About

The Northernvicar is Peter. I am Vicar of Allestree and Darley Abbey in the City of Derby – having started here in July 2016. The parishes have websites, including a new one for St Matthew’s – click here.

Until the end of June 2016 I was Vicar of the Parish of Ponteland in the Diocese of Newcastle, in the beautiful County of Northumberland. I started this blog when I moved north in 2010 – hence the name. I visited many Northumberland churches and took photos. Then I extended the blog to other churches I have visited as I have travelled round this lovely country of ours. I also walked Hadrian’s Wall, so I blogged that too – I like my Romans.

Having walked Hadrian’s Wall, I have now started walking the Derwent Valley Heritage Way – amazing history along one river. I rashly said I’d try and walk 1,000 miles in 2017 – a monthly northernvicarwalks blog shows I didn’t start well, but I’m catching up.

My wife Julie is northernreader – she is the brains of the outfit, and I recommend her wonderful writing. I am also a railway nut, so they often make an appearance. Daughter Hannah blogs at hannahbarhambrown.wordpress.com. We all tweet – I am @revpeterbarham – and I’m on facebook, as are my churches.

16 Responses to About

  1. Tony Stevens says:

    I would just like to complement you on you blog. I have always had an interest in churches, castles and the like, and recently I have started to photograph them, especially the churches, both inside and out. I prefer the smaller and more remote churches as I feel that they have a more intimate feel to them rather than the grander cathedrals. It is also easier to set up a tripod without having to worry about bothering other people.
    I came across your blog by accident whilst researching a feature of The Church of St John the Baptist in Edlingham, and now regularly refer to it for information and inspiration.
    As I do not believe in taking without giving, I will always drop at least £10.00 in the church’s collection box for the privilege.
    I would however like to ask you if there are any protocols I should adhere to in photographing the interior of churches. At the moment I tend to visit only when the church is empty and only enter the areas the congregation would have access to.

    • Thank you Tony. I am now feeling even more guilty that I have been so slow in visiting and blogging anywhere else. Thanks too for donations when you visit – I know how much these buildings cost to maintain. (And if they have Gift Aid envelopes handy, please fill them in so we can take the money the government gives us!). I know of no written protocols for photography. Assuming there isn’t a “No photography” or “Photography only with a permit” notice, you can go anywhere open to the public and photo. If I entered a church and someone was there – perhaps doing the flowers – I would chat first and say “May I set up the tripod for some photos?” Obviously, be careful with a tripod not to damage anything, and don’t do things like stand on pews. I am sure God wouldn’t mind if you were – as I sometimes do – to cross into the Sanctuary to take a particular photo. Again, if someone was there, i would ask first; if someone came in while I was doing it, I would be friendly and hope they weren’t upset. Unless you get a really stroppy person most are very happy you are interested in their church – and if they’re not happy, assume they’re having a bad day. (Even Vicars can have bad days!). Best wishes, Peter.

      • Tony Stevens says:

        Peter,
        Thank you for the advice, I’m happy to know that I am already following your advice re Gift Aid and respecting the sanctity of the churches.
        No need to feel guilty though, there is more than enough here to keep me busy for a long time.
        Regards
        Tony S

  2. Simon White says:

    What a great blog. Love to see Felton on your next blog. Church always open and new artisan bakery in village is just fab. Keep up the good work. Simon

  3. Hi Peter,

    Wonderful blog. I wonder if I might use some of your beautiful photos of St Andrew Bolam in a personal YouTube I’m putting together. It involves Robert Reymes, the man in the effigy and possible family connections with my family in England.

    Thanks and please keep posting those beautiful photos.

    Kind Regards,

    Steve St. Clair

  4. Hi Peter,
    Congrats on the blog – I often dip into it for historical info on my travels both online and whilst on the road. Was wondering if I could use your picture of the Allgood headstone at https://northernvicar.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/ingram-st-michael-and-all-angels/ for my own blog post? I will credit you, of course, and provide a link back to your blog. I won’t be publishing my post for several months as I have a backlog of articles! You can check me out at http://www.northeasthistorytour.blogspot.co.uk/
    Cheers,
    Mick Southwick.

  5. Jess says:

    Finally got round to reading your blog and I love it, especially the local stuff. What rich and dramatic history and …..right on our doorsteps. Your voice and personality really bring the buildings and their stories to life. This has definitly sparked further interest for me and I eagerly look forward to you next installment.
    Thank you for the history lesson.

    Jessica x

  6. C B Newham says:

    I’m not sure how long you’ve been in the benefice, but it might have been you that let me into Milbourne church in July 2009 so I could record it. Glad to hear it’s open on weekends. As for Ponteland – I’ve been twice. Lovely church.

    • Yes, it would have been me. Milbourne unlocking is a bit hit and miss – the problem when few people live close – but we try. The age-old problem: if it is unreliably unlocked, people don’t visit. If people don’t visit some in the congregation ask “why do we bother leaving it open?” Head, brick wall, bang! I really ought to blog about St Mary’s and Holy Saviour – a job for the summer.

  7. Enjoying your church visits, and have been keeping a particular eye out for those in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust. We’ve been sharing them with our Twitter followers and they’ve been a hit.

  8. Andy says:

    Dear Peter,

    Thanks for your blog. My wife and I are planning a trip to Hadrian’s Wall and Scotland. Her surname is Robson, which apparently is traceable to “Hroethbert, the name found on a stone cross in the Robson heartland at Falstone.”
    http://robsonfamilytree.co.uk/history-of-the-robson-famiy-name.htm

    So I began looking for info on Falstone, which in turn led me to your former church; hence, to you. Might you happen to know where this Hroethbert stone is found?

    Thanks and God bless,
    Andy in Toronto

    • admin says:

      Dear Andy,
      That sounds fascinating. Falstone wasn’t a church I looked after, just one I visited – and I obviously missed that stone. Go onto http://www.newcastle.anglican.org/default.aspx, use “Find a church” on the right, search for Falstone, and email Susan the Team Rector or one of the Churchwardens.
      Enjoy the Wall and Scotland!
      Best wishes, Peter

  9. Mike says:

    Hello Peter,
    I have just come across your blog which I have read with great interest. I have in particular an interest in the church at Gunnerton. I am writing a book on Monsignor Hawes churches in Western Australia. Would I be able to use your photographs of Gunnerton Church in my book? Any photographs used would of course be acknowledged
    in the book.
    Kind regards
    Mike

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the comment on my blog. You are very welcome to use any photos of Gunnerton on your blog. I realise though that my Gunnerton photos are not my best. I went to do an evening talk there and it wasn’t the best of light. I now live about 150 miles from Gunnerton, but I do have friends in the North East who are good photographers. If you want me to ask one of them to get you some better photos, I’m sure that could be arranged. Best wishes, Peter

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