All posts by Margaret Doyle

Lumiere 2017

As on previous occasions, we shall be opening the Church during the forthcoming Lumiere festival in Durham (16th to 19th November).  In common with many of the churches in the centre of the city, we hope to provide a place for quieter reflection where people can light a candle, say a prayer and also find some “light” refreshments.  We hope to be open from about 5pm to 10pm on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday and after the evening Mass on the Sunday.

To offer this opportunity, we will need willing hands to staff the church, to make soups, to sell tea and coffee etc.  If you can help, in any way, please sign up as soon as you can on the lists on the noticeboard or see Andy Doyle.  Thank you.

Events at Ushaw and Minsteracres


Piano Recital: Saturday 21 October at 2.30pm at Ushaw College.  Alex Chisholm-Loxley is a piano teacher, performer and choral singer. He is currently musical director of the newly formed Ushaw Choir, and assistant conductor of the Crook and Weardale Choral Society. Admission free, retiring collection.

Resurrection of hope: digging for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. Hexham Kairos in partnership with Peace and Justice in the Holy Land NE and Minsteracres have organised an event to mark the year of the three big anniversaries – 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, 50 years occupation of Palestinian territories and 10 years blockade of Gaza. Mary Grey, a Roman Catholic eco-feminist theologian and trustee of the Balfour project is the keynote speaker, with contributions from Mary Lucas, Charlotte Marshal, Brian Brown and Veronica Whitty. Friday 3-Saturday 4 November.

Baby Loss Memorial

We have set aside a place of reflection in the Lady Chapel, for those affected by baby loss in all its forms including miscarriage, still birth, and illness.  We are also remembering the lives lost due to abortion, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act being put into place.  The memorial will be in place throughout October.

Parish Pastoral Council

The PPC met on 21 September.  The meeting discussed finances (there will be a briefing for the parish at the beginning of December) and buildings.  We have recently completed work on the office and installed new furniture in the church porch, and there is work to be done on the boundary wall and the presbytery stonework.  There was an update from the Partnership Development Group, and we are reviewing the Parish Pastoral Plan.  This was originally our Forward Together in Hope action plan and we have so far implemented 40 of the 86 actions.  The full minutes of the meeting are available on the website.

Lay Dominicans

The Lay Dominicans will meet here at St. Cuthbert’s on Sunday 15 October at 2.30pm.  The subject will be Dominican art in Florence, at the churches of S. Maria Novella and S. Marco (including the work of fra Angelico who was a Dominican friar).

Everyone is invited – you don’t have to be a member of the Lay Dominicans to come.


Dementia Friends

Do you know someone, be it a relative or friend, who is living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia?  Would you like to learn a little bit more about what this means and the small ways you can help?

The Alzheimers Society are delivering a “Dementia Friends Session” at 7pm on Wednesday 11 October in the Jubilee Room, St Joseph’s, Mill Lane, Gilesgate, Durham DH1 2JG. The event has been organised by the Inclusive Group in Durham Martyrs parish, who are working to create a “Dementia Friendly Community”, and they would like to invite people from the partnership to attend the session which will last for 1 hour only.

Possible Parish Trip to Rome

In 2012, there was a parish trip to Rome, and we are thinking about a return visit!

On our last trip we spent 4 nights in the centre of Rome and 3 nights at Palazzola.  We could do the same again, or possibly 4 nights in Rome and 3 in Assisi or Florence.  The trip is likely to be immediately after Easter 2018.

We don’t have any firm information on dates and cost yet, but we would like to get an idea of how many people may be interested.  If you have any questions or suggestions, or you think you may be interested, please contact Margaret Doyle after Mass, on 0191 3783660 or

The Finchale Partnership

The Partnership Development Group met for the second time on 13th September.  Following the success of our first partnership event at Ushaw, we have been discussing the strengths of each parish, and the areas where we need support.  We have also been joined by representatives from the primary and secondary schools.  We are beginning to get to know each other better but we still have a lot of work to do to agree the priorities across our 9 parishes.  The Diocese is asking us to look at a range of subjects, from finance and property to liturgy and outreach, and we will need to involve more people in taking things forward once the plans become clearer.  In the meantime, we are planning a partnership newsletter to keep everyone informed, and you can keep up to date with information about the partnership on our webpages, where you will also find the name of your parish representative on the group and the full minutes of the meeting.

Finchale Partnership event

Thank you to everyone who came along to Ushaw College last Sunday for our first Partnership event.  168 people came from across the Partnership, and, despite the weather, we had a great afternoon, with activities for families, tours of the college and Vespers in St. Cuthbert’s Chapel.  Thank you to Ushaw and their volunteers for their hospitality.

There are some photos of the event here

Around the Church

This cross is carved into the stonework of the doorway as you come into church.  There is a cross each side of the door and they are consecration crosses.

There are traditionally 12 consecration crosses, blessed when a church is consecrated.

As well as the 2 on the doorway there are painted crosses around the interior of the church, which was consecrated in 1910.

Durham Miners’ Gala

Thank you to everyone who came along to help serve refreshments at the Miners’ Gala last Saturday, and to those who donated food for us to sell.

We made £673.60 profit for the charities which the parish supports.

We also received £84.50 in donations from those who used the toilets, and this money will go to support the Toilet Twinning project.