Journey in Faith 2020-21

If you are interested in being baptised as a Christian; if you are a member of another Christian church and are considering becoming a Catholic; if you are a Catholic and wish to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation; or if you just want to learn more about the Catholic faith, the Journey in Faith programme is for you. This year’s programme will, initially, be offered online. Our first, introductory, session will be held on Zoom at 7pm on Tuesday 27th October. Please contact Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle ( for the joining details.

Hospital Visits

The University Hospital of North Durham still has restrictions in place regarding visits to patients – see the hospital website for the latest information. However, the Catholic Chaplain is still able to visit patients, and can bring them Holy Communion and the Sacrament of the Sick. If you know of a patient who wishes for a visit from the Catholic Hospital Chaplain, please inform Fr Paul Tully on 01388 818544 or 

For visits to patients in St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in care homes or in their own homes, please contact Fr Andrew.

Churches open for Private Prayer and Mass

St Godric’s Church has Mass at 9:00am on Sunday 25 October and Sunday 1 October; Exposition at 9:30am and Mass at 10:00am on Tuesday 27 October and Thursday 29 October.. 

St Joseph’s Church has Mass at 5:00pm on Saturday 24 October and 31 October; 11:00am on Sunday 25 October and 1 November. Exposition at 9:30am and Mass at 10:00am on Wednesday 28 October and Friday 30 October.

For Saturday and Sunday Masses, the deadline for requesting a place at Mass is 2.00pm on Friday, to book a place please contact Marjorie on 07391529827 or You no longer need to book a place at the weekday Masses, but will have to give your contact details to the stewards on arrival.

Northern Cross

The Northern Cross has been part of the life of our diocese for over 60 years, but our diocesan newspaper has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and closure of churches. You can help by:

Taking out an annual subscription; £36 for the print edition delivered to your door each month, £20 for the online edition. 

Advertising your business or service in the Northern Cross.

Sending in your stories. Northern Cross is your newspaper and we would love to hear what you have been up to over the past month.

You can contact the Northern Cross at, by post c/o WM Fortune & Son, Collingwood House, Church Square, Hartlepool, TS24 7EN, or on 01325 464008. Or go to

Counselling & Listening Service

A number of qualified counsellors and listeners have generously made themselves available to anyone who may be troubled by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown. These counsellors and listeners can be contacted through the St Mary’s Cathedral Listening Service on 0191 232 6953 and the Northumberland Listening Service on 07732 980740.

Listening Skills Training

A course for those who would like to support members of our parishes and partnerships who may be experiencing mental health issues. A 6-week course beginning on Tuesday 10 November, on Zoom.  You will learn effective listening skills to offer support and if necessary “sign post” people to other sources of help. For further details on the course contact: Oonagh Atkinson on 0191 3891188. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Fr Andrew – sponsorship may be available from the parish.

Parish Reading Group

The parish has a Reading Group which discusses all sorts of literature (not just theology, nor only Christian writing). All members of the parish are welcome to join, including undergraduates and postgraduates.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 10 November at 8pm, when we will be discussing Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

The group is currently meeting on Zoom.

Contact Margaret Harvey: email or phone 0191 3840080.

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God

In Jesus’ time, the Jewish people lived under the rule of the Roman Empire. As always happens, a few people resisted the occupying power, a few collaborated, and most kept their heads down and tried to survive. But the people hated paying taxes to the Romans. And, to add insult to injury, the tax had to be paid in Roman coins, which bore the head of the Emperor Tiberius, and an inscription that described him as ‘Son of God’ and ‘High Priest.’ To the Jews, this was blasphemy. There were many among them who longed for a Messiah who would lead an uprising against the Romans.

In this explosive situation, Jesus’ enemies try to set a trap for him. If he tells the people that they should pay taxes to Caesar, they will write him off as a collaborator. But if he tells the people not to pay, he risks being arrested by the Romans as a rebel. What can he say?

Jesus asks to see the coin that is used to pay the tax. The coin bears the image and title of Caesar; so, Jesus says, give it back to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God. His disciples would hear his unspoken message. The coin bears Caesar’s image, but the human person bears the image and likeness of God, as the Book of Genesis tells us. The wealth of the world is controlled by worldly powers, but men and women belong only to God. All of the Caesars of this world will one day answer to a higher power; and they will be judged on the way they treated the people they ruled – people who are precious in God’s eyes.

World Mission Sunday

This Sunday 18th October is World Mission Sunday, supporting missionaries who work alongside communities that are poor or in need, regardless of their background or belief. By supporting Missio, the Pope’s charity for world mission, you will help missionaries to share the love of Christ with those most in need. Please pray for the mission of the Church throughout the world, and give what you can to today’s retiring collection, which will sustain the future of the Church. Alternatively, please call 020 7821 9755 (office hours) or visit Missio’s website to give a single gift, set up a Direct Debit and Gift Aid your donation if possible:

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