New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News >

‘Ornitheologists’ flock together


by Pat Ashworth

YELLOW-BROWED warblers blown off course to Siberia could be among the sights to gladden the hearts of a unique group of bird-watchers this autumn.

The Revd Adrian Hughes, Vicar of Belford and Lucker, and Mark Winter, a Baptist who runs Birdwatch Northumbria, have joined forces to pioneer a weekend of bird-watching and Christian worship in November.

The organisers promise a full programme of guided birdwatching walks; presentations on birds and their God-given significance; and times of devotion and worship celebrating God’s creativity.

Bird-watching requires stillness and attentiveness and thus is like a platform for prayer, says Mr Hughes, who has been ministering in Northumberland for 18 years. "We’re encountering a huge number of people who are fascinated by birdwatching as their window on the created order," he said on Tuesday.

"It’s part of the long-standing tradition in this part of the world, and comes from our Celtic and Irish saints, like Cuthbert and Aidan, whose affinity to the created order arose out of their relationship with God."

"Ornitheology" is the word coined for it by the Revd Dr John Stott, an Evangelical statesman and avid birdwatcher, whose recently published book, The Birds Our Teachers, contains his own photographs.

Worship during the weekend, 5-7 November, will include quiet meditation, leading to prayer and adoration, Mr Hughes said.

Holy Island (Lindisfarne) is one of the most famous sites on the east coast for bird-watching, attracting thousands of rare migrant birds in late autumn.

The island’s sycamore trees become a refuge for the Yellow-Browed Warbler, Pallas’s Warbler and the Dusky Warbler; and the shores are home to the Pale-Bellied Brent Goose on its annual flight from Spitzbergen.

"We have all our regular migrants there and some unusual divers and grebes might be arriving. It’s just fabulous," said Mr Hughes, who claims he originally needed binoculars to spot his parishioners in the tiny Cheviot parishes to which he was first assigned.

birdwatchnorthumbria.co.uk.

 

Job of the week

Director

North West

Director: transforming Wigan This ground breaking church commissioners funded project offers a motivated, inspirational and talented clergy person the oppourtunity to make their mark. Over seven years...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Christian fiction in a novel form

Christian fiction in a novel form

Catherine Fox could not find a publisher for her latest novel, until she decided to serialise it as a blog. She talks to Sarah Meyrick  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
If you had a vote, would you opt for Scottish independence?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Reminder: never buy a girl a pink Bible

Peter Graystone suggests some unexpected role-models for Christian girls  Subscribe to read more

Tue 16 Sep 14 @ 11:34
RT @CT100Books10 days to go until we reveal numbers 100 to 51! Make sure you don't miss out on any issue > http://t.co/8hqq4ZVyrA (prices from £21.20)

Mon 15 Sep 14 @ 17:25
UPDATED: 'No hidden agenda' behind sexuality conversations http://t.co/BnzGbuyVXX