ELM RIDGE: Our Harvest Weekend was dedicated to raising money for and awareness of Mission Aviation Fellowship. On Saturday 22nd September we held an Open Day, serving light lunches and afternoon teas, attempting to land a plane on a jungle strip on a simulator, and learning through films about the work of MAF who, by using their small aircraft, share Christ's love by flying medical and safety missions into the remotest places on earth. We welcomed families from the neighbourhood onto our premises, and there were children's activities too! A very happy day. On the Sunday, 23rd September, our Harvest Service was led by Kevin Crook, of MAF, and during the last hymn the congregation left the Church and surrounded the aircraft with prayer and thanksgiving (for those who because of mobility problems couldn't do so the proceedings were transmitted live onto the screen in the Church so that they too could take part in events happening outside.)
Sunday 4th November at 6pm (Worship Together @ Elm Ridge) — this service will, as is our custom, take the form of a reflective service, with communion, where we will remember with love and thanksgiving those of our friends and loved ones who have passed into Christ's care. The service will be led by the Rev. Bill Mullally, and an opportunity will be available to light memorial candles. An invitation is given to all who attend to bring with them recently, or not so recently, bereaved friends and neighbours — we know from messages received in the past how much this service is appreciated.
HARROWGATE HILL: At Harrowgate Hill Methodist Church, we continue to be an active, witnessing society for the Kingdom of God. We serve Him in all things, so a few items of news may be of interest to friends around the Darlington Circuit.
We had a wonderful Harvest Festival Sunday with services led by Rev Alan Coates and Lyn Cookson in September. Lots of dried food and tinned goods were collected for Darlington Baptist Church Basement emergency help project.
We host two coffee mornings each month on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays between 10 and 11.30am. Half of the proceeds are sent to St Theresa's Hospice. (We have recently sent them a donation of £600 for the previous year). On 3rd November we are arranging a few extra stalls selling Christmas items and serving Pie & Pea lunches afterwards.
Future fund raising events include a High Class Afternoon Tea on Saturday 17th November that celebrates Prince Charles' 70th birthday; A Pre-Christmas Concert by Northern Voices Choir on Saturday evening, 1st December and a late Christmas evening meal on 26th January arranged by staff and students of Darlington College Catering Department.
These events have been arranged by our fund raising group that work so hard to keep our church warm and welcoming for everyone. Thank you to our friends in Christ from across the Circuit for their prayers and support.
Please contact Brian Simpson for tickets.
HAUGHTON: At Haughton we have entered the new church year by re-starting our weekly Soup and a Pudding (Thursdays 12noon to 1.30pm) offering a very reasonably priced lunch, which is already attracting interest in the local community. Our other new venture — a two-weekly Craft and Chat (Thursdays 2-3.30pm) has proved to be hugely popular. Both ventures are opportunities for us to open the door of our Church to the wider community. We hope and pray that positive things will come from these ventures.
We are planning a 24 hour prayer event jointly with St Andrew's C of E (13th/14th October), being organised by Graham Jones — not sure who will be doing the night shift!!
This year, we are marking Remembrance Sunday weekend in a special way. In addition to joining with our friends at St Andrew's for the Remembrance Day Service, including the laying of wreaths at Haughton's War Memorial, there will be a display at the Chapel over the weekend commemorating the lives of Haughton servicemen who gave their lives in the First World War. In addition, there will be a poignant poppy display outside of the chapel. Both displays are being organised by Haughton's resident local historian, Carol Atkinson. Please contact Ann (Tel 389884) or Valerie (Tel 484925) for further information about any of these events. Stop Press — Our Christmas Fair takes place on Saturday 17th November 10-12noon.
BONDGATE: Bondgate Methodist Church is holding a poppy display to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.