12 months ago we had several local meetings to discuss the Synod on Synodality. We had some good discussions and were able to contribute to the synthesis which our Diocese sent in. During October, the Assembly of the Synod on Synodality met with Pope Francis in Rome and they have now published their report. Once again, we have the opportunity to share our thoughts, to listen to others and to make a contribution to the Synod.
We’ll be holding a series of discussions, and the first will be at 2.30pm this Sunday 3rd December in the parish room. We’ll be joined by Avril Baigent, who is a Director of the School for Synodality and synod co-lead for the Diocese of Northampton. Avril will be talking about Conversations in the Spirit, and sharing some advice on how to get the most from our meetings.
You can also take part in the meeting via Zoom; contact Fr Andrew on email@example.com for login details.
On Friday 15th December we will be showing our festive film, the 1994 version of “Miracle on 34th Street” starring Richard Attenborough. Doors to the Parish Room open for pizza and drinks at 6:30pm and the screening begins at 7pm. There is no charge but, to help us with the catering, please let Andy Doyle know (0798 543 4185 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are planning to come along.
We need many volunteers to minister at the Christmas liturgies. If you can read, welcome or help to distribute Holy Communion at any or all of the following services: Carol Service at 4pm on Sunday 17th; Christmas Mass during the Night at 10pm on Christmas Eve; Christmas Mass on Christmas Day at 10am, then please sign up on the list on the noticeboard or contact Andy Doyle on 0798 543 4185 or email@example.com Please do not leave it to the last minute.
If you can spare an hour or so to scrub, clean, decorate and generally prepare the Church for Christmas then come along after the 10am Mass on Sunday December 24th, between 11:30am and 1pm. Hot chocolate and mince pies will be available!
We are now working on the Christmas Flower Arrangements. Would you like to sponsor an arrangement in memory of a loved one or for a special occasion? Perhaps you would just like to contribute towards the cost of the flowers. Flowers are not getting any cheaper particularly at this time of year! Donations can be made via the dedicated box in the Narthex or by Debit/Credit card and the machine has a heading for flowers. Many thanks for your support. I can be contacted either by phone or email – 0191 386 3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who are sick:
Stuart Button, Phil Bawden (Australia), Francis Mangion, Andrew S, Christopher Browne, Hugh McElhennon, Mary Skelton, Clare Humphrey and David Moore.
Those whose anniversaries occur at this time:
Eric Cheeseman, Matthew John Purvis, George Caveny, Margaret Sharron, Francis Xavier Mangion, Denis Dixon, Martha Mahan, James Saynor, Michael Farthing, Anne Wardman, Marjorie Ryan, Kathleen Pringle. May they rest in peace.
Sunday 26 November – Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
Anne Rankin & deceased members of Rankin, Newton & Mallam Families
Friday 1 December
Sunday 3 – Advent I
Anne Rankin & deceased members of Rankin, Newton & Mallam Families
Friday 8 – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Eric Cheeseman 1st Anniversary
Sunday 10 – Advent II
The collection remains open until the end of November. Thank you for your support.
November is the month in which Catholics bring to mind those who have died and pray for their souls. From All Souls Day (November 2nd), our Parish Book of Remembrance will be placed on the font and opened for you to write within it the names of your departed family members and friends. If you cannot come along to church in person, please e-mail Andy Doyle (email@example.com) and he shall arrange for names to be added.
The ‘knit and natter’ group have knitted a crib (similar to the one we made last year for the children of the parish). We are going to raffle this to raise funds for CAFOD during Advent. Tickets will be available after Mass on Sunday. Tickets cost £2 for 1 ticket and £10 for 6.
Advent is a time of waiting, and of preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. At the start of Advent, Ushaw is providing a day of reflection with an Advent theme. The day will include Mass, and time for prayerful reflection as we await the coming of the Saviour – an opportunity to take time away from our busy lives and think about the real meaning of Christmas.
Everyone is very welcome to join us on Friday 1st December, from 10.30am to 3pm. Tickets for the day cost £10. Refreshments will be provided on arrival. Bring a packed lunch, or you can buy lunch in Welby’s café. You can book your place at https://ushaw.org/whats-on-at-ushaw/ or by phone on 0191 373 8500.
Durham County Council is currently proposing to increase on-street car parking charges in Durham city and to extend them to Sundays. Details can be found at
https://www.durham.gov.uk/article/30424/Car-parking-charges-and-tariff-review and this page also includes a simple form where we can give our opinion regarding the proposal. If the proposal to extend charges to Sundays were to be approved this would obviously impact the people of our parish and others in the city centre and so please consider reading the proposal and submitting your opinion.
The deadline is 5pm on Monday November 13th.
Lumiere is this week, running from Thursday to Sunday inclusive and we hope to open St Cuthbert’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4:30pm to 10pm and on Sunday from after 6:30pm Mass to 10pm. We aim to offer a restful place, a chance to light a candle in prayer or reflection and also some warming drinks. To do this, we URGENTLY need volunteers to be available in the church. Please sign up on the list on the noticeboard or contact Andy Doyle (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0798 543 4185) if you can help.
If you are thinking about becoming a Christian; if you’re a baptised Christian and wish to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church; if you’re a Catholic who hasn’t received First Communion or Confirmation; or if you’re a ‘cradle Catholic’ and just want to learn more about your faith, the Journey in Faith programme is for you.
This year’s programme has started and will continue on Tuesdays at 7.00pm during university terms. It is open to everyone, parishioners and students. If you are interested in joining, please contact Fr Andrew (email@example.com or 0191 384 3442) or Andy Doyle (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0798 543 4185)
Please turn your smartphone OFF before entering the confessional, or before any confidential conversation. This advice has been given by the Bishops Conference because, even in silent mode, phones can still listen-in to conversations and artificial intelligence algorithms identify items of interest to potential advertisers.
We are meeting again on Saturday 4th November at 11am in the parish room to complete the crib for CAFOD and possibly start some new projects. If you would like to get involved, please come and join our ‘knit and natter’ group. Everyone is welcome (including beginners!)
Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP led the retreat for those involved in the Synod in Rome. He gave 6 reflections. They are each half an hour long, and you can listen to them on YouTube. (Some of the recordings include morning prayer for the retreatants, and the reflection starts half way through).
If you would prefer to read the transcripts of the reflections they are available on these links:
1. Hoping against Hope
2. At Home in God and God at Home in Us
4. Conversation on the Way to Emmaus
6. The Spirit of Truth
An Ecumenical Prayer Service: Sunday 1st October, 3pm
An ecumenical Prayer Service for the Season of Creation, when we are called on to commit to climate and ecological justice, and to speak out for those most affected by the climate and ecological emergency. The theme for 2023’s Season of Creation is “Let Justice and Peace flow…..”.
The service will be held in St. Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw. Everyone is welcome. No booking is required.
Freshers’ Week is this week. The Catholic Society will have a stall at the Freshers’ Fair on Wednesday 27th September. Could you bake some cakes for them to offer to new students? Cakes can be left in the Parish/Chaplaincy room any time up to the morning of Wednesday 27th. Thank you.
CAFOD Shared Harvest raised £216.60. Thank you to everyone for supporting us, either by bringing the fruits of your harvest or by buying all the delicious products!