Mission Positive: Colorado at the Castle
We had a great time 19 and 20 June with more lovely American visitors! No, not our friends the descendants of William and Edward Hilton (who sailed to Cape Cod in 1622) some of whom visited earlier this year, but a group from Colorado. They’ve been visiting Hylton Castle Mission Church, and they kindly dropped in to spend some time working in the dene.
However, we didn’t make them pick litter all the time! First we had lunch in St Catherine’s Chapel, where we told them about how Henry Hylton first built the Castle in 1072, and then Romanus de Hylton rebuilt his own version in 1157 – just tacking on a Chapel, as rich Norman barons do . . . Since Thomas Hilton had his own adventures with the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace (very luckily escaping Henry VIII’s violent wrath), we took the chance to share our passion for the North East by discussing a few of the many influential Northumbrians who’ve shaped the UK’s ecclesiastical history over the centuries. As well as Benedict Biscop, Patron Saint of Sunderland, and St Bede (especially because our learning officer Pearl absolutely adores Bede), we told them about Aidan of Lindisfarne, Abbess Hilda (yes, she held her famous Synod in Whitby, but she was born in Northumberland), right down to Victorian Christian feminist, Josephine Butler.
Then we went on a mission through Hylton Dene to see 'Who Could Pick The Most Litter' (the second day this turned into 'Who Could Pick The Most Litter And Play In Hylton Park'). We left it to them to settle that particular competition! Finally, we ended each fantastic afternoon with a small picnic near Hylton Castle.