Category Archives: Announcements

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Bishops of England and Wales have issued guidance to parishes about the Coronavirus outbreak. At present, the risk to the public in this country is low, and there is no need for special measures around the Sign of Peace or reception of Holy Communion from the chalice. We are advised to maintain good hygiene; ministers of the Eucharist should sanitise their hands before and after distributing Communion. We should all combat prejudice and discrimination against people of Chinese origin.

CAFOD Lent Fast Day

This Lent, CAFOD’s Family Fast Day is an opportunity to reach out to some of the poorest, most marginalised of our sisters and brothers. Your donations go to highly-trained, highly-skilled local experts who support the health of the world’s poorest families. On Friday 6 March, will you eat a simple meal in solidarity and give what you save to help CAFOD’s work? Through CAFOD’s global Church family – one of the largest aid networks in the world – your support can reach to the ends of the earth. Please collect your Family Fast Day envelope from church this week and give whatever you can.

Lent 2020: Collections for Prisoners being released from Durham and Low Newton Prisons

Nepacs is a north east charity which has been supporting people affected by imprisonment for over 135 years. This Lent we would like to collect items for nepacs to make up Toiletry Packs for prisoners being released who are in particular need.  Our previous support to Low Newton has been greatly appreciated.

Useful items to contribute to the Toiletry Packs are toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shower gel, soap, deodorant (roll-on or spray), flannels, combs and wet wipes. Packs for anyone who is homeless on their release also include socks, plasters, waterbottle/flask, bacterial gel, and a dry food pack (coffee, tea bags, hot chocolate powder, cup-a-soup, cereal bars, sugar, stirrer, Mars Bars).  In addition, the packs for HMP Low Newton need lip balm and Sanitary Pack (STs, tampons, panty liners), and those for HMP Durham need disposable razors and shaving foam.

Please put donations in the boxes in the narthex throughout Lent.

Do you enjoy singing at Mass?

If you enjoy the singing at Mass why not consider becoming more involved, even for just a short time? The choir invites you to help support the singing of the Liturgy over the Easter Triduum. We rehearse every Tuesday evening from 7.45 – 8.45pm. Every week, as well as rehearsing for the upcoming Sunday, we will be refreshing/learning items for the Easter Triduum, so why not come and join us? Don’t worry if you can’t read music or feel like your voice isn’t good enough. It’s not a performance; it’s about coming together to use the gifts we have to enhance our Liturgy and help our congregation in its worship. Why not give it a go? If you’d like more details please contact Alison McLean on 07770 884692 or email her at

Holy Week Liturgy & Foot washing

If you can help with welcoming, reading or administering Holy Communion at our Easter services, please sign up on the rota on the noticeboard as soon as you can. We need lots of volunteers to ensure that our liturgies are celebrated with dignity and joy without overloading our ministers.

If you would be willing to take part in the foot-washing which is part of the Mass on Holy Thursday evening, then also sign up on the list on the noticeboard or let Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle know as soon as possible.

Alone in the Wilderness

At the heart of Christian faith is the doctrine of the Incarnation – our belief that, in Jesus, the Son of God became truly human. Jesus’ humanity is revealed in today’s Gospel reading. Having been baptised by John, he goes into the wilderness to pray and prepare himself for his public ministry. Alone and hungry, Jesus is vulnerable. The devil comes to tempt him: to use his divine powers for his own benefit; to work a spectacular miracle that would gain the attention of the crowds; or to worship the false god of worldly power. The temptations are real, but Jesus resists them, because he trusts absolutely in his Father, and is utterly committed to the mission that his Father has given him – in contrast to Adam and Eve, who were deceived by the devil and turned away from obedience to God. By Jesus’ obedience to the Father, our sin is overcome. As we begin the season of Lent, we are called to follow the Lord’s example. The Holy Spirit who, strengthened Jesus in the wilderness, will strengthen us in our own struggles with temptation.

Rite of Election

The candidates and catechumens taking part in our Journey in Faith programme will be enrolled at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, Sunday, 1st March. Please pray for those preparing for Baptism, Confirmation or Reception into full communion with the Church, and for their sponsors and families.

Events at Ushaw College

A Lenten Reflection at Ushaw: An opportunity to experience different ways of praying at this time of Lent and on the feast of the Annunciation, led by Sister Rosarie Spence RSM, on Wednesday March 25th, 10.30am-3.30pm. The cost is £10.00 per person, to include refreshments at the beginning and the end of the day. Lunch can be purchased in the Refectory, and you can book online at or on 0191 3345119

Ushaw Lecture: The Materiality of Christian Pilgrimage, Medieval to Modern: Reflections From a Church Historian and Sometime Pilgrim. Presented by Prof Salvador Ryan, St Patrick’s College Maynooth. Wednesday 26 February at 5.30pm.

Parish Pastoral Plan- Building our Community

The Parish Dinner will now be held on Wednesday 1st April at 7.30pm at Finbarrs Restaurant, Aykley Heads. Menus and details of how to book a place or places are now available in the porch. Numbers are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. The final day to book and pay for your booking is Sunday 22nd March. Gil Bolton is the contact for the dinner; email or by phone 07816819515.

A guided tour of the Parish Website

People sometimes ask where they can find out more about the parish, and you may not realise just how much information there is on our website.

On Sunday 8th March there will be a guided tour of the website, to help you find your way round, and explain how you can find the Facebook page and sign up for the e-newsletter. Please join us over coffee after the 10.00am Mass.

God’s Wisdom

The ancient law of ‘An eye for an eye’ seems brutal to us. It was a harsh law for a harsh time; a law that put a limit on vengeance, so that violence did not escalate out of control. Jesus calls his disciples to a higher standard: to resist violence and injustice without resorting to violence themselves. Modern movements for civil rights and justice show us the power of non-violent resistance, but it can be a difficult and costly road to follow.

The Law required the people of Israel to love their neighbours, but was often interpreted as imposing no obligation to love sinners or enemies. Jesus, again, calls his disciples to do more; to love the enemy and pray for the persecutor, following the example of God our Father, who loves all those he has created. Such a radical vision may seem impossible, even foolish. This is not the wisdom of the world, but a wisdom that changes the world.