All posts by Margaret Doyle

Financial Briefing to the Parish

John Marsland, chairman of the Parish Finance Council, writes:

I am pleased to report that the year has been financially stable. We have spent £17K on repairs and renewals and have completed the refurbishment of the Parish Office and alterations to the Narthex. We recently commenced repairs to the boundary wall, which will cost about £24K.  Our beautiful, historically important church requires constant maintenance and one big project is waiting in the wings – the repair to the presbytery stonework will be a six figure sum, a challenge for future years.

Fortunately, thanks to your generosity we are able to meet our current commitments as our balances are currently £22K in the current account and £63K in the deposit account with the Diocese, including £8,200 from the Gift Aid scheme. If you are a taxpayer and have not joined the scheme I would encourage you to do so, it is not too bureaucratic and all personal data is protected. Please see Andy Doyle.

We work in partnership with neighbouring parishes. A Partnership Finance Committee has been formed, with an annual budget of £5K for which our contribution will be £950, based on an affordability calculation from the Diocese. As well as giving financial advice to the Partnership, Diocesan standard practice is that this committee will review any project above £10k and advise the Diocese as to whether it fits in the overall needs of the partnership. The committee is a consultative body and is not there to overrule our Parish Finance Committee.

Last year I briefed you on the effect of inflation on Parish Finances. A pound donated in 2007 is now worth only about 80p and it is perhaps worthwhile for all of us to consider from time to time the effect of this on our individual donations.

Thank you all for your continuing generosity, which allows us to face our future financial responsibilities with confidence whilst supporting relevant worthy causes at the same time.  Your contributions mean the Parish continues to have a beautiful church of which we can be proud and a presbytery with hall which allows us to host a vibrant chaplaincy community supporting young people in faith, as well as a lively Parish.

The Finchale Partnership – Advent Service

Please join us at Ushaw College for our Partnership Advent Service on Sunday 2nd December, at 4.00pm.  During the service we’ll be lighting the first candle of the Advent wreath in the magnificent surroundings of St Cuthbert’s chapel.  There’ll be drinks afterwards, and a treasure trail for the children. We’ll be taking a collection for the college (and please be generous as you will also have the opportunity to see the Christmas tree festival while you are there).

Justice and Peace invitation

The Outreach Committee of the Finchale Partnership is seeking to meet with all Justice and Peace groups within the partnership, and anyone else who has in interest in justice and peace issues, with a view to learning from each other and investigating ways we might work more effectively together across the partnership. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 06 December, from 7:00pm at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Esh Winning. Please contact Fr Robert Riedling at St Patrick’s, Langley Moor with any enquiries (  / (0191) 378 4486).

Preparing our Young People for Confirmation

The parishes of the Finchale Partnership have agreed that we will work together to prepare our young people for Confirmation.  A training session, around the use of the diocesan programme, has been organised.  This is open to those already involved in Confirmation programmes, as well as those interested in getting involved.  The training will be led by Father Michael McCoy, beginning at 7:15pm, on Thursday 06 December, at St. Cuthbert’s, Old Elvet, Durham City.  Light refreshments will be available and the session should last around one hour.  Preferably, email the parish office to confirm your attendance, by Monday 03 December, or feel free to turn up on the evening.

The Voskresenije-Resurrection Choir of St. Petersburg

For one night only, Tuesday, November 20th, the Parish of the Durham Martyrs are delighted to welcome to St. Godric’s, Durham, the Voskresenije-Resurrection Choir of St. Petersburg on their tour of the British Isles.

This vocal ensemble, Resurrection -Voskresenije in Russian – was founded by Jurij Maruk in 1993. It consists of nine professional female and male vocalists trained at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire. The repertoire of the ensemble includes Russian Sacred Music as well as folk music. Guest performances in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, the UK, France and Italy have met with great success, and the choir has recorded several CDs of their repertoire, which includes some specially composed arrangements of Burns songs by John McIntosh.

Tickets £7-50 (free for under 19s) available from Durham Martyrs Parish Office 0191 3843810