Category Archives: Announcements

Listen to him

When Jesus led Peter, James and John, his three closest disciples, up a high mountain, they must have realised that something important was going to happen. But they could not have expected what followed. Jesus was transfigured – the disciples were given a glimpse of his heavenly glory. With him were Moses and Elijah, the two greatest figures of the Old Testament. They heard the voice of God the Father, speaking to them from within a cloud. For the disciples, it was a stunning vision that revealed to them who Jesus really was – the Son of God. No wonder they were frightened, overwhelmed, and unable to take it all in. And then the vision was over, as suddenly as it had begun.

Why did Jesus reveal himself to Peter, James and John in this way? Perhaps to strengthen their courage for what lay ahead. When they came down from the mountain, Jesus would begin his journey to Jerusalem; the journey that would lead him to the Cross. He knew that his disciples’ faith in him would be tested; perhaps he foresaw that they would run away in fear and abandon him. Only when Jesus rose from the dead would the disciples begin to understand what they had seen. As we make our own journey through Lent, today’s Gospel challenges us to renew our courage and our trust in Jesus. The words of God the Father are addressed to us: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’

Lenten Stations of the Cross

Our Lenten Stations of the Cross continues this Friday at 6:30pm on Zoom. Joining details can be found in the St Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook Group or by contacting Andy Doyle ( or 0798 543 4185).

If you would like to lead Stations on one of the Fridays of Lent (excluding Good Friday), get in touch with Andy.

If you’re not able to join us on Zoom on Fridays, there’s a recorded version of the Stations, with readings and meditations based on the Gospel of Mark, on our YouTube channel.

Diocesan Refugee Project

The Diocesan Refugee Project Centre is currently open. Any of the following items would be welcome: toilet rolls, tinned food (tomatoes, fish, and chick peas), biscuits, sugar, rice. Please bring donations on or before Sunday 7th March. Please use the correct box for this project. Ideally items would be in a carrier bag and for anything brought in after Sunday 7th please indicate date/day it’s been donated, as items need to be left for 72 hours before being moved later in the week.  

Hospital Visits

The University Hospital of North Durham still has restrictions in place regarding visits to patients – 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.

Lenten Alms

A message from the Chief Executive of St Cuthbert’s Care:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank  everyone for their kindness throughout the  pandemic – it has been truly heart-warming. Parish support makes all the difference, allowing us  to go that extra mile in ensuring we provide  outstanding care and peace of mind to families and  loved ones. If you are able to do so, please may I  ask that you consider supporting our work once  more. Thank you.

For information and donations, see

Parish bulletins and Catholic newspapers

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. 

Northern Cross: The February edition of our diocesan newspaper is now available online at Please consider supporting the Northern Cross by taking out an annual subscription

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.

Keeping in touch

Many members of our community could still be feeling isolated, especially now we are back in lockdown. If you are in need of any practical help, eg with grocery shopping or collecting prescriptions, or if you just want to chat, please contact Fr Andrew by email, or by telephone on 0191 384 3442. If you know of someone who might need support, please make contact with them, or let Fr Andrew know.

Public Masses at St Cuthbert’s

During the lockdown churches can continue to celebrate Mass publicly, while maintaining the usual Covid-19 safety practices, and Mass at St Cuthbert’s will continue for the time being. Thank you to the volunteer stewards and cleaners, who have made it possible for us to continue celebrating Mass as a community.

The capacity of St Cuthbert’s church is limited to 36 places under the diocesan Risk Assessment, and members of a single household or support bubble can sit together. Please observe all of the rules, which have been put in place for everyone’s safety; socialising with anyone outside your household or bubble is prohibited.

If you wish to attend Sunday Mass, you must book a place, by emailing or telephoning 0191 384 3442, by 6pm on Saturday. You will be asked to give a contact telephone number or email address. If you come to church without having booked a place at Mass, you may be asked to leave. 

For weekday Masses, you can attend without prior booking, but you will be asked for ‘Track and Trace’ details. We have a QR code displayed at the church entrance, which you can scan using the NHS Track & Trace app.

Please do not come to church if you are in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ group, if you are showing any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or if you have any concerns about your safety. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass has been dispensed by the Bishops until further notice.

All Masses at St Cuthbert’s are live streamed on our YouTube channel.

Volunteers are needed to clean the church after each opening, and to act as stewards. If you can help, please get in touch by telephone or email.

Receiving Communion: Please wait in the pews until instructed by the stewards to come forward to the priest for Holy Communion, always aware of social distancing in the queue. Please unloop your face covering and hold your arms at ‘full stretch,’ so that there is a good distance between you and the priest, with hands, palms upwards, one on top of the other, extended as flat as possible. Consume the Sacred Host and then replace your face covering, before moving back to your seat.

Please note that we are obliged to keep all the church doors open during Mass, for maximum ventilation, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. So remember to wrap up warm for Mass!

Time Out

When we have a big decision to make, we often need to take some time out – to reflect and to pray. We need to be away from distractions, so that we can think clearly. In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes time out.

After his baptism in the River Jordan, the Holy Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness. He was there for forty days; alone, without food or shelter and in danger from wild animals. Mark tells us that he was tempted by Satan, but says nothing about the temptations. Jesus was about to begin his public ministry of preaching and teaching. He could only face the struggle and suffering that lay ahead if he trusted completely in God, his Father. During those forty days in the desert, Jesus overcame the temptations and prepared himself.

The First Reading reminds us of the legend of Noah, in the book of Genesis. Noah, too, put his trust in God for the forty days of the Great Flood, and God kept him and his family safe, even when the whole world was destroyed.

When Jesus returned to Galilee, he would hear the news of the arrest of John the Baptist. He would be in no doubt about the dangers that he himself faced. But he set out fearlessly to begin preaching the Good News.

We are beginning the forty days of Lent. It’s a time to clear away distractions, to renew our trust in God and to respond to Jesus’ call: repent, and believe the Good News.