All posts by Margaret Doyle

Please Pray For ….

The repose of the soul of

Yvonne Plummer who died this week, sister of Margaret Davis.

Those who are sick:

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

Those whose anniversaries occur at this time:

Alan Penrose, Celia Leighton, James Lumley, Kathleen Erin Mary Need, Frances Elizabeth McGlone, Jozef Bukowski, Christopher Hills, Beatrice Helen Cafferty. May they rest in peace.

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 .

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.

Mass at St. Cuthbert’s – Updated COVID restrictions

Bishop Robert has issued new Covid-guidance to the Diocese and the main points affecting St. Cuthbert’s and the Catholic Chaplaincy are:

  • Please continue to use the hand sanitiser available in the narthex and porch.
  • Please continue to wear a face covering in Church.
  • Our seating capacity can now be increased, but you still need to book for the Sunday 10am Mass. As University term begins soon and attendance is likely to rise, then we may need to re-introduce bookings for the 6:30pm Mass as well.
  • Cleaning routines in church are to be simplified.
  • Congregational singing can commence again, whilst continuing to wear a face covering.
  • The offertory collection will be re-introduced.
  • Please note, however, that the physical Sign of Peace, reception of Holy Communion from the chalice and the availability of Holy Water remain suspended for the moment.
  • At Holy Communion, especially on Sundays, we will continue to use our one-way system.

All these points will be reviewed again at the beginning of November.  

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

On-line Gospel Reflection and Coffee Morning

From this week our on-line Gospel Reflection moves to Saturday morning.

Join us at 10.30am for the Gospel Reflection, which we expect will last about 50 mins. We’ll then take a 10 minute break (to get a drink!), and our social coffee morning will start at about 11.30am.

You are very welcome to join for the whole 2 hours, but you’re also welcome to leave after the Gospel Reflection, or to join at 11.30am for our social time.

We will be meeting on Zoom, and the joining details are available in St. Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook Group, or from

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  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 

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 or phone 0191 3840080, if you would like to join the group.

Recent Talks Now on YouTube

During the last few months the Catholic Society have organised a number of interesting speakers, and the student community invited the parish to join them for many of the talks. If you missed any of these talks, they are now available on our YouTube channel:

  • Apartheid: A Spiritual Approach to Liberation Theology (Fr. Nick King SJ)
  • St. Cuthbert, Patron of Durham (Fr. Henry Wansbrough OSB)
  • Pope Francis’ Vision for a Synodal Church (Austen Ivereigh)
  • Faith & Science (Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ)
  • The Word of God: Christian and Jewish Understandings (Canon Chris Jackson and Rabbi Lipsey)

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 ends this Sunday 4th July in St Joseph’s Chapel, Ushaw. Free with entry pass.

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.