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Newsletter - Mothering Sunday


Your weekly update from the Benwell & Scotswood Team

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Services this week

Sun 10 March

9.30am - St John's Holy Communion

11am - Ven Bede hub service (Parish eucharist)

4pm - St Margaret's Evening Prayer

Thurs 14 March

10.30am Holy communion at Ven Bede


Dates for your Diary

Sun 18, 25 February and Sun 3, 10, 17, 24 March

3pm - Exploring Faith group at St Margaret's

4pm - Evening Prayer at St Margaret's

Sun 24 March

11am - Palm Sunday team service at Ven Bede

Sun 14 April

11am - Confirmation team service at Ven Bede



Holy Week and Easter

You are invited to journey with us through Holy Week, when we recall the story of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. The greatest story of hope in the face of suffering.

Palm Sunday

24th March, 11am

At Venerable Bede

Maundy Thursday

28th March, 7.30pm

At St Margaret's Scostswood

Good Friday

29th March

1pm Stations of the Cross  /  2pm Liturgy of Good Friday

at St James’ Benwell

The Easter Vigil

Sat 30th March, 7.30pm

at St John’s Benwell Village


Exploring faith

A group for exploring faith and spirituality. A time to ask questions, discuss, and learn about the beliefs of Christianity. 

Who is it for?

Exploring faith is for anyone who is simply curious, anyone who wants to refresh their faith, and anyone who might want to take the next step of baptism or confirmation (and those who are just unsure!). All abilities and backgrounds are welcome.

There will be two groups running at the same time. One group for adults (16+) and one aimed at preparing young people for confirmation (10-16).

What will happen?

Revd David and Revd Chris (our clergy) and other lay leaders will guide us in listening to and reading different resources and discussing what they mean. At the end of the session there will be a short service of Evening prayer at 4pm, which you are welcome to join in or observe.


Beginning Sunday 18th Feb 

at 3pm. 

Continues every Sunday 

until 24th March.


St Margaret’s Scotswood 

NE15 6AR

Contact & RSVP

RSVP if you can (it helps us to prepare!) but you’re still welcome to just turn up on the day.

If you have any other questions feel free to get in contact:

0191 273 5356


Interested in being baptised or confirmed?

We will be baptising adults at the Easter vigil service this year on 30th March.

Bishop Helen-Ann will then be coming to do confirmations a few weeks later on 14th April.

If you might be interested, join us for the Exploring Faith group (details above!) Or if you are a Farsi speaker, join us on Tuesdays at 4.30pm at St James, NE15 6RS.

If you'd like to talk about this with someone beforehand then just ask Revd David or Revd Chris who will be delighted to talk about this and answer your questions.


Ellen Robson's Funeral

The funeral of our much loved sister, Ellen, will be at the West Road Crematorium on Monday 11th March at 1.30pm.

This will be followed by a reception at the Westfield social club, West Road, NE4 9PR. All are welcome.

The family have requested no flowers, but a donation to be made to Marie Curie instead. You can donate here:


Mothering Sunday

This Sunday's hub service will be a special occasion for Mothering Sunday as the Mother's Union will be organising the worship for us.

Join us at 11am at the Venerable Bede, NE4 8AP.


Embrace - Gaza appeal

The people of Gaza are living through an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Israel’s response has led to indiscriminate civilian suffering, with residents forced to move from place to place in search of safety. Food and medical supplies have all but run out; water, electricity, and fuel have been cut off.

The people of Gaza were already on their knees with 80% of residents reliant on humanitarian aid to survive. Please, can you make a donation into help in their hour of need?

You can donate online, by clicking below, or by calling 01494 897950. Your gift will support Embrace’s Christian partners in the immediate aftermath of this humanitarian crisis and to help to heal the wounds it’s caused across Israel – Palestine.


Sunday Worship

Sunday 10th March 2024

Mothering Sunday


God of compassion,

whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,

shared the life of a home in Nazareth,

and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:

strengthen us in our daily living

that in joy and in sorrow

we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


God of love,

passionate and strong,

tender and careful:

watch over us and hold us

all the days of our life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



2 Corinthians 1.3–7

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, 4who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. 6If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. 7Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

This is the word of the Lord.

All:  Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

All:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 2.33–35

 33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:  Praise to you, O Christ.

Post Communion

Loving God,

as a mother feeds her children at the breast

you feed us in this sacrament with the food and drink of eternal life:

help us who have tasted your goodness

to grow in grace within the household of faith;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayers for others:

  • Cecil Harlock

  • Maria Hawthorn

  • Herbert Agbeko

  • Ellis Nelson

  • Pauline Nelson

  • Michelle Wilson

  • Peter Wilson

  • Alan Taylor

  • Maureen Taylor

  • Irene Foskett

  • Lorraine Atkinson

  • Pat Law

  • Moe and Mary

  • Hilary Dixon

  • Lynn Mosby

  • David Veitch

Rest in peace

  • Ellen Robson


  • The ongoing situation in Russia, Ukraine, Gaza and all other places at war.

If you would like to add someone to the prayer list please email

The name will stay on the list for 1 month unless requested to be long-term.


by Revd David & meditation by Leahan Garratt

What does family mean to you?

It can be complicated, can’t it? I have been thinking a lot about family this week, on Tuesday I went down to London for a cousin’s funeral. Born in 1960 Caroline was younger than I am and the first of our generation to die. I hadn’t seen her for a while and her death was a shock. I was glad to have gone to the service being able to meet up with her siblings and other family members including Caro’s mother who I had not seen for a very long time. What do you say to a mother who has lost a daughter? Words can only take us so far.

All families are complicated, I won’t pretend my family is any different or that everything was sweetness and light, resentments and rivalries don’t simply disappear because someone dies. However, I did get a strong sense of family solidarity, of being a part of something larger than us as individuals, a network of love and support that transcends space, time, and even death itself. The ancestors, all our parents, grandparents, and previous generations, their experiences and stories that came down to us and helped make us who we are, all somehow present as part of that wider family.


‘In Christ we are given  both comfort and family’, and often but not always they are one and the same. On Mothering Sunday, we are encouraged to look to our own closest family. Those who have nurtured and protected and helped us to grow. It may be our biological mother or others who have had the place of caring for and nurturing us. We are to be thankful for what we have received from them but recognise them as human too and try to be gracious and forgiving where there may have been faults or failings.


We are encouraged too to look to our wider family. The family of the Church, ‘Mother Church’,  all our brothers and sisters with whom we are made one in Christ. Our fellowship and Communion with one another continue to nurture and strengthen us. Mothers Union is one shining example of that but again, we may need to be forgiving where things have not been as they should.


And we do not stop there, family in the widest possible sense lifts us from Mother Church to Mother Earth.  All of humanity is  the object of God’s loving purpose. All are our brothers and sisters, and together we have the task of nurturing and caring for one another and for our planet. How can we do that best? Well families may be complicated, and the human family is certainly that, but the answer is still simple, by embracing what God wants for us.  


Leahann from our Mothers Union is going to help us discover what that might mean.



In the reading from 2 Corinthians, we heard Paul say, “in Christ, we are given both comfort and family”.  Christian meditation allows us to enter into a silence with God, to listen for God’s voice and to grow closer with God.

Meditation is not complicated or difficult, but it a process that takes time and practice.  All of us can do it.  If you get easily distracted you can practice this whilst walking, drinking your morning coffee, or even popping bubble wrap. 

For the younger people here, you can meditate for 1 minute for every year that you are.  So if you are 7 years old, you can meditate for 7 minutes, if you are 13 years old, you can meditate for 13 minutes.  For the older people here, don’t panic!  You can meditate twice a day for 20 minutes each time.

Some of us may have had difficult or traumatic past experiences and these can come into our minds when we meditate.  If this is the case for you, then you may find it more helpful to focus on something visual or to meditate through activity (walking, knitting, washing dishes, popping bubble wrap).  If you find that you become distressed in today’s taster session, please feel free to come and chat with me or David or Chris after the service.

Today we are just going to have a taster session of 5 minutes, so everyone can get involved.  I will let you know how we can do this together, and then I will just sit down on the floor with our young people.  When I stand back up, the 5 minutes will be complete.


Sit still with your back straight.  Close your eyes lightly (if you feel comfortable doing so).  Then, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra. You could use the ancient Christian prayer-word “Maranatha”. Say it as four equal syllables. If you prefer, you can recite “come Lord Jesus”, which is the same as Maranatha.  Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and – above all – simply.

The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and in each meditation day to day. Don’t visualise but listen to the word, as you say it. Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words. Don’t fight your distractions: let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it as soon as you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention wanders.


5 minutes silence


Heavenly Father, open our hearts to the silent presence of the spirit of your Son. Lead us into that mysterious silence where your love is revealed to all who call, ‘Maranatha…Come, Lord Jesus.’


May this silence be a power to open the hearts of men and women to the vision of God, and so to each other, in love and peace, justice and human dignity. May the beauty of the divine life, fill this group and the hearts of all who pray here, with joyful hope. May all who come here weighed down by the problems of humanity leave giving thanks for the wonder of human life. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.


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