Category Archives: Announcements

Prisons Week: 15-21 November

Parish Seeks to offer support to prisoners and their families in a
number of ways. On Sunday 22 November we will be having our annual
collection of toys, puzzles, coloured pencils etc. for children to
play with whilst visiting family members in prison. Please leave your
items under the bench in the narthex. 

Café Lumière

During the Lumière festival Thursday 12th – Saturday 14th November the church will be open and we hope to serve soup and refreshments from 6:30pm until 9:30pm. We are seeking volunteers who would be able to welcome festival visitors and prepare refreshments during this period. If you are able to help please contact Andy Doyle on 0191 378 3660 or

New Students

We warmly welcome to Durham newly-arrived students. The First Sung Student Mass takes place at 6:30pm on Sunday 11 October, followed by a welcome reception and buffet supper for all student (including those who might have gone to an earlier Mass!).

More details about activities for students now and throughout the term can be found in the yellow Chaplaincy bulletins and on the Chaplaincy website

Shared Harvest

Our annual Shared Harvest takes place after the 10:00am Mass on Sunday 27 September.

Produce that members of the Parish have grown or made will be on sale in the Parish Room; please be generous in enjoying sharing the fruits of our labour! Proceeds will support Patrick Laing’s project to build new classrooms in Peru in the summer of 2016.

Patrick writes: In August 2016 I will part be part of a group heading to Peru to build 3 classrooms in a deprived area called Iquitos. This is going to finish an ongoing project started in 2011 by St Leonard’s School in which a clinic, classroom and toilet block have already been built. Whilst there I will be working with the parish community and clergy. To fund our work we need to raise £4000 each. I would like to thank the parish for all of their support so far.

Gift Aid Statements

Envelopes containing Gift Aid statements are now available for donors to collect from the narthex. If you have any queries please contact Andy Doyle on 0191 378 3660 or

Please also get in touch with Andy if you would like to start supporting St Cuthbert’s through planned giving (either in envelopes or by standing order). If you are a UK taxpayer, don’t forget to Gift Aid your offering – this enables us to claim back an extra 25% from the Government.

Assisted Suicide Bill

From Bishop Séamus: On Friday 11 September the House of Commons will debate and vote on a Bill to legalise assisted suicide. This will put the most vulnerable people in our society at risk. Please contact your MP, urging them to attend the debate and vote against the Bill.

You can send an e-mail to your MP via the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website (; postcards you can send are available at the back of the church. The MP for Durham City is Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods.

Sponsored Steeplechase

Support our church and other
historic churches in the region by visiting as many of them as
possible between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 12 September. Money
raised in sponsorship is shared 50:50 between the parish and the
Northumbria Historic Churches Trust. A poster and sponsorship forms
are on the noticeboard and people seeking sponsors will be making
themselves known! If you wish to see the most up-to-date list of
participating churches, visit

Human Trafficking in Europe

The Justice and Peace Groups of the Durham Parishes invite you to a talk by Sr Imelda Poole IBVM on Human Trafficking in Europe – Modern Slavery at St Cuthbert’s at 7:30pm (after the 7:00pm Mass) on Wednesday 26 August 2015. All are welcome.

Sr Imelda is currently working with women in Albania as part of the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation. She will also be speaking to the Catholic Women’s Network – Durham on Thursday 27 August 2015 at 7:00pm at 6 Albert Street; there will be a shared supper at that meeting.

Two-week bulletin

The bulletin published on Sunday 16 August covers a two week period. Weekly publication of the Parish Bulletin resumes on Sunday 30 August. 

Please keep an eye on the Parish Website (or sign up for the e-Bulletin) for any changes to Mass times – e.g. because of funerals.

Miners’ Gala

Many thanks to all who volunteered their time and talents providing refreshments at the recent Miners’ Gala. The sum of £772.30 was raised for NEPACS (supporting prisoners’ families) and Parish overseas development projects. A further £74.05 was raised for twinning our toilets with facilities in the developing world. Well done to all involved!

Belpahar Donations

For a number of years, St Cuthbert’s Parish has engaged in fundraising to support development in a parish in Belpahar, India. Due to circumstances beyond our control, it has become impossible to verify that funds transferred to India are being received by the intended recipient. This has been a matter of great concern to the Parish Priest, Justice and Peace Group and Finance Committee. Having taken appropriate advice, it has been agreed that without assurance of proper receipt and use of funds it is no longer appropriate or responsible to continue to send money to India.

Since September 2012, when funds were last transferred to India, just over £4000 has been raised which we had intended to send to Belpahar. It is now proposed that these funds be applied instead to other similar overseas development projects identified by the Parish Justice and Peace Group. The Group has in mind in particular the project at Tierra Firme, a barrio in Ibagué, Colombia supported by our friends at the Durham Martyrs’ Parish.

In accordance with Charity Commission guidance for such situations, individuals who have made identifiable donations for Belpahar since September 2012 are entitled to reclaim their donation. Any claims should reach the Parish Office by Monday 29 June 2015. After that date the funds given for Belpahar will be applied as described above.

Please keep all those affected in your prayers. If you have any queries, please speak to fr. Ben or a member of the Parish Justice and Peace Group.

CAFOD Vacancy

CAFOD has a vacancy for a Community Participation Co-ordinator in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. This is a two year fixed term post (part time 17.5 hours per week) working with volunteers in parish and school communities helping to inspire and resource Catholics to participate in the Church’s mission to overcome poverty and injustice overseas in partnership with CAFOD. Closing date 10th July 2015. For more information see

Fr Peter Leighton

Bishop Séamus has announced that Fr Peter Leighton – sometime Parish Priest and University Chaplain here at St Cuthbert’s – is to be Parish Priest of St Paul’s, Alnwick and St Aidan’s, Seahouses. Congratulations to him, and prayers for his future ministry.

Stonework Project fundraising complete!

Following a recent legacy to the parish, we are now able formally to declare that the fundraising for the recent project to restore the church stonework and Harry Clarke window is complete. Many congratulations to those who worked hard to raise nearly £300,000 for this work. We will have the opportunity to give thanks and celebrate this achievement at a Garden Party and Barbecue after the 10:00am Mass on Sunday 28 June – more details to follow.

Dates for your diaries…

Corpus Christi Procession at Ushaw College Sunday 7 June, 2:00pm.

First Communion Mass at St Cuthbert’s – Sunday 14 June, 10:00am.

Parish Garden Party and Barbecue: from 11:30am (i.e. after Mass) on Sunday 28 June – to celebrate completion of payment for the stonework project!

Living the Joy of the Gospel: ecumenical celebration at Durham Cathedral with the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool (fr. Malcolm McMahon OP) and the Anglican Archbishop of York (Dr John Sentamu), to celebrate our common call to proclaim and live the
Gospel with joy and hope – Sunday 6 September, 3:30pm.

Ordinary Synod on the family

Ahead of the forthcoming Ordinary
Synod on the Family to be held in October 2015, Pope Francis has
asked us to reflect with ‘true spiritual discernment’ on the themes
relating to marriage and family life that emerged from the
Extraordinary meeting of Bishops held in Rome in October 2014.

The Bishops of England
and Wales have published a document to help the faithful reflect and
discern on this crucial aspect of Catholic life. This 5-page
document, entitled The Call, The Journey and The Mission, is
available from the front page of our diocesan website or

It is recommended that
we join together in our parishes to pray together and discuss the
issues that face the family today. Consequently we are all invited to
a meeting in the Parish Room
at 7:30pm on Friday 1st May 2015.

Feedback from this
meeting will be submitted to the Curia so that our Diocesan Summary
can be given by Bishop Séamus to Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Bishop
Peter Doyle who will attend the Synod.