The last 18 months have been a difficult time for all of us, because of the COVID pandemic. Even those of us who have not been ill have been subject to lockdown and restrictions in many aspects of our lives. Our church and parish have also been affected – who would have guessed 2 years ago that people would need to book in advance to come to Sunday Mass?
We would like to hear your views and experiences of how the life of the parish has been affected during the pandemic. There will be a meeting on 28 September at 7.00pm for us to share our experiences. The meeting will be on Zoom and the joining details will be in the parish Facebook Group or contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you’d rather tell us about your experiences in writing, there’s questionnaire you can fill in, and if you’d like to talk about your experiences but won’t be attending the meeting, please contact Margaret on 07719 906711.
Please follow the links below for more information about why we are doing this, data protection, etc., and for the questionnaire.
Bishop Robert has issued new Covid-guidance to the Diocese and the main points affecting St. Cuthbert’s and the Catholic Chaplaincy are:
- Please continue to use the hand sanitiser available in the narthex and porch.
- Please continue to wear a face covering in Church.
- Our seating capacity can now be increased, but you still need to book for the Sunday 10am Mass. As University term begins soon and attendance is likely to rise, then we may need to re-introduce bookings for the 6:30pm Mass as well.
- Cleaning routines in church are to be simplified.
- Congregational singing can commence again, whilst continuing to wear a face covering.
- The offertory collection will be re-introduced.
- Please note, however, that the physical Sign of Peace, reception of Holy Communion from the chalice and the availability of Holy Water remain suspended for the moment.
- At Holy Communion, especially on Sundays, we will continue to use our one-way system.
All these points will be reviewed again at the beginning of November.
From this week our on-line Gospel Reflection moves to Saturday morning.
Join us at 10.30am for the Gospel Reflection, which we expect will last about 50 mins. We’ll then take a 10 minute break (to get a drink!), and our social coffee morning will start at about 11.30am.
You are very welcome to join for the whole 2 hours, but you’re also welcome to leave after the Gospel Reflection, or to join at 11.30am for our social time.
Bishop Robert has announced the Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and will be launched during Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 17 October, simultaneously with the launch of the Synod.
The aims of the Year of the Eucharist are:
To celebrate the Eucharist at the heart of the life and mission of the Church and to gather people back.
To grow as a Diocese in our love and appreciation of the Eucharist.
To deepen our appreciation of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist through the rites.
To revitalise and renew our faith through a deepening prayer and devotion of the Eucharist.
To go out and serve the world through the nourishment of the Eucharist.
The Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in Episcopal Areas, Partnerships, Parishes and Schools and will provide a framework of prayer for the Diocese’s participation in the first stage of the Synod.
On Fridays 10th and 17th, Saturdays 11th and 18th and Sundays 12th and 19th of September, St Cuthbert’s will be taking part in the national Heritage Open Days event (https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/st-cuthberts-catholic-church-durham) The church will be open to visitors, a small exhibition will be in place and light refreshments will be available. If you can help staff the church for 60 minutes or more during the day, welcoming visitors and offering refreshments, then please sign up on the list on the noticeboard or contact Andy Doyle (0798 543 4185 or email@example.com).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
A talk by Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, the Director of the Vatican Observatory. This is a joint Chaplaincy / Parish event and everyone is welcome.
The talk will be on Friday 18 June at 4.00pm, on Zoom. The dial in details are available in the parish Facebook Group or by email from email@example.com.
If you are not able to join us for the talk, a recording will be available afterwards on our YouTube channel.
The University Catholic Society would like to invite parishioners to join their Wednesday evening talk on16th of June at 8:00pm.
Dr Austen Ivereigh is a writer, commentator and papal biographer who recently collaborated with Pope Francis on his Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future. He is the co-founder of Catholic Voices and Fellow in Contemporary Church History at Campion Hall, Oxford.
The Bishops of England & Wales have issued a paper reflecting on the way ahead for a return to a normal pattern of worship in our churches. You can read the paper here.
Pope Francis encourages the Universal Church to pray the Rosary during the month of May, for the end of the pandemic. More information at: http://www.rcdhn.org.uk/faithandmission/marathonofprayer.php
The Bishops of England and Wales have written a Pastoral Letter on the Environment for the Feast of Pentecost. Read it here
Pentecost renewal retreat at Minsteracres. ‘Jesus breathed on them and said; Receive the Holy Spirit.’ In this retreat we will reflect on the role of the Holy spirit in John’s Gospel and pray for the release of the Spirit in our lives, that we may learn how to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God. There will be times of input, times of silence and times of prayer and praise to help us open ourselves more fully to God. Led by Fr Chris Thomas. Friday 21-Sunday 23 May. Suggested donation: £175. See www.minsteacres.org for details.
Celebrated by Bishop Robert in St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday 22 May at 12 noon, and live streamed via the Cathedral YouTube channel.
Fr. Stephen Wang is the author of Sycamore, a programme that has grown into a resource being used throughout the world. In the bible, Jesus comes to the town of Jericho. A man called Zacchaeus is so curious about Jesus that he climbs a Sycamore tree to get a better view. When he finally meets him, they begin a conversation, and his life is changed forever. The Sycamore tree seemed to be the perfect image of something that helps others to get a wider perspective on life and faith.
The Diocese’s Vicariate for Faith & Mission is pleased to welcome Fr. Stephen to our diocese on Wednesday 21st April 7-8pm for a virtual conversation about how we can make genuine human connections, share our Catholic faith and reach out for a real sense of community with a spirit of friendship. Booking is essential; please register at https://forms.office.com/r/X42EZKpGKz or contact Faith & Mission by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07375 934713.
The times of liturgies during Holy Week will be as follows:
Mass of the Lord’s Supper; Thursday 1st April at 7.00pm
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion; Friday 2nd April at 3.00pm
Easter Vigil; Saturday 3rd April at 8.00pm
Easter Sunday Mass; 4th April at 10.00am
(No Evening Mass on Easter Sunday).
All of the services are now fully booked.
All of these liturgies will be live streamed on St Cuthbert’s YouTube channel.
Many thanks to Fr. Nick King SJ for his talk on Friday evening.
If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch the talk on our YouTube channel.
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 (email@example.com 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.
The Finchale Partnership has 4 churches with a dedication to St. Joseph, and during this Year of St. Joseph we will be celebrating by providing a variety of different materials for you.
St. Joseph’s church in Gilesgate is part of Durham Martyrs parish, and they have produced a prayer pack and resources for the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19th. The pack includes a summary of Pope Francis’ note on the Year of St. Joseph, prayers based on the 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph, a history of St. Joseph’s church in Gilesgate and activities for children. You can find the pack on Durham Martyrs website at www.durhammartyrs.co.uk