Public Masses at St Cuthbert’s

During the lockdown churches can continue to celebrate Mass publicly, while maintaining the usual Covid-19 safety practices, and Mass at St Cuthbert’s will continue for the time being. Thank you to the volunteer stewards and cleaners, who have made it possible for us to continue celebrating Mass as a community.

The capacity of St Cuthbert’s church is limited to 36 places under the diocesan Risk Assessment, and members of a single household or support bubble can sit together. Please observe all of the rules, which have been put in place for everyone’s safety; socialising with anyone outside your household or bubble is prohibited.

If you wish to attend Sunday Mass, you must book a place, by emailing office@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk or telephoning 0191 384 3442, by 6pm on Saturday. You will be asked to give a contact telephone number or email address. If you come to church without having booked a place at Mass, you may be asked to leave. 

For weekday Masses, you can attend without prior booking, but you will be asked for ‘Track and Trace’ details. We have a QR code displayed at the church entrance, which you can scan using the NHS Track & Trace app.

Please do not come to church if you are in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ group, if you are showing any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or if you have any concerns about your safety. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass has been dispensed by the Bishops until further notice.

All Masses at St Cuthbert’s are live streamed on our YouTube channel.

Volunteers are needed to clean the church after each opening, and to act as stewards. If you can help, please get in touch by telephone or email.

Receiving Communion: Please wait in the pews until instructed by the stewards to come forward to the priest for Holy Communion, always aware of social distancing in the queue. Please unloop your face covering and hold your arms at ‘full stretch,’ so that there is a good distance between you and the priest, with hands, palms upwards, one on top of the other, extended as flat as possible. Consume the Sacred Host and then replace your face covering, before moving back to your seat.

Please note that we are obliged to keep all the church doors open during Mass, for maximum ventilation, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. So remember to wrap up warm for Mass!

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 frpaultully@outlook.com 

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

Donations & Gift Aid

(1) As the parish’s financial year is drawing to a close, we will soon be compiling our Gift Aid return. If any Gift Aid donors now believe that they will not have paid sufficient income tax to cover the Gift Aid on their donations (25p for every £1 donated) then please let Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle know as soon as possible. Also, if any donors have changed address in the last year and have not already informed the parish or the Gift Aid team at the Diocesan Offices then, again, let Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle know.

If you are not already part of the Gift Aid scheme and would like to know more, contact Andy Doyle on 0798 543 4185 or andydoyle1066@sky.com. Thank you for your generosity.

(2): Lockdown has led to a number of donors who have previously given via weekly envelopes switching to standing orders. If you would like to donate in this way, which is more convenient for both the donor and the parish, please contact Andy for guidance as to how to make the switch.

(3): New donation envelopes will be available soon for those who wish to continue to use this method. Please let Andy know if you do wish to receive a box of envelopes to be used from early April.

The light is dawning

It is still dark when Mary of Magdala goes to Jesus’ tomb, early in the morning. But she can see that something has happened. The stone blocking the entrance has been moved, and the tomb is empty. Mary’s first reaction is to  run to Simon Peter, and the disciple Jesus loves, and share the news with them. What’s going on? The disciples discover that the linen cloths, used to wrap a dead body, have been discarded. Jesus doesn’t need them any more. 

John tells us that, until this moment, the disciples had ‘failed to understand.’ Jesus had taught them that he would rise from the dead, but it was impossible for them to take in his teaching. But now, they see and they believe. They suffered the darkest day of their lives when they saw Jesus die on the Cross, but as the day dawns, the light is dawning for them. As they share the news, the light will dawn for the whole community of disciples – and then for the whole world.

Jesus’ disciples would spend the rest of their lives coming to understand what they had experienced – the mystery of his rising from the dead. We, too, are still coming to understand the full meaning of what God has done. The Resurrection of Christ is good news that changes the world.

WeCraft

WeCraft Durham is a student-led initiative that aims to offer social events and craft activities for older residents in our city. Possible activities include group singing, quizzes, book clubs and creative writing. If you might be interested, please contact Fr Andrew.

On-line services this Easter

Due to the restrictions on numbers in all our churches across the Partnership, many of the Easter services are fully booked. If you are not able to attend services in person, here are the services in the Partnership which you will be able to join on-line. 

St. Cuthbert’s 

Here are the details of services which will be live-streamed on St. Cuthbert’s YouTube channel

Maundy Thursday 7.00pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper 
 9.00pm Night Prayer 
Good Friday 10.00am Morning Prayer and the Office of Readings 
 3.00pm Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 
Holy Saturday  10.00am Morning Prayer and the Office of Readings 
 8.00pm Easter Vigil 
Easter Sunday 10.00am Mass 

The following events will be on Zoom. See St. Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook Group or contact  margaretdoyle1066@sky.com for Zoom log in details. 

Good Friday 6.30pm The Seven Last Words of Jesus from the Cross 
Easter Sunday 11.00am Gospel Reflection 

Durham Martyrs 

Here are the details of services which will be live-streamed on Durham Martyrs’ YouTube channel: 

Maundy Thursday 7.00pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper 
 8.30-9.30pm Watching 
Good Friday 3.00pm Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 
Holy Saturday 8.00pm Easter Vigil 

St. John Boste 

Services are not live-streamed, but recordings of the following services will be available shortly afterwards on St. John Boste’s YouTube channel 

Maundy Thursday 7.00pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper 
Good Friday 3.00pm Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 
Holy Saturday 7.30pm Easter Vigil 

Crucify him!

Today’s Mass begins with Jesus’ triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem. The crowd are shouting ‘Hosanna!’ And yet, a few days later, the same crowd are shouting ‘Crucify him!’ What has changed? Mark tells us that the chief priests incited the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. It’s easy to whip up a crowd into an angry mob – not so easy to control the mob’s lust for blood. Even Pontius Pilate, with an army under his command, is afraid of the crowd. He releases Barabbas – guilty of murder – and hands Jesus over to be crucified, knowing him to be innocent. The soldiers make fun of Jesus and the passers-by jeer at him. Even the robbers being crucified with him join in with the mockery. 

It’s a scene that has been repeated many times, throughout history; a crowd ganging up on a helpless victim. Everyone joins in, for fear that they could be the next target. But this time, it is different.  At the moment of his death, Jesus cries out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ These are the words of a Psalm – a prayer of hope and trust in God. With his last breath, Jesus is calling on his Father to witness his suffering, and expressing his trust in the Father’s plan. He knows that God has not forsaken him.

Holy Week Liturgies

The times of liturgies during Holy Week will be as follows:

  Mass of the Lord’s Supper; Thursday 1st April at 7.00pm

   Celebration of the Lord’s Passion; Friday 2nd April at 3.00pm

   Easter Vigil; Saturday 3rd April at 8.00pm

   Easter Sunday Mass; 4th April at 10.00am 

  (No Evening Mass on Easter Sunday).  

All of the services are now fully booked.

All of these liturgies will be live streamed on St Cuthbert’s YouTube channel.

Diocesan Chrism Mass

The Diocesan Chrism Mass will be celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle at 11am on Holy Thursday. At this celebration, the Holy Oils are blessed, and the priests and deacons of the diocese renew their commitment to service. Attendance at this year’s Chrism Mass is by invitation only, due to Covid restrictions, but you can watch a live stream on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.

Finchale Partnership Confirmation Programme

We are working across the Partnership to develop new opportunities for our young people, while continuing to offer Confirmation preparation in each parish. We can also make arrangements to support the Confirmation of older candidates if you have not yet had the chance to be Confirmed. It was hoped to begin the next Confirmation preparation programme in Spring 2021. However, as you will appreciate, the uncertainties arising from the current Covid situation make it difficult to plan a meaningful and engaging Partnership Confirmation programme for our candidates at present. The start of the 2021 programme has therefore been postponed, and we are provisionally planning to commence the programme in September. We will provide a further update after Easter.

Wherever I am, my servant will be there too

We are coming closer to Easter. Today’s Gospel finds Jesus in Jerusalem. The authorities are already plotting to kill him. Jesus knows that he has only a few days to live, and knows that he will face a horrible death on the Cross. But he will not be dragged to his death; he goes willingly. The parable of the wheat grain that has to fall to the ground and die, so that it can bear fruit, shows us that Jesus accepts it all as part of the plan of God the Father. His prayer – ‘Father, glorify your name!’ – and the voice of the Father, coming from heaven in response, show us the perfect unity between Father and Son. Jesus’ death will bring glory to his Father, and it will bring hope for us; ‘When I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself.’ 

Jesus also says, ‘Wherever I am, my servant will be there too.’ Where do we see Jesus? We see him curing the sick and forgiving sinners. We see him among the poor and the outcasts. We see him, in the end, lifted up on the Cross. If we want to be his disciples, we have to be ready to let go of the things of the world – even of life itself. It’s a challenging teaching. But the reward that the Lord promises us is eternal life with him.

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