During Mass on Sunday 9th February there will be a brief service of Thanksgiving and Affirmation for the young people baptised within the past 12 months and their families. Refreshments after Mass in the Parish Room. All are welcome to join in and particularly any families in the parish with young children.
Where is this?
We will publish the answer next week!
Last week’s picture was the banner carried by the lamb, in the shield high on the wall to the right of the main altar.
Although many of the Christmas decorations will be removed from the church following Sunday’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, our crib will remain open until the Feast of Candlemas, 2 February, when we celebrate the Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple as described in Luke 2:22-40.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to prepare the church for Christmas, cleaning on Christmas Eve, and putting up the tree.
On Christmas Eve, we will be celebrating the First Mass of Christmas at 10.00pm.
On Christmas morning, Mass will be at 10.00am.
This time last year I was reporting on a financially stable year. However, this year has been more challenging with our balances about to be at their lowest level for some years.
We are not in serious trouble and your generosity continues at its usual high level. The issue is that we have had, and continue to have, a year of unusually high expenditure in maintaining the fabric of our beautiful church.
I think it is worth looking at the major items:
- Boundary Wall £25K
- Electrical Repairs £5K
- Passage Lights Upgrade £5k
- Drains Repair £4K
- New Sound system £2K
Within the last few days we have been notified that the cost of upgrading the Presbytery Fire Alarms for multi occupancy will be at least £10K. This upgrade is a mandatory requirement as we want to be able to continue having visiting priests and religious to live in the Presbytery and be part of our community.
This work will take place over the next few weeks.
This gives a total of about £50K and it is this which has depleted our balances to the predicted level of £14K in the current account and £30K in our deposit account. In our experience the age and condition of our church and the possible need for urgent repairs requires that these predicted balances are the minimum acceptable level. The balances I reported a year ago were £22K and £63K respectively – this is a drop of £41K.
In addition we have one big project waiting in the wings. This is the repair to the presbytery stonework, this will be a six-figure sum, a challenge for future years.
In the year ahead we need to rebuild our balances and develop a strategy to raise the £100K for the stonework. I know we can depend on your continued generosity and a special thanks to those of you in the Gift Aid scheme. This raised nearly £10k in the last year. 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 date is protected. Please see Andy Doyle or check our website to see how to join.
In addition, if you have a standing order with the Parish, it may be worthwhile to see if it has been de-valued in any way by inflation over the years.
Also, as you know, under the diocesan development programme, ‘Forward Together in Hope’ we have started to work more closely in partnership with neighbouring parishes. A Partnership Finance Committee continues to operate with an annual budget of £5K for which our contribution will be £950 per year, based on an affordability calculation as specified by the Diocese. As well as giving financial advice to the Partnership, this committee reviews any project above £10k and advises the Diocese as to whether a project fits in the overall needs of the partnership. This is particularly important right now because of the ongoing property review by all members of our Partnership. The year ahead will see these new processes continuing to unfold and become an important part of our Parochial life.
In conclusion, the year ahead will present us with continuing financial challenges and more changes as we work within the new Partnership framework. I feel sure that your continuing generosity will see us through.
Chairman of the Parish Finance Council
At the recent meeting of the Parish Assembly we discussed the proposed Parish Pastoral Plan, and we would still love to hear your views on what the parish should include in the plan.
There are copies of the plan available at the back of church with information about how you can share your ideas.
A public lecture by Bishop Robert Byrne CO, to mark the canonisation of John Henry Newman. Here at St Cuthbert’s on Tuesday 12th November: Vespers at 6.30pm, lecture at 7.00pm, refreshments at 8.15pm, 8.45pm Close.
This event is free, but please register at https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com or by telephoning the Durham University Centre for Catholic Studies on 0191 334 1656.
Is on Friday 1st November. Mass at St Cuthbert’s will be at 7.00pm on Thursday 31st October (Vigil) and at 12.15pm on Friday 1st November. Mass in Durham Martyrs parish: Friday 9.30am (St Godric’s school) and 7.00pm (St Joseph’s church.) Mass at St Patrick’s, Langley Moor: Thursday 7.00pm (Vigil) and Friday 9.30am.
The next Day of Reflection at Ushaw, with Sr Rosarie Spence RSM, will be on Wednesday 27th November, 10.30 am – 3.30 pm
An opportunity to step aside, experience different ways of praying and enjoy a time of personal prayer, all in the beautiful surroundings at Ushaw. The cost is £10 per person, including tea/coffee at the beginning and end of the day. Lunch may be purchased in the Refectory.
Booking should be made at www.ushaw.org
This is the text of the announcement made at last weekend’s Masses across the Partnership:
The Diocese has asked all partnerships to carry out a Property and Community review.
Between 1985 and 2017 Mass attendance in the Diocese fell by more than 64%, but the number of Diocesan buildings has hardly changed. This means that we have too many churches and buildings, and the way they are currently used is unsustainable into the future. This situation places an increasing burden on priests and volunteers to manage property and we cannot afford to meet ongoing running, maintenance and repair costs.
Now is the time for Partnerships to look ahead and consider what our future property and community needs will be. The Diocese has asked that we undertake a full review of our buildings and land so that a flexible plan can be developed to maximise their use and sustainability, to meet the needs of our parishes and of the wider community.
Each parish is asked to carry out a Community Audit, including talking to the local community such as local councils and voluntary groups, to help us think about what our buildings could be used for. We will be looking for volunteers in all our parishes to make sure there is plenty of communication and consultation with parishioners, and to identify options for use of our buildings.
The Partnership is then asked to look ahead to 2030, taking account of the views of the parishes, financial forecasts, and property appraisals which look at building use and condition, to identify priorities. A Property Proposals Plan will then be developed and submitted to the Diocese, where it will be reviewed.
The Partnership Development Group is meeting with Jeremy Brock, the Diocesan Property Review Co-ordinator, on 1 October, to find out more about the process. We will, of course, be working with the Building Committees / volunteers in all of the parishes, and there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to contribute their thoughts and ideas over the coming months.
If you think you could help with the Community Audit please contact Margaret Doyle on firstname.lastname@example.org
From Sunday 30th June and throughout the summer, our 6:30 Mass becomes a quieter celebration. However, we do need volunteers to welcome, read, take the collection and minister Holy Communion. If you can help, whether from the parish or chaplaincy community, please sign up on the list on the noticeboards. Please don’t leave it to the few.
In our area, and especially to the people of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs at Newhouse, Esh Winning, St John Boste is ‘a local lad’. At a time when it was illegal to be a Catholic priest John Boste was arrested in what is now our parish, and then executed in Durham in 1595. More recently mining has played a big part in building up our community, though, obviously, all of the collieries are now closed. You are welcome to come and visit our Church and Parish Centre in Newhouse on Sunday 7 July, 2.00 – 4.00 pm (DH7 9LF). We’ll be delighted to meet you and show you our Church.
During Lent, we collected toiletries for people being released from HMP Durham and Low Newton. The parishes of the Finchale Partnership also contributed to the collections and your generosity really is very gratefully received. We’ve received a letter from nepacs, which says:
To: The Catholic Churches of The Finchale Partnership
A huge thank you one again for all the contributions we have received for HMP Durham and HMP Low Newton.
The number of men and women released from custody without any possessions is ever increasing therefore the toiletries we can provide are so appreciated by them, it is so satisfying to see their reactions when given a pack of items, it is quite humbling.
Your continued support has been amazing and as a charity we strive to improve the transition for ex-offenders from prison life to being released.
Deacon Matthew, who will be ordained priest by Archbishop Charles Scicluna on Saturday 27 April at St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta.
Last week’s picture was the crucifix which is usually to be found on the lady altar. This is the crucifix which we venerate on Good Friday.
At a recent meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council, David Hughes stood down as Chair of the PPC. Thank you to David for all the work he has done in the last few years as chair.
The PPC elected Helen Schofield as the new chair. If you’d like to know more about the PPC, or have ideas about issues we should put on our agenda, please let Helen know. She can be contacted via the parish office.
Each November we traditionally bring to mind those who have died and pray for the repose of their souls. Our Book of Remembrance will be open at the font all month from All Saints Day for you to write the names of your departed family and friends. We invite all who have been bereaved in the last few years to a special Mass at 10am on Saturday November 17 which will be followed by light refreshments. Also, our 10am Mass on November 11 (Remembrance Sunday) will be a sung Requiem Mass for the souls of all who died in the World Wars and other conflicts of recent years. Of course, in this centenary year of Armistice Day 1918 the day will have an added poignancy and our Parish Roll of Honour will be displayed.