Extracts from our monthly Church Mag

Ten times a year we publish in hard copy, which is always available in church or by request. Some copies are sent by post regularly; just ask! Enjoy one or two articles from each month's edition posted here:

September Diary Dates


5 10.30am Parish Communion

10.15am Young Church

6.00pm Phone Church Evening Prayer

6 1.30pm Craft Group in church.

6.30pm MDT in church

9 10.00am Midweek Holy Communion

10 2.00pm - 8pm Heritage Open Day

11 10.00am - 5.00pm Heritage Open Day

2.00pm - 4.30pm Heritage Open Day Presentation

of 800 years of Holy Cross


12 10.30am Parish Communion with Archdeacon Bob Cooper

in celebration of Holy Cross Day

10.15am Young Church

12.00 noon - 5.00pm Heritage Open Day

6.00pm Phone Church Evening Prayer

13 12.00 noon Wedding

14 6.30pm Rehearsal Auntie Joy’s Musicians

16 10.00am Midweek Communion by Extension led by Alan Kirsopp


19 10.30am Parish Communion

10.15am Young Church

1.30pm - 4.30 Church open for visitors

6.00pm Phone Church Evening Prayer

23 10.00am Midweek Celebration of the Word of God

7.00pm PCC in Church


26 10.30am Celebration of the Word of God

10.15am Young Church

6.00pm Phone Church Evening Prayer

30 10.00am Midweek Holy Communion

12.00 noon Pastoral Care Team catch-up in church

Please check weekly notes for any changes


It is still important that as we continue to return to

worship we adhere to Covid safety measures.

1. Maintain a 1 metre + distance inside church.

2. Wear a mask if possible and sanitise your hands on

entry and before receiving communion.


From the registers


Sunday 15th August 2021

Penni Frances Campbell

May she shine as a light in the world

To the glory of God


Wednesday 25th August 2021 Holy Cross

John Siddle Cook 79yrs

May He rest in peace, and rise with the saints in glory

on the Day of Christ







It’s that time of year again – Heritage Open Days will be happening once againon the second weekend in  September.   As usual we shall have the opportunity to show off our magnificent church on those days to more visitors than our usual congregation.

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places - from world-famous prehistoric

sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of an empire to a Cold War bunker. It started in

1882 with only a few properties. Then, Heritage was the responsibility of the Office of Works, the government department responsible for architecture. A 1913 Act of Parliament gave the Office new powers, essentially to make a collection of all the greatest sites and buildings that told the story of Britain. Then, these were regarded as being prehistoric and medieval remains – country houses and industrial sites were not seen as heritage.

The first industrial sites were acquired after the Second World War, and in 1949 its first country house, Audley End in Essex. Worried about the cost of maintaining these sites, it was decided National Trust would take on the country houses and the Ministry of Works would confine itself to older monuments, and started adding windmills, iron works and Georgian villas. The Ministry became more commercialised and developed museums and shops selling souvenirs and post cards. In 1983 Mrs Thatcher’s government transferred the English national heritage collection to a new body which eventually became English Heritage. It did two jobs, caring for the National Heritage Collection, and running the national system of heritage protection, including listing buildings, dealing with planning issues and giving grants, one of which we very gratefully received a few years ago when we had the stained-glass windows cleaned and repaired and the west

end redeveloped to include the much-used servery. The organisation was inspired by a determination to put England’s heritage ahead of private interest.

To learn more, go to english-heritage.org.uk where you will find details of their sites and of the various events they hold, including drama/musical productions and battle re-enactments.

Something for everyone. Many events are free if you become a member of English Heritage.


Alan’s Lakeland Adventures

Good forecast and a good journey over arriving at Buttermere at 9:15 AM.We parked above the church and we’re on our way by 9:30 AM. Our first objective was Rannerdale Knotts so we accessed the fells just beyond the old post office and made our way through the bracken to the col leading to Whiteless Pike.

At this point we turned west and followed the ridge of Low Bank arriving at the summit at about 10:30 AM. The views along the Ridge were excellent with Crummock water way below which seemed to invite you to dive in. We returned to the col and began the ascent of Whiteless Pike. This we achieved at 11:10am and again the views were magnificent. We then continued to Wandope along the ridge to Thirdgill Head Man before turning east for the summit. We reached the top at 11:35 AM and had a chat with a fellow fellwalker. It was a little early for lunch so we continued on for Grasmoor.

First we headed for the Coledale-Whiteless Pike path then headed up the slope towards Grasmoor. On the way we passed a man with two beautiful chestnut coloured dogs of an unknown breed. There were a number of other walkers to-ing and fro-ing on Grasmore so we were lucky to find a sheltered spot for lunch. The views of the Solway and Scottish hills were spectacular and we were just able to

make out of the Isle of Man. We quickly cooled down with lunching as the breeze had a nip in it and while this was ideal when climbing it wasn’t so pleasant when sitting around. We left Grasmoor at 12:25pm.

We now returned to the Coledale-Whiteless Pike path and continued on it to Coledale House before striking up to Hopegill Head. There were a number of people on this path too as we slowly made our way to the top. We arrived at 1:20pm and shared the summit with a group of four who were occupied taking photographs.


We then headed along the ridge for Whiteside on an excellent undulating path. As we neared the top we caught up to the man with the dogs. He informed us that they were Barvarian mountain dogs and they seemed to be good natured animals.

We completed our ascent at 1:45pm and decided to rest for a few minutes before beginning our long walk back to Buttermere. We left at 1:55pm and began the long descent down to Laithewaite Green. We lost 1850 feet which, believe me, doesn’t half play havoc with your thighs. At the bottom the dogs were bathing in the stream and I felt like joining them. There followed a three mile walk back to Buttermere where road walking was

punctuated with a few off road sections. It was a beautiful day and people were parked up, sitting on deckchairs, sunning themselves. We spotted a lone heron by a stream and was soon entering the outskirts of Buttermere. We found it extremely difficult to pass the Bridge Inn so we called in for a well deserved shandy.

Crossing the bridge into the beer garden we saw a number of eels in the stream. The beer garden was a sun trap and it was difficult to drag ourselves away from it. The shandy refreshed us for the climb back to the car.

We had a good journey home and saw a crow having a ding-dong with a buzzard over Langwathby cricket field. We arrived home at 6:05pm. This was an excellent day in the fells and we enjoyed wonderful views throughout the day. We are certainly getting fitter climbing 3600 feet before descending 1850 feet.

I think we’re ready to tackle the big ones. 66 down - 148 to go.

Alan Clark







Introducing Auntie Joy - a short series of multi-media events


Auntie Joy is organised by local enthusiasts NofC (of Coalburns) and TQ (of Ovington). The gents met many years ago in a professional capacity when working together in a health & social care setting. Years later a friendship was struck up when their paths crossed at several local music events, and in 2019 they began discussing the notion of organising multi-media events with the primary focus being on music of various genres. The inaugural event scheduled for November last year fell foul of the pandemic, but now they are back.

The intention through the course of the series is to develop opportunities to appreciate music, art, workshops, dance, poetry, film and more – with the values of performer diversity and inclusivity being encouraged.

The primary locations for these events will be two iconic sites in the Old Village part of Ryton; the Holy Cross Church, and the Function Room of its near neighbour, the community owned Ye Olde Cross public house. Experimental, DIY, unusual, fun, free form, challenging, and at times with an element of voluntary participation, these events will be multifarious and suitable for all ages, interests and abilities.


The inaugural event is scheduled to take place on SATURDAY 18th SEPTEMBER 2021, with contrasting performances in succession at each of the two sites as follows:

Holy Cross Church Ryton.

Beginning at 12-noon with ringing of the eight church bells there will be a 2-hour continuous performance (no breaks // no introductions), with sounds created by: …the Church Bell Ringers; …Paul Taylor  improvising on the church organ and piano with the coupling of a synthesiser; …Pinnel adding her unique looping vocals, clicks and blips to this wonderment of mesmeric atmosphere; and… Mobius bringing clouds of looped sound and waves of deep drones for manipulated voices.

Doors 11.30am for a 12-noon start.

Audience members may feel free to change seats and to wander around the soundspace, in a respectful and courteous manner throughout the duration of the performance. The likelihood is that masks must be worn.

Ticket numbers will be limited due to capacity and safety considerations.

£8.00 adults and £3.00 children & young people, OAPs, benefit recipients.

However, as Auntie Joy is an inclusive venture, no-one will be denied a ticket due to inability to pay. Ticket enquiries to TQ: tarquinwood23@hotmail.com

In the event of cancellation due to government restrictions on movement and indoor gatherings, full refunds will be given for pre-paid tickets.

TQ & NofC give respect and a big shout out to Charlie McGovern – Soundman, for audio backup/support/advice & all-round gig wisdom.

Ye Olde Cross - Function Room

At 3pm and following the long-form atmospheric performance in the Church, you are invited to the pub to attend a gathering of the...


This workshop (on this occasion) led by John Pope, has been a staple event of the Jazz North East scene for many years, and offers participants a unique opportunity to participate in a guided music and sound creation opportunity.

Doors and set-up from 2.30pm - Workshop 3-5pm

(There will be a brief comfort break during the course of the workshop)

If you wish to take part in the workshop, please bring your instrument and/or voice. The workshop is also open to non-participant observers to enjoy. While there is no charge to attend the workshop as either a participant or an

observer, donations are most welcome and will help to off-set organiser costs.

For further information about the workshop, please contact NofC:


Challenge yourself to enjoy Auntie Joy








Caring for God's Acre

Caring for God’s Acre is a charity that works nationally to support groups and individuals to care for, and enjoy burial grounds and graveyards. We are encouraged to manage our burial grounds so as to maintain their heritage and biodiversity.

They suggest that churchyards should be mapped and memorials recorded. We are fortunate that the Heritage Group did exactly that. Holy Cross has a map of the churchyard, a record of grave locations and the inscriptions on each headstone. The vast amount of work that the members carried out provided an invaluable part of the church’s history. When people are looking for family graves this historical documentation is a wonderful resource. Over time the map of the lower part of the church yard has disappeared and without it, it is very difficult to locate the grave numbers in this area. Are there any cartographers in our midst who might be able

to create a map of the lower part of the churchyard?

Churchyards, especially urban and rural, are relatively undisturbed other than by the occasional visitor. They provide a wonderful opportunity to monitor biodiversity to identify what we have and what needs support. Biodiversity is the total variation among all living things. It can be measured to help identify where species are under threat and where that would have adverse effects on ecosystems.

The effect of humans on the world has brought about the loss of habitat leading to endangered species .However if we act now this could be reversed in 50 years. Cleaning up the oceans and restoring marine eco systems is just one example; another is to stop deforestation. Both require global agreement and action.

It is estimated that there are 20,000 burial grounds and graveyards which amounts to a national park in terms of area so if we take action to protect biodiversity in our churchyards then we are helping in a significant way.

We can look at lichens as indicators of air pollution.

Mosses lichens and algae absorb huge amounts of carbon and lichens provide food for deer squirrels and nesting material for birds.

We need to record what we have in our churchyard.

So where do we start? Well, we need to record what we already have in terms of both flora and fauna. Early in the year snowdrops carpet the churchyard, then come the celandine followed by the daffodils in the drive and clouds of wild garlic.

We have lost some magnificent trees in gales however we still have many lovely trees to be identified. Those of us who have been in the churchyard early in the morning or in the evening have seen deer, squirrels and foxes. I found a newt while clearing vegetation from the base of the church walls.

We need to plant bee friendly flowers, build a loggery, a hedgehog shelter, a bee hotel etc. The opportunities for junior church to help are many.

My hope is that the local community would be willing to become involved in Caring for God’s Acre.

Glynis Thompson


Afternoon Tea in

Church & Churchyard

August 22nd 

Thank you all for coming, and raising £660 to be split between the Church and the Stroke Association

Thanks to everyone - makers, bakers, helpers and waiters. Kevin, Alan, Tot, Christine, Audrey, Jane, Ann, Anne, Glynis, Maureen McL, Rich, Debbie, Jess, James, Lisa, Simone, and Rachael.


Holy Cross Day

This time last year, we were approaching Holy Cross Day rather uncertainly,unsure whether our planned service and celebration with Bishop Paul for our 800th anniversary would be able to go ahead before we were plunged once more into lockdown. In the event, we squeezed in a service (without singing) and a bring-your-own picnic lunch in the churchyard the day before we went into Tier 3 restrictions. It stands out for me as a joy-filled moment against the backdrop of all that was difficult last year, the first opportunity we had had to do anything fun and sociable since my licensing six months previously.


There were so many things we had to let go of last year, including many of the plans we had for celebrating the 800th. But when he was with us, Bishop Paul suggested that we should roll our celebrations over and keep going until our 801st birthday, which is effectively what we have done – our 800 peace cranes still adorn the building and I for one will miss them greatly when we take them down after Holy Cross Day. I don’t actually know what the church looks like without them as they were already up when I came for interview! We have also rolled over the dramatic presentation of the history of Holy Cross Church – this will take place during the Heritage Weekend in September and I commend it to you. It represents a huge amount of work by Sylvia Barker who has done most

of the research and written the script, ably assisted by her company of actors and supporters. I can guarantee that you will hear stories about Holy Cross Church and our national history that you have never heard before!


I have no desire to steal the thunder of much better historians than me, so rather than writing any more about Holy Cross Church, I’d like to turn my attention briefly to Holy Cross Day. Celebrated on September 14th each year, Holy Cross Day is also known as the Feast of the Cross or the Exaltation of the Cross in the 

Orthodox Church. It is one of the few holy days in the Anglican calendar when we focus on an object – the cross – rather than a person or an event. In the early days of Christianity the cross was not the symbol of the faith that it is now. Partly it was too much associated still with shame and suffering and partly the then illegal Christians needed to fly under the radar. The less obvious fish or ‘ichthus’ was used between the followers of The Way as a secret symbol.


Only when Christianity was adopted by Emperor Constantine as the official religion of the Roman Empire did the image of the cross start to appear in art. Until then it was usually disguised as an anchor or appeared in the form of the chi-rho.


Holy Cross Day commemorates two separate events, if not three. The first was the finding of the True Cross by Constantine’s mother Helena beneath Hadrian’s Temple of Aphrodite which was built on Golgotha, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and his tomb. The second is the dedication in 335AD of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over that same site and into which St Helena placed the remnants of the True Cross. The third is the return of the True Cross to Jerusalem in 629AD after it had been taken to Persia following the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 614AD. It was after this that the Feast of the Exaltation of the

Holy Cross became established in the church calendar.


I wonder if you knew that when the cross was venerated during the Good Friday observances in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre it had to be guarded so that pilgrims who kissed it didn’t bite off pieces to take home with them? Or that the herb basil is associated with the Holy Cross? Legend says that when St Helena

was searching for the cross she came upon a mound which was covered with a fragrant green herb. Believing this to be a sign she had the area dug out and discovered the cross. For this reason, in Orthodox celebrations of the Exaltation of the Cross, the cross is laid on a bed of basil. Worshippers take home sprigs of basil which are said to be of particular interest to those who are not yet married – they place them under their pillows so that they will dream of their future husband or wife.


Fundamentally, of course, we revere not the cross itself but what it represents; the one who humbled himself even to death on a cross so that we could be reconciled with God and enter into eternal life. The cross is glorious in that it represents the

means by which Jesus defeated death itself.

Hymnwriter Isaac Watts put it so much better than I ever could:

“When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.”

Happy Holy Cross Day.


Precious memories mystery


A very unusual situation occurred earlier this week which seemed impossible to solve… The key to resolving this mystery - Holy Cross


I needed to transfer my camcorder footage onto DVD and decided to reuse a local IT shop which I had used previously two years ago.


Upon collecting the DVD’s themanager informed me that I had a large number of photos on the SD card which I couldn’t understand. I told him that I only used the SD card in my camcorder and had never used it to take photos. He showed me random photos. I couldn’t fathom out how I had these photos or who these people were? I vaguely recognised one person but didn’t know where I knew her from. It was a complete mystery, as I’d never lent it to anyone.


How could I have someone else’s precious memories which I knew would mean so much to those who they belong to? A task lay ahead to resolve

the mystery… I put the SD card in my computer to try and find out if there

were any clues to help me return it to its rightful owner. I randomly selected files which held photos and little by little I felt there might be a possibility of tracing the owners.


I stumbled upon a photo of Holy Cross and Tom Jamieson. It then clicked that the lady I thought I knew was in fact from Holy Cross and I recognised her and her husband from there but had no idea of their names. I continued to look for clues and at last found a holiday confirmation with

their names on which unfortunately I didn’t recognise. Could this be a red

herring? I thought about this and knew there was one person I could rely on to help solve this mystery our good friend, Maureen Dunn.


I phoned Maureen and told her the bizarre story and the names I had come

across and she confirmed there were indeed a lovely couple from Holy Cross and she was able to give me their phone number.


Hurrah I thought but how do I go about explaining this in a telephone call?There was only one thing to do just go for it and try to explain the best I could although I was a bit apprehensive about how the couple would react to this very random story.


The couple couldn’t have been nicer, they asked for my address and said

they would phone me when they could collect it later that day which is exactly what happened.


They were ever so grateful and brought me a lovely box of chocolates as a

thank you for all my trouble. We had a pleasant chat and were able to tie in

what had happened as the iPad crashed about two years ago and they had taken it to the same IT shop.


I was touched when they said I deserved a Sherlock Holmes medal! What an eventful story but what a happy ending!

Debs Lowes