Parishioners from St Hilda’s, Cross Green, have followed the footsteps of their patron with a trip to Whitby which, for many was their first ever visit to the seaside.
Mass was celebrated in the Abbey grounds by Interim Parish Priest Father Darren Percival who, during his 16 months with the parish, has built on the church’s mission and outreach to the local community.
Fr Darren said: “During the Confirmation classes we had talked about local Saints Paulinus and Hilda, and their respective locations of Whitby, York and Dewsbury. It became apparent that the folk had never been out of Cross Green.
“We had a great day, Mass in the abbey and then onto the beach, the kids ran straight into the sea, I was panicked by this as they still had their shoes on. One of the parishioners said: ‘Don't worry they have never seen the sea for real.’
“This for me was a reality check of the people of whom I’m privileged to serve, as a dad myself I can take my son wherever on my days off with no hesitation. Whereas the children I care for pastorally don't have that in their lives.
“Watch out Northumberland, as we are making plans to follow in the footsteps of Aidan and Cuthbert next year”.
The day out to Whitby was made possible for one of the poorest parishes in the country through a generous grant from The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament which helped to pay for the coach, while English Heritage waived their entry fee to the Abbey.