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
Thank you to everyone who came along to help open our church for Heritage Open Days and the Partnership Open Afternoon. The church looked wonderful thanks to all your hard work cleaning, and everyone who provided refreshments and a warm welcome to our visitors made both events a real success.
Where is this?
We will publish the answer next week!
Last week’s picture was from the Stations of the Cross. It’s Pontius Pilate from the first Station.
A Day of Reflection for All Ministries. At Ushaw College, Saturday 28 September, 10.30am – 3.30pm. Led by Fr Mark Millward, Dean of the Benedict Partnership (n.b. this is a repeat of the day offered in May.) Registration and refreshments from 9.45am. Tea, Coffee and a light lunch will be provided. Booking is essential: contact Ciara or Fr Andrew if you wish to take part.
From Sunday 30th June and throughout the summer, our 6:30 Mass becomes a quieter celebration. However, we do need volunteers to welcome, read, take the collection and minister Holy Communion. If you can help, whether from the parish or chaplaincy community, please sign up on the list on the noticeboards. Please don’t leave it to the few.
In our area, and especially to the people of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs at Newhouse, Esh Winning, St John Boste is ‘a local lad’. At a time when it was illegal to be a Catholic priest John Boste was arrested in what is now our parish, and then executed in Durham in 1595. More recently mining has played a big part in building up our community, though, obviously, all of the collieries are now closed. You are welcome to come and visit our Church and Parish Centre in Newhouse on Sunday 7 July, 2.00 – 4.00 pm (DH7 9LF). We’ll be delighted to meet you and show you our Church.
During Lent, we collected toiletries for people being released from HMP Durham and Low Newton. The parishes of the Finchale Partnership also contributed to the collections and your generosity really is very gratefully received. We’ve received a letter from nepacs, which says:
To: The Catholic Churches of The Finchale Partnership
A huge thank you one again for all the contributions we have received for HMP Durham and HMP Low Newton.
The number of men and women released from custody without any possessions is ever increasing therefore the toiletries we can provide are so appreciated by them, it is so satisfying to see their reactions when given a pack of items, it is quite humbling.
Your continued support has been amazing and as a charity we strive to improve the transition for ex-offenders from prison life to being released.
Deacon Matthew, who will be ordained priest by Archbishop Charles Scicluna on Saturday 27 April at St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta.
Last week’s picture was the crucifix which is usually to be found on the lady altar. This is the crucifix which we venerate on Good Friday.
At a recent meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council, David Hughes stood down as Chair of the PPC. Thank you to David for all the work he has done in the last few years as chair.
The PPC elected Helen Schofield as the new chair. If you’d like to know more about the PPC, or have ideas about issues we should put on our agenda, please let Helen know. She can be contacted via the parish office.
Each November we traditionally bring to mind those who have died and pray for the repose of their souls. Our Book of Remembrance will be open at the font all month from All Saints Day for you to write the names of your departed family and friends. We invite all who have been bereaved in the last few years to a special Mass at 10am on Saturday November 17 which will be followed by light refreshments. Also, our 10am Mass on November 11 (Remembrance Sunday) will be a sung Requiem Mass for the souls of all who died in the World Wars and other conflicts of recent years. Of course, in this centenary year of Armistice Day 1918 the day will have an added poignancy and our Parish Roll of Honour will be displayed.
Wednesday, 24 October: 10.30am to 4.00pm. Led by Sister Rosarie Spence. £10.00 per person including coffee, tea and biscuits served both on arrival and to conclude the day.
10.30am Coffee / Tea and biscuits
11.00am First Session
2.00pm Second Session
4.00pm Coffee / Tea and biscuits
Lunch is not provided, but there is a delicious range of great value home-made soups, pastries and cakes available in the refectory. Bookings can be made on-line via Ushaw’s website (www.ushaw.org) or call 0191 3345119.
Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard on Miner’s Gala Day. We served tea, coffee, cakes and bacon sandwiches, and made £662.86 profit, which will be shared between 2 of the charities we support, Open Gate and CAFOD.
We opened the church to visitors – more than 50 people came in to light candles.
Our visitors also donated £105.57 for the use of the toilets, raising money for Toilet Twinning.
Following the recent Mini Retreat at Ushaw College, a prayer group has now been set up. The Ushaw Prayer Group plans to meet every fortnight, on a Friday afternoon. Following the 12.30 pm Mass, there will be time for a light lunch, after which we will join together for a period of quiet prayer.
The next Prayer Group meeting will be on Friday 6th July.
Congratulations to Grete, Ben and Emily, who made their First Holy Communion at the 10.00am Mass on Sunday, and to their families. Here are a few of the photos.
Did you know that you can sign up to receive the bulletin by email every week? You can sign up on the website and you are free to unsubscribe at any point.
Changes to the Data Protection Laws: The new General Data Protection Regulation becomes law in May, and we need to make sure that any contact details we hold for you are up to date. If you already subscribe to the e-Bulletin, but you want to unsubscribe or to change the contact details we hold for you, please use the links at the bottom of the e-Bulletin.
Facebook: Did you know you can also follow St. Cuthbert’s on Facebook?
On Saturday, April 28th we are planning a Day of Reflection at the Parish Centre in Newhouse. This will be from 10.30am – 3.30pm. In this Easter season Fr Jeroen (Minsteracres) will lead us in thinking about ‘Discipleship’. This is for all of us in our partnership of parishes but we’d like to extend a special invitation to those people who have been received into the Church over these past few months, and at Easter. The day will be free of charge but we ask that people sign up on the list at the back of church. Tea and coffee will be available but maybe participants could bring a packed lunch.
Lenten Quiet Day: An opportunity to step aside during the season of Lent, listen to God in scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. Wednesday 7th March, led by Kathryn Turner, Wednesday 14th March led by Sr Anne McCarthy RSCJ and Wednesday 21st March let by Sr Sheila McNamara RSCJ. 10am-4pm, with a light lunch provided. Suggested donation: £20.
Love and Suffering: a day of reflection led by Prof Karen Kilby. Grace, love and joy are at the absolute centre of the Gospel, and of the Christian life. And yet we live in a world drenched in suffering. How do the two things go together? How do we think about them together, and how do we live them together? The day will combine theological input, conversation, and time for prayer and quiet reflection. Saturday 10th March, 10am–4pm, with lunch provided. Cost £25.