Category Archives: Announcements

What are we hungry for?

In today’s Gospel, a crowd of people follows Jesus. They follow him because they have seen a miracle, when Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. They want to see more. But Jesus challenges the people. They haven’t really understood the meaning of the sign that he gave them. We can eat until we are full, but we will get hungry again. Jesus offers us food that lasts forever; the Bread of Life that brings us eternal life. The Bread of Life is Jesus himself, present to us in the celebration of Mass. This is the challenge that Jesus presents to the crowd. What do they really want – food for this life, or food for eternal life?

Many of Jesus’ disciples found it impossible to accept this teaching. We will hear their arguments with him in the Gospels of the next few Sundays. For us, too, it may seem a hard teaching to understand and accept. But this is what our faith tells us. In the Eucharist, Jesus is really present to us. We receive him in the bread and wine; we receive him as food that nourishes our souls. Holy Communion is food for eternal life – God’s greatest gift to us. Jesus challenges us, as he challenged the crowds in his own time. What are we really hungry for?

Continuing covid-19 precautions

On Monday 19th July,  the country moved into Step 4 of the Government’s Covid-19 Response Roadmap. It is still our responsibility to make sure that our churches and other buildings are safe for all those who attend. In the light of the current high rates of infection in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle, and the elderly demographic of our Diocese, Bishop Robert has concluded that  it would present a very serious situation if we were to abandon our existing COVID controls. Instead, the Bishop has asked us to retain all of the COVID control measures and cleaning protocols that are currently in force in all our churches and church halls until at least the end of August 2021. The situation will be reviewed after that.

Please help us to keep everyone safe at St Cuthbert’s:

  • Book a place to attend Sunday Mass, by emailing office@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk or by telephoning 0191 384 3442. You do not need to book for weekday Masses or Sunday evening Mass.
  • Wear a face covering in church, unless you are exempt.
  • Sanitise your hands on entering and leaving church.
  • Maintain social distancing in church.
  • Follow the procedure for receiving Holy Communion.

The obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. The Bishops of England & Wales have issued a statement about the current situation, which you can read here.

Thank you to the volunteer cleaners, who have enabled us to continue celebrating public Mass each day.

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 parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk  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 frpaultully@outlook.com 

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

Call for ministers

Thank you very much to those who have been able to come along to Mass over the last months and who have gladly responded to last-minute requests for readers etc. We hope we can return to more regular and formal rotas in the next few weeks.  We will be looking for welcomers, readers, servers, extraordinary ministers of communion, collectors and offertory bearers. Appropriate training will be available, especially for readers and servers.  If you feel you could help with these ministries, at either of the Sunday Masses and particularly if you are new to the parish, please contact Andy Doyle (0798 543 4185 or andydoyle1066@sky.com)   

Red Mission Boxes

Please bring in your mission boxes for emptying and counting by 15th August. You can leave them in the sacristy and they will normally be available to be picked up afresh from the porch the following week. If you do not already have one but would like to have a red box in support of the missions, please contact Andy Doyle (0798 543 4185 or andydoyle1066@sky.com.) Alternatively, as cash seems to be less popular in today’s society, you can donate direct to Missio via their website at https://missio.org.uk/donate/

Diocesan Days of Reflection

For Readers; Saturday 9th October, at Ushaw College.

For Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion; Saturdays 16th and 30th October, at Ushaw College.

This is an opportunity to pray and reflect on your ministry, as we move back towards normality after the restrictions of the pandemic. Training is also being offered for Welcomers, Readers and Sacristans. If you are interested in any of these events, please speak to Fr Andrew or see the leaflet on the church noticeboard.

North East Churches Acting Together – Environmental Conference

Saturday 4th September, 9.30am-1.30pm, on Zoom. For church members who are interested in Care for Creation, impacts of Climate Change, practical steps to becoming an Eco Church and taking action here in the North-East. The day will feature breakout discussion rooms and stories linked to action, practical advice and support. Book at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/north-east-environment-conference-tickets-157279793095

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)

Society of Saint Gregory Annual Summer School of liturgy and music

4 – 6 August, via Zoom. This year’s theme is ‘The God Who Speaks: Celebrating, living and sharing God’s Word’ The invited speakers, Sr. Margaret Atkins, Fleur Dorrell, Bob Hurd, Nicholas King SJ, David McLoughlin, Dan Schutte and Dr. Gemma Simmonds CJ, will explore all the different ways that God speaks to us. Bishop Peter Brignall, the initiator of ‘The God Who Speaks’, will introduce two days of prayer, contemplation, discussion and debate and there will be liturgies with music. Details and bookings at https://www.ssg.org.uk/summer-school-2021/

Jesus feeds the people

Today’s Gospel begins with a crowd. They have followed Jesus to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, to hear his teaching. Jesus knows that the people need to eat, and so he provides them with food. Five loaves and two fish, brought by a small boy, become enough to feed a crowd of five thousand people, through the miracle that Jesus works.

This Gospel reveals Jesus’ care for the people. He doesn’t leave them hungry – in fact, he provides an abundance of food, with twelve baskets of scraps left over. It must have been a remarkable occasion – a great picnic that people would remember for a long time afterwards. The people were united in sharing the food that Jesus had given them.

The miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand prefigures our celebration of the Eucharist. Jesus showed his love for the people by giving them food, and he shows his love for us by feeding us with his Body and Blood in Holy Communion. As he was generous in providing abundant food for the crowd, so he is generous in his love for us. Just as the five thousand were brought together by sharing the food that Jesus gave them, we should be brought together by our sharing in the celebration of Mass – this is another meaning of ‘communion.’ Our celebration doesn’t end when we leave the church – Jesus calls to remain in communion, by our care for each other.

God’s love for us is generous and not stingy. Jesus provided food for a great crowd of people, and he provides for us at Mass. And he calls to show the same generous love to one another.

Sunday 25th July

Fr Emmanuel Mbeh, a Mill Hill Missionary, will celebrate both Masses at St Cuthbert’s. Fr Emmanuel is not coming to make an appeal, but to tell us about the work of Missio and to thank you for your support. Please give him a warm welcome. Fr Emmanuel will also celebrate the 6:30pm Mass on Sunday 1st August.

Public Masses at St Cuthbert’s

We have now moved to Step 4 of the Government’s Covid-19 Response Roadmap. It is still our responsibility to make sure that our church is safe for all those who attend. In the light of the current high rates of infection in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle, and the elderly demographic of our Diocese, Bishop Robert has asked us to retain all of the COVID control measures and cleaning protocols that are currently in force in all our churches and church halls until at least the end of August 2021. The situation will be reviewed after that.

Please help us to keep everyone safe at St Cuthbert’s:

  • Book a place to attend Sunday Mass, by emailing office@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk or by telephoning 0191 384 3442. You do not need to book for weekday Masses, but you must provide Track & Trace details.
  • Wear a face covering in church, unless you are exempt.
  • Sanitise your hands on entering and leaving church.
  • Maintain social distancing in church.
  • Congregational singing and sharing the Sign of Peace are still not permitted.
  • Follow the present procedure for receiving Holy Communion. If you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, please wait until the end of the Communion line, to minimise the risk of infection.
  • The obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. 

Thank you to the volunteer cleaners, who have enabled us to continue celebrating public Mass each day. If you could join the cleaning rota, please contact Ciara by email. 

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