On a recent break in Yorkshire we had a great time visiting some of that county’s well loved tourist attractions, from the excellent Black Sheep Brewery in Masham (for the uninitiated that’s pronounced Massam) to the Creamery in Hawes where you can buy 101 different cheeses, anything you want from smoky to chilli, as long as it’s Wensleydale.

One notable day trip saw us in the historic town of Whitby, well known for its Abbey, Whalebone Arch and for its reputation as serving the best fish and chips in the country.  Whitby of course is also famous for its link with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the associated Goth culture.  Each year the town holds two Goth Weekend festivals where people travel from all over the globe to take part.  On the day of our visit the Goth community was definitely out in force.Now black Victorian attire was the norm for many of the Goths, with bustles and whalebone corsets much in evidence, but far from being a uniformly dressed group, there was a wide gamut of styles, from Victorian to neo-punk, and colours, from black, through purples to deep reds and greens and, surprise, surprise, cream.  There were even a couple of ‘Jack Sparrow’ pirates thrown in for good measure…  Far from being uniform there was great diversity in clothing and style.

As I thought about what I’d seen I was reminded of a scene from Monty Pythons, ‘Life of Brian’.  The assembled crowd are being encouraged to express their individuality by the lead character, ‘Brian’. The dialogue goes something like:

Brian:   You’re All Individuals!

Crowd (as one): “We’re All Individuals!”

Brian:   You’re All Different!

Crowd (as one): “Yes. We are all different!”

Lone voice:   I’m Not

The people we saw in Whitby dressed in black were desperately crying out ‘We’re all individuals’ though to the rest of us they were, together, ‘Goths’.  Most of us have the need and desire to belong to a ‘bigger’ group, be it RAF or Goth, while still retaining our individual identity.  My question to you is how do you identify yourself? The Bible says this in Psalm 139:  You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.  God knows each one of us, personally, intimately, individually, and it is in Him that we find a true sense of who we really are.

PS Never mind Whitby, the best fish and chips in Yorkshire can be found in Pickering…


Sunday 4th December 10 a.m. Christingle Family Service

Thursday 15th December 4 p.m.    Station Carol Service – Outside SHQ – Mince Pies and

Mulled Wine

Sunday 18th December 10 a.m.      Family Carols in the Church

Saturday 24th December 11 p.m.   Christmas Eve Midnight Service

Sunday 25th December 10 a.m.     Christmas Day Family Service

Bring a present to show the Padre!