Category Archives: Announcements

Assisted Suicide Bill

From Bishop Séamus: On Friday 11 September the House of Commons will debate and vote on a Bill to legalise assisted suicide. This will put the most vulnerable people in our society at risk. Please contact your MP, urging them to attend the debate and vote against the Bill.

You can send an e-mail to your MP via the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website (www.catholicnews.org.uk/assisted-suicide); postcards you can send are available at the back of the church. The MP for Durham City is Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods.

Sponsored Steeplechase

Support our church and other
historic churches in the region by visiting as many of them as
possible between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 12 September. Money
raised in sponsorship is shared 50:50 between the parish and the
Northumbria Historic Churches Trust. A poster and sponsorship forms
are on the noticeboard and people seeking sponsors will be making
themselves known! If you wish to see the most up-to-date list of
participating churches, visit
http://northumbriahct.org.uk/steeplechase2.html.

Human Trafficking in Europe

The Justice and Peace Groups of the Durham Parishes invite you to a talk by Sr Imelda Poole IBVM on Human Trafficking in Europe – Modern Slavery at St Cuthbert’s at 7:30pm (after the 7:00pm Mass) on Wednesday 26 August 2015. All are welcome.

Sr Imelda is currently working with women in Albania as part of the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation. She will also be speaking to the Catholic Women’s Network – Durham on Thursday 27 August 2015 at 7:00pm at 6 Albert Street; there will be a shared supper at that meeting.

Two-week bulletin

The bulletin published on Sunday 16 August covers a two week period. Weekly publication of the Parish Bulletin resumes on Sunday 30 August. 

Please keep an eye on the Parish Website (or sign up for the e-Bulletin) for any changes to Mass times – e.g. because of funerals.

Miners’ Gala

Many thanks to all who volunteered their time and talents providing refreshments at the recent Miners’ Gala. The sum of £772.30 was raised for NEPACS (supporting prisoners’ families) and Parish overseas development projects. A further £74.05 was raised for twinning our toilets with facilities in the developing world. Well done to all involved!

Belpahar Donations

For a number of years, St Cuthbert’s Parish has engaged in fundraising to support development in a parish in Belpahar, India. Due to circumstances beyond our control, it has become impossible to verify that funds transferred to India are being received by the intended recipient. This has been a matter of great concern to the Parish Priest, Justice and Peace Group and Finance Committee. Having taken appropriate advice, it has been agreed that without assurance of proper receipt and use of funds it is no longer appropriate or responsible to continue to send money to India.

Since September 2012, when funds were last transferred to India, just over £4000 has been raised which we had intended to send to Belpahar. It is now proposed that these funds be applied instead to other similar overseas development projects identified by the Parish Justice and Peace Group. The Group has in mind in particular the project at Tierra Firme, a barrio in Ibagué, Colombia supported by our friends at the Durham Martyrs’ Parish.

In accordance with Charity Commission guidance for such situations, individuals who have made identifiable donations for Belpahar since September 2012 are entitled to reclaim their donation. Any claims should reach the Parish Office by Monday 29 June 2015. After that date the funds given for Belpahar will be applied as described above.

Please keep all those affected in your prayers. If you have any queries, please speak to fr. Ben or a member of the Parish Justice and Peace Group.

CAFOD Vacancy

CAFOD has a vacancy for a Community Participation Co-ordinator in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. This is a two year fixed term post (part time 17.5 hours per week) working with volunteers in parish and school communities helping to inspire and resource Catholics to participate in the Church’s mission to overcome poverty and injustice overseas in partnership with CAFOD. Closing date 10th July 2015. For more information see www.cafod.org.uk/Work-with-us/UK-Jobs/CPC.

Fr Peter Leighton

Bishop Séamus has announced that Fr Peter Leighton – sometime Parish Priest and University Chaplain here at St Cuthbert’s – is to be Parish Priest of St Paul’s, Alnwick and St Aidan’s, Seahouses. Congratulations to him, and prayers for his future ministry.

Stonework Project fundraising complete!

Following a recent legacy to the parish, we are now able formally to declare that the fundraising for the recent project to restore the church stonework and Harry Clarke window is complete. Many congratulations to those who worked hard to raise nearly £300,000 for this work. We will have the opportunity to give thanks and celebrate this achievement at a Garden Party and Barbecue after the 10:00am Mass on Sunday 28 June – more details to follow.

Dates for your diaries…

Corpus Christi Procession at Ushaw College Sunday 7 June, 2:00pm.

First Communion Mass at St Cuthbert’s – Sunday 14 June, 10:00am.

Parish Garden Party and Barbecue: from 11:30am (i.e. after Mass) on Sunday 28 June – to celebrate completion of payment for the stonework project!

Living the Joy of the Gospel: ecumenical celebration at Durham Cathedral with the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool (fr. Malcolm McMahon OP) and the Anglican Archbishop of York (Dr John Sentamu), to celebrate our common call to proclaim and live the
Gospel with joy and hope – Sunday 6 September, 3:30pm.

Ordinary Synod on the family

Ahead of the forthcoming Ordinary
Synod on the Family to be held in October 2015, Pope Francis has
asked us to reflect with ‘true spiritual discernment’ on the themes
relating to marriage and family life that emerged from the
Extraordinary meeting of Bishops held in Rome in October 2014.

The Bishops of England
and Wales have published a document to help the faithful reflect and
discern on this crucial aspect of Catholic life. This 5-page
document, entitled The Call, The Journey and The Mission, is
available from the front page of our diocesan website
www.rcdhn.org.uk or
www.catholicnews.org.uk/reflect-on-marriage-and-family-2015.

It is recommended that
we join together in our parishes to pray together and discuss the
issues that face the family today. Consequently we are all invited to
a meeting in the Parish Room
at 7:30pm on Friday 1st May 2015.

Feedback from this
meeting will be submitted to the Curia so that our Diocesan Summary
can be given by Bishop Séamus to Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Bishop
Peter Doyle who will attend the Synod.

Parliamentary Election Hustings

Durham Churches Together (DCT) is organising hustings for the Parliamentary Election for the City of Durham Constituency. These will be held at Durham Town Hall on Monday 27 April at 7:30 pm. The Dean of Durham Cathedral, Very Rev. Michael Sadgrove, will chair proceedings.

You are encouraged to send in questions for all candidates to the DCT Secretary, Kirsty Thomas, at thomas.kirsty@gmail.com.

Candidates present will be: Roberta Blackman Woods (Labour), Rebecca Coulson (Conservative), Jonathan Elmer (Green Party), Craig Martin (Lib-Dem), John Marshall (Independent)

If you haven’t already done so, please take a copy of the Bishops’ letter to Catholics for the General Election (available at the back of the church), or view information from the Bishops’ Conference on-line at www.catholicnews.org.uk/election15. This may well raise some questions which you would like to put to candidates!

Icon Exhibition: Twelve Northern Saints

Until 13 April, Durham Cathedral is hosting an Exhibition of Icons of twelve of our local Saints. These icons were “written” by amateurs – in prayer and fasting at the Centre for Prayer and Mission, Seaham, part of the Evangelisation Team of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. The icons are part of our evangelising outreach, for just as these saints carried the Gospel to all around them and even gave their lives in times of persecution, so we are encouraged to go out to live the Gospel in our times and circumstances. Many visitors praying with the icons would be a great witness to the strength of our faith.

See the Diocesan website for more information, including a “prayer walk” along the Wear.

Church Stewarding

The church is open for prayer and
visiting on Thursdays and Fridays after Lauds until 3.30pm and
Saturdays after the 9.15am Mass until 12:00pm. We are looking for
more volunteers to be stewards whilst the church is open. There will
be a new rota starting from 16th March if you have any
mornings or afternoons spare to help out then please contact David
Crookes davidcrookes@talktalk.net
or Ciara in the parish office on 0191 3843442
office@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk.