All posts by Margaret Doyle

Please Pray For ….

The repose of the soul of:

Ian Clark, who died recently. His Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s on Tuesday 7th December.

Fr Peter Smith.

Those who are sick:

Liz Carr, Francis Mangion, Andrew S, Christopher Browne, Rosemary Cramp, Hugh McElhennon, Mary Skelton, Clare Carver and David Moore.

Those whose anniversaries occur at this time:

Denis Dixon, Martha Mahan, James Saynor, Michael Farthing, Anne Wardman, Marjorie Ryan, Kathleen Pringle, Thomas O’Connor, May they rest in peace.

Online Events

  • Gospel Reflection & Coffee Morning; join us at 10.30am to reflect on the readings for this Sunday’s Mass. The reflection will last about 50 minutes and, after a 10-minute break, our social coffee morning will start around 11.30am. You’re welcome to join us for the whole two hours, but you’re also welcome to leave after the Gospel Reflection, or join us for social time at 11.30am. We will meet on Zoom; for the login details, see the St Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook group, or email margaretdoyle1066@sky.com
  • Morning Prayer of the Church; Monday-Friday at 8.00am, on Zoom.

Mass at St. Cuthbert’s – Current Covid Restrictions

  • Please continue to use the hand sanitiser available in the narthex and porch.
  • Please continue to wear a face covering in church, unless you are exempt. Spare masks are available at the entrance to church.
  • To attend either Sunday Mass, you must book a place by emailing office@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk or telephoning the Parish Office, no later than 6pm on Saturday.
  • Congregational singing can begin again, and hymn books will be available. Please keep your mask on while singing.
  • The offertory collection has been reintroduced.
  • Sharing of the Sign of Peace, reception of Holy Communion from the chalice and the use of Holy water remain suspended.
  • We will continue to use the one-way system at Holy Communion.

Our Covid precautions have been reviewed by the Bishop and his advisers, and will continue as above until the next review in February.

 

Diocesan Advent Sycamore Course

Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to meet other people, share ideas, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. Each session involves a short film and time for discussion.  Everyone is welcome. 

The first of these courses will take place on the four Sundays during Advent at 4 pm, starting on Sunday 28th November. The sessions will be:

First Sunday of Advent – The Search for Happiness

Second Sunday of Advent – A God who speaks

Third Sunday of Advent – The Bible

Fourth Sunday of Advent – The Power of Prayer To book please email: adminfaith.mission@dioceshn.org.uk

For a Synodal Church

We’ve now held 4 meetings in the parish as part of the Synodal process. Thanks to all who have participated so far for your contributions. It’s not too late to join in the conversation – our next meeting will be on Thursday 16 December at 7.00pm, on Zoom when we’ll be talking about Listening: how do we listen to young people who do not see church as relevant, and how do we engage with the world which is very secular, individualistic and has no concept of objective truth?’ Details of how to join the call will be available in the Parish Facebook Group or from margaretdoyle1066@sky.com

We’ve also added some more resources about the Synod on our webpage, including links to talks by Prof. Myriam Wijlens and Sr. Nathalie Becquart.

Parish Reading Group

The parish has a Reading Group which discusses all sorts of literature (not just theology, nor only Christian writing). All members of the parish are welcome to join, including undergraduates and postgraduates. The group is currently meeting on Zoom.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 7 December at 8pm, when we will be discussing Derek Scally’s The Best Catholics in the World: The Irish, the Church and the End of a Special Relationship

Contact Margaret Harvey: email margaretharvey@uwclub.net or phone 0191 3840080, if you would like to join the group.

For a Synodal Church


Pope Francis has asked the whole Church to begin a process of listening and discernment, in preparation for the Synod of Bishops to be held in 2023. The theme is:

For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.

Every member of the Church is asked to contribute to this synodal process, and we’ve already had 2 meetings in the parish .

We’re planning more meetings so that you have the opportunity to join discussions face to face or on-line, during the day or in the evenings. Our next meeting is planned for Monday 29 November at 7.00pm, on Zoom. The joining details are available in our Parish Facebook group or from margaretdoyle1066@sky.com. We’ll be talking about ‘Celebrating: Lockdown made several people think about the importance of being part of a congregation, and of good liturgy and preaching.  It made others think more deeply about scripture as we introduced on-line Gospel reflections’.

We’ll also be meeting face to face, in the parish room, on Thursday 2 December at 2.00pm when we’ll be talking about Listening: how do we listen to young people who do not see church as relevant, and how do we engage with the world which is very secular, individualistic and has no concept of objective truth?’

For a Synodal Church

Many thanks to everyone who attended our first meeting as part of the synodal process. Our discussions identified some themes for our next meetings. In particular, people raised issues about:

  • Celebrating: Lockdown made several people think about the importance of being part of a congregation, and of good liturgy and preaching.  It made others think more deeply about scripture as we introduced on-line Gospel reflections
  • Listening: how do we listen to young people who do not see church as relevant, and how do we engage with the world which is very secular, individualistic and has no concept of objective truth?
  • Authority and Participation / Discerning & Deciding: why do we always try to fit things into our existing structures? Church is very institutional, institutions are very defensive and society is unforgiving of the church’s institutional failings. How do we address this at parish and Diocesan level?

The first of these, Celebrating, will be the subject of our next 2 meetings, on Wednesday 24 November, when we’ll meet in the parish room at 10.30am, and on Monday 29 November, when we’ll meet on Zoom at 7.00pm. See our Facebook group or email margaretdoyle1066@sky.com for the Zoom dial in details. You don’t have to have been at the first meeting to join in the discussion. And you’re welcome at either (or both) of these meetings. Although they are both on the same subjects, there will be different people there and different views to listen to.

Synod 2021-23

Pope Francis has asked the whole Church to begin a process of listening and discernment, in preparation for the Synod of Bishops to be held in 2023.

The theme is:

For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.

Every member of the Church is asked to contribute to this synodal process, and we had our first discussion in the parish on 30 October. We talked about our experiences of church during the pandemic, the challenges we face in a secular world and practical issues about our parish and diocese.

We’re planning more meetings so that you will have the opportunity to talk about these issues and anything else you want to raise, and you’ll be able to join discussions face to face or on-line, during the day or in the evenings. Our next meeting is planned for Wednesday 24 November at 10.30am, face to face, in the parish room, and there’ll be more information soon about the subject for that meeting.

If you aren’t able to attend, you can still contribute your views by contacting Fr. Andrew or Margaret Doyle. Full contact details, information on our meetings and resources about the Synod are on our new webpage.

Lay Dominican Day of Prayer and Study

The Lay Dominicans of North East England invite you to AN OPEN DAY OF PRAYER AND STUDY, Saturday 16 October, 10:30am to 3:30pm at St Cuthbert’s.

Celebrating the 800th anniversaries of the death of St Dominic and the arrival of the first Dominicans in England, the day will include Mass, Rosary, Quiet Prayer and 3 talks on the artistic heritage, history and contemporary living of the Dominican life.

A buffet lunch will be available.

There is no charge for the day but please book, to manage numbers for COVID and catering purposes, by contacting Andy Doyle at andydoyle1066@sky.com or 0798 543 4185

An Evening with St Joseph the Worker

The online event organised by St John Boste parish for our Partnership has been rearranged, and will now take place on Thursday 14th October at 7.30pm.  The event will explore the central role of St Joseph in the church’s teaching about work over the past 150 years, alongside the history of St Joseph’s Ushaw Moor and the working people of the area during the same period.  Details of the Zoom link to join the event will be available in the parish Facebook group, or from christine.brennan61@gmail.com.  Everyone is welcome.

St. Cuthbert’s Parish during the 2020/21 Pandemic

Many thanks to all those who came to our meeting to share your views and experiences of parish life during the last 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions.

If you weren’t able to join us for the meeting, it’s not too late to contribute. You can find out more about why we are asking for people’s experiences in the attachments below, and there’s a questionnaire you can complete too. If you know anyone who is not on-line, there are paper copies of the questionnaire at the back of church.

Bring a bucket!

Now that the COVID restrictions are relaxing, there are also changes to the cleaning regime in church. We no longer need to clean the church after every Mass. Thank you to all those people who have worked so hard to keep the church clean and safe over the last 18 months.

However, the regular cleaning with sanitising fluid has left all the benches slightly sticky, so we will be having one last(?) major clean. We’ll be meeting on Sunday afternoon (26th September) at 2pm to attempt to remove the yellow tape and to wash down all the benches. If you can join us you’ll be very welcome. Please bring a bucket!

St. Cuthbert’s Parish during the 2020/21 pandemic

The last 18 months have been a difficult time for all of us, because of the COVID pandemic. Even those of us who have not been ill have been subject to lockdown and restrictions in many aspects of our lives.  Our church and parish have also been affected – who would have guessed 2 years ago that people would need to book in advance to come to Sunday Mass?   

We would like to hear your views and experiences of how the life of the parish has been affected during the pandemic. There will be a meeting on 28 September at 7.00pm for us to share our experiences. The meeting will be on Zoom and the joining details will be in the parish Facebook Group or contact margaretdoyle1066@sky.com .

If you’d rather tell us about your experiences in writing, there’s questionnaire you can fill in, and if you’d like to talk about your experiences but won’t be attending the meeting, please contact Margaret on 07719 906711.

Please follow the links below for more information about why we are doing this, data protection, etc., and for the questionnaire.

An Evening with St Joseph the Worker

Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph, to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. 

On Tuesday 28th September at 7.30pm, St John Boste parish will be hosting an online event for the Finchale Partnership, exploring the central role of St Joseph in the church’s teaching about work over the past 150 years, alongside the history of St Joseph’s Ushaw Moor and the working people of the area during the same period.  Details of the Zoom link to join the event will be available in the parish Facebook Group, or from christine.brennan61@gmail.com.

Celebration of Creation

St. John Boste parish’s Green Team are holding a ‘Celebration of Creation’ event on Saturday 25th September, 11am at St Michael’s Church, Esh Laude.

The Green Team say:

  • We will be presenting outline plans for developing our church grounds (formulated with the help of Durham Wildlife Trust). We hope to increase biodiversity with regards to both flora and fauna, enhance current habitats, provide sanctuary for local wildlife and create spaces for contemplation and private prayer.
  • There will be prayer, quiet time and an open invitation to share ideas, thoughts and hopes on nature and our future. If anyone feels willing and able we also hope to ‘get going’ on our plan by making brash piles.
  • As well as yourselves, we are inviting parishioners, those in our DH7 Churches Together group and the diocesan ‘Laudato Si: God’s Garden’ group (Clare Myers will speak about the group; likewise her husband Chris regarding the Diocesan Environmental Group, and Lya Vollering her work and life at Minsteracres walled garden).
  • Our postcode is DH7 9QN. There is a ‘St Michael and All Angels’ church in the village centre, but we are to the west of the village & a little more remote. Unfortunately (due to Covid) we will not have access to the church building, which in turn means we are unable to offer refreshments or a toilet. Nearest facilities are at The Cross Keys Inn, Esh (half a mile away and open from 12 noon). You may also wish to bring your own seating (though for those able we will be walking around the grounds too)…. and could you also fetch some decent weather, please?

Support and Keeping in Touch

As lockdown restrictions are eased, members of our community could still be feeling isolated. If you are in need of practical help, or if you just want to chat, please contact Fr Andrew on parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk  or 0191 384 3442. If you know of someone who needs support, please contact them, or let Fr Andrew know.

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.

Mass by Telephone: The Diocese of Middlesbrough has set up a system to allow people who do not have internet access to listen to Mass over the telephone. This service can be accessed by calling 01642 130120.

Hospital Visits: Due to the high community rates of Covid-19 in County Durham, visiting restrictions have been reintroduced at the University Hospital of North Durham. 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.

Parish Reading Group

The parish has a Reading Group which discusses all sorts of literature (not just theology, nor only Christian writing). All members of the parish are welcome to join, including undergraduates and postgraduates. The group is currently meeting on Zoom.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 7 September, when we will be discussing Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road.

Contact Margaret Harvey: email margaretharvey@uwclub.net or phone 0191 3840080, if you would like to join the group.