St Cuthbert’s Parish Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 6th May at 7.00pm, on Zoom. If you would like to raise an item for discussion at the AGM, please contact Fr Andrew. For Zoom login details, see the ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community’ Facebook group, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse: Tuesday 4th May. Information and resources at https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/safeguarding/day-of-prayer-for-survivors-of-abuse/day-of-prayer-for-survivors-of-abuse-2021/
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 email@example.com
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.
A six-week online Listening Skills course to learn basic skills from counselling theory and practice, to help and support people experiencing difficulties in their lives. Tuesdays, 6.30 – 8.30pm, 11 May to 22 June (excluding 1 June.) Cost of the course is £120 per person and applications must be endorsed by a priest/deacon. For further details, contact the Diocesan Faith and Mission Team on 0191 243 3316 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or to apply.
A series of virtual discussions, bringing together theologians, writers, spiritual directors and young scholars in conversation. Wednesdays 5, 12 and 19 May, 5-7pm. Hosted by Durham University Centre for Catholic Studies and the London Jesuit Centre. Everyone is welcome – suggested donation £15. Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ccs-study-series-faith-and-thought-exploring-the-art-of-attention-tickets-133225512093?aff=ebdsoporgprofile
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray, from Ascension to Pentecost, for more people to come to know Jesus. 13-23 May – details at https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/thy-kingdom-come/
Many of Jesus’ disciples lived by farming, and they would know that the life of a shepherd is a tough one. The shepherd is out in all weathers, caring for the sheep, keeping them safe and bringing them back when they wander off. In Jesus’ time, a shepherd’s job could be dangerous, too – there were thieves and bandits who would not think twice about killing the shepherd and stealing the sheep. A hired man, working for money, would run off at the first sign of trouble. But if the shepherd was looking after his own sheep, he would know each one and would take good care of them. So, when Jesus tells the people that he is a ‘Good Shepherd,’ he means that he has a real love and care for them. He knows them by name, just as a good shepherd knows each one of his sheep; and the people know him, and trust him. Jesus’ love for his sheep will be proved when he gives up his life for them on the Cross.
Today, the 4th Sunday of Easter, is ‘Good Shepherd Sunday,’ when we pray for vocations to the priesthood. The Church needs priests who will be ‘good shepherds,’ caring for the people with the same love that Jesus showed. And we are all called to be shepherds who care for one another. Every person that we meet is a member of the Lord’s flock, known to Jesus and precious to him. Jesus wants us all to hear his voice, and to be gathered together into one flock. No one is disposable.
Pray in May for Mary’s Meals. Details at https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/prayinmay
The next collection is Sunday 2nd May. Donations can be brought at any time and left in the box provided. Any of the following items are welcome, toilet rolls, tinned (tomatoes, fish, chick peas), biscuits, sugar, rice. Many thanks for your generosity.
Reader in Political Theology featuring Elizabeth Phillips (Westcott House, Cambridge); Anna Rowlands (Durham University); Amy Daughton (University of Birmingham); Vincent Lloyd (Villanova University); William Cavanaugh (DePaul University.) Chaired by Robert Song. Monday 26th April, 5.30-6.45pm, online. Details and registration at https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/catholic-studies/about-us/events/book-launch-political-theology/
An ecumenical conversation led by Bishop Robert and Rt Rev Paul Butler, the Anglican Bishop of Durham. Wednesday 5 May, 6.30 – 8.30pm, online. See www.rcdhn.org.uk for details.
A member of our parish community is looking for a house to rent. If you might be able to help, please contact Fr. Andrew.
We might expect the disciples to be joyful when they encountered the risen Jesus. But each of the Gospels tells us that their first reaction was one of shock and fear. In today’s Gospel reading, Luke says that the disciples were ‘in a state of alarm and fright’ when Jesus appeared among them. They thought they were seeing a ghost.
Jesus calms his friends down, wishing them peace. He shows them his hands and feet, to let them see that he is not a ghost; he is the same person who was nailed to the Cross. He was really dead, and now he is truly risen. He even eats with them, as he has done so many times before. Then, Jesus teaches the disciples, opening their minds to understand how the Word of God in the Hebrew Scriptures has been fulfilled in him. And finally, he sends them out with a mission: to witness to all the nations about his life, death and resurrection; to preach the Good News of forgiveness of sins.
The mission that Jesus gives his disciples is our mission, too. Jesus has opened our minds, helping us to see the world in a different way. He has given us his peace, so that we can rest in his love, whatever difficulties we face in our lives. Jesus has promised us forgiveness for our sins, and he sends us out to share that Good News with all those we meet. We are his witnesses.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Canon Michael McCoy, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, who died recently.
(1) As the parish’s financial year is drawing to a close, we will soon be compiling our Gift Aid return. If any Gift Aid donors now believe that they will not have paid sufficient income tax to cover the Gift Aid on their donations (25p for every £1 donated) then please let Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle know as soon as possible. Also, if any donors have changed address in the last year and have not already informed the parish or the Gift Aid team at the Diocesan Offices then, again, let Fr Andrew or Andy Doyle know.
If you are not already part of the Gift Aid scheme and would like to know more, contact Andy Doyle on 0798 543 4185 or email@example.com. Thank you for your generosity.
(2): Lockdown has led to a number of donors who have previously given via weekly envelopes switching to standing orders. If you would like to donate in this way, which is more convenient for both the donor and the parish, please contact Andy for guidance as to how to make the switch.
(3): New donation envelopes will be available soon for those who wish to continue to use this method. Please let Andy know if you do wish to receive a box of envelopes to be used from early April.
The gardens, parkland, outdoor exhibitions, children’s activities & games, and takeaway Bounds Cafe are open daily, 11am-4pm. See www.ushaw.org
An online conversation offered by the Centre for Applied Theology. Monday 19th April at 7.00pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Salvation in the Old Testament by Prof Walter Moberly, Durham University. Wednesday 29th April, 5-6.30pm, online. For details and registration, see https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/catholic-studies/about-us/events/catholic-theology-research-seminar-salvation-in-the-old-testament/
WeCraft Durham is a student-led initiative that aims to offer social events and craft activities for older residents in our city. Possible activities include group singing, quizzes, book clubs and creative writing. If you might be interested, please contact Fr Andrew.
It is still dark when Mary of Magdala goes to Jesus’ tomb, early in the morning. But she can see that something has happened. The stone blocking the entrance has been moved, and the tomb is empty. Mary’s first reaction is to run to Simon Peter, and the disciple Jesus loves, and share the news with them. What’s going on? The disciples discover that the linen cloths, used to wrap a dead body, have been discarded. Jesus doesn’t need them any more.
John tells us that, until this moment, the disciples had ‘failed to understand.’ Jesus had taught them that he would rise from the dead, but it was impossible for them to take in his teaching. But now, they see and they believe. They suffered the darkest day of their lives when they saw Jesus die on the Cross, but as the day dawns, the light is dawning for them. As they share the news, the light will dawn for the whole community of disciples – and then for the whole world.
Jesus’ disciples would spend the rest of their lives coming to understand what they had experienced – the mystery of his rising from the dead. We, too, are still coming to understand the full meaning of what God has done. The Resurrection of Christ is good news that changes the world.