This is what the kingdom of God is like

Jesus often speaks about the kingdom of God – it’s one of the key themes of his teaching. The kingdom of God will come in its fullness at the end of time, when the powers of this world pass away. But the kingdom begins here and now, when God reigns in the hearts of disciples. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his followers two parables about the kingdom. Grain grows in the earth, silent and unseen, to produce precious crops. A tiny mustard seed grows into a large shrub.

The parables teach us that the kingdom grows from small beginnings and that God gives the growth. By the time that Mark wrote his Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ had reached the city of Rome and was spreading across the world. The tiny seeds planted by the Lord were already bearing fruit.

Jesus’ parables are seeds of the kingdom of God. If we allow his teaching to take root in our hearts, we will be fruitful – God will give the growth. These tiny seeds will change our lives and change the world.

Morning Prayer of the Church

Morning Prayer of the Church is celebrated at 8.00am on Monday to Friday, on Zoom and in church. 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  

One year on

June 12th 2024 is the 12-month anniversary of the publication of the Catholic Standards Safeguarding Agency’s (CSSA) Report on the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. You can find a statement from the CSSA which relates to their recent follow-up Review of the Diocese, together with the diocesan statement in response, on the diocesan website.

Centre for Catholic Studies

Centre for Catholic Studies Annual Mass of Thanksgiving: On Thursday 20th June at 5.30pm in St Cuthbert’s, Bishop Stephen Wright will preside at the CCS’s annual Mass of Thanksgiving. Canon Professor Simon Oliver, of the Department of Theology and Religion and Durham Cathedral, will preach. There is much for which to give thanks. After a major fundraising effort over the last few years, the University is in process of establishing a Trust that will ensure long-term financial stability for the CCS, as well as new Professorships in the History of Catholicism and in Franciscan Studies. In addition, after 20 years developing the CCS, the founding Director, Paul Murray, will step back from CCS leadership at the end of this academic year. Prof. Karen Kilby, who has been sharing CCS leadership this year, will then take on the role of CCS Director. All are most warmly welcome to join the staff, students, and friends of the CCS in giving thanks at this point and in praying for the Lord’s continued blessings on the life and work of the CCS. Immediately following the Mass, there will be a glass of something to share.

Distance Learning programme in Catholic Theology: The Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) at Durham University is offering a fully online Distance Learning programme in Catholic Theology. The programme is designed so that participants can work through material at their own pace, studying equally well in any time zone and in many different life situations, alongside work, ministry, family or caring obligations.  Participants can study for an MA, a Postgraduate Diploma, a Postgraduate Certificate, or opt to complete a single module: ‘Catholic Theology: A Preliminary Tour’. Full details can be found at Distance Learning – Durham University  The CCS is offering bursaries towards tuition fees for 2024-25 – CCS Bursary for Distance Learning 2024-25 – Durham University  The deadline for applications has recently been extended to 7 July 2024. Please contact Theresa Phillips, CCS Manager, if you have any questions about this opportunity –

Early Career and Postgraduate Conference: Catholic Theology and Catholic Studies (Day 1); Theology & Religious Studies, the global and the local (Day 2.) Monday 15-Tuesday 16 July. Details and registration on the CCS web page 

Events at Minsteracres

Walking Retreat – Led by the Minsteracres team. Wednesday 26th June from 10am to 4pm, cost £15. Enjoy a walk of seven to ten miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and sharing the beauty of creation. You will need suitable footwear, warm, waterproof clothing and a packed lunch. See the Minsteracres website for more details and how to book.      

Significance Festival

All are welcome to the Emmaus Village for the Significance Festival on Saturday 29th June from 10.00am. The day will offer a fayre of stalls and activities, sessions for children and young people, guest speakers and live music. Mass celebrated by Bishop Stepen Wright will take place at 3.15pm, followed by a Barbecue and Ceilidh in the evening. Entry is free with charges for accommodation and camping (self-catered) on Friday and Saturday nights. BBQ tickets will cost £10. All proceeds and any donations will support Significance, the charity founded by Fr Dermott Donnelly. Please support this vital work. To book email Nicole at or Tel. 01207 592244.

Fund Raising Italian Supper, Thursday 4 July

Angela and Mike Galloway are holding a fund raising Italian Supper on Thursday 4 July in the Parish Room, to raise money for the presbytery stonework which is in need of some major restoration.

Drinks will be available from 6.30pm (wine & soft drinks) and food served at 7pm.

  • Starter: Mozzarella & Tomato
  • Main: meat lasagne (a vegetarian pasta will be available but MUST be pre-ordered)
  • Dessert: Tiramisu

Tickets are £25 pp for food, donations for wine and there will be a raffle. Please bring cash for drinks and the raffle.

Mike and Angela will be selling tickets outside St Cuthbert’s Church after 10am Mass on Sunday 23 June. Cash only. Alternately you can e mail Angela at to arrange to make payment by bank transfer. Tickets are limited, so will be available on a first come first served basis – early purchase is recommended.

How can Satan cast out Satan?

Jesus’ family are concerned for him. He has left his home and his job to become a wandering rabbi and now he is surrounded by the poor, the sick and the outcasts. They are worried about his welfare and perhaps afraid that he is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Will his ministry get him into trouble with the authorities?

The scribes who have come down from Jerusalem to Galilee are worried for a different reason. They can’t deny that Jesus has power – he is healing the sick and casting out demons. But he challenges their teaching and their authority. The scribes conclude that Jesus must be working with Beelzebul, the prince of devils. Jesus points out that this is nonsense – how can Satan cast out Satan?

Jesus often challenges and disturbs us. His teaching can make us uncomfortable and so we look for reasons to reject its demands. Adam and Eve hid from God after they had eaten the forbidden fruit, and we are tempted to hide from God when we know we have sinned. Jesus asks us to put our trust in him and in the power of the Holy Spirit – even when he makes us uncomfortable. 

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