Take all this out of here!

Jesus is the Son of God. He is also truly human and feels the same emotions that we do. In today’s Gospel we see Jesus moved by passion and anger. The Temple in Jerusalem was God’s house on earth; a holy place where all God’s people could go to worship and offer sacrifice. But they could only sacrifice animals that were approved by the Temple authorities and to buy the approved animals, they first had to change their money for special Temple coins. The holy place had been turned into a marketplace and the People of God were being exploited. This, it seems, is the cause of Jesus’ anger; this is what moves him to turn over the tables and drive out the animals and the money changers. The symbolic action shows his disciples that Jesus is full of zeal for his Father’s house.

We should note that, although Jesus is angry, he does not use violence and no one is hurt by his actions. We never see Jesus harm anyone. When he is asked for a sign to justify what he has done, he replies, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ As John explains, Jesus is foretelling his own suffering and death. The Son of God comes into our world not to do violence but to suffer violence and to give his life for us.

Church Reopening

Additional stewards would be welcome to help resume opening to the public on Fridays and Saturday mornings. The new rota will start after Easter. Stewards are DBS screened and serve with a partner; sharing conversation and coffee means the two hour shifts  (10.00-12.00 or 13.00 -15.00) every two or three weeks are not very onerous. If you could help, please contact Ciara (office@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk) or Susan Penswick (scpenswick@hotmail.co.uk)

Lent – Donation of craft materials for Family Days, Low Newton

Nepacs is a local charity supporting prisoners and their families in the North East. For children attending Family Days at Low Newton activities are provided by Nepacs staff and volunteers to make them as happy and relaxed as possible. Supporting family contact helps during difficult times and is important in reducing the risk of reoffending. During Lent please put any of the following items in the labelled box in the Narthex. All donations will be very gratefully received. 

Canvases – medium sized (to do handprints of mother and child), Assorted buttons – for button art, Sharpie Pens / Biro pens / Sellotape / Double sided Sellotape, Ready mixed paints (child friendly), Coloured Card – A4 / Various stickers/ Tissue paper – all colours, Plastic sur cissors – no metal at all, Glue Sticks / glue spreaders / Colouring books / Tracing books, Blank trinket boxes – decorate their own, Plain white cheap t-shirts– age 5 – 10 years (they design their own t-shirts), Plain White baseball caps – (they design their own)

Lent Diary Dates

Gardeners’ Question time after 10.00 Mass Parish Room on Sunday 17th March – A panel of our parish gardeners will be available to give you top tips and answer your questions about growing vegetables and living more sustainably. Do come and be ready with some questions!

Cafod Big Walk 2024 – starting 2pm-meet outside church on Saturday 23rd March – In partnership with parishioners from other local churches a walk of about 5km to raise money for Charity. Participants are requested to make a donation. For anyone wishing to get sponsors for Cafod the form can be downloaded from the link below. Scroll down to ‘Resources’. https://cafod.org.uk/fundraise/sponsored-challenge-events/community-big-lent-walk.

Online Gospel Reflections

Every week we meet on Zoom to reflect together on Sunday’s Gospel. The reflection lasts 45-50 minutes and everyone is welcome. The Zoom call currently takes place on a Saturday morning, but we are considering changing the time to a weekday in the early evening. If you are interested in taking part, and have suggestions about a suitable time, please contact Fr Andrew on parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk 

Morning Prayer of the Church

Morning Prayer of the Church is celebrated at 8.00am on Monday to Friday, in church and on Zoom. This is a great way to start your day, praying in communion with the whole church; it takes around 15 minutes. For the login details, see the St Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook page, or email margaretdoyle1066@sky.com  

Summary of Listening Exercises, Result of Questionnaire and Bishop Stephen’s Response

On our diocesan website https://diocesehn.org.uk/ you will find all the summaries from the various listening exercises that have been running since the summer of 2023, and the results of the Questionnaire for the Dicastery of Bishops Report from March 2023. These are together with Bishop Stephen’s response to what has been presented to him. He reflects on the past, present and our future together. The documentation is necessarily lengthy – too lengthy for a pastoral letter. If you wish to have hard copies of all or parts of the suite of documents, then please contact the parish office.

Durham Singers: Dona Nobis Pacem, a concert for peace

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully and more devotedly than ever before.”  So said Leonard Bernstein, who in his Chichester Psalms draws on his faith to do just that, “for thou art with me”.   In the première of Tarney’s Canticle of Elzabeth, Elizabeth finds peace in the bearing of a child who heralds the dawn of salvation.  Then Vaughan Williams sets a recurring plaintive cry for peace in Dona Nobis Pacem.  If you can, please come and join us in our concert for peace.  Saturday 9 March 2024, 7.30pm, Durham Cathedral. Tickets from the Durham Cathedral website

See: https://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/calendar?date=2024-03-09

LOUDfence. St. Mary’s Cathedral and Newcastle Cathedral 3rd-6th March. Welcome to All

Together with the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, our diocesan family is privileged to be hosting a LOUDfence at St. Mary’s Cathedral and at Newcastle Cathedral. It will begin at the 11.30 Sunday Mass on the 3rd March at St. Mary’s Cathedral and end with a Service of the Word at Newcastle Cathedral on the 6th March at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to these liturgies and to visit both Cathedrals during the days to offer their prayers and support for all who have suffered abuse within church communities and all contexts. We are invited to leave prayers and messages together with provided items like the prayer ribbons presented to Bishop Stephen at his Installation Mass, which are still tied to his Bishop’s Chair. People can leave their prayers and messages within or outside of the Cathedrals, recognising some people would rather not enter a place of worship. There will be people available for pastoral accompaniment if that is requested. As a diocesan family we pray for all who have suffered abuse and recognise our shared duty to safeguard the vulnerable.

Come and See

Priestly Vocation Discernment Evenings 2024

Men aged 18+ who think God may be calling them to serve in our Diocese are invited to come and explore their vocation with the Diocesan Priestly Vocations Team.  Meetings started in January and continue each month until December.

For more information, please call the vocations Promoter on 012087 299012, or email vocations promoter@diocesehn.org.uk 

Lent Day of Reflection at Ushaw

Lent is a time of preparation for Holy Week and Easter.  The Lent Day of Reflection at Ushaw on Friday 15th March invites us to reflect on the phrase “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” from the Lord’s Prayer.  The day will also include Mass in St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, and Stations of the Cross. 

The day starts at 10.15am, with refreshments on arrival, and finishes by 3.30pm.  The Day of Reflection costs £10.  Bring your own lunch, or lunch can be bought in Ushaw’s café. 

Tickets available at https://ushaw.org/whats-on-at-ushaw/

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