The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will be out and about to meet the people of Mowbray Deanery – Thirsk, Northallerton and surrounding communities – during a Mission Weekend from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th April.
The weekend is one of a series of weekend missions throughout the Diocese of York, in which the Archbishop joins with local church members to share faith with a wide cross-section of people and groups.
Friday 13th April
At 11.00am, Dr Sentamu will arrive at Orchid House (Acacia Drive, Sowerby YO7 1GT), an extra care housing scheme of 64 flats and 26 bungalows for people who require support to live independently. He will join a residents’ coffee morning, meet extra care manager Kate Raustrick and give a short talk on ‘Faith in Later Life’ with questions afterwards. Orchid House opened in 2016, and church members who reside there have worked to build up a community and have organised and run group study courses during Advent and Lent.
During the afternoon, Archbishop Sentamu will visit the historic village of Osmotherley, a hub of local rural life including farming, leisure and tourism with a rich history of Christian life including the Parish Church of St Peter with Saxon origins, the neighbouring monastic site of Mount Grace Priory, an early Quaker community and a Methodist chapel inspired by a visit from Methodist founder John Wesley. The Archbishop will meet and greet local people in the village centre.
The Bishop of Whitby, the Rt Revd Paul Ferguson and Archdeacon of Cleveland Samantha Rushton will both attend Friday evening’s ‘Burn’ creative worship event at All Saints’ Parish Church, Northallerton, between 7.00pm and 10.00pm – all are welcome to attend.
Saturday 14th April
The Archbishop of York will join around 200 local farmers and others for breakfast at the Gavel Café at Thirsk Farmers’ Auction Mart (Blakey Lane, Thirsk Rural Business Centre, Thirsk YO7 3AB). With Archdeacon Sam Rushton, Dr Sentamu will take the opportunity to meet and talk with staff, farmers, and other visitors to the Mart, where local Curate, the Revd Dianne Gamble, has established a chaplaincy service over the last 18 months, getting to know regulars and providing a listening ear. Staff will be preparing the Mart for a sale of antique railway memorabilia later in the morning.
At 10.45am Archbishop Sentamu will visit 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 will meet some of the hundreds of passers-by and shoppers, engage in conversation about life and faith, pray with people and issue invitations to join nurture and discussion groups after the weekend.
At 12.00 noon the Archbishop will arrive at Sowerby Parochial Hall (The Flatts, Sowerby, YO7 1LY) 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 will meet children and families, and speak about his own experience of sport in a life of faith.
At 1.00pm Dr Sentamu will arrive at Thirsk Athletic Bowls Club (Newsham Road, Thirsk YO7 1QP) for the start of the Mowbray Deanery Bowls Competition. About 50 people from bowls clubs across the deanery – some are church members and some are not – are expected to enter; the Archbishop will speak briefly on ‘An Introduction to Faith’ and take some questions before the action begins.
At 1.45pm Archbishop Sentamu will join Bishop Paul Ferguson on the Deanery stall in Northallerton’s Street Market, where local church members organised by Recognised Parish Assistant Peter Harbord will have 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 surrounding areas.
At 3.30pm Dr Sentamu will arrive at Welbury Village Hall (Tofts Lane, DL6 2SD) where he will join the popular annual fundraising afternoon tea organised by the Parochial Church Council.
At 7.00pm the Archbishop will attend ‘Supper with Sentamu’ – a ticketed supper at Romanby Golf Club (Yafforth Road, Romanby DL7 0PE) 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 will meet diners and speak 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 will be an auction in aid of FCN (http://www.fcn.org.uk/)
At 10.00pm Archdeacon Sam Rushton will be joining 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.
Archdeacon Sam Rushton 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
At 12.00 noon the Archbishop will preside at the final service of the Mowbray Deanery Mission weekend in Northallerton Town Hall (High Street, Northallerton DL7 8QR) and speak 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) will be joined by those invited at other events through the weekend for the service and lunch afterwards.
For more information about the Diocese of York mission weekends, please contact Martin Sheppard at email: [email protected] or at mb. 07377 356621.
For media enquiries relating to the Archbishop, please contact Elizabeth Addy at tel. 01904 772365 or email: [email protected]