March   2022 ————-BENEFICE NEWS————-  March   2022

 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:

 Church Services for March  

  Bewcastle Hethersgill Kirklinton Stapleton
2nd March

Ash Wednesday

      7 pm     HC with Imposition of Ashes
6th March

Lent 1

      10 am   MP
13th March

Lent 2

    10 am   MP  
20th March

Lent 3

10 am   MP      
27th March

Lent 4

      10 am

Mothering Sunday

3rd April

Lent 5

  10 am   MP    

 From the Registers


Andy Gass (73) of Fell View, Longrigg, at Carlisle Crematorium, Monday 21st February 2022

James (‘Jimmy’) Clubbs (90) of Beech Bank, Smithfield, at Carlisle Crematorium, Monday 21st February 2022

Adam (‘Addie’) Carruthers (69) formerly of The Loan, Bewcastle, at St Cuthbert’s Bewcastle, Wednesday 23rd February 2022

Kenneth Waugh (83) of The Row, Bewcastle, at St Cuthbert’s Bewcastle, Friday 25th February 2022

 Thursday 31st March, pm (time tbc), Shankhill School Easter Service, St Mary’s Stapleton

Lent Lunches (12pm):   Thursday 10th March, Hethersgill Hall

Thursday 24th March, Stapleton Hall

Thursday 31st March, Roadhead Hall

Donations will go to support the Church Mission Society in North India working to prevent child sex-trafficking and exploitation.

 Lent Talks at Longtown Memorial Hall (2.30pm, followed by light refreshments):

Wednesday March 9th: Moving the Centre, Christians in Today’s World:  John Parratt, retired professor of theology, Birmingham University

Wednesday March 16th: How far the East is from the West, introducing the faith of the Eastern Orthodox Church:   Robert Brown

Wednesday March 23rdEngaging with churches in Nigeria:   Tokunbo Asogban, Methodist minister, Brampton

Wednesday March 30thLand of the unexpected, Church and Culture in Papua-New Guinea:   Peter Ramsden, retired bishop of Papua New Guinea

Wednesday April 6thIs Catholicism Global?   John Baron, Roman Catholic priest who has worked in Zambia, based in Carlisle

 Lenten Prayer: For those who would like to rise to the challenge of praying each day through Lent, I have obtained a number of copies of the prayer booklet ‘Live Lent: Embracing Justice’, which invites us examine our own lives truthfully, to see the world more deeply and to pray – for the church and the world far and near – that ‘justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’. Copies will be available at the back of each of the churches. Please feel free to take one.

 Knowe United Reformed Church, Bewcastle

Services first Sunday in month 2.15pm

 March     2022———-BENEFICE NEWS———–March    2022

Three little stories.  All about so-called professionals falling short.

First story. Blue-eyed young curate in his first post at Gosforth (one Robert Runcie who would go on to become Archbishop of Canterbury) preaching what he thought was a masterly sermon about Advent.  In the front row a man assiduously taking notes.  At the church door after the service, arrogantly, Runcie said “I’m glad you found my sermon helpful.  I saw you taking notes.”  “Don’t kid yourself lad” said the man.  “I was composing my Christmas list!”

Story number 2.    A saintly Contemplative Nun from an Anglican Religious Order in Hemel Hempstead where I used to go once a month at an early hour to celebrate Communion.   We were talking about prayer. “Do you know”, she said “after a life time as a religious the longest I have ever been able to concentrate is still only 40 seconds”.  If it was like that for her what hope is there for us lesser mortals?

Story number 3.   Our beautiful Church at Stapleton with its plain glass window behind the altar.  Wrinkly old bishop celebrating Communion reaches the most holy part of the service and finds that every time he does so he is distracted by the wonderful panorama of farm life outside!  So much for his powers of concentration too.

I share these 3 pictures because they remind me that so often we fall short in our discipleship.  You know how it is.  You come to Church and there in front of you is a fellow worshipper.  How holy he or she looks!  Rapt and prayerful.  But not you.   What YOU are thinking is “I hope the preacher doesn’t go on too long.  I’ve just remembered I didn’t lock the front door”.  Or that tempting offer of a fleece in yesterday’s newspaper …. Would it be a good buy?   Still mentally flitting, maybe you find yourself wondering why it is that the person who lives next door and who seldom if ever comes to church, seems so obviously to be a better person than you.  Kinder, more generous, more thoughtful, caring.

Or reflecting on an article you have just read about the Church’s latest failures (not least the Bishops’) and the sadness, anger and pain that his has caused.  It’s all falling apart, you think.  What’s the point?

Temporarily disenchanted you find yourself in tune with the person who once said “So many Christians are like broody hens on pot eggs.  Their position is fine but they achieve nothing!”

If any of this rings a bell I want to suggest that you resist the temptation to despair.  Christian ideals will always be beyond us, and most of us most of the time to say the least “Fall Short”.

But (there’s always a ‘but’) and the but is this.   I believe what God asks of us is not success – simply that we be willing to let Him help us to do better.  And at no time is this more relevant than during the Merry Season of Lent.    Predictably some see Lent as a time for Christian heroics.  “The faith that costs nothing is worth nothing” as the saying goes.  So it’s right to make a special effort.   I understand and respect this.  Indeed I’ve often done just that.

But currently what I find most helpful is to use these six weeks as an opportunity simply to slip my hand into the hand of God and to ask in any way that He may choose to help me to grow into the person He made me to be.

“No matter” wrote a recent playwright “Try again.  Fail again.  But fail BETTER!”

I love that.  Hope for us all whatever betides.

So beloved, be of good courage.  Whoever you are, whatever you’ve done or failed to do, whatever you believe or can’t – even if your Faith is no bigger than the proverbial mustard seed, just know that God loves you and will never let you go.  That He believes in you not just for the person you are now, but for the person that one day with His help you can become.  This is what the Gospel is all about and why for people everywhere it is such good news.

Bishop John

March   2022———-BENEFICE NEWS———–March   2022

Tuesday 1st March 8 pm Open Meeting at Stapleton Public Hall to discuss plans for the Platinum Jubilee.  Everyone welcome.  Contact David Baxter 07879 858636

 Easter Monday 18th April – Car Boot/Table Top Sale in Hethersgill Hall. £6 inside or £5 outside. To book a table ring 01228 675510 or 01228 675389.

Friday 6th May   7 pm Stapleton PCC Spring Fair and Craft Fair at Stapleton Public Hall.  Cake stalls, produce, plants etc.  Homemade teas.  Gifts for stalls and offers of help would be appreciated. Contact a member of the PCC.

 Bewcastle Heritage Society  – Our regular monthly programme of outings and meetings will begin again in May with our AGM and Annual Dinner, all subject to covid restrictions not changing again of course. Details will appear in each month’s newsletter as usual.

Knit and Natter at Stapleton Hall, every Tuesday evening from 7pm-9pm.  Everyone is welcome to come along.  For further details contact Carol on 01697543094.

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

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

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 April   2022 issue is  on   Saturday 19th March   to Tricia Coombe, Damhead, Lyneholmeford, Roweltown, CA6 6LQ.  016977 48833 or