All posts by Margaret Doyle

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.

Durham Miners’ Gala

This year’s Miners’ Gala is on Saturday 8 July, and as usual we will be selling refreshments to raise money for charity. If you can help on the day itself, or with preparations beforehand, please sign up on the list at the back of church.

We are also looking for contributions of quiche and of cakes and biscuits (such as Kit-Kats, Penguins, etc.). Please bring them along on Friday 7th July during office hours or between 6.30 – 8.00pm.

And, of course, if you are visiting the Gala, do drop in to our little oasis of peace and (relative) quiet!

Finchale Partnership – event at Ushaw

The 9 parishes of the Finchale Partnership are holding our first partnership event at Ushaw on Sunday 23rd July.  It is a chance for us to get to know each other and to pray together.

The afternoon will start at 2.00pm, and you are invited to bring a picnic, to join in games and activities for families, and to enjoy the grounds and the buildings at Ushaw.  There will be the chance to see several exhibitions in the college, including Secret Faith, a new exhibition of artefacts made by Catholics during the 16th-19th centuries, which could be concealed as Catholicism was illegal.  You can also join a guided tour (£5.00 per person) at 3.30pm, but please sign up on the sheet at the back of church, as there are limited places on the tours.

The afternoon will conclude with Vespers in St. Cuthbert’s Chapel at 5.00pm.

Treasure Trail around Durham

On Saturday, 1st July, please join us for a Treasure Trail around Durham.  This is a great opportunity to meet each other and a challenge too!  We will meet at church at 2.00pm, and there will be refreshments in the parish room when you have completed the trail.  There is no need to sign up in advance – please just come along on the day.

Durham Cathedral, built as St Cuthbert's shrine
Durham Cathedral, built as St Cuthbert’s shrine

Around the Church

This plaque is in the church porch.

James Alexander Lowery was born on 1 August 1919 and baptised at St. Cuthbert’s RC Church on 28 August 1919.   His parents, Alexander Lowery and Ellen Broughton, had been married at the church on 12 October 1918, and lived at Glendalough, Whinney Hill, in Durham City.

He was killed on Friday 21 July 1939, when the Vickers Wellington Mark I medium bomber (L4290) in which he was the wireless operator, dived into the ground from low cloud at Milborne Port, near Yeovil in Somerset.   All three of the crew on board were killed, the other two (Flying Officer Wilson, aged 25, and Pilot Officer Barton, age 26) were Canadians.   The aircraft was from 148 Squadron, based at RAF Stradishall in Suffolk, and usually carried a crew of five, but there is no explanation as to why only three were on board at the time of the crash.  The aircraft was flying from Suffolk to Plymouth on a training exercise.

James had been an altar boy, and then the sub-organist at St. Cuthbert’s (hence the electrification of the organ in his memory), and had also been a Rover Scout.   He had been a pupil at Darlington St. Mary’s Grammar School, and on leaving school had become a grocer’s assistant, working at Durham and Murton, before joining the RAF.   He had almost two years’ service when he was killed, and had been promoted to AC1 (Aircraftman, 1st class).

Following a Requiem Mass at St. Cuthbert’s in the morning, James was buried at Redhills RC cemetery on the afternoon of Wednesday 26 July 1939 (plot no.142 N4).   The coffin was carried to the cemetery on a gun carriage, escorted by a contingent of men from RAF Usworth (then an RAF fighter base, now the site of the Washington Nissan factory).   A salute was fired over the grave and the Last Post was sounded by a DLI bugler.   During the committal, an RAF plan flew overhead and dipped its wings in salute.   The other two crew members were buried at Stradishall parish church.

There is an account of the funeral in The Durham Advertiser, 28 July 1939, p.11(d).



Thank you to David Butler for researching Alex Lowery’s story.

Pilgrimage to Holy Island

This year’s pilgrimage to Holy Island with Churches Together in Elvet & Shincliffe takes place on Saturday 12 August.  A coach will leave the student union building at Dunelm House at 9.00am arriving back in Durham at about 8.00pm having returned via Seahouses.  Fares will again be just £10.00 for adults and £8.00 for children, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

More details are on the poster on the noticeboard, and booking forms are available from the narthex.

Who’s who on the Parish Pastoral Council

If you would like to know more about the work of the Parish Pastoral Council, or if there is anything you would like the PPC to discuss, please speak to the Chair, David Hughes, or any of the council members.

Left to right:

Helen Schofield,  Cliona Kear (Secretary),  Catherine Dyer,  Margaret Doyle (vice-chair),  Andy Doyle,  Alison Purvis,  John Marsland,  Fr. Andrew,  Margaret Harvey,  Phoebe Sowerby