Category Archives: Announcements

Advent Collection

In recent Advents, the parish raised enough money to populate a crib with cattle, goats, chickens, pigs and camels. This year we would like to raise money for birth certificates. A birth certificate costs £25, and is possibly the most valuable item a child could receive. When babies are born at home in poor, rural areas, it is too difficult to travel to register the birth. But a child without a birth certificate faces problems. In Zimbabwe, for example, children without a birth certificate cannot go to school, take exams, apply for an ID card, vote, or access many other basic essential services. Please support our appeal.

Finchale Partnership

Please take a copy of ‘The Finchale Partnership at Christmas’ and join us for Advent and Christmas services over the next few weeks. If you’d like to find out more about what is happening in the Partnership, the minutes of the November meeting of the Partnership Development Group are now available on the noticeboard, and on the partnership webpages hosted at

Film Night

Our seasonal film and pizza night is on Friday 21 December when we will be showing the 1947 triple Oscar winner ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’ Doors open at 6:30pm and the screening starts at 7pm in the Parish Room. All are welcome to this free event. Please feel free to bring drinks or snacks to share.

Singers Needed

Durham Churches Together has its annual New Year’s Eve service in Durham Cathedral, and an ecumenical choir will lead the musical worship, including hymns and an anthem (John Rutter’s “The Lord bless you and keep you.”) The service is at 6.30pm on Monday 31st December, with a short rehearsal beforehand. There will also be a rehearsal on the afternoon of Sunday 30th at 3.00pm, at St Oswald’s Church. If you would like to sing for this service, please email David Harris on with the following information:

• Name;
• Church;
• Voice part (SATB);
• Whether you’ve sung the Rutter before;
• Can you make the rehearsal on the 30th.

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.

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.

Christmas Morning

We are currently without an organist for Christmas Morning Mass. If you know of anyone, organist or pianist, who would be able to play at this Mass please ask them to contact Alison on 0191 3719184 or
Also If there are any ex-choir members out there who would like to re-join for a short period and help us out over Advent/Christmas please get in touch!


Congratulations to the winner of the hamper. We still need the winner of yellow ticket 689 for a bottle of wine. Please contact Cliona Kear on 0191 386 3400 or A very big “Thank You” to all who supported the raffle. In due course we will be getting some new flower arranging equipment. Please don’t miss the Christmas Tree Festival at Ushaw. St Cuthbert’s is represented there.

Aid to the Church in Need Appeal

“The attacks on Christians continue and the world remains totally silent. It is as if we have been swallowed up by the night”. So said an Iraqi Christian, sharing his story with Aid to the Church in Need. Today we welcome Mike Collins who will share with us some stories of hope, and of how this international Catholic charity is making a difference in the lives of our persecuted brothers and sisters. There will be range of products on sale after 10.00 Mass, some of which are made in Aleppo.

Hold Your Heads High

Today, the First Sunday of Advent, the Church begins a new year. Advent is a season of hope, expectation and patient waiting, as we prepare to greet the new-born Christ. For Christians, Christmas is the revealing of God’s eternal plan for the world. The Son of God comes into our world as one of us. The prophet Jeremiah promises that God will send a leader who will practise honesty and integrity, in contrast to the corrupt and vicious leaders who have brought suffering to the people of Israel. Jesus warns his disciples that they will face ‘earth-shattering’ events; but they can stand firm, if they have faith in him.
We too may face earth-shattering events, in our own lives or in the wider world. We can stand with confidence, if our lives are founded on faith in Christ. In Advent, we are invited to renew our commitment to him. May the Lord be generous in increasing our love, so that we will be ready to meet the King when he comes.