Changes to the Parish Pastoral Council guidelines

At the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) meeting on Thursday, 2nd February, we agreed revisions to the guidelines for the PPC itself and for the parish’s other committees and groups.

The guidelines have been updated following discussion at open meetings as part of the Forward Together in Hope process, and the changes help to clarify the responsibilities of each group and to ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for the people of the parish to get involved and to make their views heard.

The revised guidelines are attached below.

PPC Guidelines Feb 2017

If you have any questions about the guidelines, or if you’d like to know more about the background to the changes, please contact Margaret Doyle on or 0191 3783660.

Youth Events

The Event
Monthly gathering for young people in school Years 6, 7 and 8, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, Mill Lane, Hebburn NE31 2ET, 6.00-7.30pm. Live bands, praise and worship, invited speakers, refreshments and social time. The next Event is on Wednesday 15 February. See poster for full details.

The Source
Our monthly diocesan event for young people in school Year 9 and up. Live music; praise and worship; faith sharing; prayer; social time and chance to meet people. Wednesday 1 March, 7:00-8:30pm at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle. To find out more, see


Thanks to our team of volunteer stewards, we are able to open St Cuthbert’s Church regularly to those who wish to visit, pray, or light a candle. This can be a valuable opportunity for witness and evangelisation, as well as allowing members of the public to appreciate our beautiful church.

If you are a steward, please make sure that you are aware of your turn on the stewarding rota and, if you are unable to be present on a particular day, please contact the Parish Office to let us know. We can’t open the church unless two stewards are present, for safety reasons. You also need to make sure that your DBS check is up to date – the parish safeguarding reps can help with this.

More stewards are always needed – if you might be able to give some time to this service, please contact David Crookes, who coordinates the stewards, on

helping hands

Based in Adhanur, a village in Tamil Nadu State in India has been adopted as our new overseas charity. The charity runs a home for 33 orphans and supports them and Dalit (low caste) families in their education and training for future employment. Flora Maria Coretti runs the home and stays in touch with Durham Martyrs Parish who supports her work. As we move Forward Together in Hope it seemed appropriate to join with Durham Martyrs in this good cause.

Confirmation Programme 2017, Parishes of the Durham Martyrs and St Cuthbert’s Durham.

The Confirmation Programme will begin after half term. Young people now in Year 9 or above are warmly invited to join the programme , with a view to being Confirmed in November 2017. If you are interested in finding out more about being Confirmed please contact the parish Secretary at The Durham Martyrs and leave your name, contact details and school name. The Confirmation team will be in touch to send you details about the fabulous programme. For parishioners attending St Leonard’s school, a letter will also be sent out via school. We are looking forward to hearing from you. The Confirmation Team.

Forward together in hope

A ‘great cloud of witnesses’ from across the Diocese gathered at the Lancastrian Suite in Gateshead and at Carmel College in Darlington on Thursday 9th February, to hear the decisions made by Bishop Séamus following the residential Diocesan Board meeting in January. They heard how the 150 parishes in the diocese will now be gathered into 18 partnerships. Bishop Séamus says: “A partnership is a group of parishes agreeing to work together, to share resources, both human and material, to become stronger and better equipped for furthering the Kingdom of God”.

Our own proposal for a partnership including the parishes in and around the city of Durham was accepted by the Bishop. A document giving full details of the new partnerships is available online at

Thank you

A big thanks to everyone who has contributed to tea and coffee funds in the parish room after Sunday Mass. A total of £904.79 was sent to NEPACS, the northeast charity that supports prisoners and their families, helping them to retain family ties. For 2017, the tea and coffee donations will go to Open Gate, a charity founded by Betty McGuirk of Durham Martrys Parish that supports women when they are released from Low Newton Prison.

Lenten Pledges – Give up ; Take up – Suggestions please!

This coming Lent there will be a pledge board on display for parishioners to sign up for their Lenten effort and donations will be collected at the end of Lent. Funds to be divided between a World Challenge project and CAFOD. Chocolate and alcohol have been suggested as give ups. If you have any other ideas for giving up or positively doing please talk to us. Members of the Justice and Peace group will be at the back of church today Sunday 12 February and next Sunday 19 February to collect your suggestions.

Diocesan Church Music Association

The DCMA invites you to a music workshop led by Paul Berry, Director of Music at St. Mary’s RC Church, Hexham.

The workshop will be held at St. Mary’s RC Church, Hexham, on Saturday 25 February, starting at 10:30am, and finishing with Mass at 4:00pm. There is also the possibility of a guided tour of Hexham Abbey in the extended lunch break. More details of the day soon on

The day is open to anybody who is interested in liturgical music, whether it be for schools or parishes. Should you wish to attend the session, then you are encouraged to email the Chairperson our very own Alison Purvis at so that numbers for the day can be ascertained and sufficient copies of music can be brought along. Why not drop in to the session and meet new people across the Diocese facing the same musical challenges that you are?!

Walking retreat at Minsteracres:

Enjoy a walk of seven to ten miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and sharing of the beauty of creation. You will need suitable walking boots and warm, weatherproof clothing. Please bring a packed lunch. This retreat will take place on Wednesday 8 March starting at 10:00am and ending at 4:00pm. The walk will be led by the Minsteracres team.

The Event

Monthly gathering for young people in school Years 6, 7 and 8, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, Mill Lane, Hebburn NE31 2ET, 6.00-7.30pm. Live bands, praise and worship, invited speakers, refreshments and social time. The next Event is on Wednesday 15 February. See poster for full details.


The events group is arranging a parish dinner to be held at the Seven Stars Shincliffe on Thursday 9 March at 7:00pm. If you would like to attend the dinner please sign up on the sheet on the notice board. The contact for this event is Gil Bolton telephone 0191 384 7217 or email If you have already signed up to the dinner and haven’t yet paid your £5pp deposit could you please give this to Gil or drop it into the parish office.

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