we celebrate the Holy Spirit being made fully manifest in the world. I once read of the idea that the giving of the Holy Spirit was like the atom bomb falling on the world, but this time it is an explosion of love and power. The Holy Spirit was given to enable the churches to fulfil their purpose of spreading the good news of God to all the world, bringing light and joy to all.

    As I was thinking of these things, I was also thinking of the year or more we have had of be-ing in fear of the covid virus. We have been locked away in our own separate homes or in isolated bubbles to prevent us from spreading the virus to one another. Paradoxically to hu-man instincts, this was to show respect, kindness and good neighbourliness to one another. As we all know, being apart from each other helped halt the spread. How very different this is from a gospel that is meant to be preached, not just in churches, but in every Christian's everyday life as we meet one another in love. I know many have tried to find innovative ways of reaching out to people so they know they have not been forgotten. Social media, Zoom, Face Time, and the simple telephone have been a boon to many of us, including one time I even did my washing up whilst I talked to a friend via the internet. Nevertheless, one has to admit that there is nothing quite like seeing someone face to face and just talking, and hopefully one day giving them a hug.

    This of course may soon be a possibility due to the wonderful work of scientists and the medical profession. Through the hard work and intelligence of many, we may be seeing a chink of light at the end of the tunnel because of the vaccine. As society is opening up wed-dings have begun and baptisms are being booked, if both events have not already taken place. One gets the feeling that there is a little hope in everyone's heart.

    However, we also still have to be careful with each other and of the way we gather together. For hidden behind those closed doors that are gradually opening, there may be a lot of pain. Each of us have suffered a certain amount of low level stress and for some of us it has been far from low level, but real pain. Others of us of course have had the covidvirus itself and it may take some time to fully recover. For many, it will take some persuading that it is okay to come out of their homes.

    This is where the many colours of the Gospel message of love will need to come into their own. God's message of love comes in many packages, and although it can come in a full burst of excitement like the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it can also be delivered quietly and gently. Much like Jesus when he encountered the woman who came with a haemorrhage too ashamed to reveal herself. She came to him timidly. He called her my daughter. Or Nicodemus who came to him by night, and Jesus told him of the way to eternal life.

    As we hopefully regain our freedom, and some of us move about with confidence, let us not forget or leave behind those who will find it difficult. Perhaps we will also have to find gentle ways of reconnecting with each other. The young seem to find it much easier, in fact they are eager to meet with friends, whilst others will be more reticent. However, whoever we meet, let us pray that we are careful with each other. Let us fully rejoice with those who re-joice but also help in the healing when others find life difficult.

    As I said in the beginning, we are now in the season of Trinity. It reminds us that God is Fa-ther, Son and Holy Spirit. He is one God, but reflecting a whole character, in community with each other. We may be very different people to the various people that we know, for in-stance partner, parent, close friends. Yet however we encounter our Lord, God will come, perhaps gently, always beautifully, and many times joyfully into our lives. God never pushes in where he is not wanted, yet is always ready to be there when someone calls.

    As we adjust, and keep on adjusting, to whatever befalls us, let us pray we remain compas-sionate and ever responding to the cries and joys around us. Let us not lose sight of our compassionate God who is ever ready to be near the broken hearted, and yet also rejoices with those who want to sing for joy.

    God bless Angela


  • Training Opportunities

    Training Opportunities St Cuthbert’s Seascale,
    The mission community held a gathering to explore the training opportunities available to local people through the Church. This took place at St Cuthbert’s Seascale on Wednesday 17th July at 7.30pm. We are hoping to be able to host more training locally and to ensure this is as effective as it can be we want to hear from  you. What would you be interested in? What would help you in your Christian life and service?
     We have held a couple of short courses locally helping us to grow in our understanding of the Christian faith. These have been stimulating but not academic and have helped us get to know one another from across the local churches. Do you want more of these kind of events or more practical skill based opportunities, like the training on offer to PCC Treasurer’s from the Diocesan Stewardship Advisor  at St Mary’s Gosforth? Some people have expressed an interest in prayer retreats whilst others have requested Safeguarding Training. Whatever your interest or perceived need arranging training through the mission community makes it easier to bring in trainers and create viable groups with  content that fits our needs, hopefully improving the effectiveness of the training and reducing participants travel time.
    We have invited Cumbria Christian Learning to create a market place of opportunities and resources and to send along a trainer to help explain what is involved in the various courses. If you are interested in coming along to Seascale and taking part in the discussions you would be very welcome. There should be something for everyone, from one off events to short courses of a few weeks, day retreats to vocational training. 

    If you are interested give me a ring; Gill on 019467 24724

  • Our Churches are opening again for services!

    On this site you will information on all the parishes that make up the benefice, not forgetting that we have now become a larger benefice  and our sister parishes will also be recorded on this site. These will include the parishes of: Drigg, Bootle, Corney, Whitcham and Whitbeck. The latter four churches constitute the Black Combe Churches.

    The Name of the new benefice is "The Western Lake District Churches" and in the next few days you will be able to access this website by the new name (please do not try just yet!) as well as the current name (www.eskdalebenefice,org.uk). The title of this website, currently Eskdale Benefice, will also change. This 'lead-in' is to give people who have used this website for some years to adjust to the change.

    I have set up a page on this site to show the Blackcombe Churches website in an iFrame.
    Click on " BlackCombe Churches " in the menu bar on the left side of the page.

    We will try and keep up to date with all the service times and locations.

    Remember that if you have a query  the best person to contact is a member of the Parish concerned, not the vicar who is probably hurrying between appointments.

    Please be sure that you will have a warm welcome to any of our church services.

    If you have queries about this website please contact me via the Contacts page. If you do spot any inaccuracies (there are bound to be some!) please let me know and I will correct them, if possible.

  • An Invitation to 'Virtual Church'**

    It’s lovely to see our local church buildings beginning to open up again for private and public worship after their long lockdown. But for those people who don’t feel ready to go back, or for anyone who would like to use these strange times to explore alternative ways of worshipping instead of – or as well as – the traditional church service, there is another local option.

    Every Sunday evening at 7pm throughout July and August (and maybe into September) there is a friendly and informal online service on ‘Zoom’ led by Keith and Jill Hudson of Phoenix Praise Worship band, currently based in their front room in Stubble Green (Drigg). Since these services began, regular attendance has reached 50+, and lots of different members of the congregation have volunteered to choose hymns and songs, lead prayers, read from the Bible or give a short talk about the Christian faith and life, which there is a chance to discuss with others after the main service ends.

    The beauty of Zoom is that you can worship in the comfort and safety of your own front room; you can attend in your slippers and bring the dog; you can sing as loudly as you like (when ‘muted’) and no one else can hear you. You can even join in by telephone if you don’t have a computer. What’s more, you can arrive late and leave early if you need to, without attracting attention, or you can arrive early on purpose and stick around at the end if you’d like more chance to chat. 

    Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us with no strings attached; you can be a member of any church or of none, and you don’t even have to be a believer. All you do need to do is get in touch so that we can send you the joining details for each service (and for anyone who hasn’t ‘Zoomed’ before, we can send you some very simple instructions to help you get going). If you’d like to find out more, please email Jill and Keith on jillfhudson@hotmail.co.uk or phone 019467 21592.

    Jill Hudson