Our Area Partnership

Today sees the official launch of our Area Partnership, Finchale, named after the 12th-century Benedictine priory that was the home of St Godric. The Finchale Partnership includes 9 parishes and 11 churches, currently served by 5 priests. The Partnership Dean is Fr Andrew Downie. In his Pastoral Letter for today, Bishop Seamus encourages us to “leave behind whatever fear we might have and trust in the Holy Spirit,” as we plan to work together more closely.

The Partnership Development Group, including representatives from all of the parishes, and the local schools, will meet over the next two years to put in place and implement a plan for our Partnership. Our parish is represented on the PDG by Margaret Doyle.

Our first priority is to get to know each other, by meeting socially and for prayer. Each parish will be inviting people from across the partnership to events they have planned – Durham Martyrs have already invited us to join their Family Fun Day on Sunday 18 June. We are also planning our first partnership event, an afternoon at Finchale Priory on Sunday 16 July, with activities and vespers.

Over the next few months the Partnership Development Group will be looking at the questionnaires each parish completed in 2015, to identify where we can help and support each other, and we will keep you up to date with our plans, and how you can get involved, through our newsletters and websites. If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please get in touch with Margaret on 0191 3783660 or margaretdoyle1066@sky.com

Who’s who on the Parish Pastoral Council

If you would like to know more about the work of the Parish Pastoral Council, or if there is anything you would like the PPC to discuss, please speak to the Chair, David Hughes, or any of the council members.

Left to right:

Helen Schofield,  Cliona Kear (Secretary),  Catherine Dyer,  Margaret Doyle (vice-chair),  Andy Doyle,  Alison Purvis,  John Marsland,  Fr. Andrew,  Margaret Harvey,  Phoebe Sowerby

Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture

Bearing Scars and Forging Hope: The Church’s Flawed Expertise in Humanity by Dr Ethna Regan (Dublin City University.) Thursday 22 June: 6pm lecture followed by optional cheese & wine reception, at Ushaw College. Lecture £4 (free for Durham University staff and students – students sponsored by the Chaplaincy), lecture + reception £8. Registration is required – see noticeboard or the Centre for Catholic Studies website for details.

Serving at the altar

We are looking to increase the number of servers available for both of our Sunday Masses and also for Weekday Masses where there will be some sacristan duties involved. We welcome anybody of any age who has made their First Holy Communion and full training will be given. If you are interested, or you know of someone who may be, please let Andy Doyle, David Crookes or Fr Andrew know.

Justice and peace refugee project

Our parish collects biscuits and toilet rolls to help provide basic supplies to asylum seekers in the diocese. These are collected regularly, on the first Sunday of the month. If you would like to donate items and haven’t brought anything in yet then please remember to bring them to Church Sunday 4 June and place them under the bench in the narthex ready to be collected.

please pray for

Jim Leighton, father of Fr Peter Leighton, who died peacefully at St Joseph’s Home, Newcastle on 22 May aged 83 years. Jim’s Requiem Mass is on Thursday 1 June at 11:30am at St Bede’s RC Church, Whickham View, NE15 7HP followed by cremation at West Road Crematorium. Family and friends are welcome at St Cuthbert’s High School, Gretna Road, NE15 7PX from 1pm for refreshments. May he rest in peace. Amen

Today is World Communications Sunday

On this day, Catholics are encouraged to pray for all those professionals who work in the field of communications, especially for those who are responsible for communicating on behalf of the Catholic Church in this country through the Catholic Communications Network (CCN.) The CCN is the media office of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and supports the Bishops in their role as teachers of the faith. It works to raise the profile of the Church in the media and public life. Please pray for the work of the CCN, and support the collection generously.

Our Area Partnership

A few weeks ago, we announced that the new Area Partnerships would be officially launched at Pentecost and that Fr. Andrew Downie will be the Partnership Dean for our area.

On Tuesday evening, Fr. Andrew met with for the first time with the Partnership Development Group, a group which will meet regularly over for the next 2 years to establish how our partnership will work.  The group includes the 5 priests who serve the 9 parishes in our partnership, and a lay representative from each parish.  This parish is represented by Margaret Doyle.  We will also be asking our local schools to join the development group.

Our first priority is to get to know each other, by meeting socially and for prayer.  Each parish will be inviting people from across the partnership to events they have planned – Durham Martyrs have already invited us to join their Family Fun Day on Sunday 18 June.  We are also planning our first partnership event, an afternoon at Finchale Priory on Sunday 16 July, with activities and vespers.

Over the next few months the Partnership Development Group will be looking at the questionnaires each parish completed in 2015, to identify where we can help and support each other, and we will keep you up to date with our plans, and how you can get involved, through our newsletters and websites.  If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please get in touch with Margaret on 0191 3783660 or margaretdoyle1066@sky.com

If you love me you will keep my commandments

As we move through Eastertide, we begin to look forward towards Jesus’ return to his Father, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus tells his disciples that the Spirit will come as an Advocate, or champion, to strengthen and guide the Christian community. The Spirit will be the driving force of the early Church, in the face of difficulty and persecution. Jesus draws believers to share in the love that he himself shares with God the Father; “I am in my Father, and you in me and I in you.” This is the love that sustains us as Christians. But even in difficult times, the Church cannot only look inwards. Today’s first reading describes Philip going to preach among the Samaritans – the age-old enemies of the Jews – and receiving a joyful welcome, while, in the second reading, Peter urges the first Christians to be witnesses to their neighbours. The Church is a community of believers who are strengthened by the love of God to look both inwards and outwards: to love and support one another, and to bring the Good News to the whole world.

Forward together in hope prayer

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.
Amen.

Celebration of Marriage

Wedding RingsBishop Séamus will celebrate Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday 10 June at 11:00am to give thanks for the Sacrament of Marriage. He has invited each parish community to be represented by at least two couples, young or old, newly married or celebrating a significant anniversary. In addition, everyone is welcome to attend. This promises to be a wonderful celebration and will provide affirmation and support for Marriage across the diocese and to the wider North-East community.

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