A DVD has gone on sale to help people celebrate the rich religious heritage of the North East and its continuing relevance to the modern world.
The Good News for Every Age DVD was commissioned by the North East Council of Churches as a response to the visit of the Lindisfarne Gospels to Durham this summer.
The Council wished to explore how the modern-day churches of the North East are continuing the mission of the Northumbrian saints to bring the message of salvation and good news to the people of the North.
The team behind the project identified a series of locations covering different aspects of contemporary church life and tradition and the DVD tells the story of the early Northern saints and the churches that they founded. It also looks at the major part the saints continue to play in the Anglican church.
CODEC, a research initiative based at St John’s College, Durham University, was commissioned to deliver the project in time for the Lindisfarne Pilgrimage in July. Among the experts contributing to the supporting materials were David Bryan, Director of Studies at the Lindisfarne Regional Training Partnership, and Rowena Francis, the Moderator of the URC Northern Synod. Financial support came from the people of the North East Churches and SPCK.
Dr Bex Lewis, Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning at CODEC said:”The next stage of the project is to explore the opening of a pilgrimage trail from Lindisfarne to Durham and a number of CODEC researchers will be trying out the route over the late summer and autumn.”
The route does not follow the circuitous route which Saint Cuthbert’s body took but instead hugs the coast down to Sunderland then travels up the Wear Valley to Durham; the present Durham Cathedral replaced the 10th Century church built as part of a monastic foundation to house the shrine of Saint Cuthbert.
The journey through the Diocese of Durham provides an opportunity for modern day reflection on the church in action today - ‘presenting good news for every age’ from the Revd David Tully, Rector of St Mary & St Cuthbert in Chester-le-Street and the Very Revd Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham.
The Revd Pete Phillips, who produced the video, said: “I am not sure what I expected but what we found was eye-opening and exciting, a series of churches all over the North East living out an ancient gospel message in new ways, totally engaged with the communities in which they are. We hope the DVD expresses some of our excitement about Good News for Every Age.”
The Revd Susie Thorp, the recently appointed Chaplain to St John’s College Durham and priest in charge of St Wilfred’s Church in Doxford, Sunderland said: “The North East has a rich Christian heritage that continues to shape contemporary society in the region. Using the story of the flight of the monks from Lindisfarne with their treasures, the body of St Cuthbert and of course the Lindisfarne Gospels, this DVD explores some of the contemporary treasures of Christianity in the region today, and shows how the timeless message of the Christian faith is shared and passed on today.”
If you're interested in having a copy of the DVD for yourself it is now available from CODEC for £3 plus postage and packing of £1.25. Cheques should be made payable to “St John’s College” and orders sent to CODEC, Etchells House, 16 South Bailey, Durham, DH1 3EE. Bulk orders should be made direct to CODEC.
The DVD is also available from the Cathedral Shop at Durham Cathedral and also available via the North East Religious Resources Centres in Carter House, Pelaw Leazes Lane Durham / Church House, St John’s Terrace, Percy Main, North Shields, Newcastle.