All posts by Parish Secretary

Truth? What is Truth?

Jesus stands before Pilate: an accused criminal, facing the judge. Jesus describes himself as a witness to the truth. Pilate’s cynical reply is, ‘Truth? What is that?’ For Pilate, the reality is power, and truth is negotiable. Jesus has come into the world to witness to the truth; the truth that, through his sacrifice, our sins are forgiven and death is overcome. Jesus and Pilate are speaking different languages.

Pilate’s
attitude seems to prevail in today’s world. Though we have access
to more information than ever before, there often seems to be little
respect for the truth. The voices of the poor are drowned out by
those of the wealthy and powerful. Today’s Feast of Christ the King
reminds us that those who exercise worldly power are answerable to a
higher authority. God’s kingdom will not pass away. The truth will
prevail.

HM Prison Durham: A message from the Lay Chaplain

Having HMP Durham as your close neighbour is doubtless a constant call on your generosity as a Parish, and I am appealing for your support again. Many of our men are desperate to engage in some way with their Faith and foster a relationship with the Lord. One of the ways we can support this is by creating a welcoming, accessible and accepting environment in our St Cuthbert’s Chapel. The Chapel itself is beautiful, peaceful and a place of sanctuary in an often brutal environment. We do use the space for Bible Study Groups as well as the weekend Liturgies and I’m looking to see if we can buy some more accessible materials to use with the men, many of whom are illiterate. To that end, I would be grateful for donations so that we can build a varied resource bank to fully include all of our men who are seeking to continue their Faith Journey by learning more about the Good News. (To donate, speak to Fr Andrew.)

Clergy Training Fund

The annual appeal for the Diocesan Clergy Training Fund remains open for another week. This is the sole means of supporting the formation of men training for the Priesthood and the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. Your kindness will ensure that our Diocese has the resources to train ministers for the Church both today and into the future. The fund also supports ongoing formation for clergy.

Youth Sunday Collection

Next weekend we celebrate Youth Sunday. Bishop Seamus and the Youth Ministry Trust wish to thank you for your generous contributions to last year’s collection and for all you have done throughout the year to support our young people on their faith journey. There will be a collection next week to support the work of YMT. Envelopes are available if you wish to Gift Aid your donation.

Boundary Wall

Work has now started  on repairing the boundary wall. The work was tendered and the successful contractor is Redfern Building Services. The work will be done in sections to keep disruption to the pavement and parking to a minimum and is expected to last approximately six weeks. The cost of the work is £24,600

The Coming of the Son of Man

As
the end of the Church’s year approaches, today’s Gospel reading
shows Jesus looking ahead to the last days. The powers of the world
will fall. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of Jesus’
teaching will not pass away. He will return in judgement, to save
those who believe in him.

As
disciples of Christ, we are always looking ahead to eternal life. We
live in this world, but we know that it will pass away, and that
allows us to give the things of this world their true importance.
Like the Lord himself, we do not know the day or the hour, and so we
have to try to live every day of our lives in readiness for
judgement. This doesn’t mean that we are indifferent to the world
we live in: it means, simply, living out the commandments to love God
and love our neighbour – putting our faith in the truth that will
not pass away. Then we can face judgement, not with fear, but with
trust in God’s mercy.

Can you help?

We are looking for people to help us with the upkeep of our altar linens, vestments and other church textiles. If you can help with sewing, stitching, embroidery and the like and would be willing to undertake a range of work from small repairs to potentially designing and crafting liturgical textiles, please contact Andy Doyle(0798 5434185 or andydoyle1066@sky.com). We hope to create a small (or large!!) group of volunteers so don’t be shy.

The Claim

A film about Archbishop Oscar Romero, his people and Pope Francis. A screening to mark the canonisation of Oscar Romero will be held at St Cuthbert’s on Wednesday 21 November – doors open at 5.00pm for a 5.15 start. After the film, there will be a short Q&A with Julian Filochowski, Chair of the Archbishop Romero Trust, and a Justice and Peace-themed Mass at 7.00pm. Entry is free, but booking is essential as places are limited. Book at www.centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com or on 0191 334 1656.

Events at Minsteracres

On pilgrimage while standing still: A retreat led by John Bell of the Iona Community. Friday 9-Sunday 11 November. Suggested donation: £140.

Walking Retreat: Enjoy a walk of 7-10 miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and sharing of the beauty of creation. You will need suitable walking boots and warm, weatherproof clothing. Please bring a packed lunch. Saturday 17 November, 10am-5pm. Suggested donation: £10.

Quiet Day: An opportunity to step aside, listen to God in scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquility at Minsteracres. Led by Sr Rosarie Spence RSM. Coffee and tea are provided. Please bring a packed lunch. Wednesday 21 November, 10am-4pm. Suggested donation: £15.

Taize Retreat: This Advent retreat offers space to prepare for the coming of the Lord. It will be conducted in Taizé style with scripture reflections, Taizé chants and time of silence. Led by the Minsteracres team. Friday 30th Nov-Sunday 2nd Dec. Suggested donation: £125.

Traidcraft

You
may have seen or heard recent news coverage about the future of this
amazing Fair Trade business being at risk. A number of us are asking
“What can we do?” The short answer is BUY MORE FROM
TRAIDCRAFT!

In
these most challenging times, the organisation needs a really good
trading period between now and Christmas. As well as groceries, they
offer a wonderful range of Christmas decorations, gifts and cards.
Their Autumn collection includes a wide collection of handmade
homewares, from recycled glassware to handcrafted cushions and soft
furnishings.

Please
consider doing the following:

  • Visit
    our parish Traidcraft stall

  • Shop
    online, discover more about the organisation, its impact, and how
    you can support it…….and encourage friends or family to do the
    same
  • Buy
    your tea, coffee, biscuits and cleaning products from Traidcraft.
    They even stock toilet roll!

Traidcraft
has thanked everyone who has regularly supported their work of
Traidcraft over the last 39 years. Your regular purchases really do
make a difference in the lives of producers in some of the world’s
poorest communities.