All posts by Parish Priest

Dominican Friar; Parish Priest, St Cuthbert's Durham

Returning to Mass at Pentecost

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales has issued a statement about attendance at Sunday Mass, as we emerge from the Covid pandemic. The Bishops judge that the reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation no longer apply. However, the Bishops recognise that there will still be some members of our congregations who are unable to return to Mass for reasons such as ill health, responsibility for the care of others or genuine concern about their safety. In these circumstances, there is no breach of the Sunday obligation.

Read the Bishops’ full statement here.


An in-person event for young Catholics aged 18 to 30, at CAFOD’S Headquarters in Central London on Saturday 23 April 2022 from 11am-5pm.

In the face of injustice will you sit back…or step up?

If you’re aged 18-30 and are ready to raise your voice against injustice, join us at RENEW – a Young Adult Event organised by CAFOD – and find out how you can play your part in challenging the root causes that drive poverty, injustice, and the climate crisis.

Details and registration here.

Morning Prayer of the Church

Morning Prayer of the Church (Lauds) will resume in person at St Cuthbert’s on Monday 7th March at 8.00am, and will be celebrated Monday-Friday for the rest of term. Everyone is welcome; it’s a great way to start the day by praying in communion with the whole Church. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the Prayer of the Church (also called the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office) – we’ll lead you through it!

If you can’t get to church, don’t worry, as Morning Prayer will continue to be celebrated on Zoom at the same time of 8.00. For the Zoom login details, contact Fr Andrew on

Towards a Politics of Communion: the common good in challenging times

A public lecture by Professor Anna Rowlands, St Hilda Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice at Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies. Prof Rowlands has written on issues of social justice including forced migration, is a regular contributor to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, and was a member of the panel that presented Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti.

Thursday 3rd March at 7.00pm, in St Cuthbert’s Church. Everyone is welcome. If you can’t make it in person, the event will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel at

Prof Rowlands will also give the same lecture at The Holy Name, Jesmond, Newcastle on Thursday 10th March at 7pm.

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.

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