All posts by Margaret Doyle

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

Retreat in Daily Life: 24th -29th January 2021

A ‘Retreat in Daily Life’ brings the experience of an individually guided retreat to you, fitting around your work and study commitments.

What does it involve?

  • Roughly 30 min daily personal prayer & 30 min daily one-to-one meeting with a guide for 5 days.
  • An opening (Sunday evening) and closing meeting (Friday) to top and tail the retreat
  • Evening workshops exploring how to live out faith in this complex world (e.g. ways of praying, discerning God’s will and making God-centred decisions, images of God)

This year, all meetings and workshops will be held online, via Zoom or other platforms.

Who is it for? Christians wanting to deepen their prayer life, or if you aren’t sure what you believe but are willing to risk seriously exploring the reality of God. Either way, for any generous soul willing to commit to the elements of the week.

Why do it? When we are generous, God is more so. Everyone receives even more than they give. We meet a God who loves us and wants to use our gifts. It can also be a great help in making or confirming decisions, big or small. We learn new ways of praying.

Will it affect my work or studies? Yes and no. Participants will be busier that week because of these extra demands, hence the need to be generous. The retreat runs alongside a normal week, however, so no one will miss any lectures, seminars, or housework responsibilities. Sorry 🙂

Contact Fr Andrew Downie – email:, tel.: 0191 384 3442

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

Christmas Carol Service

With no prospect yet of congregational singing we have a somewhat different Carol Service for 2020. The compilation of music, readings and images of our church has been put together by Alison McLean, and will give you a sense of what we might have experienced at St. Cuthbert’s had things been different this year.

The video is available in our Parish Facebook group. If you know of anyone who would enjoy watching this video but is not on Facebook, please ask them to get in touch with Alison at and she will send a link to their email address.

Thank you to Alison, and to everyone who took part in the music and the readings, for their contributions.

Christmas Mass Times at St. Cuthbert’s

Mass will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s on Christmas Eve at 9.00pm, and on Christmas Day at 10.00am. If you wish to attend either of these Masses, you need to book a place. Please book as soon as possible, by email: or by telephone: 0191 384 3442. Daily Mass will also be celebrated throughout the Christmas season, and you are encouraged to come to Mass on another day if you can’t make it on Christmas Day.

Carol Service

Carol Service: This year’s Carol Service has been recorded, and is now available to download from the ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community’ Facebook page, with Scripture readings and beautiful music from the choir. If you don’t have internet access, please contact the Parish Office to request a copy of the service on CD.

St Cuthbert’s & the Chaplaincy COVID & Christmas Chat

At this time of year parishioners and students would usually be chatting over a glass of mulled wine after our joint Advent carol service. This year, we can catch up on Zoom.

Join us on Thursday 10th December at 7.00pm to hear from the student community about their experiences of university life during COVID, for all of us to share our thoughts on how we’ll be celebrating Christmas this year, and to plan how the parish and the chaplaincy can work together..

Details of how to join the call will be available in the ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community’ and the ‘Durham Catholic Chaplaincy Events’ Facebook Groups.

Financial Briefing to the Parish November 2020

A short annual briefing on the Parish Finances from John Marsland, as chairman of the Parish Finance Council.

This time last year I was reporting on a financially difficult year, however, this year has been even more challenging with lockdowns and a closed Church for some periods.

You may remember that we spent about £40K on repairs and maintenance during last year. This year the equivalent figure is about £10K and most of this is for the fire alarm upgrade.

We expected to see a significant deterioration in our financial position following the closures of the Church and the restriction on the number of parishioners who could attend during services. However, as a result of the low spend on repairs and maintenance, our balances are in better shape than we expected. We have £34839 in the Parish account and £31145 in the deposit account with the Diocese.

As always, your generosity continues with many parishioners continuing to donate with standing orders or online even though they are unable to attend Church at this time. Many thanks for your continued contributions.

The next few months are shrouded with uncertainty and our stewardship needs to be sensitive to unforeseen demands and we will continue to depend on your donations even more as things unfold. We are also fully aware that our Church is an old building and significant repair costs can be incurred at any time.

With regard to the Diocese as a whole, the latest information is that the financial position is stable, for now the pandemic shock has been absorbed, however the future is still uncertain.

If you have not already set up a standing order or online donation and would like to do so please contact Andy Doyle for details, he can be contacted via the Parish Office for which the number is on the weekly bulletin.

A further significant contribution to our funds is made by the Gift Aid scheme, currently around £8K per year. This excellent scheme costs nothing to join with no complicated paperwork and is of considerable benefit to the Parish. If you would like to join, again, please contact Andy.

I hope and pray that my next annual report in November 2021 will report on a more stable situation, in the meantime, I will ensure you are briefed on any significant financial events if they occur.

Many thanks again for your support during the past year.

John Marsland

November 2020