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February  2023 ————-BENEFICE NEWS————-  February 2023


For enquiries please contact Revd Dr Robert Brown
Priest-in-Charge, Bewcastle, Stapleton and Kirklinton with Hethersgill
A: Greenholme, Bewcastle, Cumbria, CA6 6PWT: 016977 48438


Date Sunday Bewcastle Stapleton Hethersgill Kirklinton
 5th  Feb 3rd before Lent  10 am MP    
12th  Feb 2nd before Lent     10 am HC
19th Feb         Next before Lent    10 am HC  
22nd Feb          Ash Wednesday  

7 pm HC with

Ashes (BCP)

26th Feb Lent 1     10 am MP  
5th Mar Lent 2 6 pm EP      


Knowe United Reformed Church, Bewcastle

2.15 pm

 Prayer for the Month

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works, and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen

From the Registers


Heidi Jane Story (b. Nov 2019), of Appleby House, Kirklinton, at St Cuthbert Kirklinton, Sunday 15th January 2023

Thomas David Story (b. June 2021), of Appleby House, Kirklinton, at St Cuthbert Kirklinton, Sunday 15th January 2023


Doreen Nicholls (92), formerly of Whitberryburn, Roadhead, Committal at West Hall, Friday 16th December 2022

Church Notices

Celtic Daily Prayer through Lent. Lent is 46 days long from Ash Wednesday to Black Saturday. I have produced a set of 46 daily prayer podcasts using Celtic prayers, each lasting 15-20 minutes, that can be used to start each day through Lent. Together we read through the entire Gospel of St Luke, and the Life of St Cuthbert (as told by the Venerable Bede), our local northern saint to whom two of our churches are dedicated (Bewcastle and Kirklinton). If you would like to receive them as a daily podcast, please go to the website and sign up for them there. Alternatively, you can access them on the website at any time: (

 In Search of the Mystery of God – Sermon Podcasts. A selection of Bewcastle benefice Sunday sermons (10-15 mins) exploring how to make sense of God in our lives. Some may find them helpful, particularly those who find themselves unable to get to church for whatever reason. Available on the Bewcastle House of Prayer website at

 Monday 30th January 7pm Bewcastle PCC at Kilnstown, Bewcastle.

Monday 13th February 7pm Stapleton PCC at Stapleton Hall.

Tuesday 21st February 8pm  I will be giving an illustrated talk on ‘Cuthbert and the Bewcastle Cross’ at Roadhead Hall for the Bewcastle Heritage Society. All welcome.

Monday 27th February 7 pm United Benefice PCCs joint meeting for all PCC members at Stapleton Hall

 February  2023———-BENEFICE NEWS———–February  2023

Dear Friends,

I love long-tailed tits. Looking like small balls of cream and fawn feather on the end of a black and white stick, they’re constantly restless, moving from tree to tree in their little flocks of six to twelve birds, like a gang a marauding youngsters, calling to each other with their single, tiny, softly shrill cheeps (usually the first sign they’re there)! And yet there is something about them that always lifts my heart and brings a smile of pure joy to my face. I don’t even know why they have this effect on me. Perhaps it’s the suddenness of their unexpected arrival in a nearby willow, or on the fat balls at the feeder. They stay for a few seconds, or even a minute if you’re lucky, and then they’re off again and gone, and who knows when you’ll next see them? There seems to be nothing malicious about them, just a love of life. They stick with each other, always chirping, saying, ‘hey, you still with us? Come on, catch up’, or ‘wow, look what I’ve found here’, or ‘now that was fun.’ Sheer delight!

Late last summer I was out walking up near White Preston in the Bewcastle Fells with the family. My eldest daughter turned and, looking back towards the hill, asked what those birds were making such a noise in the distance. I instinctively said ‘corvids’, but something about them didn’t quite fit, and I decided to have closer look through the binoculars. The rest of the family carried on walking, but as I watched, I saw one was hovering while the other was flying around it, sometimes almost hitting it. ‘Ah’, I thought, ‘it’s crow harrying a kestrel to scare it off, and making a lot of noise about it.’ I was about to turn away when the ‘bombing’ bird turned in the air and I saw the distinctive sharp elbow and pointed wings – it was another kestrel. Kestrels are normally silent and solitary – only the young make much of a noise – so I decided to carry on watching. One bird was clearly hunting. The other was flying off and around, and then charging into the other, calling out all the while. The hunting bird would be knocked from its still point in the air, move a few yards and start again, undeterred. It wasn’t going to have any success hunting with all this disturbance around it, so what was going on? And then it dawned on me – the time of year, the location, the resolute patience of the one, the constant calling of the other – it was a mother trying to teach its fledgling how to hunt! As I watched the drama, it all started to make sense. The young one flying around, trying to work out what it’s mother was doing. The mother, silent, repeatedly and quietly adopting the same poise, the same hover, performing the same routine over and over. Once again, that recognition filled me with a sense of wonder, and a smile. Here was creation gloriously at work – a parent trying to teach its youngster the skills it needed to learn to survive in the world, and the youngster not quite ‘getting it’! And I almost missed it. I turned and ran to catch up with the others.

A few weeks later I was out on another walk one morning. The sky was clear and the sun shining. It was going to be another fine day. As I stood watching in silent prayer, again I became aware of a buzzard ‘miaowing’ close by. Turning, I saw a pair circling over the far corner of the field. Buzzards are the noisiest of all the raptors, so no surprises here. But I love watching all birds of prey, so I continued to gaze. After a while I began to notice that only one bird was being vocal – the other was silent. They were circling on thermals, gradually rising higher, sometimes shifting to a new thermal to continue the rise. But then I noticed that the noisy one was also very ‘flappy’. As I watched, I realised the other buzzard barely flapped at all. In fact, I saw it only do so once. Gradually it climbed higher, always leading the way. The noisy one struggled laboriously to try and keep up, now maybe fifty feet below. Once again, I realised I was watching a parent teaching it youngster how to ride the thermals, passing on its particular skill to enable its offspring to live, and to live well. Once again, the thrill of it ran through me.

There is so much that goes on around us, isn’t there? So many stories and dramas unfolding, usually unnoticed, all the time. Sometimes we just need the patience and the stillness to watch, to observe, to listen, and gradually we can begin to ‘read’ them. Perhaps it’s a discipline we can all practice as a form of prayer as we approach and enter Lent. I’d love to hear some of your stories.

Your friend and priest,


February  2023———-BENEFICE NEWS———–February  2023

 Wednesday 25th January 8 pm Coronation Event Planning Meeting  at Stapleton Public Hall.  Everyone welcome to come and share ideas for how to celebrate the Coronation

Saturday 28th  January 7 pm  Burns Night  Supper and Ceilidh  at Stapleton Public Hall. .Come and banish the January blues at a  supper with a light touch of Burns to  help the PCC raise funds for the roof repairs.  Tickets £12 (under 12s free) to include  2 courses and a nip of whisky.  Haggis, neeps & tatties, or steak pie/veggie option.  Details and tickets from Catherine 016977 48322 or Tricia 016977 48833.  Please bring plate, glass and cutlery.

Monday 30th January 7 pm  First Responder Training at Hethersgill Parish Hall delivered by Appleby Community First Responders.  Hethersgill Parish Council are delighted to be able to offer some free first aid training to residents of Hethersgill Parish.   The training will include demonstrations and refreshers on how to use a defibrillator.  There is no maximum or minimum age for the training, children are welcome to learn too.  To book a place please email,uk or send a message on Facebook.

Saturday 4th February     7.30pm  Stapleton Public Hall Dance with Denis Westmorland .  For details contact Mary 016977 48379

 Wednesday 8th February 7.30 pm   Stapleton WI meeting at Stapleton Public Hall

 Tuesday 14th February  Kirklinton & District WI  Talk by Mike (from Off the Wall) on The Roman Wall.  Competition: Roman Memorabilia and flower of the month

 Saturday 18th February 8 pm till late  Live music with Loose Covers at Stapleton Public Hall  hot food will be available! – more details on Stapleton Public Hall Facebook page.

 Monday 20th February 2.30  pm First Responder Training at Hethersgill Parish Hall.  See entry for Monday 30th January for details and how to book.

 Tuesday 21st February 8 pm Bewcastle Heritage Society  presents an illustrated lecture by Rev. Dr. Rob Brown – “Cuthbert & the Bewcastle Cross”  in Roadhead Hall. All welcome – £3.

Saturday 25th February 11 am – 2 pm  Table Top/Jumble Sale at Stapleton Public Hall.   Contact Jenny 01228 675713 to book a table and for more details

Claiming Dates

Friday 3rd March  Fir Ends School Air Ambulance collection

Saturday 4th March Stapleton Public Hall Dance with Robert Whitehead

Friday 7th April (Good Friday) Easter Eggstravaganza at  Stapleton Hall.  Family fun day all welcome.

Saturday 8th April  (Easter Saturday) Live Music “No Band Required” at Stapleton Public Hall

 Every Monday 7.30 pm Line Dancing Classes at Stapleton Public Hall. Details Ann Robb 07855 919368

Every Tuesday 7 pm Knit and Natter at Stapleton Hall. Everyone is welcome.  For further details ring Carol on 01697543094

Every Thursday 8 pm  Stapleton Carpet Bowling at Stapleton Public Hall

Every Thursday 6 pm Yoga in Hethersgill Parish Hall

February  2023———-NEWS AND THANKS———- February  2023

Bewcastle Parish Council  A vacancy has arisen for the position of Clerk to the Parish Council.  The successful candidate will have an interest in community affairs, be literate and competent in computer skills.  Some accountancy knowledge essential.  Remuneration for approximately 2hrs per week as per the nationally agreed scales at SCP9 £12.06 per hour

Applications to Mrs B. Smith – Chairman

New bank account for Stapleton church.  The new account for St Mary’s is now open, and benefits from free banking. It looks as if there have been a few instances where problems switching standing orders over to the new account have arisen. If there is any difficulty, do please contact Sarah McNeill or Tricia Coombe and we will be happy to check that details are correct.  May we take this opportunity to say thank you for every contribution. Each and every one makes a difference – and we are very grateful.

Kirklinton with Hethersgill PCC would like to thank everyone for their help with the grass cutting at St. Cuthbert’s, Kirklinton.  It is very much appreciated and we hope you will all continue in the future to help keep this community space looking tidy

The Bewcastle Cancer Research UK committee would like to thank everyone who donated so generously in 2022  .The incredible sum of £4612.75 has been raised, this includes donations kindly made from family and friends in memory of Gordon Brown, Addie Carruthers and Andy Gass.  Also received were donations from Isabell Coulthard’s birthday party, Byres Farm pancake day, Mr Bouch and Mr & Mrs McKie.  Without the support of the community this wouldn’t be possible, sadly cancer can and does affect us all. Your donations will help fund vital work and help fight cancer.

Shankhill C of E School Nursery education for children, free for children aged 3 plus Mon-Fri 9-12 noon with option to stay for lunch &play until 1pm 01228 577264
Shankhill Parent & Toddler Group every Wed 1:30 – 3:30pm during term time. 01228 577264.
Shankhill PTA collects printer cartridges. leave donations at School during term time or phone 01228 577264

Bewcastle Primary School Play Group at Bewcastle School, Roadhead, Cumbria, CA6 6PF. Every Monday during term time 9.30am – 11am. From children aged 0– 4 years along with parents/carers, are welcome to come along and join in the fun! £1 per child. For more information, contact Emma at Bewcastle School on 016977 48662 or

Bewcastle Scouts Contact. Simon Barrett 01228 497970  or David Harding 07935172942

 Donations towards the cost of the newsletter would be greatly appreciated as we have had some extra costs this year.  Donations can be made direct to your distributor or to Tricia Coombe. Please note that we can no longer accept cheques, cash donations only.  Thank you to those who have donated.

Newsletters can be picked up from:  Kirklinton Church porch, Hethersgill Church porch, Stapleton Church, Bewcastle Church, Stapleton Public  Hall Porch, Smithfield Garage office, Garry Phillip’s Garage. Or downloaded :,

Deadline for the March   2023  issue is     Saturday 18th February      to Tricia Coombe, Damhead, Lyneholmeford, Roweltown, CA6 6LQ.  016977 48833 or