brinkburn road, darlington, DL3 6DX

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Teddy Bears

What have our Teddy Bears been up to?

Our Teddy Bear trail is popular with primary school children when they visit St Matthew and St Luke's. Joyce has been to check on the teddys to see what they have been up to.


The bears were becoming very bored.  The reason was that they had suddenly realised that they hadn’t seen a human being for a very long time.

They had had enough of playing hide and seek around the pews, bingo with the hymn numbers, races up and down the aisle and swimming lessons in the font, and they had read all the books on the shelves and put them all back in alphabetical order, then they had discovered the game and other things stored in the vestry and played at having their own Spring Fair. They couldn’t think of any more things to do that would pass the time.  Where were the people who came every week?
They didn’t realise just how much they would miss them – the ladies who came in on Mondays  and sat making things with wool, they had found their store in the cupboard and had tried to copy them but their paws weren’t made for the long stick like things they used to make beautiful things of many colours.  They also liked listening to their conversations – they really learnt a lot about what was happening in the world outside the church.

Then on a Tuesday there were even more people who came along in the mornings and had drinks and lovely smelling cakes which they discovered were called “cheesy or Fruity”.  Again, they learnt a lot by listening to what the people were talking about, and sometimes ladies came in with little tiny babies and everyone made a fuss of them, and they spoke about something called a christening.  They knew what they were because they had seen them on Sundays when there were so many people in the church and they used the big thing at the back of the church where they had been having their swimming lessons, but guessed they shouldn’t really have done that as it seemed the people thought it was a special place at the back of the church, sometimes it would have a beautiful vase of flowers on.

On a Wednesday they had learnt to be very quiet in the morning because the people came and sat in the chairs on the side of the church and a lady stood behind the special table and said lots of words and the people were given a very small round wafer and a sip of wine.  The bears knew that is what it was because they had found some that had been left out in readiness for a service one day and had tried it, they all agreed that they didn’t like wine, they would stick to honey.
After the people had gone home another group of people came in and they started to prepare food for their café and this made the bears feel very hungry because it smelled delicious especially when they made soup.  The bears wished they would leave some behind so they could try it, but of course they didn’t, but they never gave up hope.

Lastly, they really looked forward to Sundays. That was the day when they saw most people, at least 3 and sometimes 4 times a day.  There were the people who came in very early and did similar things to those on a Wednesday, then a bit later in the morning lots more people arrived and they played music and sang and though they didn’t realise it the bears always joined in because they liked singing and if they could they would have danced to some of the tunes, but most of all they missed the children who came two or three times a year and played games, made things, heard stories and did a lot of singing and dancing.  They looked forward to these times as when everyone had gone home, they would play the games, try and make some of the things and would definitely play the music and dance and sing all night long.

At last they could not stand it any longer they just had to find out what was going on.  Matthew who as we know was the leader because he was the biggest bear but not always the brightest some of the others thought, had called a meeting.  Ugh! they all thought what is he going to tell us now, but being polite bears they all joined Matthew on the steps where the carpet was softest.
“Well” said Matthew, “what do you think we ought to do about this situation?  (He liked using long words). Something must have gone very bad in the world outside the church, because” he said “why else would the people stop coming to see them”.   The bears all nodded to one another agreeing with what Matthew said.

Luke one of the smallest bears and usually one of the quietest said to them all “why don’t we all try and see if we can find out what has happened”.  “You mean, go outside” said Katy in a very frightened voice, she wasn’t the bravest of the bears.  Alice, Jessica and Lucy also nodded their heads as they too were very frightened of what they might find outside.


“Oh, don’t be so silly” said Charlie “it’ll be fun, an adventure, we haven’t had an adventure like that since ohhhh I can’t remember when”.  “YES”, it’ll be great fun echoed Luke, Jake, Andrew, Nathan and Jedward “we could go when it’s dark then people won’t see us in the shadows”.
The girls still didn’t seem to happy with the idea, but if they stayed behind, they would still be frightened being on their own and secretly they all thought they would miss all the fun.
“Right” said Matthew calling them all back together as the boys had run off down the aisle practising jumping off the seats in case, they needed to do any jumping anywhere.  “What we need is a plan of when we are going, where we are going and what we do when we find out what has happened”.  The bears all sat down in a circle and thought and thought of what their plan might be, they all realised that their biggest problem was how they were going to get out of the building is was locked and if they did manage to get out how would they be able to get back in, Mmmm a big problem.

Later when Matthew realised that all the bears had fallen asleep instead of thinking of a plan, he suddenly felt very sad and lonely, where were the people?  He had always had people around him and it felt very strange. Suddenly he thought he heard the door of the church open and he rushed to wake everyone up and led them to the door near the office telling them to be very quiet.  It was then that they thought they heard voices, surely not, but yes there were voices, now maybe they would find out what had happened to all their human friends.

There were two people one a lady and the other a man, they thought the lady sounded like the Vicar because she had a lovely voice which they all liked and always listened to her more carefully when she led the services,  especially when  she brough her dog Bob along  and loved hearing about all his adventures.
The bears were so excited to hear voices that they all fell over each other in their rush to get to the door first, so much so that the door flew open and they all tumbled into the office.  The Vicar and the man looked up from where they were sitting and were amazed at what they saw, a big heap of bears.

The bears all got up and shook themselves and realised that they had broken the most important rule of The BEARS  Code – they were face to face with humans – equally the humans were very surprised even more so when the bears all stood up and Matthew came to the front and looked up at them.  Should he speak and break another rule, Yes, he thought he would because he had a sort of feeling that everything would be ok.  He stood as tall as he could, gave a short bear like cough and introduced himself and his friends.  The Vicar whose name was Lissa and the man whose name was Gordon, both felt very strange as if they had been transported back to their childhood and played with their toys imagining that they could talk.  No, this could not be happening, could it?  Lissa asked the bears why they had been outside the door because she just had a feeling that they had something very important on their minds. 

Matthew spoke first and told them that they had been really, really worried that they hadn’t seen anyone for weeks and they didn’t understand why.  Then they all joined in talking all at once about the things that they had missed and the plans they were trying to think of to find why everyone was missing for so long.

Lissa & Gordon listened to them all and then explained to the bears who by this time were sitting on the carpet listening very carefully as to what they were saying.  It seemed that there had been a terrible virus that had gone all around the world and lots and lots of people had caught it and lots of people had sadly died from it, and the only way the people who were in charge of all the countries around the world could see how to stop it spreading was to stop people going out and meeting one another in what was called a “lock down”, and that was why there hadn’t been anyone in the church for weeks.  But now the virus had gone away and the government had decided that people could go out again and meet one another and churches could hold services once again, and that is why they were in the church planning a big service to say thank you to everyone who had helped the country and to say the biggest thank you to Jesus for helping everyone.

The bears thought this was a brilliant idea and asked if they could be part of it, like when they took part in the services at Christmas when their other human friend always made a fuss of them and had introduced them to Jesus and since then they had all listened very hard to the people who spoke each week to explain what all the stories were about and how Jesus lived. 
Lissa and Gordon also thought that this was a brilliant idea and they all set about planning the service, there would be lots of singing and even a bit of dancing  and everyone would be involved somewhere doing something and afterwards there would be lots of things to eat, that sounded like the best bit to all of the bears.

When they had all finished planning the service, the bears said goodnight and thanked Lissa & Gordon for telling them what had happened and went back into the church quietly, they stood in front of the big table they knew was called the altar and looked at the big cross which was behind it, and they said thank you to Jesus for keeping everyone safe and hoped He would never ever leave them, and then said goodnight to each other and fell asleep dreaming of the big service when they would see all their human friends again.