Saturday 14th April
Archbishop of York joined around 200 local farmers and others for
breakfast at the Gavel Café at Thirsk Farmers’ Auction Mart. With
Archdeacon Sam Rushton, Dr Sentamu took the opportunity to meet and talk
with staff, farmers, and other visitors to the Mart, where local
Curate, the Revd Dianne Gamble and Assistant Yvonne Bowling have
established a chaplaincy service over the last 18 months, getting to
know regulars and providing a listening ear. The Archbishop was pleased
to meet members of the Christian Motorcyclists' Association from East
Yorkshire who had dropped in for breakfast, while staff were preparing
the Mart for a sale of antique railway memorabilia later in the morning.
Sentamu visited Thirsk Market in the town’s square for an hour. Based
at a stall staffed by local church members in the midst of the market,
Dr Sentamu and Archdeacon Sam Rushton met some of the hundreds of
passers-by and shoppers (including the famous Mrs Jean Green, star of
'The Yorkshire Vet' TV series), engaged in conversation about life and
faith, prayed with people and issued invitations to join nurture and
discussion groups after the weekend.
At noon the Archbishop
arrived at Sowerby Parochial Hall for ‘Sweaty Church’ - families
learning, praying and worshipping together through physical activities.
With organisers Pauline Alderson, Children and Young People's
Development Worker at St Oswald’s Parish Church, Sowerby, and the Revd
Glynn Diggins, Curate of Malton, he met children and families, and spoke
about his own experience of sport in a life of faith.
went on to Thirsk Athletic Bowls Club for the start of the Mowbray
Deanery Bowls Competition and an impromptu bowls lesson before it got
under way. About 50 people from bowls clubs across the deanery – some
are church members and some are not – had entered; the Archbishop spoke
briefly on ‘An Introduction to Faith’ and took some questions before the
He joined Bishop Paul Ferguson on the Deanery stall
in Northallerton’s Street Market, where local church members organised
by Recognised Parish Assistant Peter Harbord had been on duty from
9.00am offering prayer, engaging in conversation and evangelism,
inviting people to the Sunday event as well as follow-up events and
courses. Saturday street markets are the busiest time of the week, often
bringing over a thousand visitors to the town from the Dales and
Dr Sentamu dropped in at Welbury Village Hall
for the popular annual fundraising afternoon tea organised by the
Parochial Church Council.
In the evening the Archbishop attended ‘Supper with Sentamu’ – a ticketed supper at Romanby Golf Club raising money for the Farming Community Network (FCN),
a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families
within the farming community through difficult times. Dr Sentamu met
diners and spoke after dinner, encouraging people to tell their stories,
find out more about Jesus and hear about what Christians are doing in
the local area. There was an auction in aid of FCN.
Archdeacon Sam Rushton joined the Northallerton Street Angels for their
overnight shift (until 4.00am Sunday) in the town. Northallerton Street
Angels are a community initiative led by the New Life Baptist Church to
support and reassure those in town on a weekend night.
Sam said: “Street Angels have become an increasingly visible support for
people who find themselves a bit out of their depth on a night out in
many towns and cities across the country. I’m really looking forward to
getting my wings and joining the ‘Angels’ as they bring a bit of comfort
and joy to the streets of Northallerton on Saturday.”
Sunday 15th April
noon the Archbishop presided at the final service of the Mowbray
Deanery Mission weekend in Northallerton Town Hall and spoke to
encourage people wherever they are in their relationship with God to
take the next step as they respond to God’s call. People from across the
Mowbray Deanery (the parishes clustered around Northallerton and
Thirsk) were joined by those invited at other events through the weekend
for the service and lunch afterwards.