In February, the Bishop announced 18 Area Partnerships, covering the whole Diocese. Our partnership covers Durham, Langley Moor, Coxhoe, Sedgefield, Trimdon and the West Durham family of parishes – 9 parishes with 11 churches and a weekly Mass attendance of about 2000. The partnership arrangements will start formally at Pentecost (4 June) and Fr. Andrew will be our Partnership Dean.
The FTiH representatives from across the partnership recently met with the clergy, to start getting to know each other’s parishes. We shared some of the information from the parish questionnaires which we all completed in 2015, and talked about the challenges of how we involve people in our parish life. We also shared information about some of the positive things which are happening in our area and agreed that there are real opportunities for sharing ideas and inviting our neighbours to join us for services and social events.
The next step is to set up a Partnership Development Group. This group will meet before Pentecost, and our priorities will be to look at how we communicate across the area, how we make clear links with the schools and to identify opportunities to join together for prayer and outreach. We will let you know who is representing this parish on the Partnership Development Group very shortly. Until this is confirmed, if you have any questions or ideas, please speak to Margaret Doyle (0191 3783660 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the last few months, we have been working with neighbouring parishes to put together a proposal for an area partnership. Our proposals are to be submitted to the Diocese by 27 November.
The draft proposal is available here
If you have any feedback, questions or comments, please speak to Margaret Doyle after Mass on Sunday, or contact Margaret on 0191 3783660 or email@example.com
Glory be to the Father – in whom we live and move and have our being.
Glory be to the Son – whose name we bear and who calls each of us to be his disciples; to build his Kingdom and to go out into the world and bear its fruit.
Glory be to the Holy Spirit – pouring out grace and guidance, forming us and renewing us.
Inspire us all in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to live the Gospel, to be open to change and to move forward together in hope.
The current stage of the Forward Together in Hope process is called Exploring the Way with our Neighbours. Over the next few months, St Cuthbert’s, the Chaplaincy and Durham Martyrs will be working together to decide how best we can support each other in an area partnership. We feel that the city of Durham could form a natural hub for the parishes in the area and it’s possible that some of the other local parishes will also join us in the partnership. But we need your help in deciding how the partnership will work. What will work best?
• Do you think our partnership should be based on informal links between the existing Parish Pastoral Councils, the clergy and the parish secretaries, aimed at improving communications and learning from each other?
• Or perhaps we should have an area committee or council, with quarterly meetings and a shared action plan, shared services and sacramental preparation, and regular joint social events?
• Or do you think we need to employ a partnership manager to do all the administration, buildings and finance centrally for the area?
There will be the opportunity to contribute your views and ideas over the coming weeks. Please speak to Margaret Doyle 0191 3783660 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or ideas, and do go along to the open meeting for all the Durham parishes on Tuesday 8 November 7:00pm in the 6th Form Centre at St Leonard’s School.
The next stage of the Forward Together in Hope process is called Exploring the Way with our Neighbours. You can find out more about this part of the process on the Diocesan website at www.hope.rcdhn.org.uk/resources/exploringway_neighbours.php.
There will be a meeting for the Sunderland & East Durham Vicariate on Thursday 20 October 2016 at St Robert of Newminster Catholic School and 6th Form College, Biddick Lane, Washington, Tyne & Wear, NE38 8AF at 7:00pm and everyone is welcome. The purpose of the meeting is:
- To provide participants with a brief update on where we are on the Forward Together in Hope journey.
- To present a vision of what new partnerships could be like.
- To confirm expectations about the next stages of the process – and the development of partnership proposals.
- To provide the opportunity for participants to discuss and clarify any specific issues.
If you are attending and will need a lift to Washington on 20th October, please speak to Margaret Doyle, or contact her on 0191 3783660 or email@example.com.
Following the Open Meeting on Wednesday 27 July, when we gathered to look at the feedback from the Diocese on our parish submission and looked at what is meant by “area partnership”, there will be a further meeting on Wednesday 17 August in the Parish Room after the 7:00pm Mass.
At this meeting we will begin our work in approaching “area partnership” – which local parishes we would be working together with, how we imagine work together and what changes would be necessary. Fr Andrew Downie, who will join us as Parish Priest and University Chaplain in September, will be present for this meeting.
All members of our worshipping community are warmly invited.
More information is available on the Diocesan website hope.rcdhn.org.uk and our parish website at www.stcuthberts-durham.org.uk/ftih.
There is a pastoral letter from Bishop Séamus for Sunday 3 July, and a new leaflet detailing the progress so far in the Forward Together in Hope renewal process across the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.
Please take copies of both when you leave Mass, and keep the future of our Diocese, Parish and Chaplaincy in your prayers as we continue together to work out how best to serve and proclaim Christ in Durham and across the North East.
More information about the process is available on the Diocesan website at hope.rcdhn.org.uk, or on the Parish Website at www.stcuthberts-durham.org.uk/ftih.
This Sunday, 1 May 2016, we welcome as preacher at Sunday Masses Fr Jim O’Keefe, former President of Ushaw College and Diocesan Development Director. Fr Jim is co-ordinating the Diocese’s Forward Together in Hope process, and will be updating us on that initiative.
Bishop Séamus will lead Days of Prayer for Clergy and Laity, “Calling the Diocese to Prayer and to be Missionary Disciples” on Tuesday 23 February, at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle and Thursday 25 February, at St Mary’s, Sunderland.
- Reflection led by Bishop Séamus at 10:30am and 7:00pm
- Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 11:15am and 7:45pm
- Concelebrated Mass at 12:05pm and 8:30pm
All are welcome.
Forward Together in Hope is taking place across the whole of the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. It is about everyone, young and old, getting involved in thinking about and discussing what our Church should be like so that we can bring the Good News of God’s love to others.
We are really keen to get views from young people aged 11-19, whether you are Catholic or not – and whether you go to church or not. We want to look at our Church through your eyes and want to learn from you.
The survey can be found at forwardtogether.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/young-peoples-survey and more information about the process can be found at www.hope.rcdhn.org.uk.