Church of England Diocese of Carlisle Talkin

The Irthing, Gelt & Eden Mission Community

18 Nov 2020, 12:15 a.m.

Irthing, Gelt and Eden Mission Community

Walking the Way

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.” (Revelation 22:1&2)

In Genesis, we read how the river that flowed from Eden watered the garden. And in the final chapter of Revelation the river of the water of life flows through the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem.

Our rivers are vitally important geographical features, for drainage, irrigation, and for carrying nutrients. They are also vital to the world’s weather cycle. In short, where rivers don’t run, there is very little life.

“Irthing, Gelt and Eden” is the name chosen for our Mission Community. These three rivers wind their way through the part of northern Cumbria that makes up our Mission Community area.

The river Irthing flows through the parishes of Gilsland and Nether Denton and past the priory at Lanercost. Indeed, Lanercost priory stands where it stands because of its proximity to the river and to its constant supply of fresh water. The river Irthing then threads its way between Walton and Brampton and through Irthington, to where it is joined by the river Gelt.

The river Gelt originates in the fells above Cumrew and Castle Carrock. It threads it way through the parishes of Castle Carrock, Talkin and Hayton to where it joins the Irthing.

The river Eden comes up from the south of Cumbria. The parish of Cumwhitton lies in the beautiful and fertile Eden Valley to the east of the river Eden. When it reaches the parish of Crosby-on-Eden the Eden is joined by the Irthing. The unified river then flows into Carlisle and past the cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of Carlisle.

Irthing, Gelt and Eden makes a great name for our Mission Community:

The rivers are important and well-known geographical features. They tell the rest of the county and diocese where our Mission Community is situated. They also remind us of God’s ongoing provision for all our needs.

The name emphasises unity. Just as our rivers flow into one, and then make their way towards the mother church in the centre of Carlisle, our Mission Community is made up of many congregations working and serving alongside one another to make Jesus known.

The rivers God has given help to irrigate and fertilise the land. Jesus can satisfy our spiritual thirst as well as our physical needs.

Jesus said: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37)

As Christians in the Irthing, Gelt and Eden Mission Community may we be united in our desire to tell others the Good News of all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

Revd Stephen Robertson

Irthing, Gelt and Eden Mission Community Leader

November 2020