All posts by Parish Priest

Dominican Friar; Parish Priest, St Cuthbert's Durham

Continuing Covid-19 precautions

On Monday 19th July,  the country moved into Step 4 of the Government’s Covid-19 Response Roadmap. It is still our responsibility to make sure that our churches and other buildings are safe for all those who attend. In the light of the current high rates of infection in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle, and the elderly demographic of our Diocese, Bishop Robert has concluded that  it would present a very serious situation if we were to abandon our existing COVID controls. Instead, the Bishop has asked us to retain all of the COVID control measures and cleaning protocols that are currently in force in all our churches and church halls until at least the end of August 2021. The situation will be reviewed after that.

Please help us to keep everyone safe at St Cuthbert’s:

  • Book a place to attend Sunday Mass, by emailing or by telephoning 0191 384 3442. You do not need to book for weekday Masses or Sunday evening Mass.
  • Wear a face covering in church, unless you are exempt.
  • Sanitise your hands on entering and leaving church.
  • Maintain social distancing in church.
  • Follow the procedure for receiving Holy Communion.

The obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. The Bishops of England & Wales have issued a statement about the current situation, which you can read here.

Thank you to the volunteer cleaners, who have enabled us to continue celebrating public Mass each day.

Feast of Corpus Christi

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. Usually, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion would be asked to renew their commitment to service at Mass this Sunday, but this has been postponed due to the continuing Covid restrictions.

Click here to read a reflection for the Feast of Corpus Christi from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales.


In October of this year, the UK government plans to open an Immigration Removal Centre at Hassockfield on the site of the former Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, County Durham.

This centre will be for 80 women seeking asylum in the UK. The proposal is inhumane, unjust and incompatible with our faith which calls us to recognise the intrinsic dignity of each person. These women are not criminals to be locked up but people like ourselves who have the right to a place of safety and to be treated with respect and compassion. An interfaith prayer service will take place on Sunday 23rd May at 3.00pm in as many churches and places of worship as possible as part of a united faith response against Hassockfield. The Diocesan Youth Ministry Team will join with the Faith Witness and will go live at the same time on YMT’s Facebook page.

Transport (Art.IWM ART 17259) image: There are two main portraits showing a woman and a man with their heads covered facing the viewer, but inclining their heads towards each other. In the lower left corner there are two other, smaller faces also facing the viewer. In the upper right corner of the canvas the face of a mother with a child is visible. The child’s face partially obscures the mother’s downcast face. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

Mass: Live Streaming on YouTube

We can now live stream Masses and services from St Cuthbert’s. To see our live stream search for ‘St Cuthbert’s Catholic Church, Durham’ on YouTube) or click here.

If you’re new to YouTube, the easiest way to access our livestreams and to check which Masses we have scheduled for streaming for the next week is to subscribe to our channel.

Once you have subscribed, if you go into YouTube, there’s a section called ‘subscriptions’ (probably at the bottom of the screen on a tablet or phone, but in the column on the far left if you are on a computer). That will take you to a screen with lots of videos from all the channels you have subscribed to.

Click on the picture of St. Cuthbert’s (in the column on the left on a tablet or phone, but you may need to click on Manage’ at the top right on a computer) and it will take you to our channel.

The top line will give you the videos we have already streamed, and if you scroll down you will come to ‘Upcoming live streams’.

St Cuthbert’s in lockdown

A new lockdown has been announced by the Government. However, churches can continue to celebrate Mass publicly, while maintaining the usual Covid-19 safety practices. The schedule for Masses at St Cuthbert’s remains as announced. Thank you to the volunteer stewards and cleaners, who have made it possible for us to continue celebrating Mass as a community.

Please do not come to church if you have been advised to shield, if you are showing any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or if you have any concerns about your safety. All obligations to attend Mass have been suspended by the Bishops of England and Wales, until further notice.

Please keep in touch. If you are in need of practical help, or if you just want to chat, contact Fr Andrew on or 0191 384 3442.

You can see a live stream of Mass from St Cuthbert’s on the parish YouTube channel.

For updates on the Church’s response to the pandemic, see the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website.

Statement regarding the publication of the IICSA report

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), has published its investigation report into the Catholic Church in England and Wales today. This is based on the main public hearings held in October and November 2019.

Bishop Byrne CO and the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle fully support the response from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, which you can read here.

Lockdown @ St Cuthbert’s

The Government has announced a four-week lockdown in England, starting today. During lockdown, there will be no public worship. However, St Cuthbert’s Church will be open for private prayer this week, at the following times:

Saturday 7th November 9.30-10.30am.

Tuesday 10th November 12 noon – 1.00pm

Thursday 12th November 5.00-6.00pm

Saturday 14th November 10.00-11.00am

Morning Prayer of the Church will be celebrated on Zoom, Monday-Friday at 8.00am.

Virtual Parish Coffee Morning: Saturday at 10.30am.

Online Sunday Gospel Reflection: Sunday at 11.00am.

For details of how to take part in these online events, and for information about the opening of the church for private prayer, see the ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community’ Facebook page, or email Fr Andrew on

We hope to begin the live streaming of Masses from St Cuthbert’s soon, but in the meantime, you can find a list of churches in our diocese which are live streaming here.

During this new lockdown, it’s important that we all keep in touch and look out for one another. If you are in need of any practical help, eg with grocery shopping or collecting prescriptions, or if you just want to chat, please contact Fr Andrew on the email address above, or on 0191 384 3442. Or if you know of someone else who might need contact or support, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Parish bulletins and Catholic newspapers will be available for collection in a box outside the church door. Please pick up a copy of the bulletin and put it through the letterbox of a friend or neighbour who might not be able to get out.

You can read a statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the new lockdown here.

Lockdown restrictions begin Thursday 5th November

The Government has introduced lockdown restrictions from Thursday 5th November. Public acts of worship are forbidden from that date, and all Masses from this Thursday onwards will be celebrated privately.

Churches can still open for private prayer. This week, St Cuthbert’s will be open at the following times:

Thursday 5-6pm; Friday 12-1pm; Saturday 9.30-10.30am.

Watch the website and the parish and chaplaincy Facebook pages for details of future opening.

Meet a Columban Missionary

We are delighted to have received an invitation from the Columbans in Britain to join a virtual encounter with Marjorie Engcoy, a Columban Lay Missionary from the Philippines assigned to Fiji.

This event will happen on Zoom on WEDNESDAY 16th SEPTEMBER 2020 at 19:00, and is open to everyone.

Before joining the Missionary Society of St. Columban, Marjorie was an English teacher for five years. Growing up she met a number of Columban missionaries; priests, nuns, and lay. Their presence in her community helped to ignite her desire to become a lay missionary and establish her personal relationship with God. In mission, she has been involved in various different ministries such as youth, children, women, liturgy, evangelisation, leadership and JPIC. Marjorie looks forward to explaining some of these ministries in more detail and how through her mission work overseas she has experienced God’s love and His promise; “I will be with you, always.”

The webinar will include prayer, a short introduction and then time for questions. You will need a laptop, tablet or phone and a good internet connection. To take part, please register your interest here:

Please pray

Please pray for the repose of the soul of James McAloon, who died recently, and for his family. His funeral service will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s on Saturday 15th August at 10.00am. Please note that due to Government regulations, attendance at the funeral service is limited to family members and invited guests. Please join with us in prayer at the time of the service, rather than attempting to attend.

Broadcast of Mass by the BBC

BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship will broadcast Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Nichols in Westminster Cathedral, on Sunday 14 June at 8.10am. As an accessible radio broadcast, this is good news for the Catholic community. Please share news of this broadcast with any isolated parishioners who may not have access to the internet and therefore have been unable to attend online Mass services. For more information click here.