ST Matthew and St Luke’s Church, in Brinkburn Road, is preparing to welcome Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant to lead services over the Easter period.

The church’s vicar, Reverend Lissa Gibbons is away on sabbatical, so Bishop Mark has stepped in to ensure that the congregation has a colourful week of worship leading up to Easter Sunday.

The Easter season kicks off on Saturday (April 12), at 2pm, with the spring fair, which is being held as usual at Willow Road Community Centre.

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Services are being held at the church every day of Holy Week and there will also be a free Easter children’s club taking place from Tuesday to Thursday from 9.30am until noon.

The week culminates with Bishop Mark leading the service on Easter Day.

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FUNDS RAISED: Darlington Women’s Club held its annual charity fundraising lunch on Thursday, March 20, in St Cuthbert’s Church Hall. Funds were raised for the children’s cancer care ward at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle. As well as soup and apple pie, there was a raffle and a cake stall.

The entertainment was provided by Roy Millar and Brian Robson who, at the last minute, came out of retirement especially to play at the event. Their Sixties and Seventies music went down a storm with the diners who happily joined in with every song. A total of £876 was raised at the event.

WALK ON: Derek Lindsay will lead a 4.5mile walk around Brafferton, for Age UK, on Monday (April 14). Meet at the village hall, at 10.30am for a 10.45am start. Boots or trainers recommended and waterproofs advised. Participants are encouraged to provide their own refreshments. For more information, call Sue White, on 01325-741495.

LITTER PICK: A collection of litter, organised by Dalton Parish Council, last Saturday (April 5), achieved encouraging results. A number of bags of waste were collected by volunteers. The parish council has thanked the residents who participated and, in particular, Dalton football team, which boosted the number of volunteers considerably.

SWIM DATA: The Dolphin Centre is the first swimming pool in the region to introduce Swimtag for its members. Swimtag is a wristband that swimmers wear in the pool, tracking their personal data including length times, stroke type and calories burned. These details are then uploaded to the Swimtag website, where members can track their progress. The scheme is currently open to members only, but there are plans to roll it out for all users later in the year.