Shilbottle Awake!



After months of extensive works both outside and inside the church, St James Shilbottle finally reopened its doors in time for Easter services, much to the delight of joyful congregations who had crammed themselves into the small Parish Room since the New Year. 
With the help of Heritage Lottery Funding but financed equally by generous local giving,  the improvements are many:  major repairs to the tower roof and stonework;  resurfaced paths leading up to new glass porch doors; an enlarged welcome area, with adjoining kitchen and toilet; a versatile large open area in the chancel created by the removal of the little used choir stalls; new moveable church furniture; the transept separated from the main body of the church by a full height glass screen, fitted into the arch, which can be opened up as required; and the whole, including the roof architecture, illuminated by comprehensive new lighting.
Without in any way detracting from the hitherto unaltered and much loved Victorian structure (listed grade II*) dating from the 1880s, we believe that with God's grace we have succeeded in creating a more welcoming and flexible space to help us in our ' growing church bringing hope’ mission for today's world.
To celebrate, the church is holding an Open Church Weekend over the Bank Holiday from Saturday 5 to Monday 7 May with something for everyone: on Saturday, morning and evening worship at 9am and 5.30pm, with Messy Church in the morning and Afternoon Tea (by ticket) in the afternoon; on Sunday, in addition to Family Communion at 10am and Holy Baptism at noon, a landmark Rededication Service led by Mark Tanner, Bishop of Berwick, at 6pm followed by refreshments; on Monday the church will be open for viewing and refreshments between 10am and 4pm, with morning and evening worship at 9am and 5pm. 
We are looking forward to welcoming old friends and new visitors alike, and hope that readers will take the opportunity to join us at some point during the weekend.
For those who don't know the area, Shilbottle is found a mile to the east of the A1 just south of Alnwick, and we shall look forward to seeing you!

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