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Joyful celebration of 150 years of faith and community held in Bellerby

First published on: 19th March 2024

A joyful Sunday morning was had in Bellerby in the Benefice of Leyburn and Bellerby in the Ripon area recently, celebrating 150 years of important community and faith in the area.

St John the Evangelist held a service of celebration to mark 150 years of mission and ministry on Sunday, March 17, bringing together people from the church and the local community to celebrate this significant milestone in the life of the church.

During the service, Ray, a member of the church, was confirmed, his banns of marriage were read, and prayers were said for his and his fiancé Caroline's wedding, which is due to take place at St John's in May.  

The Rt Revd Anna Eltringham, Bishop of Ripon, was at the service, and offered prayers of rededication, commissioning, and blessing, giving thanks for the past, celebrating the present and praying for the future.

The Revd Stephen Hanscombe, Vicar of the Benefice of Leyburn and Bellerby, said: "It was lovely to welcome Bishop Anna on her first visit to Bellerby on this day of celebration and to be joined by a congregation made up of both of the churches in our Benefice, remembering all that has gone before and all that is still to come."

A large spread of food followed the service in the Village Memorial Hall, attended by church members, several members of the community and people from St Matthew’s Leyburn.  

In this small community the service was an opportunity for people to come together to celebrate the importance faith and working together has played and continues to play in Bellerby.  

Bishop Anna said, “It was a day of many blessings.

“On this Passion Sunday we thought about how Jesus shows us that sacrifice and love go hand in hand and remembered the faithful souls who put in time, effort, money and prayers to build St John’s as a lamp on a hill and sanctuary of peace and love.

“It was joyous to also confirm Ray, surrounded by the prayers of those gathered, as the church looks ahead to how it can continue to walk together in faith, stay hopeful and give out in love.”

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