Lent 2019 ‘Another Story Must Begin’ by Jonathan Meyer

Have you enjoyed Les Miserables either the musical or the recent television dramatization of Victor Hugo’s novel? Well for our Lent discussion groups this year we are going to use material prepared for Lent that uses the powerful story as its focus. I quote, ‘Les Miserables is a tale that tells of the great challenges of life that speaks of God, infinite and personal, that encourages us to ponder on our lives and to wonder how to offer ourselves to his service in the way that Jean Valjean does. This unique Lent course looks at the stories of five of the principal characters in Victor Hugo’s classic tale – the Bishop of Digne, Jean Valjean, Cosette, Fantine and, of course, Javert – and explores the classic themes of social justice and the apparent conflict between the justice and mercy of God.’

The booklet to accompany the course will cost £5.99. If you cannot afford all or a part of the cost please have a confidential word with one of the clergy and we will ensure you do not miss out. It looks to be a really interesting course. Please add your name to the list in church if you would like a booklet purchasing for you.



If you are looking for a book to read during Lent

you might consider the

Archbishop of Canterbury’s recommendation for 2019—

‘Reconciliation’, written by Dr Muthuraj Swamy.

The promotion reads, ‘'Swamy reminds us constantly that true

reconciliation is a journey into otherness'  - Justin Welby

Global in scope, but homing in on the role ordinary people play in conflict and division, ‘Reconciliation’ enables Christians to engage confidently in a ministry bequeathed to us by Christ himself.

The book issues a vibrant call to the church to support and strengthen relationships amongst church members; to cross borders, to build connections with different denominations, and to maintain open attitudes towards our neighbours from other religions and ideologies. Forty biblically-based meditations introduce topics such as Impediments to reconciliation, risking the self, humility and self-criticism, radical openness to the other and peace with justice’.




Our Christmas Fair

was held on 1st December

Daphne, Marianne and Eileen 

were winners of the cake competition.

Go to the gallery to see more photos



 cake comp






A new drop in session for Asylum seekers and Refugees in Redcar has started up and meets at the United Reform Church on Station Road every Thursday afternoon from 3.00pm until 5.00pm. The project has joint support from Redcar Methodists, the URC and ourselves. It welcomes all nationalities and its aim is to facilitate friendship and conversation for those who are settling into a new country and culture.

The session offers a space for this to happen while being involved in crafts, activities, games and toys for families and children. We have already begun to meet new families – some who have very good spoken English and some who are just learning.

Please contact me if you would like any further information or may want to help.



Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland

is a joint venture between the Diocese of York and CUF (Church Urban Fund).

CUF has been active nationally in local communities for over 30 years, established by the Church of England as a practical response to unmet need. As the Church of England’s social action charity CUF’s Development Workers have unique access to local communities through the parish network, totalling 12,000 parishes.  Working within local communities ensures all our work is rooted and informed by real life experiences from our towns, villages and coastal regions.

CUF works to bring about long term sustainable change in four main ways:

Together Network – a key and distinctive aspect of CUF’s work.   The network consists of 19 organisations across England that work to resource local Churches and other groups as they seek to make a positive difference within their communities.

Near Neighbours – building social cohesion by bringing together people of different faiths and none, whilst helping people develop their leadership skills and work together to improve their communities.

Just Finance Foundation -  A programme that aims to shape a fairer finance system focused on serving the whole community, where everyone has access to responsible credit, savings and other essential financial services. 

Shaping the Public Sphere – Publications, resources and events that influence thinking about, and responses to, issues affecting the flourishing of individuals and communities.

Together Network

Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland is one of the 19 Together Network organisations working across England.  We have recently celebrated our 5th anniversary.  We have 3 Development Workers. Heather Black works across Middlesbrough and has an office base at the Trinity Centre in North Ormesby.  Vanessa Kirby was recently appointed as Development Worker for Redcar & Cleveland and is currently looking for a suitable office base within the Borough.

Kate Wells (also based at the Trinity Centre North Ormesby) is Development Worker for Faithfully Ageing Better in Middlesbrough.   Do look on our website to read more about our work or why not sign up to receive our regular newsletter.

As part-time Development Workers Vanessa and Heather work with local Churches, community groups, other faith groups, charities, local authorities and other statutory bodies.  Encouraging people to work across differences and boundaries so that new ideas can be tested to bring about positive change within local communities. They both work using an asset-based approach – starting with the experience, skills, resources and relationships already present in communities and empowering people to have a go at addressing the areas of greatest need locally. It’s about building on what a community already has rather than starting with what it is lacking.


Vanessa and Heather are available to help Churches understand the local context and help them think creatively about the resources, skills and the potential already located within their congregations.


Vanessa attended St Nick’s on Sunday December 3rd for the celebration of the Feast of St Nicholas when she gratefully received the toys the Church family donated. Vanessa delivered some of the toys to Redcar & Cleveland Council’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Team and some to the Social Work Team at Grangetown.  The toys were then passed on to local families through these two teams in time for Christmas, enabling families to know that the Church across our Borough cares.



Social Work Team Grangetown

 social work team cfu

Vanessa is currently working with the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Team exploring the possibility of setting up a Church Volunteer Befriending Scheme.  The aim will be to recruit and train local Church volunteers who will meet with a family resettled within the Borough, helping them adjust to life in the UK and perhaps meeting up for a simple cuppa and a chat.  Do get in touch with Vanessa if this is something you would like to support.


Vanessa’s normal working days are Tuesday – Thursday and her contact details are:

Mobile 07576351305             Email [email protected]

vanessa kirby

Vanessa Kirby








































Exploring Faith Together

with Archbishop Sentamu

As previously reported, the Archbishop of York will be in Guisborough Deanery for the weekend of 27th – 29th April. The whole purpose is to support the efforts of our churches and deanery to engage in Mission, so although we refer to it as the ‘Archbishop’s Mission Weekend’ it is really ‘our’ weekend in which the Archbishop will engage. The planning group decides what is happening and the Archbishop and his team will be invited to get involved. There will be a full programme in due course but what particularly applies to us at St Peter’s is the Saturday evening, 28th April at  7.00pm, when we will host a ‘Meet the Archbishop’ evening.

Julie Donaldson from Radio Zetland has agreed to come along to lead an evening of questions and answers with the Archbishop and his team, some personal stories of faith and some entertainment. It’s going to be great so do put the date in your diary, however it is to be hoped that you will bring a friend along with you who doesn’t normally attend church. Maybe someone who comes to coffee mornings but not to services, or someone who asks you questions about your faith, your husband or wife, son or daughter. This is an opportunity for the Archbishop’s message of hope to be heard by a wider audience and it is our responsibility to provide the audience.

So an exciting evening to which all are welcome and if you are someone who receives the church magazine but doesn’t usually come to services, please take this as your personal invitation to

‘Meet the Archbishop’.