The latest edition of the Partnership newsletter looks at how we are all keeping in touch while our churches are closed during the pandemic.
The newsletter is available here:
A casual and informal overview of the Bible, looking at the major events and the different books of the Bible. This is for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Bible. Beginners welcome! This will be facilitated by Dori Berahya, who has 20 years of experience in Adult Religious Education. Saturday 21 March at 10.30am at St. Cuthbert’s Durham, and repeated on Thursday 26th March at 7.00pm at St. Joseph’s, Langley Park.
In October 2019, we started a Property & Community Review, part of a Diocesan programme. Many people volunteered their time, efforts and ideas to carry out the Property Audit, a Community Audit and a 10-year financial forecast. The Diocese has now decided to pause the review and we are not preparing a report for the Diocese. However the Partnership Development Group agreed that we don’t want to lose the excellent work done so far, particularly on the Community Audit. It’s not too late to contribute ideas about the needs of the community and how we may be able to help. Parish Pastoral Councils will discuss the work done so far and the Partnership will consider anything we can work together on. Thank you to all those who volunteered – your work is very much appreciated.
Tuesday 10th December at 7.00pm at St Patrick’s Church, Goatbeck Terrace, Langley Moor DH7 8JJ.
To mark the First Sunday of Advent, Solemn Vespers will be celebrated at 4.30pm on Sunday 1st December in St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw College.
The Finchale Partnership will be co-ordinating the celebration of this service, which also marks the launch of ‘The God Who Speaks’, a Year of the Word, proclaimed by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Vespers will be celebrated simultaneously at four other locations across the diocese.
Mince pies and mulled wine will be available afterwards and everyone is welcome.
People often say they would like to know more about the other parishes and churches in the partnership. The last of this year’s series of open afternoons is on Sunday, 6th October, from 2.00 – 4.00pm, at St. Joseph’s, Gilesgate, Durham, one of the churches in Durham Martyrs parish. The people of Durham Martyrs are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the partnership to look around, chat over refreshments, and learn a little about the parish. Everyone is welcome to attend. You don’t have to sign up in advance, but if you need a lift to Durham, or if you are able to offer someone else a lift, please leave your details on the sheet on the noticeboard.
This is the text of the announcement made at last weekend’s Masses across the Partnership:
The Diocese has asked all partnerships to carry out a Property and Community review.
Between 1985 and 2017 Mass attendance in the Diocese fell by more than 64%, but the number of Diocesan buildings has hardly changed. This means that we have too many churches and buildings, and the way they are currently used is unsustainable into the future. This situation places an increasing burden on priests and volunteers to manage property and we cannot afford to meet ongoing running, maintenance and repair costs.
Now is the time for Partnerships to look ahead and consider what our future property and community needs will be. The Diocese has asked that we undertake a full review of our buildings and land so that a flexible plan can be developed to maximise their use and sustainability, to meet the needs of our parishes and of the wider community.
Each parish is asked to carry out a Community Audit, including talking to the local community such as local councils and voluntary groups, to help us think about what our buildings could be used for. We will be looking for volunteers in all our parishes to make sure there is plenty of communication and consultation with parishioners, and to identify options for use of our buildings.
The Partnership is then asked to look ahead to 2030, taking account of the views of the parishes, financial forecasts, and property appraisals which look at building use and condition, to identify priorities. A Property Proposals Plan will then be developed and submitted to the Diocese, where it will be reviewed.
The Partnership Development Group is meeting with Jeremy Brock, the Diocesan Property Review Co-ordinator, on 1 October, to find out more about the process. We will, of course, be working with the Building Committees / volunteers in all of the parishes, and there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to contribute their thoughts and ideas over the coming months.
If you think you could help with the Community Audit please contact Margaret Doyle on firstname.lastname@example.org
This afternoon (Sunday 15th September), we open our church and community to all our friends from across the Finchale Partnership. This is the fourth of a series of Partnership Open Afternoons where we have an opportunity to welcome each other, to share something of our life together and to have a chat and some simple refreshments. Please do come along anytime between 2pm and 4pm.
Thank you to Fr Robert and the community of St Patrick’s, Langley Moor, who gave us a warm welcome last Sunday, with music, history and delicious cakes! The next Open Afternoon will be held at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Newhouse, Esh Winning on Sunday 7th July.
People often say they would like to know more about the other parishes and churches in the partnership. So, the parish of Bl. Edmund Duke will be hosting an open afternoon on Sunday, 5th May, from 3.00 – 5.00pm. They are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the partnership at St Joseph, Coxhoe, DH6 4DA, to look around, chat over refreshments, learn a little about the parish and experience the spirituality of Church. Everyone is welcome to attend. You don’t have to sign up in advance, but if you need a lift to Coxhoe, or if you are able to offer someone else a lift, please leave your details on the sheet on the noticeboard.
People often say they would like to know more about the other parishes and churches in the partnership. So, 5 of our churches will host an open afternoon between May and October 2019. The first one will be at Ss Joseph, Patrick and Cuthbert, Coxhoe on the afternoon of 5th May. Please see the poster on the noticeboard for more details.
The minutes of January’s meeting of the Finchale Partnership Development Group are now available here.
A Confirmation preparation programme will be run in the Finchale Partnership during 2019, open to all young people in school Y9 and upwards. The initial information session for young people and their parents is planned for March 2019. We would like to establish a group of people from across our Partnership – experienced Confirmation catechists and adults who are not catechists but would be willing to help with the sessions. There will be a meeting on Tuesday 5th February 7.15pm, St Patrick’s presbytery, Langley Moor, DH7 8JJ (parking available, Mass at 6.30pm). If you are interested in helping but cannot attend this meeting please contact Brendan Payne (email@example.com / 0771 753 1935).
The minutes of the latest meeting of the Finchale Partnership Development Group are now available here
The Finchale Partnership Service of Reconciliation will be held on Tuesday 18th December at 7.00pm, at St Joseph’s, Gilesgate.
The Outreach Committee of the Finchale Partnership is seeking to meet with all Justice and Peace groups within the partnership, and anyone else who has in interest in justice and peace issues, with a view to learning from each other and investigating ways we might work more effectively together across the partnership. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 06 December, from 7:00pm at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Esh Winning. Please contact Fr Robert Riedling at St Patrick’s, Langley Moor with any enquiries (firstname.lastname@example.org / (0191) 378 4486).
The parishes of the Finchale Partnership have agreed that we will work together to prepare our young people for Confirmation. A training session, around the use of the diocesan programme, has been organised. This is open to those already involved in Confirmation programmes, as well as those interested in getting involved. The training will be led by Father Michael McCoy, beginning at 7:15pm, on Thursday 06 December, at St. Cuthbert’s, Old Elvet, Durham City. Light refreshments will be available and the session should last around one hour. Preferably, email the parish office to confirm your attendance, by Monday 03 December, or feel free to turn up on the evening.
In his recent pastoral letter, Bishop Seamus asked that we pray that the grace of Jesus Christ will bring hope to the suffering and healing to the wounds of those who have been so deeply hurt by abuse. He suggested that we should hold Holy Hours in each parish. In the Finchale Partnership, the Holy Hours will be:
Tuesday 2 October
7.00pm St. Cuthbert’s, Durham
7.00pm St Joseph’s, Ushaw Moor Mass at 6.30pm
7.00pm St Patrick’s, Langley Moor Mass at 6.30pm
Thursday 4 October
12 noon St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw College
7.00pm St. Joseph’s, Gilesgate, Durham
7.00pm St John Fisher, Sedgefield, concluding with Benediction
The Partnership Development Group met at the end of July, to review the first year, and to discuss the activity of our 6 sub-groups. The PDG concluded that we have achieved a lot in our first year, but we need to make sure that we give more people the opportunity to get involved. The minutes of the meeting are on the Partnership webpages, and there is a copy on the noticeboard at the back of church.
The ‘One Year On’ document which we sent to the Diocese can be found here.
The third edition of our Partnership newsletter tells you more about our development plan and how you can get involved.
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