The Right Revd Mark Bryant Bishop of Jarrow says prayers for the work at St Mary's

 The Right Revd Mark Bryant Bishop of Jarrow says prayers for the work at St Mary's

The Right Revd Mark Bryant Bishop of Jarrow says prayers for the work at St Mary’s
The final stages of a large capital project with a value of hundreds of thousands of pounds to make an Anglican church in Teesdale more welcoming have been completed. The money has been spent at St Mary’s in Barnard Castle and projects have included more welcoming spaces within the church, the installation of a digital organ, improved heating and lighting, creation of a catering area and a labyrinth, which leads visitors to the centre of the church where they can leave prayers. The Revd Canon Alec Harding, vicar of St Mary’s, said: “As a congregation, we had been talking about remodelling the church since 2001 and work began five or six years ago. “The idea is to make the church more welcoming to visitors. St Mary’s is open dawn to dusk – and not every church can say that – and even in the dark and miserable winter days we get people coming in. “The idea behind the labyrinth is that there is only one way, no dead ends, and it takes people to the centre where they can leave prayers. It is about the journey, it says that Jesus is the way.” Another part of the project has seen £100,000 worth of improvements to the car park and grounds, including creating a more attractive approach to the church. The money was provided by the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership, which supports projects to develop the area as a visitor attraction. A new porch has also been created.
 The Right Revd Mark Bryant Bishop of Jarrow gives thanks for the work at St Mary's

The Right Revd Mark Bryant Bishop of Jarrow gives thanks for the work at St Mary’s
The completion of the work, which has received grants from a number of other organisations, was marked by a special service of dedication, at which the Right Revd Mark Bryant, the Bishop of Jarrow, preached the sermon. He said “I congratulate the many people who have been involved in bringing these projects to completion. The extraordinary work that has been done over a number of years to reorder and beautify this church makes it a real place of welcome. “All the wonderful landscaping that has gone outside ensures that this church and its area provides a really good welcome to those coming to Teesdale. “It’s always good to find the church working in partnership with other people and wonderful to find this parish church working in partnership with the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership with its strong commitment to drawing out the very best of the local landscape.
 Gathering of some of the people that have made the reordering possible. L-R Revd Alec Harding, Chris Dauber and Derek Nixon of Anthony Dixon Furniture - responsible for the woodworking, Ian Moorehouse and William Weston - from teh heart of teesdale landspace partnership - who have provided the work on the carpark area, Sue Berresford from Durham County Council, centre Bishop Mark.

Gathering of some of the people that have made the reordering possible. L-R Revd Alec Harding, Chris Dauber and Derek Nixon of Anthony Dixon Furniture – responsible for the woodworking, Ian Moorehouse and William Weston – from the heart of teesdale landscape partnership – who have provided the work on the car park area, Sue Berresford from Durham County Council, centre Bishop Mark.
“The Partnership sets itself to rediscover the particular visual qualities of Teesdale drawing on the historic legacy of those who have painted and worked creatively in this area. It wonderfully wants to conserve and restore the built and natural features of this area and to protect the local environment. “I think work like this is also about guarding the intangible heritage of this area. My sense is that Teesdale has that, that people going home at the end of the day feel more refreshed, feeling better, more at ease with themselves. “In a world which seems to be increasingly materialistic and increasingly hectic, we need more than ever before those places that have deep and significant intangible value and intangible heritage. “Work like the projects at St Mary’s is important as we seek to welcome visitors to this glorious part of the country. “People need to have that sense, not just that they are tolerated, not that they are just important for the economy, but that they are truly welcome, that we long for them to be here and we want to welcome them just as they are, that we want them to be here because we long to share with them this wonderful landscape and history which excites and inspires us. “This parish church has a particular role to play because it has stood over the centuries in this landscape not just to welcome people to this glorious part of the country but to speak of a God who is deeply hospitable and who is deeply welcoming.” Additional Images  

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