Deanery News

Lay Dean's Blog

Parish churches (15th October)
Ignorant as I am, (must have gone to the wrong school — my parents’ fault!) I did not realise that in 1649 cathedrals were abolished and three years later Parliament resolved that they should be demolished. Carlisle lost most of its nave and Lichfield its roof amongst others. I am indebted to Christopher Howse writing in The Daily Telegraph for this information. Things have now turned full circle with many of our parish churches suffering a decline, in some cases terminal, in their congregations, while the cathedrals are experiencing an increase. Why is this? I suggest that part of the reason is that we are not offering what churchgoers want. In the Whitby Deanery we intend to reverse this decline by offering worship in different styles and innovative services in our churches across the Deanery. Please watch our news column for forthcoming events. If you have any suggestions please email me, address on the website. Your Lay Dean is not known for his choleric disposition, despite his red hair, always said to be auburn by his parents (what’s the matter with red anyway?) but this week his ire has been raised over two news items: firstly, Lidl is taking the cross off the top of the Greek Island Churches on its packaging; and secondly, an Oxford college is banning the Christian Union from its Fresher Fair. One’s complexion turned the colour of one’s hair when one realised there was no response from the church authorities! It seems to be the Anglican mouse and the atheist tiger! It’s high time the mouse roared. The ire settled following a visit to Christ Church at Ugthorpe for their Sunday communion service. This is a beautiful little church, so bright inside, and which has been very elegantly restored by the congregation and good people of Ugthorpe. The welcome here is most warm and sincere. I recommend that my readers go and see for themselves, and I know that they will receive a hearty welcome. Click here for more details. That’s it for this week,
Good church going!
See you next week!
Leslie

Deanery Service (7th October)
Several members of Whitby Deanery attended the Deanery Service in York Minster on Saturday September 17th at which the Area Deans and Lay Deans were anointed by the Archbishop. I wish that I could say that the Minster was overflowing with worshippers, but the large choir certainly was. A moving traditional evensong was performed, with the usual obscure hymns and settings. (What’s the matter with settings by Stanford and Ireland these days, as remembered from my youth?) Our prospective Area Dean had not been ‘spoken to’ at the time so he had to forgo the holy oil and the Archbishop’s hands. I did think of going up twice, like in those old school photos, but none of our clergy had a spare dog collar! At my old school, someone did manage this but had trouble sitting down for the next few days!< Afterwards we all enjoyed the tea and cakes, and the prospective Area Dean was able to attest to the quality and quantity of each of the different cakes.
For those of you who read the last blog — a multitude I hope — I have to tell you the latest on the 'Heck'. My daughter and her husband received a letter from the preservation of listed buildings department of the council telling them to 'restore the Heck. As neither the council nor my daughter and husband know what the heck a Heck is — oh dear there’s the pun again — they are wondering what to erect. Suggestions please? No offensive or dirty ones will be accepted! You may win a bottle of homemade plum gin.
Good church going!
See you next week!
Leslie

Dogs and Docks (25th September)
Well guys, it’s a really sad tale this week — our lovely Vicar — the one who preaches the erudite sermons and is known for choosing the obscure hymns — is leaving the area on his retirement, with his family and large dog. For his last service, St Hilda’s Church was overflowing with worshippers. Popular rousing hymns — I wonder if he chose them — were sung with gusto. Tears were shed, entertainment and a faith lunch were enjoyed later.
Now, come to mention it, I have just remembered a happier dog story and, on my honour as a scout (had to leave as I couldn’t tie the knots) this is absolutely true. It starts when, unfortunately, my partner and his wife were divorcing, and, wanting to help, I offered to take the dog. The wife said I could have the teenage daughter but not the dog — naturally I refused. But the tale (not tail) had a happy ending. As my partner was walking the dog on the moors (he must have refused the daughter too) he met a lovely widow walking her dog and, guess what, the dogs got on well and the couple were soon happily married and all living together on our wonderful moors. Now isn’t that a wonderful tail (sorry, tale)? Motto: if you want a happy life, find Jesus and get a dog.
Ah, now the docks… Moorsholm docks are like Wigan pier or the Heck in my daughter and son in law’s house. They were surprised to receive a visit from the council’s preservation of ancient buildings officer and his large entourage asking to see the Heck. My daughter and husband didn’t know what the heck a Heck was, and it turned out that the entourage from the council didn’t know either. I am offering a bottle of homemade plum gin for the first person who can tell me what a Heck is. The only problem is that you have to come to church to get it. Well that’s it for now folks.
Don’t forget to go to church.
See you next week!
Leslie

Moorsholm Docks (17th September)
Your scribe has been travelling around the deanery attending the different parish services. This week I attended communion service at Moorsholm. Moorsholm is a village in Cleveland, North Yorkshire, Teesside, Langbaugh, Redcar and Cleveland and wherever our politicians decide next. It is known for its Open Gardens festival winning many prizes and raising funds for charity and its docks. This year the village got first prize for its churchyard in the Northumbrian Region. I arrived to find lots of cars outside the church so I thought I had better hurry and get into church to get a seat, as there must be lots of people already in (you wish!) because it is the Vicar’s last service in the village before retiring. Rushed in to find a few worshippers only (presume the rest must have been looking for the docks!). More came later. Service started on time, not like ours. The Vicar, known for his obscure hymn choice, gave his usual erudite sermon and then we came to the last hymn. A real coup de grace here — the organist strikes up, first verse hardly a whimper from the congregation, then the refrain: three lines, each moving up an octave, difficult for the ageing congregation. Next verse sees congregation out of time with the organist, who played on manfully (or is it neuterfully these days — oh dear, I think I have invented a new word, it has foxed the spell check). Last verse — congregation now in time with organist if not totally in tune. They are clever people in Moorsholm! Total time 45 minutes. Well done! (Your scribe is in favour of short services.) Had to miss the hospitality as the wife was having a luncheon party and I was wanted to open the bottles and do the washing up ( believe that if you can!). Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I did not have time to search for the docks — but more revelations next week! Promise! Well guys, try attending different churches around the deanery — you never know what you may find!
Good church going!
See you next week!
Leslie

At the End of the Pilgrimage (10th September)
Met up with the St. Hilda’s pilgrims at the bottom of the 199 steps. Bet you are wondering why I wasn’t on the walk. Got a good excuse, as I had just recovered from an attack of gout brought on by walking the streets of Copenhagen. Now some of you may think I have been on the bottle, but it was the preserved herrings, honest! Visited the Anglican Church, which they tell me is full every Sunday — must be the only time the Danes could get alcohol, as it’s so expensive.
Ah, where was I? Bishop Paul arrives decked out in walking shoes and cassock. What do you think? Banners were unfurled and the service stared. Bishop Paul baptised us all with holy water in the name of St. Hild plus the bemused bystanders and the coffee of the lady who was sitting outside the café. As he got me twice must have been because of my views on the way the church goes about replacing retiring clergy.
Well, off up the 199 steps for the next part of the service which took place around Caedmon’s Cross. Here I must mention the magnificently rendered oration given in Anglo-Saxon English by a young pilgrim, obviously heading for high office in the church. I think only understood by Bishop Paul and the young orator. I didn’t do Anglo-Saxon English at school — Chaucer was bad enough! Wind gets stronger — put another layer of clothing on — and off into the Abbey grounds. Meet Rev. Malcom’s dog, which clearly needs a good walk. He says it has walked all the way with him. Do we believe him? Technology fails again — Revd Michael called to assist, fiddles with it and silently I think he blesses it and it works for 30 secs, and fails again. Put on another layer of clothing. Bishop Paul restarts the final part of the service ably assisted by other pilgrims. Well folks, food then arrives.
Good church going!
See you next week!
Leslie

News

A Message from the Bishop of Whitby
The Bishop of Whitby wishes to inform you of the appointment of the Reverend Malcolm Jackson as Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice of Hinderwell, Roxby and Staithes w Lythe, Ugthorpe and Sandsend.
The Reverend Malcolm Jackson was ordained priest in the Diocese of York in 2004. Before ordination, Malcolm spent time working in the shipbuilding, steel and gas industries before joining the Church Army as Evangelist in Training. Following this he was appointed Diocesan Housing and Homelessness Officer in the Diocese of Gloucester before moving to Middlesbrough as Area Evangelist and Assistant Lay Minister for the Parish of St Martin of Tours with St Cuthbert, Whinney Banks.
After ordination, he was assistant curate in the Parish of Guisborough and then Vicar of Kirkleatham. He currently serves as Associate Priest of the Benefice of Whitby with Ruswarp, and Missioner in the Deanery of Whitby.
Malcolm has been Chair of Whitby Street Angels, a trustee of Whitby Mission to Seafarers, Chaplain to 740 (Whitby) Squadron Air Cadets and Honorary Chaplain to Ruswarp Auction Mart.
Malcolm enjoys spending time with walking with his wife and dog as well as social dancing, reading and supporting Middlesbrough Football Club.
Malcolm and Bernadette will be moving in due course into the newly-acquired rectory at Hinderwell. The service to mark the beginning of his ministry in the Benefice will be held in the New Year and the arrangements will be announced shortly.
A personal message from me:  ‘Malcom has a deep love of God and his people. I am delighted that such an able priest and pastor is staying within the Whitby Deanery. I am sure that the people of the parishes will enjoy getting to know him and working with him.’
+Paul Whitby

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