November 2020 ————- BENEFICE NEWS————November  2020

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

 From the Registers:


Augustine Wilbur Davies, St Cuthbert’s Bewcastle, 26th September


Mary Elizabeth Moscrop, 82, of Sunny Croft, West Woodside, Wigton at St Mary’s Stapleton, 23rd October

 Sunday Services for November

Remembrance Service, Sunday 8th November, 10.55am, St Mary’s, Stapleton

Sunday 22nd November, 10am, St Mary’s, Hethersgill. Morning Prayer

 Government guidelines have changed once again, although the following restrictions still apply to all services held in any of our churches. We are not allowed any singing and face masks must be worn indoors at all times. Alternate pews are blocked off, and everyone must maintain 2m distance (except people in the same household), including when seated. Socialising after the service must be done outside the church building. The church wardens also have to do Test and Trace, which means we will need written contact details and telephone numbers for everyone who attends the service, and a plan of where they are seated during the service. We will need to keep these details for 21 days from the service date. Everyone is asked to use hand sanitiser (provided) as they enter and leave the church.

 Funerals: maximum = 30. These will continue to be held at the graveside unless weather conditions dictate otherwise, in which case they will be held in the church. The maximum number of people that can attend is 30, including the officiant, undertaker, and pallbearers. Memorial Services can be arranged at a later date so everyone can celebrate the life of the deceased. Please see the notice above concerning Sunday services in church for further details.

 Weddings: maximum = 15. Weddings may take place but are restricted to a maximum of 15 present – including the priest, church staff, and bride and groom. Please see the notice above concerning Sunday services in church for further details.

 Baptisms: maximum = church dependent (20-30). Baptisms (christenings) may take place and are now restricted to the maximum number a church can safely hold based on its COVID-19 risk assessment. Presently these are Bewcastle – 20; Stapleton – 30; Hethersgill – 20; Kirklinton – 30. These numbers include the priest, church staff, parents, godparents and all children.

 Prayer Resources. There is a series of 15-20 minute meditative Morning Prayer videos with a Celtic flavour that I have produced, focussed on the life of St Cuthbert.  Please do use these as and when you feel able. They can be used on any day. A number of people have come back to me saying they find them ‘calm, peaceful’, and ‘a joy to listen to’. They are available on the Bewcastle House of Prayer Website (, where this newsletter can also be viewed or downloaded.

 As the distribution of paper copies of the newsletter is severely restricted at present, we have arranged several pick-up points around the Benefice where you can collect a copy from a box. These are:  Kirklinton Church porch, Hethersgill Church porch, Stapleton Church, Bewcastle Church, Stapleton Parish Hall Porch, Smithfield Garage office, Garry Phillip’s Garage, and Mary Phillips, 7 Sleetbeck. This Newsletter can also be downloaded from the following,

Deadline for the December 2020 issue is 1pm on Saturday 21st November to Tricia Coombe, Damhead, Lyneholmeford, Roweltown, CA6 6LQ.  016977 48833 or

 November 2020———-BENEFICE NEWS———–November 2020

“O valiant Hearts, who to your glory came.

Through dust of conflict and through battle-flame

Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,

Your memory hallowed to the Land you  loved.”

It occurs to me, as the Covid pandemic deepens, that Remembrance services will be rationed this year and that a mention in our Benefice newsletter might be appropriate.  A few weeks ago, in convalescence, I set about sorting a loftful of books and papers and gathered together information about my uncle, Richard Davidson, who was killed in action in the Spring of 1918 – but with little information of his final days or his resting place.  Luckily I have a family who are proficient in IT and with his Army number from his campaign medals they gathered some answers.  He was a private in the Eighth Battalion of the Border Regiment and had been ill with what I believe would be Spanish Flu, which at that time was raging on both sides of the front line – probably worst in the German ranks.  Army records tell us that he was killed in action on the 10th of April near Ploegsteert in Belgium, when 63 returned after 1,100 went forward.  His name is recorded on the War Graves Memorial of that village.

Some years ago there was a television programme “The Last Tommy” which followed the experiences of five centenarians who recalled their experiences of the Great War which they thought would be a few weeks’ adventure on the continent – a dream blown apart in the summer of 1916 when on one day there were 60,000 casualties and many more examples of senseless violence to follow.

It is a truth that a child brought up in a violent household will believe that that behaviour is normal – and may in time perpetuate that violence, unless that circle is broken, unless somebody, somewhere along the line, will say, “That is enough of that” and replace that violence with love.

Children brought up in the war-zones of the world – around the killing fields – and in the refugee camps where atrocities are often a daily or even hourly occurrence – will be conditioned to think that it is normal and to be expected.

We have a duty to face up to oppression and evil – to remember and honour those who gave everything to preserve the freedoms which are a mark of peaceful and civilised existence – freedom from fear – freedom from want – freedom to speak – freedom of worship.  We will remember all those men and women in so many conflicts who gave everything so we don’t have to do what they did.  We ought to remember every day the man who said “Enough” – and broke the vicious circle with his sacrifice which promises peace for all of us, in all places, at all times.

Dick Davidson

 The Knowe Church “Virtual” Christmas festival 16th to 19th December Photographs of your indoor or outdoor displays (small or large) will be uploaded to the “Friends of the Knowe Church” Facebook page for everyone to vote for their favourite. Please let us know via messenger, email or phone (48752/48024) by Friday 20th November if you would like to take part. To raise money for the Church there will be Christmas cakes, hampers, wreaths and gifts for sales, details on the Facebook page or email for info.

Bewcastle Book Swap This is a new facility for our area and you are invited to come and choose a book or two to read – then return it and change for another! Our own mini library: Wednesdays 10.30 – noon, Roadhead Village Hall – completely free of charge. Returned and donated books will be kept separate for a week before being reintroduced.

Bewcastle Cancer Research UK committee have decided not to hold this year’s Whist Drive and Drawing. The annual donation letter will be delivered as usual and anybody wishing to make a donation can do so through any committee member or Garry Phillips or contact Carol 01697748604 or Kathleen 01697748210. Thank you for your support

Christmas Craft Fair at Dacre Hall, Lanercost Thursday 26th – Monday 30th November 10 am –  5 pm  daily  £1 accompanied children free  Details contact Elizabeth Harding 0169772538