St Vincent de Paul Holy Island Children’s Camp

Needs volunteers for Summer 2020. A Christian camping experience for young people. Volunteers are needed for dormitory, kitchen and caretaking duties. Details at https://www.svp.org.uk/microsite/holy-island


The SVP is also seeking volunteers to help at a summer camp in the south of England for one week starting on August 22nd. The camp is for children aged 8-12 who spend their time caring for a sick relative. These children are in need of a holiday, fun, friendship and respite support. Could that person be you? For details, contact Teresa Kehoe on 07891 017615.

Explore, Listen, discover God’s call

A weekend for single Catholic women open to a possible call to religious life. A weekend retreat of prayer, discussion, reflection and community. An opportunity to be accompanied in your discernment, and to find out more about the spirituality and mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Friday 28th Feb – Sunday 1st March at 216A Wingrove Road Fenham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE4 9DD. For more information, contact Sr Barbara Sweeney on 07752 300056 or 0191 272 3000 or societyofthesacredheart@gmail.com

Youth 2000 retreat

This retreat is centred around the Eucharist and is a great event for young Catholics to meet new people, hear some inspirational talks and enjoy some amazing praise and worship. Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd Feb at Leeds Trinity University. The current cost is £45/£55 (Student/adult) this includes accommodation and all meals (Transport will be by train and we are hoping to fundraise for this cost – any suggestions are welcome.) Accommodation will be in the sports hall, so you will need a camping mat and sleeping bag (these can be provided if you do not have them.) For more information, contact Katie Flood on youth.durhammartyrs@rcdhn.org.uk

Faith and Science: The Bible and the natural world

On Tuesday 18th February 2020, during the February Half Term, the Finchale Partnership will be hosting a ‘Rock Day’. It’s a great opportunity for anyone over the age of 16 who has an interest in science, debating and faith – in particular our Year 11 and Sixth Form pupils who are studying A Level RE or Science – ALTHOUGH ALL ARE WELCOME.

We’ll be exploring ideas of faith and science, talking about geology, evolution and creation, and the day will include a walk round the geology of the Durham riverbanks, and a debate with experts from the fields of Geology and Theology.

The cost for the day is £5 to cover food and resources. For more information contact Katie on youth.durhammartyrs@rcdhn.org.uk or telephone 0191 3341656.

Your Light Must Shine

Jesus tells his disciples that they are ‘the salt of the earth.’ Before the invention of refrigeration, salt was commonly used to preserve food, as well as to season it. Just as a small amount of salt makes a big difference to the flavour of food, Jesus calls his disciples to be people who make a difference to the world. The same idea is expressed by the image of being ‘the light of the world.’ The good works of the disciples of Christ should shine out, in our families and our communities. The prophet Isaiah tells us what are the good works that the Lord desires: feeding, clothing and sheltering the poor; renouncing violence and siding with the oppressed. Such works are the marks of the disciples of Christ. Without them, the Lord says, we are good for nothing.

The Source

Our regular diocesan event for young people in school Year 9 upwards. This month: an evening with Lily Jo, a Christian praise and worship singer who will be sharing about good mental health and looking after ourselves. We will be travelling from Durham on the train and will eat in Newcastle before the event. Wednesday 12th February – 4pm – 9:30pm. The cost of the trip is £10 – if you have a railcard please bring this with you. For more information, contact Katie Flood on youth.durhammartyrs@rcdhn.org.uk

Finchale Partnership Property & Community Review

In October 2019, we started a Property & Community Review, part of a Diocesan programme. Many people volunteered their time, efforts and ideas to carry out the Property Audit, a Community Audit and a 10-year financial forecast. The Diocese has now decided to pause the review and we are not preparing a report for the Diocese. However the Partnership Development Group agreed that we don’t want to lose the excellent work done so far, particularly on the Community Audit. It’s not too late to contribute ideas about the needs of the community and how we may be able to help. Parish Pastoral Councils will discuss the work done so far and the Partnership will consider anything we can work together on. Thank you to all those who volunteered – your work is very much appreciated.

Parish Pastoral Plan- Building our Community

If you weren’t able to complete the events leaflets issued last week and you would still like to have your say, there are some spare copies in the porch next to the box in which to place your completed form. Thankyou.

The first event of 2020 is a Parish Dinner, the date and time to put in your diary is the 5th of March at 7.30pm. Further details to follow soon.

Contact for this project is Gil Bolton 0191 384 7217, gilmar.bolton@btinternet.com.

Light for all the Nations

Today, forty days after Christmas Day, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – Candlemas. We carry lighted candles into church to symbolise Jesus, the Light of the World, born among us at Christmas. When Mary and Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to present him to God, he is recognised by Simeon and Anna. Simeon prophesies both the suffering that lies ahead for the child and the salvation that he will bring. Anna witnesses to others that Jesus will bring deliverance for the people. Simeon and Anna are faithful children of Israel. They have waited in trust and hope for the coming of the Christ, and God grants them the joy of recognising and proclaiming him when he comes. In Jesus, God fulfils his promises to the people of Israel and, as Simeon proclaims, brings salvation to all the nations of the world. Throughout his life, Jesus will be welcomed by the poor and the little ones, but rejected by the high priests and the leaders of the people. Today’s feast challenges us, like Simeon and Anna, to recognise, worship and proclaim Christ as Saviour.

Church Flowers

A very big “Thank You” to those who donated so generously to the Christmas Flowers. Without the generosity of parishioners such displays would not be possible.. Apart from Easter and Christmas the flower arrangers pay for the flowers themselves for the rest of the year. We already know that when we exit the EU the cost of flowers will rise by 13%. Please remember the donation box in the Narthex.

Do we have any members of the congregation who would like to join the Flower Rota? Our number is decreasing and new members would be most welcome indeed. If you have any thoughts or comments please contact Cliona Kear on either 386 3400 or c.m.kear@dunelm.org.uk

Repent

The first recorded word that Jesus speaks in public is ‘Repent.’ Repentance means a change of heart – a change in the direction of our lives. Jesus calls his disciples to centre their lives on him. For the fishermen, Simon and Andrew, James and John, Jesus’ call means a complete change of direction. They leave their nets to follow Jesus and fish for people – calling disciples to follow the Lord.

What might it mean for us to answer Jesus’ call? He calls us to repent, too. Repentance might mean giving up selfishness, letting go of jealousy, forgiving those who may have hurt us. Repentance is not easy, but it is possible with God’s grace. Like the first disciples, Jesus is calling us, not to try to be someone we are not, but to be fully ourselves – fully alive in the love of God. The coming of the kingdom of heaven is Good News – news of mercy and forgiveness.

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