Here endeth the Sabbatical

It is Sunday evening 27 July 2014. Yesterday my daughter was 27 – which makes me feel very old. It is the last Sunday of my three month Sabbatical, so today we had a Sunday off and went to the Bowes Museum in County Durham – website. It was the first time we have ever visited – superb. This exhibition is well worth seeing:

Shafts of Light001


I am very fortunate to have had a Sabbatical – it has been a great three months.

DSC07761We started with a weekend in Greenock and Fort William. We visited Kelvingrove Museum – I will use the Lafaruk Madonna here at the Evening Service in Ponteland on Sunday 17 August – and a trip to Ardnamurchan lighthouse.

A second trip took us as far south as Oxford, then Cheshire and Blackburn on the way home.







The third trip was a long one – Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire – with the clergy conference in Edinburgh on the way home. Then I finished my essay on John Wilson Carmichael, and enjoyed a Sunday at Wakefield Cathedral. Time to enjoy my garden as well.




The fourth trip was to Arran – watching the sun set from Machrie Moor stone circle was an evening that was very special.



Then it was south again to Lincoln, Suffolk and Essex. My 20th anniversary of Deaconing service at Fornham All Saints was very special, and it was lovely to visit so many of the churches where I served. They all seem to have recovered! Sutton Hoo was special too.


Home for more gardening and some Northumberland churches, then off to Barra. Yes, it’s an excuse for another photo of the plane on the beach!


The final trip was to North Wales, a family reunion in memory of Gareth. The Ffestiniog, Welsh Highland and Welshpool and Llanfair Railways.


Thank you to

  • the Bishop and Diocese who gave me a Sabbatical,
  • Alan for helping me organising it,
  • Jill for encouraging my railway essay,
  • John Wilson Carmichael, railway artist,
  • John and Elaine, my churchwardens,
  • all the clergy etc who have taken services,
  • Maureen, my marvellous administrator,
  • my congregations (hope they’ve enjoyed the break),
  • the friends who have accommodated us and been there on the journey,
  • my dad – whose money has helped fund this (I can hear him muttering from on high at the amount we’ve spent!),
  • my beloved wife (who has many new books to read, and a fridge that has so many fridge magnets on, she needs a new fridge).

Back to work! Next week we mark the start of the First World War – this is the new art installation “Blood swept lands and seas of red” by Paul Cummins going in at the Tower of London – website.


Then it will be Harvest Festivals. All the details on the Ponteland church website.


You’ve had 48 blog posts while I’ve been on sabbatical – it will probably be a week or two before you get any more!




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