All posts by Parish Secretary

Sea Sunday

Today, the Church prays for all those who live and work at sea. Without them, we would not have most of the items we buy in the shops or online. There will be a retiring collection for the Apostleship of the Sea, the Church’s official maritime welfare agency, which provides both spiritual and practical support for seafarers. Please remember the work of the Apostleship of the Sea in your prayers, and support the collection generously. You can donate online at

In the year since Sea Sunday the parish has sent 94 woolly hats to the Apostleship of the Sea chaplaincy at Sunderland Docks. Many of the seaman who visit our shores are from southern Asia and are woefully unprepared for the rigours of the North Sea either in summer or winter. The hats are a token of our concern for them and a thank you for the work they do for us in terms of supplies.

Holy Island

This years pilgrimage to Holy Island with Churches Together in Elvet & Shincliffe takes place on Saturday 20th July. A coach will leave the student union building at Dunelm House at 9am arriving back at Durham in the early evening having returned via Seahouses. The fares remain £12.50 for adults and £10.00 for children. Please book early to avoid disappointment. More details are on the poster in the narthex where booking forms are also available.

Love without Limits

Jesus, asked by a lawyer, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’ reminds the man of God’s commandment to love our neighbour. The lawyer, in response, tries to narrow the scope of the commandment. Who is my neighbour? To whom am I obliged to show care and compassion? In a word, what are the limits of love?

Jesus answers the lawyer’s question with the beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan is moved with compassion for the distressed traveller, and cares for him in the most practical and generous way. He does this in spite of the ancient animosity between Samaritans and Jews. Jesus has turned the lawyer’s question around, from ‘Who is my neighbour?’ to ‘How can I be a good neighbour?’ And his answer is: a good neighbour is one who shows the same unstinting love as the Good Samaritan. Jesus himself will give us the example of love without limits, when he gives his life for us on the Cross. As disciples of Christ, we are called to set no limits to our love, but to be neighbours to everyone.

Messengers of Peace

The prophet promises peace for Jerusalem. After the time of exile, the Jewish people can return to their own land, and can hope for stability and prosperity. The people of Jesus’ time probably hoped for the same things, but the reality was a struggle for survival: subsistence farming, heavy taxation and constant unrest, which would be brutally suppressed by the Roman occupiers. Jesus sent out his seventy-two disciples ‘like lambs among wolves,’ with none of the things that they would normally rely on – money, possessions or even shoes. All that the disciples carried with them was their faith in Jesus. He sent them out with a message of peace; not a peace imposed by the edge of the sword, but the peace of God’s kingdom, brought about by God’s mercy. Their lives would be a witness to the peace of the kingdom. Today, that peace is needed as much as it ever was, and the Lord sends us, his disciples, out into the world to witness.

Cardinal Hume Memorial Lecture – St Mary’s Cathedral – Thursday 11 July.

The diocese is delighted to announce that Catherine Pepinster, former editor of the Tablet will deliver the sixth Cardinal Hume Memorial Lecture in the Cathedral on Thursday 11th July at 7.00pm. The Lecture is entitled ‘A migrant, pilgrimage people – how the Catholic revival shaped the Church today’ and will focus on examining the kind of the church the Catholic Church became after emancipation. It was very much a Church of migrants, especially Irish, in the early days, and it was as much focused on education as worship. Catherine will also look at how churches and schools served the mostly migrant church and how that has given Catholicism a particular character in the UK. Cardinal Hume will come into because of his impact on the church at the national level and how important he thought education was, but also how his interest in serving the homeless is typical of the Catholic Church in this country – a very strong feeling for those struggling in society.


Katherine Mary Glasspool will be baptised on Saturday 6th July at 11.15am, after Mass, which will be celebrated at 10.30am this week. Everyone is welcome to the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism, and to refreshments afterwards in the Parish Room. Our congratulations to Katherine and her family.

Flawed Heroes

Today we celebrate two great apostles: Peter, the rock on which the Church was built and its first leader; and Paul, the preacher who brought the Good News of Christ to the Gentiles. Each of these men was chosen by God to be an example and an inspiration to the Church throughout its history. And yet, the New Testament shows both Peter and Paul to be real, flawed human beings. Peter recognised Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God, but he feared what this would mean, and tried to dissuade the Lord from taking the road that led to his crucifixion. Paul was sometimes hot-headed and outspoken, and in his letters he vividly describes his own struggles and anxieties for the Church. Each played a vital part in the building up of the Church; each gave his life for Christ, in Rome. God chose Peter and Paul, with all their flaws, to do remarkable things by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we feel discouraged by our own sins and failures, we should remember that God has chosen us, too, to do wonderful things.

A Message from Bishop Seamus

I would like to express my sincere thanks for the very generous gift presented to me by the priests and people of the Diocese, on the occasion of my retirement. I would also like to offer my thanks to all those involved in education in the Diocese for their very generous gift too. I am truly humbled by the kindness of so many. Rest assured that these gifts will be a great help in my retirement. Please keep me in your prayers and be assured of mine for the priests and people of Hexham and Newcastle diocese. May God bless you all – Bishop Seamus.

Parish Reading Group

The parish has a Reading Group which discusses all sorts of literature (not just theology nor only Christian writing). All members of the Parish are welcome to join, including undergraduates and post graduates.

Will meet on Tuesday 25 June at 8pm at Orchard House to discuss Bart Van Es, The Cut-out Girl.

We will also discuss next term’s books and one for the summer and also where/whether to have supper together before next session.

All are welcome. Note, to gain entrance to Orchard House, come to the front door and press 47 on the keyboard,