Su Reid, Reader in Whorlton Benefice, writes:
We all ‘Live Christ’s Story’, or try to, in a particular time and in particular places.
We in the Whorlton Benefice in Stokesley Deanery are a group of eight villages. Our people now are farmers alongside doctors working in Teesside, and retired people and others of many callings. Our buildings and the fields around us tell us every day of both present and past: of new and old farming, of a squirearchy flourishing and declining with changing industries, of wars recent and ancient commemorated over centuries, of the Normans reshaping the world built by Saxons and Vikings.
Fifteen or so miles away is Middlesbrough, which did not exist two hundred years ago, and whose people live urban lives - seeing no fields or cows, no ripening crops, no ruined castle, and only the recent past around them.
How do we in one place live Christ’s story with people in a very different place, or they with us? How do people in Middlesbrough get to know us in rural North Yorkshire, or we them? It’s hard anyway, and harder in the time of Covid.
Elaine Curry lives in Easterside in Middlesbrough and is now an Ordinand studying at St Hild College, Mirfield. She ran a kids club, Starz, in Easterside for over ten years until Covid, and has kept in touch with those families throughout the time of pandemic. During the lockdowns, she did a rural ministry placement here in the Whorlton Benefice with our Rector, Revd Dr Robert Opala. She joined our Zoom services. She joined us in our church services when that was possible. We all became friends, and continue to be so.