All posts by Margaret Doyle

Our Area Partnership

A few weeks ago, we announced that the new Area Partnerships would be officially launched at Pentecost and that Fr. Andrew Downie will be the Partnership Dean for our area.

On Tuesday evening, Fr. Andrew met with for the first time with the Partnership Development Group, a group which will meet regularly over for the next 2 years to establish how our partnership will work.  The group includes the 5 priests who serve the 9 parishes in our partnership, and a lay representative from each parish.  This parish is represented by Margaret Doyle.  We will also be asking our local schools to join the development group.

Our first priority is to get to know each other, by meeting socially and for prayer.  Each parish will be inviting people from across the partnership to events they have planned – Durham Martyrs have already invited us to join their Family Fun Day on Sunday 18 June.  We are also planning our first partnership event, an afternoon at Finchale Priory on Sunday 16 July, with activities and vespers.

Over the next few months the Partnership Development Group will be looking at the questionnaires each parish completed in 2015, to identify where we can help and support each other, and we will keep you up to date with our plans, and how you can get involved, through our newsletters and websites.  If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please get in touch with Margaret on 0191 3783660 or

Meeting of the Parish Assembly

Back in February, we agreed new guidelines for the Councils and Groups in the parish. One of those groups is the Parish Assembly.  The Assembly meetings are open to every member of the parish, and the next meeting is on Thursday 25 May at 7.30pm.  This meeting is also the parish’s AGM.

There will be an explanation of the new format, elections to the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and a full Finance Report, as well as updates from the parish’s groups and committees, and the latest news about Forward Together in Hope and our new area partnership.

At the meeting, we will be electing 3 new members of the PPC.  If you are interested in standing, please talk to any member of the PPC – their names are on the noticeboard at the back of church.


Forward Together in Hope – our Area Partnership

In February, the Bishop announced 18 Area Partnerships, covering the whole Diocese.  Our partnership covers Durham, Langley Moor, Coxhoe, Sedgefield, Trimdon and the West Durham family of parishes – 9 parishes with 11 churches and a weekly Mass attendance of about 2000.  The partnership arrangements will start formally at Pentecost (4 June) and Fr. Andrew will be our Partnership Dean.

The FTiH representatives from across the partnership recently met with the clergy, to start getting to know each other’s parishes.  We shared some of the information from the parish questionnaires which we all completed in 2015, and talked about the challenges of how we involve people in our parish life.  We also shared information about some of the positive things which are happening in our area and agreed that there are real opportunities for sharing ideas and inviting our neighbours to join us for services and social events.

The next step is to set up a Partnership Development Group.  This group will meet before Pentecost, and our priorities will be to look at how we communicate across the area, how we make clear links with the schools and to identify opportunities to join together for prayer and outreach.  We will let you know who is representing this parish on the Partnership Development Group very shortly.  Until this is confirmed, if you have any questions or ideas, please speak to Margaret Doyle (0191 3783660 or

Parish Reading Group

The Reading Group will meet on Tuesday 16 May to discuss Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad, and on Tuesday 27 June, to discuss Hans Fallada, Alone in Berlin.

Meetings are at 8pm at Orchard House, New Elvet. If you go to the front entrance, read the notice and dial 48 to be let in.

The group is open to all and new members are welcome. For further information Contact Margaret Harvey . tel 0191 3840080 or

Parish trip to Ushaw

We will be visiting Ushaw College on Saturday, 20th May, for a tour and afternoon tea.  The tour will start at 1.30pm.

There will be a guided tour for our parish group.  Afterwards, please join us for afternoon tea.  However, there is also an organ recital in the chapel at Ushaw, so if you just wish to join us just for the tour, please let us know.  The cost is £15.00 for the tour and afternoon tea (£5.00 if you just wish to join the tour).

When we have finished afternoon tea, David Butler will lead an optional walk in the grounds of Ushaw.

Please sign up on the sheet on the noticeboard.  If you have any questions, please contact Margaret Doyle on 0191 3783660 or

First meeting of the new PPC

The first meeting of the PPC took place on 23rd March.  Full minutes of the meeting are available here and on the noticeboard.

David Hughes was elected as Chair, Margaret Doyle as Deputy Chair and Cliona Kear as Secretary.  There will be three elected members from the Parish, who will be elected at the Assembly meeting in May. If you are interested in standing, please talk to any member of the PPC.

The meeting talked about Forward Together in Hope. Parish reps. and clergy from the 9 parishes in our area partnership will be meeting in April to share information from our parish questionnaires and start to get to know other churches.  Meanwhile, the action plan from our own questionnaire has now been turned into the parish’s pastoral plan, and the PPC agreed the actions to be taken forward with the Chaplaincy and the parish’s young people.

The Assembly meeting in May is also the AGM.  There will be an explanation of the new format, elections to the PPC and a full Finance Report, as well as updates from the parish’s groups and committees. 

Did you give something up for Lent?

If you’ve saved money by giving up chocolate or alcohol, or if you’d just like to make a donation (Almsgiving), and you would like to support CAFOD (let us know if you would like to Gift Aid your donation), and Phoebe Sowerby, one of our young people, who will be taking part in a World Challenge project, the Justice & Peace Group will be collecting at the back of church after the 10.00am Mass, for the 2 weeks after Easter.