August 2020

Sometimes we over complicate things, with our busy hectic lifestyle we can lose sight of what this life is about what our Christian lives are about, what our Christian discipleship is about. I sit in my study and look across at my bookshelves, commentaries, and big thick theology books but in the end what they tell me is that God loves us, and Christ died for us. Yes, we can discuss what that really means but that is the very essence surely of what we are about.  I will never forget what my systematic theology lecturer said at the end of the yearlong module after looking at such things as doctrine and the philosophy of religion and offered that the two  answers to all those questions is, it is a mystery and Jesus . Months of pondering, deep thought and often confusion led simply to Jesus. He was asked what the greatest commandment is, His answer love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and a second love your neighbour as yourself. Jesus says on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. These are the very essence of what we seek to do as followers of Christ.


In these unprecedented times (unprecedented how many times we have the used word unprecedented recently) as we read the fourth version of the various guidance on how to open our churches it can seem so daunting but we are attempting to work out how we worship a God who loves us and is always there for us . That is our aim and sole direction. Let us therefore keep things simple and seek God ‘s guidance in all that we do whether that is that difficult risk assessment or attempting to get a golf ball over those bumpy bits to get in the hole. Whatever it is in our lives God will be there throughout. Back to the practicalities of life.

Prayers for week commencing 3rd May 2020 Last week our Country’s death toll in hospitals passed the 20,000 mark. This was the number that the Government hoped we would never reach. While we are all enjoying the sound of the birds, watching our gardens grow and blossom to life, it might also be appropriate for us to hold in prayer this week:  All those who are grieving the loss of loved ones  Those who are in Care Homes with Covid-19, those who are looking after them  Those who are afraid and whose mental health is suffering  Those who are lonely and who have no one to talk to  Those who cannot escape from Domestic Abuse  Families who live in poverty and in poor housing  Those who are feeling the pain of being separated from families and friends. Loving and caring God, I bring before you all those working in care settings of any kind. Workers whose daily lives are altered by the requirements of PPE, social distancing, and protection measures. For care settings struggling from a lack of public transport and where there is difficulty obtaining supplies of medicines, equipment or food. Thank you for those risking their own lives to provide compassionate care for residents, patients, the elderly, infirm and anxious. For those caring for women waiting to give birth, those temporarily housed, those stranded away from home and those with compromised immune systems. There are many working very long hours and struggling with staff shortages. Grant energy and wisdom for the tasks of today. Be there in the anxiety and pain. Make your presence felt in each context, granting peace and hope where none is felt. Lord in your mercy, hear my prayers for others. Amen SHARING IN PRAYER FOR OUR DISTRICT AND OUR WORLD The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want… he restores my soul…even though I walk through the darkest valley…your rod and your staff they comfort me… surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. (Psalm 23 NRSVA) This week as we pray for our circuits we invite you to particularly pray for furloughed lay workers; for those looking after closed properties; for those preparing live-streamed or online worship opportunities. Day For our District For our Wider World Sun 3rd May Regional Safeguarding Team World leaders responding to Covid-19 Mon 4th May Newcastle West Circuit Those relying on Foodbanks Tues 5th May Volunteers across the District The over 70s: concerned about extended distancing Wed 6th May North Shields & Whitley Bay Circuit Continuing education during lock down. Thur 7th May Methodist Women in Britain All NHS workers within our health systems Fri 8th May SE Northumberland Ecumenical Area Captain Tom, all Veterans and service personnel on VE day Sat 9th May Sec. of Conference and District Synod Secretary Local businesses unable to trade normally God our challenger and disturber, help us to confront all that makes for death and despair in our lives, our communities, our world. May we never lose sight Of the possibility of transformation And be continually surprised by people who believe In one another. Amen (From the Iona Community) Lectio divina 3 May 2020 JESUS THE GOOD SHEPHERD John10: 1-10 ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. LECTIO: READING To help us understand this passage more clearly we also need to read the following verses in John 10:11-18. In verses 1-5 Jesus tells the parable of the shepherd. He explains the meaning in verses 7-16. Jesus uses two ’I am’ statements with two metaphors to describe himself. In verse 7 he describes himself as ‘the gate’ and in verse 11 he refers to himself as the ‘good shepherd’. The people listening to Jesus would have been familiar with the idea of God as the shepherd and the Jewish people as his sheep. So in identifying himself as the good shepherd, Jesus identifies himself directly with God and his role in protecting and caring for his sheep. Jesus adds that the shepherd knows each of his sheep by name and leads them. The sheep recognise his voice so they follow him out of the sheepfold, presumably to pastures where they can be fed. In verses 11-16 Jesus alludes to the fact that he will one day lay down his life for the sake of his flock. He also refers to ‘other sheep’, possibly Gentile converts, which will be added to form one flock. In addition to being the good shepherd Jesus also describes himself as the gate for the sheep. The gate is the only legitimate way into the sheepfold. It is only through Jesus that we can become part of God’s flock. This is summed up in John 14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.’ (We will look at this passage further next Sunday.) Jesus also compares his mission with that of false prophets and ‘messiahs’. The latter steal, kill and destroy. By glorious contrast Jesus brings life – ‘life in all its fullness’ (verse 10). MEDITATIO: MEDITATING Why do you think Jesus used these two metaphors to describe himself? What does each metaphor tell you about him? What have you learnt about Jesus and your relationship with him today? Do you see Jesus as your shepherd? When do you experience him leading you? What spiritual food and water does he provide for you? Do you need to make any changes to allow you to hear your shepherd’s voice more clearly in the future? ORATIO: PRAYER Psalm 23 is probably the best known of all the Psalms. Read through it verse by verse and use it as a personal prayer to God. CONTEMPLATIO: CONTEMPLATION Reflect on this verse from 1 Peter 2:25, ‘You were like sheep that had lost their way, but now you have been brought back to follow the Shepherd and Keeper of 

Untitled Post

posted 3 May 2020, 03:47 by Ann Redhead

Due to the Coronavirus, we are so sorry to advise everyone that St Andrew's is closed until further notice and all services, events and lettings have had to be cancelled. 

There is an on-line service every  Sunday at 10:30. To join you will need to download Zoom. select 

The services at 10:30 all have the same  meeting number 959 7943 5144 and password  321257. All are welcome.

The Bede Circuit are joining in prayer on Wednesday mornings at 10 am, meeting number 98349085707, password 479972. All are welcome.

Mainly Music

posted 8 Jan 2019, 14:30 by Ann Redhead

Mainly Music is moving to a Monday Morning at 10am from the 21 January 2019.
Mainly music is for pre-school children and their carers, all are welcome.    


posted 1 Mar 2018, 14:22 by Ann Redhead   [ updated 14 Feb 2020, 14:47 ]


The Knitted Bible

posted 28 Sept 2014, 10:56 by Joan Chicken   [ updated 28 Sept 2014, 11:54 ]

St. Andrews hosted an exhibition of the 'Knitted Bible' stories, created by hand and loaned from St. George's URC in Hartlepool. The exhibition took place in September 2014 and was visited by over 100 people.

33 of the best-known stories in the Bible are depicted and everyone who sees them will be able to understand and enjoy them – and may discover some detail that they had forgotten or never noticed before – whilst learning more about God and his love for this world and its people. View the Image Gallery

Christmas 2013

posted 4 Feb 2014, 12:20 by Ann Redhead

Christmas at St Andrews was a busy time- like all churches I suppose - full of its hustle and bustle, merriment and mirth. (Merriment and mirth in a Methodist church? )
A must, I would say, with today’s pressures of time, that Christians above all have sense of humor that can be shared with others to break the ice and hard exteriors that many people seem to have developed to help them get through the days.
Early December and the church had its Festival of Christmas Trees and Cribs along side its Christmas Fayre. The people came, in their hundreds, to be dazzled by the Christmas trees (never mind the electric bill) that filled the church with beauty – many organizations having spent many hours getting them to look just right.
Nestled among the trees were Cribs and their Nativity scenes in many different styles each giving individual interpretations of the well know scene of the babe in a manger meanly laid.
Opportunities taken to sit and chat a while, may be take a coffee or a cup of tea, with those who would otherwise not come across the threshold of our church or just to sit in silence and listen for the choirs of exultation or the reindeer dashing through the snow.
The Christmas Show…round about the second Saturday in December we have taken to putting om some sort of event. We have had music shows and a panto/play/nativity and this year wanted something different. After thought and prayer we invited Tony Magic to come and present Advent and Christmas through “Magic” and through the Word. A celebration, with supper, of Gods’ gift of love and hope in the form of his Son born as a babe. A reminder that advent is not just to celebrate the birth of Jesus but to be prepared for when he returns to bring the promised eternal life to all who believe. There were some new faces to be seen, young ones and old ones and the faces of some who had not been seen for quite a while. People were fed and watered and told of God’s love for them.
A week later and it is time for some carol singing at one of the many care homes that are now to be found around Washington and then to one of the local pubs. The weather was not very Christmas like, no gentle flakes of snow descending rather a howling wind and driving rain. We were thankful to be inside and warm while we gave witness. Musical accompaniment was provided by the NAS/UWT prize winning band as we sang the Christmas story and sang requests. Noel, Noel and Peace on Earth intertwined with Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer, White Christmas and so much more. All was listened to and appreciated in both the venues we attended and then we recovered to the church were the Scouts provided hot bread buns and soup just right to fight the cold. For some, including me, it was time to go home though the scouts and some church members remained to prepare the Christingles for the service the following day.
Sunday 23rd was a busy day at church. A traditional(?) service of readings and was it 10 or was it 11 carols each sang with enthusiasm that would have but the Big Sing to shame was followed by the Christmas dinner and a time to share in fellowship. Once again Ann and her team worked wonders to serve a 4 course meal - coffee or tea to follow with an after eight mint - that would grace any eatery, to expectant guests in hats with crackers and their silly jokes….
“How do you toast a monkey (please note no animals were hurt in the making of this dinner ) - put him under the gorilla “ was about the best of what I heard.
Now, you would think that would be enough for one day but no the Christingle service followed and that itself was chased up by coffee, hot chocolate and mince pies. Talk about a full church..!! The crush area was full and people were overflowing into the entrance lobby so much so that I think the church mouse left the building to find some space. Wonderful to see the church so full with Scouts and Cubs and Badgers and yet another pile of washing up to be sorted…
You know it would be great to have to wash up that many mugs every Sunday following a service – really who would mind – that the church was full of people responding to Gods love, listening to his calling - as it would surely be a sign of the Holy Spirit at work - the seed been sown and has taken root and the people have become the people of God
We try to get the message out that Gods love for us is just like ours for our pets…
Not just for Christmas.
He loves us all the time. We may never know when, where or in whom something that we have done or said has changed someone’s direction or planted the seed of hope. All we can do is seek to continue putting the GOOD NEWS out there in whatever way we can and take whatever opportunity we can to say to whomever we can GOD LOVES YOU.

Christmas Tree Festival 2013

posted 14 Dec 2013, 13:34 by Jonathan Chicken   [ updated 14 Dec 2013, 13:36 ]

Photos of our recent festival can be viewed here

Celebrating 34 Years

posted 10 Jun 2012, 09:47 by Joan Chicken   [ updated 10 Jun 2012, 10:59 ]

Recently, St. Andrews celebrated its 34th anniversary. Holding a special morning service, led by Deacon Kina Saunders and her husband Rev. Paul Saunders a Superintendent Minister from Whickham. In a lively address, Paul challenged the church to build on its success and to spread the sense of belonging, community cohesion and love that the God brings. He used an analogy from his favourite film, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, describing the Church's future as a journey that required teamwork and planning to overcome challenges. Following the service, lunch was enjoyed by everyone. Even doing the dishes was an event in itself!

Crib Festival: Photos online!

posted 24 Nov 2011, 10:02 by Jonathan Chicken   [ updated 30 Nov 2011, 09:08 by Joan Chicken ]

St. Andrews hosts its very first Crib Festival. Depicting scenes from the nativity story. Local schools, friends and groups have joined church members in making and showing a tableau that captures the Christmas story. 

Visit our events pages to see photographs from the festival. Many cribs will remain in the church throughout the Christmas season. 

Why not come along one Sunday morning at 10.30am to see them?

Visit our events pages

Harvest Friends

posted 25 Sept 2011, 10:24 by Jonathan Chicken   [ updated 5 Apr 2019, 08:24 by Ann Redhead ]

Today, Back To Church Sunday, St. Andrews welcomed friends old and new to the annual harvest festival. This year, a collection a food was made in support of The People's Kitchen, a charity who provide hot meals to its friends in need.

Kina Saunders led morning worship and using a variety of media challenged us to consider 'What makes a friend?'. Her message was related to that of the People's Kitchen who through mutual friendship aim to see 'one another through'. Kina reminded everyone that they were not only 'good people' but 'blessed people'. She encouraged us to engage fully with friends locally to provide support.

St. Andrews' Members are active members of their local community. They regularly support those less fortunate and consider how local action can influence others' lives for the better. Find out more about joining us by coming along one Sunday at 10.30am. We'd be pleased to welcome you.

Easter Breakfast

posted 28 Mar 2011, 13:43 by Ann Redhead   [ updated 25 Sept 2011, 10:24 by Jonathan Chicken ]

We are serving breakfast after the 8:30 Communion service on Easter Sunday morning, please add your name to the list in the Church entrance if you would like to join us. 

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