The oldest church in Darlington, Co. Durham, so the sign says outside St. Andrew’s Church, Haughton-le-Skerne, c.1125 ~ that’s pretty old! But of course in those days, Haughton-le-Skerne was not part of Darlington, but a separate village to the N.E. of the town. Darlington kind of burst onto the world stage with the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, and it’s been a big bustling industrial place ever since.
St. Andrew’s Church is at the heart of a huge parish, covering Haughton, Whinfield, Red Hall and Springfield. Definitely a happening place ~ and a VERY happening church, praise God! I’ve been supported by St. Andrew’s since about 1990, that’s 4 vicars ago ~ delighted to meet Rev. Mark East who arrived here just over 2 years ago, he takes care of St. Andrews’ Church, Haughton, and now also St. Andrew’s Church, Sadberge, where I was on Tuesday lunchtime for their Eat ‘N Meet.
I’ve been very honoured this week to take 3 school assemblies in the parish at Red Hall Primary School, Whinfield Primary School, and Springfield Primary School in the Education Village. Delightful children and teachers everywhere, all so interested in everything about Taiwan!
Saturday morning ~ and a fun time speaking and sharing with all the men at the St. Andrew’s MenMeet ~ 30-40 of them come every time, and the atmosphere is so relaxed and so friendly. So many VERY handsome men all gathered in one room for an amazing breakfast, and talk about Taiwan! A wonderful outreach of the church into the community.
And then to Sunday, yesterday, 2 services in the morning with me doing the sermon, and then in the afternoon the monthly ‘Tea and Praise’ at Oban Court with all the seniors who live there plus friends from church. They watched my powerpoint about Taiwan as part of the service, we had wonderful prayers led by Lay Reader Pauline ~ and all followed by sandwiches and cakes and of course, tea!
Such a wonderfully supportive church and community, so welcoming and so grateful for my visit. Thank you Karen and Ben for welcoming me to stay at your home, and to St. Andrew’s Church in Haughton and Sadberge for all your support and care over the years!