Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Thursday, 25 November 2010
Thanksgiving for Northumberland's Americans
Trinity Methodist Church
The church provides a family for Americans away from home

If you're an American and feeling lonely on Thanksgiving Day, then a church in Northumberland could make you feel right at home.

Trinity Methodist Church in Hexham is holding a Thanksgiving Day service - but with a difference.

Instead of a traditional turkey feast local Americans can have coffee and a special delicacy, pumpkin pie.

The congregation will give thanks to God just as the Pilgrim Fathers did for the first time in 1621.

Family church

The minister of the church, the Reverend David Flavell, said: "There are thousands of Americans living and working in the North East.

"Thanksgiving is a day for family and, when people can't be home in America, then the next best family is the church."

He got the idea of holding his own Thanksgiving after visiting St Paul's Cathedral in London a few years ago.

Thousands of Americans who are away from home attend the special celebration each year.

Mr Flavell said: "We wanted to do something for people in the North East as London is a long way for them to go. We decided to try it at our church and see what happened."

Apple, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, pictured before being pardoned by Barack Obama. Copyright: AP
Apple, the US National Thanksgiving Turkey, is pardoned by the President

The celebration is now in it's third year and is particularly special for his wife Martha, who is originally from North Carolina.

Attitude of gratitude

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated every year in the United States and Canada, to celebrate the harvest and blessing of the past year.

It dates back to 1621 when the Pilgrims and Native American Indians shared a feast together.

It has been celebrated in America on the fourth Thursday in November since a proclamation by President Lincoln in 1863.

Trinity Methodist Church also has some American members who celebrate their special day with other families in the congregation.

Mr Flavell said: "It's a day when they will be missing their family as they are not at home and that's not a good feeling. We provide a church family.

"It's good to give thanks and having an attitude of gratitude is very healthy. We need to be thankful for what we have compared to other people in the world."

US airports avoid security delays
25 Nov 10 |  US & Canada
Thanksgiving quiz
25 Nov 10 |  US & Canada



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific