All posts by Margaret Doyle

Please Pray For ….

Those who are sick:

Stuart Button, Phil Bawden (Australia), Francis Mangion, Andrew S, Christopher Browne, Hugh McElhennon, Mary Skelton, Clare Humphrey and David Moore.

Those whose anniversaries occur at this time:

Mary Belley, Wladyslaw Lentowicz, Tessa Kirk, James Mahan, Frank Scollen, David Mcllvenna, Martha Anderson. May they rest in peace.

St. John Boste Parish Green Team

The Green Team at St. John Boste parish would like to invite everyone in the Partnership to an event on Tuesday 30th April.

Terence and Tracy Featherstone live in Coundon on a farm which they inherited. They had a vision of turning the farmhouse into a family home whilst incorporating renewable energy supplies. They have achieved this, and more. They have created the only completely green footprint farm in the northeast. They want to help others to achieve a greener lifestyle. 

After hearing their story from Tracy herself and reading about their achievements in the press, the St John Boste Parish Green Team accepted the proposal to invite them to come to our parish.  Please come and join us, and listen to their amazing story. This will take place in St Joseph’s Catholic Club, Ushaw Moor, Tuesday April 30th at 7.30pm.  Refreshments will be served on arrival. Before the Presentation there is also the opportunity to celebrate Mass in the church and all are welcome to join us for this at 7pm.

Should you wish to learn more at this stage about The Featherstones, there was an article in the Northern Echo.

Lent Day of Reflection at Ushaw

Lent is a time of preparation for Holy Week and Easter.  The Lent Day of Reflection at Ushaw on Friday 15th March invites us to reflect on the phrase “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” from the Lord’s Prayer.  The day will also include Mass in St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, and Stations of the Cross. 

The day starts at 10.15am, with refreshments on arrival, and finishes by 3.30pm.  The Day of Reflection costs £10.  Bring your own lunch, or lunch can be bought in Ushaw’s café. 

Tickets available at

Synod Meeting: Structures and Decision Making

We’re holding a series of meetings to talk about some of the issues raised in the summary document from the Synod Assembly in Rome last October. The third meeting this Sunday 25th February at 2.30pm, at St. Cuthbert’s, and the subject will be ‘Structures and Decision Making’.  

Please come along and share your ideas on the following questions: 

The Synod Assembly agreed that ‘synodality represents the future’, and is an essential part of ‘advising, discerning and decision making’ in the Church. The Assembly also called for obligatory Diocesan and Parish Pastoral Councils. How should we take forward a synodal approach (including Conversations in the Spirit and listening to those on the margins) in our Diocese? And how can we best use this approach in our Partnership and our parishes?

Synod Meeting: Ministry

We’re holding a series of meetings to talk about some of the issues raised in the summary document from the Synod Assembly in Rome last October. The second meeting will be on Sunday 11th February at 2.30pm, at St. Cuthbert’s, and the subject will be ‘Ministry and Co-responsibility’.  

Please come along and share your ideas on the following questions: 

The Synod Assembly said that ‘it is necessary for all the baptised to commit themselves to the reciprocal exercise of their vocation, charism, and ministry’ and talks about co-responsibility for our mission. It asks that the church explores further the formation of priests, the permanent diaconate, the increasing role of lay people in ministry and the possible need for new ministries. What do we think are the priorities? And how can the priests, deacons and lay people of our Partnership best work together?

Synod meeting: Formation

We’re planning a series of meetings to talk about some of the issues raised in the summary document from the Synod Assembly in Rome last October. The first meeting will be this, Sunday 28th January at 2.30pm, and the subject will be ‘Formation’.

Please come along and share your ideas on the following questions:

Many people have said that they have not had the chance to learn more about their faith since they left school. The Synod Assembly suggested more formation in subjects from Vatican 2 to the church’s teaching on social issues and relationships. But what should be our priority locally? And how should we go about this formation?

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

This, Sunday 21st January, an ecumenical service will be held in the chapels at Ushaw, in which we come together for prayer, scripture readings and hymns, responding to Jesus’ own prayer that we may all be one.  All are very welcome to attend, and we look forward to celebrating together our common Christian faith.  The service starts at 3pm, and will be followed by refreshments in the parlour. 

No ticket is required for this event.

Synodality: the Next Steps

12 months ago we had several local meetings to discuss the Synod on Synodality. We had some good discussions and were able to contribute to the synthesis which our Diocese sent in. During October, the Assembly of the Synod on Synodality met with Pope Francis in Rome and they have now published their report. Once again, we have the opportunity to share our thoughts, to listen to others and to make a contribution to the Synod.

We’ll be holding a series of discussions, and the first will be at 2.30pm this Sunday 3rd December in the parish room. We’ll be joined by Avril Baigent, who is a Director of the School for Synodality and synod co-lead for the Diocese of Northampton. Avril will be talking about Conversations in the Spirit, and sharing some advice on how to get the most from our meetings.

You can also take part in the meeting via Zoom; contact Fr Andrew on for login details.


Ushaw will be featured on an upcoming episode of Matt Baker: Travels with Mum & Dad. Travelling across the North East, Matt Baker takes his mum Janice and dad Mike to landmarks on their doorstep.

The episode will be aired on Monday 4 December at 9pm on More4.

COP 28

The UN Climate Change Conference started this week In Dubai. Pope Francis is attending and is due to speak on Saturday 2nd Dec. He has written a new message, Laudate Deum, imploring political leaders to act with greater urgency to tackle the climate crisis. CAFOD have asked us to contact our local MPs to ask them to act on the Pope’s call.

Advent Day of Reflection at Ushaw

Advent is a time of waiting, and of preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. At the start of Advent, Ushaw is providing a day of reflection with an Advent theme.  The day will include Mass, and time for prayerful reflection as we await the coming of the Saviour – an opportunity to take time away from our busy lives and think about the real meaning of Christmas.

Everyone is very welcome to join us on Friday 1st December, from 10.30am to 3pm.  Tickets for the day cost £10.  Refreshments will be provided on arrival.  Bring a packed lunch, or you can buy lunch in Welby’s café.  You can book your place at or by phone on 0191 373 8500.  

Synod on Synodality: Reflections

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP led the retreat for those involved in the Synod in Rome. He gave 6 reflections. They are each half an hour long, and you can listen to them on YouTube. (Some of the recordings include morning prayer for the retreatants, and the reflection starts half way through).

If you would prefer to read the transcripts of the reflections they are available on these links:

1. Hoping against Hope

2. At Home in God and God at Home in Us

3. Friendship

4. Conversation on the Way to Emmaus

5. Authority

6. The Spirit of Truth

Season of Creation

An Ecumenical Prayer Service: Sunday 1st October,  3pm

An ecumenical Prayer Service for the Season of Creation, when we are called on to commit to climate and ecological justice, and to speak out for those most affected by the climate and ecological emergency.  The theme for 2023’s Season of Creation is “Let Justice and Peace flow…..”.

The service will be held in St. Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw. Everyone is welcome. No booking is required.

St. Francis in Art

The National Gallery in London is currently holding an exhibition on St. Francis of Assisi, with works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Antony Gormley and many others. We’re planning 2 events connected with the exhibition:

Tuesday 4 July at 7.00pm: an evening at St. Cuthbert’s where we will talk about how St. Francis and stories from his life are represented in art.

Thursday 27 July: a trip to London to visit the exhibition. Details of the visit to the Gallery and of travel plans will be confirmed nearer the time, but first we need an idea of numbers, so that we can contact the Gallery and look into group discounts for travel. If you are interested in joining this trip (or if you have any questions), please contact Margaret Doyle on or 07719 906711. The exhibition itself is free, so the cost will be the train fare.