Breaking down the barriers

John tells us that “Jews do not associate with Samaritans.” This is an understatement. In the time of Christ, Jews and Samaritans hated and despised one another. This is why the Samaritan woman in today’s Gospel reading is so surprised when Jesus asks her for a drink.

But Jesus simply ignores such divisions, based on prejudice and suspicion. As a Jewish man, it was scandalous for him to be seen even speaking in public to a woman who was a Samaritan and a stranger. But Jesus sees another human being, who needs to hear the Good News.

After speaking with Jesus, the woman hurries back to her home town, to bring her own people – Samaritans – to hear the Jewish prophet she has met. Jesus has evangelised her – brought her good news – and now she becomes an evangelist to others. She tells the people, “Come and see,” the same invitation that Jesus offered to his first disciples. Her encounter with Christ has brought her to believe in him, and given her the desire to share her faith with others.

Pope Francis urges us to be an evangelising and missionary Church. We can only evangelise effectively by following the example of Christ – sitting down with others, listening to their stories, and inviting them to come and see.

LENTEN PRAYER

During the season of Lent, we shall pray the Evening Prayer of the Church (Vespers) each Friday evening at 6:10pm. At 6:30pm each Friday we shall follow the Way of the Cross using devotions both traditional and modern.
Morning prayer of the Church Is celebrated each day at St Cuthbert’s – why not make this one of your Lenten commitments? Why not take up a discipline of prayer for this holy season and join us for one or all of these Lenten opportunities?

Parish Pastoral Council

The first meeting of the newly constituted Parish Pastoral Council will be held on Thursday 23 March. If you have any items that you would like to have discussed by the PPC, please give them to Fr Andrew or to Margaret Doyle. Elections for members of the PPC will be held at the Parish Assembly on Thursday 25 May, to which all members of the parish are welcome to attend.

Planned Giving

Firstly, thank you to all who donate so generously to our parish. The set of planned giving envelopes for the new financial year is now available in named boxes in the porch for donors to pick up. There are also some unnamed boxes and people are free to take these but please add your name and contact details to the sheet nearby. If anybody wishes to know more about planned giving, envelopes, standing orders or Gift Aid, please contact Andy Doyle (andydoyle1066@sky.com or 0191 378 3660).

HOLY WEEK LITURGY

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 many, many volunteers to ensure that our liturgies are celebrated with dignity and joy. Also, if you would be willing to participate in the foot-washing as part of the Mass on Holy Thursday evening, please let Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle know as soon as possible. Many thanks.

HOLY WEEK LITURGY

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 many, many volunteers to ensure that our liturgies are celebrated with dignity and joy. Also, if you would be willing to participate in the foot-washing as part of the Mass on Holy Thursday evening, please let Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle know as soon as possible. Many thanks.

Phoebe loses (most of) her hair – for a good cause

Phoebe Sowerby, one of our parishioners, writes: In July, I am going with a team of ten other girls to Sri Lanka to volunteer in two schools, one Kandy and one in Colombo. We will be providing resources such as textbooks, exercise books and writing implements. These will help the children to learn and develop their understanding of the English language, as well as this we will also be funding wall murals for the classrooms which myself and the team will be painting. We want to try and raise as much money as possible for this project to support these children. I have decided to have 9 inches of my hair cut off for the Little Princess Trust, so that it can
be made into wigs for cancer patients. In the end I had 14 inches off !

If you want to find out more about the project that Phoebe will be taking part in, or to support her on her trip, please speak to Phoebe at Sunday Mass, or contact the Parish Office.

See Phoebe’s “before and after” pictures below. We think her new short style looks great…IMG_1708

 

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