All posts by Margaret Doyle

Day of Reflection

The next Day of Reflection at Ushaw, with Sr Rosarie Spence RSM, will be on Wednesday 27th November, 10.30 am – 3.30 pm

An opportunity to step aside, experience different ways of praying and enjoy a time of personal prayer, all in the beautiful surroundings at Ushaw. The cost is £10 per person, including tea/coffee at the beginning and end of the day. Lunch may be purchased in the Refectory. 

Booking should be made at

Finchale Partnership open afternoon

People often say they would like to know more about the other parishes and churches in the partnership. The last of this year’s series of open afternoons is on Sunday, 6th October, from 2.00 – 4.00pm, at St. Joseph’s, Gilesgate, Durham, one of the churches in Durham Martyrs parish. The people of Durham Martyrs are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the partnership to look around, chat over refreshments, and learn a little about the parish. Everyone is welcome to attend. You don’t have to sign up in advance, but if you need a lift to Durham, or if you are able to offer someone else a lift, please leave your details on the sheet on the noticeboard.

Finchale Partnership: Property & Community Review

This is the text of the announcement made at last weekend’s Masses across the Partnership:

The Diocese has asked all partnerships to carry out a Property and Community review.

Between 1985 and 2017 Mass attendance in the Diocese fell by more than 64%, but the number of Diocesan buildings has hardly changed. This means that we have too many churches and buildings, and the way they are currently used is unsustainable into the future. This situation places an increasing burden on priests and volunteers to manage property and we cannot afford to meet ongoing running, maintenance and repair costs.  

Now is the time for Partnerships to look ahead and consider what our future property and community needs will be.  The Diocese has asked that we undertake a full review of our buildings and land so that a flexible plan can be developed to maximise their use and sustainability, to meet the needs of our parishes and of the wider community. 

Each parish is asked to carry out a Community Audit, including talking to the local community such as local councils and voluntary groups, to help us think about what our buildings could be used for.  We will be looking for volunteers in all our parishes to make sure there is plenty of communication and consultation with parishioners, and to identify options for use of our buildings.

The Partnership is then asked to look ahead to 2030, taking account of the views of the parishes, financial forecasts, and property appraisals which look at building use and condition, to identify priorities.  A Property Proposals Plan will then be developed and submitted to the Diocese, where it will be reviewed.

The Partnership Development Group is meeting with Jeremy Brock, the Diocesan Property Review Co-ordinator, on 1 October, to find out more about the process.  We will, of course, be working with the Building Committees / volunteers in all of the parishes, and there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to contribute their thoughts and ideas over the coming months. 

If you think you could help with the Community Audit please contact Margaret Doyle on

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who came along to help open our church for Heritage Open Days and the Partnership Open Afternoon. The church looked wonderful thanks to all your hard work cleaning, and everyone who provided refreshments and a warm welcome to our visitors made both events a real success.

Partnership Open Afternoon at St. Cuthbert’s

This afternoon (Sunday 15th September), we open our church and community to all our friends from across the Finchale Partnership. This is the fourth of a series of Partnership Open Afternoons where we have an opportunity to welcome each other, to share something of our life together and to have a chat and some simple refreshments. Please do come along anytime between 2pm and 4pm.

The Heart of Prayer: an Introductory Day on Centering Prayer

This introductory day will be held at Ushaw, Saturday 21st September 2019, 10.00am – 3.30pm, led by Elizabeth Smith B.Ed. 

Elizabeth Smith has given numerous retreats and workshops on Centering Prayer, sharing the teaching of Fr Thomas Keating.  Thomas Keating was Elizabeth’s mentor and friend.  Elizabeth founded Contemplative Outreach UK with Fr Keating’s blessing and support in 1989.

The cost for the day is £10 per person, to include tea/coffee in the morning and in the afternoon. Light meals may be purchased in The Refectory. Booking is essential. To purchase a ticket, go to

Heritage Open Days

On Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September, between 10am and 3pm, our church will be taking part in the national Heritage Open Days event ( .

The church will be open to visitors, a small exhibition will be in place and light refreshments will be available. If you could support our existing stewards and help staff the church for 30 minutes or more during the day, then please sign up on the list on the noticeboard or contact Andy Doyle (0798 543 4185 or

Church Cleaning

To get ready for the Heritage Open Days and Partnership Open Afternoon, it would be good to have a cleaning blitz in the Church and Parish Room in particular. So, if you can help, please come along from 2.00pm on Saturday 7th September, ready to dust, sweep, polish and generally spruce up our beautiful church.