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Newsletter - Trinity 1


Your weekly update from the Benwell & Scotswood Team

Click below to read this week's information and latest news.

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Services this week

Sun 2 June

9.30am - Holy Communion at St John's

9.45pm - Holy Communion at St Margaret's

11am - Hub service (Parish Eucharist) at St James

Thurs 30 May

10.30am - Corpus Christi communion service at Ven Bede


Dates for your Diary

Sat 8 June

Mothers' Union Diocesan Festival - St James. Festival begins 11.30am; Eucharist with Bishop Helen-Ann 2pm

Sat 3 Aug

Benstock Festival



Next Saturday - Mothers' Union does Something Wonderful

Diocesan Festival 2024

You are invited to join us for the Diocesan Mothers' Union festival which we have the pleasure of hosting at St James Benwell this year. There will be activities followed Bishop Helen-Ann leading us in worship with a Eucharist.

This year the festival's theme is 'The MU does Something Wonderful' in honour of the community project at St James which aims to strengthen the local community in Benwell and restore the St James Church for community use. You can read more about the project and donate here >

Festival begins at 11.30

BBQ lunch, crafts, stalls, historic graveyard tours, art exhibition, music, raffle.

Eucharist at 2pm with Bishop Helen-Ann

Followed by refreshments


Our annual report

Annual report 2024 Benwell and Scotswood Team Parish
Download PDF • 8.00MB

Financial report Benwell Scotswood 2023 accounts signed
Download PDF • 250KB

This year we have tried to fill our report with lots of useful information about everything that goes on in the parish, please download it and have a read.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the annual meeting. We elected our churchwardens and reps, approved our annual accounts, renewed our safeguarding and other policies. We also celebrated all that had gone on in the last year and looked forward to what the next year will bring.


David announces his retirement

After 8 years with us and 40 years of ministry, the Revd David Kirkwood has announced he will be retiring as Team Rector in August.

Please pray for him and Elspeth as they prepare for this next chapter in their lives. They will be missed, but we are thankful for his faithful leadership that has leaves the parish in such a positive and exciting place. David's final service will be in the afternoon of Sunday 11th August. More details will follow, but please save the date.

We will begin the process of appointing a new rector in the following months, please pray for Revd Chris as he continues as Team Vicar for Mission.


David Veitch's funeral

Linda and David's family would like everyone to know that his funeral will take place at 1.30pm on Wednesday 5th June at the West Road crematorium.


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 26th May 2024

First Sunday after Trinity


2 Corinthians 4.5–12

5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Mark 2.23 – 3.6

23 One sabbath he was going through the cornfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?’ 25And he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.’ 27Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.’

3Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ 4Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. 5He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.


O God,

the strength of all those who put their trust in you,

mercifully accept our prayers

and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature

we can do no good thing without you,

grant us the help of your grace,

that in the keeping of your commandments

we may please you both in will and deed;

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 truth,

help us to keep your law of love

and to walk in ways of wisdom,

that we may find true life

in Jesus Christ your Son.

Post Communion

Eternal Father,

we thank you for nourishing us

with these heavenly gifts:

may our communion strengthen us in faith,

build us up in hope,

and make us grow in love;


Prayers for others:

  • Malcolm Smith

  • Paulette Thompson

  • John Peterson

  • 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

  • Linda Deprato and family

  • Nelly

  • Irene Scaife


  • Phoebe Binns-Hollingsworth

Rest in peace

  • David Veitch


  • The ongoing situation in Russia, Ukraine, Gaza, Iran, Sudan 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.



Revd David


Today we have gone green. After the excitement of Easter, Pentecost, and last week, Trinity Sunday with its heights of mystical Theology, thank you Chris. This week we are down to earth with a bump, ‘Sundays after Trinity,’ and as Chris warned us, there are lots of them. It is also known as  ‘Ordinary Time.’ It doesn’t sound great, does it?


And yet, ‘Ordinary Time’ can be something more, a gateway to the special. Green is the colour for growing, and we know that takes time and patience. So, with the rhythm of our worship, it demands ordinary times as well as special days.


In the first reading, Paul talks of clay pots, ordinary people who make up the church, cheap pots, nothing special,  the kitchenware you take for granted, you maybe got it bargain price in Asda. Clay jars, but there is treasure within.

The treasure is the gospel mystery, Gods glory, hidden and yet at the same time revealed, because this is exactly how He chooses to reveal it, through ordinary people, ordinary us. We should think of our ordinary time like that, time in which the treasure is still there, it  may be hidden away, but that only means we need to  take more time to discern it and let it grow.


What could be more ordinary than a quarrel? In today’s gospel we are right in the middle of one. It all seems a bit petty and obscure. On the face of it, it is all about the Sabbath day. For the people of Israel, the Sabbath was one of the things that marked them out as different and kept them distinct. It was their special time not once a year, but every single week, and, unlike any other special days, it was  right up there in the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment, ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work,..

The Sabbath is so special ordinary working life must stop. Yet here are Jesus’s follower picking grain and eating it. His opponents say, ‘that is work, harvesting, you are breaking God’s law.’ 


It seems  the argument is about the Sabbath, but that is not all Jesus is getting into trouble for. This is only chapter two of Mark’s gospel, but already his critics have been busy, ‘Why is he saying he can forgive sins? Only God can do that.’ ‘Why are you eating with tax collectors and sinners?’ ‘Why aren’t your disciples fasting like John  the Baptist’s?’

It seems nothing Jesus and his followers are doing is right, harvesting and healing on the Sabbath are just the latest examples.


So, where is the real problem? Jesus is different. We are told ‘He teaches with authority not like the scribes.’ He’s doing new things, healing people, breaking down barriers, including people who have felt excluded. He’s making new friends, those who never felt able to be classed as God’s friends before, but he’s also making enemies, those who assumed they were God’s representatives, and held the levers of power both religious and  political. Jesus represents a new way of understanding God -and that is unsettling. Whose is the right way?


Not that Jesus claims to be abolishing the old ways. He is not a revolutionary in that sense  ‘I didn’t come to abolish the law and the prophets but to fulfil them.’ It is not about overturning the law but revealing it’s true meaning. He goes back to basics. What is the Sabbath for? He gives a clear answer, ‘The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath;’  Look at the purpose of God in creation. The fourth commandment continues,

‘For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’


 At our Easter Vigil service, as we prepared to celebrate the miracle of the New Creation, Christ’s Resurrection, we heard the creation story. Running through the six days is the refrain ‘God saw all he had made, and it was good.’ Then, when the work is done, on the seventh day, God rested. Because he was tired? No, but simply rejoicing in his creation. All good. So, Sabbath is for man, for humanity, to rejoice in creation as God does, to know His goodness, and to give Him thanks and praise. Sabbath is about a generous and loving God who gives freedom, rest, recreation, time for thanks and praise, time to know and celebrate His liberating power. But something made for good can become twisted. Man made for the Sabbath not the Sabbath for man.


 How do we give proper place to Sabbath? Our ordinary Sundays may be ordinary, but they are still Sabbath, the Christian Sabbath, the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, the day of the new creation, little Easters. For us, they are not days of compulsion, ‘Thou shalt not,’ but days of invitation. ‘The Sabbath for man,’ for you. As our ordinary Sundays stretch ahead, how will we celebrate that gift? Can they help us build enjoyment of God’s creation, thanksgiving, prayer, worship into our lives and do it in a way that promotes the same for others? Are we ready to welcome Jesus’ new way of doing things with us? If so, ordinary time will indeed be extraordinary our clay pots aglow with the treasure within.

Though you have lain among the pots, yet shall you be as the wings of a dove; that is covered with silver wings, and her feathers like gold.





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