St Columba’s Church held its annual meeting on 30 March 2010.
Thirty-five written reports were received from all aspects of the life of the church, ranging from care of the congregation to learning together to worship in retirement homes. The one thing that stood out was just how active the church was, showing the love of God in North Shields and beyond.
We celebrated two weddings, three baptisms, one dedication, and eleven people were welcomed into church membership. Indeed, total church membership rose to 152 – the highest figure for 8 years!
We continued to work with local primary schools and the other churches in the area. “Messy church”, the fun way to learn about the Christian faith through art and crafts, continued to be enjoyed once a month and we also ran two 10-week Alpha courses, for adults wanting to explore the basics of Christianity. In July, twenty-two youngsters and adults went to the New Wine Christian conference, camping near Newark.
During 2009, the church and church groups raised over £8,000 for other charities, including Christian Aid, St Oswald’s Hospice, UNICEF, the Alzheimer’s Society, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Northumbria Healthcare, Bible Society, Macmillan Cancer Care, ME North East, Smile for Life, Nite Bite (a local charity providing a hot meal for homeless people), McKean Rehabilitation Centre in Thailand, and Priateli (a charity helping orphans in Bulgaria). With others, we managed to collect nearly 300 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, ensuring that deprived children in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa were able to open one present at Christmas. Once again, one of our ladies’ groups, HANDS, supported the annual garden fête at Pearey House, in Preston Park, in aid of the Tynemouth Blind Welfare Society.
Our Traidcraft team continued to run the fair trade stall on Sundays and Tuesdays throughout the year, and once again served a fair trade breakfast to early morning worshippers on Easter Sunday.
In 2009, our church-run registered social landlord, the Square Building Trust Ltd, celebrated its 80th anniversary. This was followed, in February 2010 with our award-winning Square Table Lunch Club celebrating its 21st anniversary. During those years, the ladies have served 66,615 lunches to all comers – a marvellous achievement!
The “winter wonderland” flower festival, coinciding with the Victorian Christmas Market weekend, proved a great success, with many eye-catching displays.
All in all, it was a busy year, with a lot of people doing an amazing amount of work in the church and community.