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Newsletter - Second Sunday of Epiphany


Your weekly update from the Benwell & Scotswood Team

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Services this week

Sun 14 Jan

9.30am - Holy Communion at St John's

11am - Ven Bede hub service (Parish eucharist)

4pm - Evening prayer at St Margaret's

Thurs 18 Jan

10.30am Holy communion at Ven Bede


Dates for your Diary

Wed 24 Jan

Standing committee

Sun 28 Jan - Candlemas

11am - Ven Bede hub service (Team eucharist)

celebration and thanksgiving for those who have been baptised and their families.

Wed 7 Feb

PCC at St Margaret's



Candlemas - Sunday 28th Jan

Those who have been baptised (christened) in our churches are invited every year to this special celebratory service along with their loved ones and Godparents.

Some useful info

  • This family-friendly service will last less than an hour. 

  • There will be some light refreshments after. 

  • If you still have your baptism candle then bring it with you to light them during the service (don’t worry if not, there will be some spare candles!)

  • There is no need to RSVP but if you would like to contact us for any reason: or 07968 162067

p.s. Do you have photos of baptisms in our churches? However long ago or recent, we would love to show them in the service!


Arthur Knaggs

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arthur, a much-loved member of both Broadmead Way Community Church and the Venerable Bede Church, where he played the organ for many years as well as being well known in the wider community.

His funeral will be held on Monday 22nd January, 10am at Broadmead Way Community Church, NE15 6TS, followed by the burial at 11am at the West Road Cemetery, led by the clergy from our Team. There will then be refreshments back at Broadmead way. Please let us know if you would like to attend so we can inform Broadmead way of how many to expect.

It has been requested for there to be no flowers, but there will be a collection for the Slavic Gospel Association at the service.

May Arthur rest in peace and rise in glory.


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 14th January 2024

Epiphany 2

Year B


Prayers for others:

  • Pat Law

  • Maria Hawthorn

  • Herbert, Lucy, and Luke Agbeko

  • Ellis Nelson

  • Pauline Nelson

  • Michell Wilson

  • Peter Wilson

  • Alan Taylor

  • Maureen Tayor

  • Irene Foskett

  • Lorraine Atkinson

  • Lynn Mosby

  • Diana Humphrey

  • Esther Kolie

  • David Veitch

Rest in Peace

  • Arthur Knaggs


  • 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


In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen


Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ 46 Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’


For Christmas my daughter gave me a present which included free cinema tickets.

So last week I went to the cinema for the first time since the covid lockdown.  On the way,  I happened to meet  Helen, who was  just coming from the cinema, having  seen ‘Maestro’ about the composer, Leonard Bernstein. She and her friend had been discussing how so many films now seemed to be about real people. From Napoleon to Robert Oppenheimer from  Priscilla Presley to the Postmaster Alan Bates, I did have  to point out Barbie was not a real person. It raised an interesting question, fact or fiction? How far is it fair game to mix them up together? Ridley Scott’s Napoleon was much criticised for simply inventing things for dramatic effect, Napoleon firing cannons at the pyramids, for example.  When challenged he was quite forthright, When I have issues with historians, I ask: 'Excuse me, mate, were you there? No? Well, shut the f*** up then. Not very diplomatic but he’s the director.

With those thoughts in mind I watched, ‘The Boy and the Heron’, a Japanese film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, co- founder of Studio Ghibli, and maker of many of Japan’s most popular anime films over the past forty years. Partly based on his own childhood in wartime Japan,  the film tells the story of a boy grieving the traumatic  loss of his mother in a fire, the action switches seamlessly between realism and the fantastic dream sequences Miyazaki is famous for. Fact or fiction? Neither label really fits, but even as fiction, watching it brought a sense of the reality of who Miyazaki is, and through that shed light on the reality of our own experiences of loss and healing. Like a portrait painter a director, even in biography, must draw out something more than facts. He needs to get to the heart of the person he is presenting and make that insight come alive. He must enable us to  ‘Come and see’.


Like Ridley Scott, St John  has had issues with historians. For at least two hundred years they have shown how his  gospel differs radically from the accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Taking today’s passage, for example, in the other gospels not only is the call of the disciples  completely separate from the preaching of the Baptist, but  their answer to the question who Jesus is, comes not at the start of his ministry, but  as a dramatic discovery, much later, when at Caesarea Philippi, asked by Jesus ‘Who do you say I am?’  Peter makes his astonishing confession ‘You are the Messiah’.


Confronted with these  differences, St John, or perhaps I should just say ‘the fourth evangelist’ as many historians question his authorship, might respond as the director did. : 'Excuse me, mate, were you there? No?.....

Thankfully that isn’t really his style. ‘Come and see’ is. The whole gospel is really an invitation to come and see.


 The question at the heart of today’s reading and of the whole book is on the face of it straightforward ‘Who is this  Jesus?’ Simple to ask not so simple to answer.

If we include the four previous verses, in just this short passage answers given include  ‘the Lamb of God’,   ‘Rabbi’, which we are told means ‘Teacher’, ‘Messiah’, which we are told means ‘Christ’, ‘the one Moses wrote about’,   ‘the one about whom the prophets wrote’,  ‘Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth’, ‘Rabbi’ (again), ‘Son of God’,  ‘King of Israel’ and ‘Son of Man’.

It doesn’t’ stop there, reading  on we will find more titles, more  descriptions, more answers, most not found in any of the other gospels ‘The Light of the World’, ‘The Way’,  ‘The Truth’,  ‘The Life’,  ‘The Bread of Life’, ‘The True Vine’,  ‘The Good Shepherd’, ‘The Gate’, ’The Resurrection’ and where it all began the ‘Word’ the ‘Logos’ who was in the beginning with God.


So, what do they all mean? It’s all very well Phillip telling Nathanael he has found the one Moses wrote about’,   ‘the one about whom the prophets wrote’,  ‘Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth’, but for Nathanael it means nothing, ‘can anything good come out of Nazareth’. That is until he has been able to come and see for himself.  What if we were to think of all these names and titles not as definitive once and for all answers but rather invitations for us  to ‘come and see’.


‘Come and see’. These are words of Jesus  to Andrew, when asked ‘Where are you   staying’? now Philip passes the invitation on to Nathanael. Not just this gospel but the whole history of the Church and its mission is an extension of that invitation to every age and every land. A universal message but one that is always personal. The question ‘Who is this Jesus?’ becomes more than a question for the sciences,  historical, social,  physical or theological,  not ‘who do men say that I am?’ but ‘who do you say that I am? ‘ To answer we don’t need to grasp all the answers other people have given, we do need to respond to the invitation. Come and see.


I would like to finish with words from Albert Schweitzer, an inspirational figure , who  also had issues with historians especially those searching for ‘the historical Jesus’ a hot topic in his day. He respected their efforts but was sure they had missed something vital. After his stunning career as a groundbreaking theologian, he went on  to study medicine and devoted the rest of his life to work in hospitals in Africa but not before he had written these words that conclude his book, ‘The Quest for the Historical Jesus’


The names in which men expressed their recognition of Him... Messiah, Son of Man, Son of God have become for us historical parables. We can find no designation which expresses what He is for us.

He comes to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old by the lakeside, He came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word: Follow me! and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfil for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who He is.


Come and see.





Almighty God,

in Christ you make all things new:

transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,

and in the renewal of our lives

make known your heavenly glory;

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.


Eternal Lord,

our beginning and our end:

bring us with the whole creation

to your glory, hidden through past ages

and made known

in Jesus Christ our Lord.


1 Samuel 3.1–10 11–20

3Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ 5and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. 6The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’


This is the word of the Lord.

All:  Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

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

All:  Glory to you, O Lord.

John 1.43–end

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ 46Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ 48Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ 49Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ 50Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ 51And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:  Praise to you, O Christ.

Post Communion

God of glory,

you nourish us with your Word

who is the bread of life:

fill us with your Holy Spirit

that through us the light of your glory

may shine in all the world.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


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