Prayer

Our new bishop...

is Christine Hardman. Please pray for her and for her family. We look forward to welcoming her to St Thomas'

Renting our building? 

If you would like to rent all or part of St Thomas' church, please do e-mail the Master, on catherine.lack50@gmail.com to enquire. As described elsewhere on the website we are in the process of refurbishing the whole building, but the "Herman Schier vestry" is already done - and is ideal for small groups to rent. We normally charge commercial groups £80 for half a day, which includes tea & coffee, and gives you a unique space in the centre of Newcastle, next to Haymarket Metro. Sorry - no parking except for disabled. 

If £80 is beyond your budget please do enquire: our aim is to rent out the space to groups who can afford it, so that we can allow community groups to use it at cost price. You will be supporting one of the most iconic buildings in Newcastle. 

 

New keyboard for St Thomas'

Yes, we've been given a new keyboard. Thank you to Thomas for acquiring it for us. It looks good, it sounds good - now let's use it.

 

Master's Blog?

I'm wondering whether to try writing a "Master's Blog" for this page? If you read this, please tell me, and I'll write again...

‘God is gay,’ said the graffiti that had appeared on the wall outside of the Church .

My first thought was, ‘how do you remove graffiti from a listed building?”

My second was, ‘I wonder who wrote that?’

A few days later, it had been removed.

Then on Maundy Thursday, two homeless people were in church. They were engaged in the Prayer Corner, busy writing prayers. We left them to it, as we always would. But one of them took out a beer can, and took a swig; at which point I went over to them, and explained that while they are always welcome in church, and in the Prayer Corner, and anyone is welcome to pray; please no drinking in church. He immediately put the can away, apologised, and carried on writing. They stayed in church a while longer.

Later, I was talking about the graffiti I had found and one of the homeless men said “That was Barry [not his real name]. He’s gay. I’m not, I’m straight; but his partner has just left him, and he was upset and angry. So he wrote that on several churches in Newcastle.”

When I told him it had now been removed, he said, “Yes. I cleaned it off.” He and I shook hands, as I thanked him. His hands weren’t the cleanest, but so what? They’d been used to clean the walls of the church.

A few minutes later, ‘Barry’ came back into church, and said, “This church has been very good to me,” before putting all his change, presumably all that people had given him while begging, into our donation box.

Life is hard if you’re on the streets, but I’m glad we were there to be the recipient of his anger and upset.

The church is there for all people, and this story is testament to that.

 

That's it for today - more soon. 

Catherine

 

 

A heart-warming tale.. 

which appeared in "The Link" in June 2015. When someone else reads this, they will add the photos too, but that is beyond the capabilities of Catherine... 

It's not just the hearts of the worshippers at St Thomas' Church, Haymarket, that are strangely warmed, but their hands and feet too, thanks to the City Centre's first Biomass heating system. 

Last February, the boiler at St Thomas’ church was condemned. It was switched off, disconnected, dead. We commissioned a survey to look at different ways of heating the church. This looked at conventional methods, and some wacky ones (including eg harvesting heat from the metro, which passes underneath the church). The results were clear-cut: first choice biomass, second choice gas (which is cheaper to buy and install). We studied the report, and took a vote: a clear majority went for biomass.

Biomass burns wood, in the form of wood pellets. It is thus a renewable fuel, unlike the fossil fuels that so many boilers depend on. Here at St Thomas’ we raised the money ourselves to pay for the boiler, so that we could take full advantage of the government’s Renewable Heating Incentive. We are not the first church in the diocese to do this: St Alban’s at Earsdon and St Cuthbert’s at Allendale have beaten us to it; but we are the first building in Central Newcastle.

At the church-warming party, Newcastle University Wind Band played their hearts out. They had put up with a very cold church when they played for the Carol Service in December 2014, and students and others were fascinated by their tour of the boiler house.We see this installation as part of our mission to save the planet, and further God's kingdom. As Dr David Golding said, the evidence for climate change is now overwhelming, and churches must do their bit. 

We would like to encourage other churches to explore this. All are welcome to see round. The government’s Renewable Heating Incentive is not as generous as it was, but is still very worthwhile – and it ensures the church in this diocese is doing its bit towards saving the planet. 

 

 

   

 


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