All posts by Margaret Doyle

Icons of the Northern Saints

An exhibition of icons of well-loved Northern saints from Anglo-Saxon to Elizabethan times.

The icons reflect people of faith from every walk of life – from housewives to kings, from hermits to bishops.  They were “written” by a group of keen amateur iconographers at the Oaklea Centre in Sunderland.  Icon workshops are held there every year and have attracted a number of enthusiastic followers.

The exhibition will run from 17th June to 4th July in St Joseph’s Chapel, Ushaw. Free with entry pass.

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  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: 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 

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

Public Masses at St Cuthbert’s

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last week, we remain in Step 3 of the Government’s planned reduction of lockdown restrictions.

The arrangements for celebration of Mass are as follows: 

  • Stewards will no longer be needed for weekday Masses. However, you must provide Track & Trace details when you attend Mass.  We have a QR code displayed at the church entrance, which you can scan using the NHS Track & Trace app. Prior booking is still required for Sunday Masses, and stewards will be present.
  • Congregational singing and sharing of the Sign of Peace are still not permitted.
  • Holy Communion is recommended to be given in the hand, but if you wish to receive on the tongue, you should wait until the end of the Communion line, to minimise the risk of infection.
  • Please continue to sanitise your hands on entering and leaving church, wear a face covering and observe social distancing, to keep everyone safe

If you wish to attend Sunday Mass, you must book a place, by emailing 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. 

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

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

Faith and Science: the role of the Vatican Observatory.

A talk by Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, the Director of the Vatican Observatory. This is a joint Chaplaincy / Parish event and everyone is welcome.

The talk will be on Friday 18 June at 4.00pm, on Zoom. The dial in details are available in the parish Facebook Group or by email from

If you are not able to join us for the talk, a recording will be available afterwards on our YouTube channel.

Pope Francis’s vision for a synodal Church

The University Catholic Society would like to invite parishioners to join their Wednesday evening talk on16th of June at 8:00pm.

Dr Austen Ivereigh is a writer, commentator and papal biographer who recently collaborated with Pope Francis on his Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future. He is the co-founder of Catholic Voices and Fellow in Contemporary Church History at Campion Hall, Oxford. 

The talk will be on Zoom and the log in details are available in the parish Facebook Group or from

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 not until Tuesday 6 July, when we will be discussing Rebecca West’s The Fountain Overflows.

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

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

Everyone is welcome to join us at 8am, Monday to Friday. It lasts about 15 minutes. The Zoom details will be the same every day and you will always find them in the Announcements section of the St. Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook group or by contacting

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the Prayer of the Church – you’ll soon pick it up. We use Universalis and will share screens so you don’t need a Morning Prayer book to join us.

What do you believe? An Evening with Fr. Stephen Wang (Sycamore)

Fr. Stephen Wang is the author of Sycamore, a programme that has grown into a resource being used throughout the world. In the bible, Jesus comes to the town of Jericho. A man called Zacchaeus is so curious about Jesus that he climbs a Sycamore tree to get a better view. When he finally meets him, they begin a conversation, and his life is changed forever. The Sycamore tree seemed to be the perfect image of something that helps others to get a wider perspective on life and faith. 

The Diocese’s Vicariate for Faith & Mission is pleased to welcome Fr. Stephen to our diocese on Wednesday 21st April 7-8pm for a virtual conversation about how we can make genuine human connections, share our Catholic faith and reach out for a real sense of community with a spirit of friendship. Booking is essential; please register at or contact Faith & Mission by email at or telephone 07375 934713.

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 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 

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.

Regular Events on Zoom

We have a number of regular online events. Please do join us on Zoom. You can access the log-on details by joining the parish Facebook Group, ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community’, or by emailing

Sunday: There will be a shared reflection on the readings and the Gospel, at 11.00am.

Saturday: There will be a virtual coffee morning, at 10.30am.

Monday to Friday: Morning Prayer of the Church (Lauds), at 8.00am.

Celebrating the Year of St Joseph, 2021

The Finchale Partnership has 4 churches with a dedication to St. Joseph, and during this Year of St. Joseph we will be celebrating by providing a variety of different materials for you.

St. Joseph’s church in Gilesgate is part of Durham Martyrs parish, and they have produced a prayer pack and resources for the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19th. The pack includes a summary of Pope Francis’ note on the Year of St. Joseph, prayers based on the 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph, a history of St. Joseph’s church in Gilesgate and activities for children. You can find the pack on Durham Martyrs website at

Ignatian Spirituality

Join us on Thursday 28th January, at 7.00pm, on Zoom, for the fourth session in our series on Spirituality.

We live in uncertain times, to say the least! Something this world seems desperately in need of is spiritualities that are embedded in that reality, unafraid to engage with the complexity, in ways which foster Life. This evening, join us for a workshop exploring Ignatian spirituality – a down-to-earth mysticism for these modern times.

For the link to join this session, see the details of the event in the Parish Facebook Group or email