Tag Archives: Featured

Celebrating the Year of St Joseph, 2021

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

Retreat in Daily Life: 24th -29th January 2021

A ‘Retreat in Daily Life’ brings the experience of an individually guided retreat to you, fitting around your work and study commitments.

What does it involve?

  • Roughly 30 min daily personal prayer & 30 min daily one-to-one meeting with a guide for 5 days.
  • An opening (Sunday evening) and closing meeting (Friday) to top and tail the retreat
  • Evening workshops exploring how to live out faith in this complex world (e.g. ways of praying, discerning God’s will and making God-centred decisions, images of God)

This year, all meetings and workshops will be held online, via Zoom or other platforms.

Who is it for? Christians wanting to deepen their prayer life, or if you aren’t sure what you believe but are willing to risk seriously exploring the reality of God. Either way, for any generous soul willing to commit to the elements of the week.

Why do it? When we are generous, God is more so. Everyone receives even more than they give. We meet a God who loves us and wants to use our gifts. It can also be a great help in making or confirming decisions, big or small. We learn new ways of praying.

Will it affect my work or studies? Yes and no. Participants will be busier that week because of these extra demands, hence the need to be generous. The retreat runs alongside a normal week, however, so no one will miss any lectures, seminars, or housework responsibilities. Sorry 🙂

Contact Fr Andrew Downie – email: andrew.j.downie@durham.ac.uk, tel.: 0191 384 3442

Ignatian Spirituality

Join us on Thursday 28th January, at 7.00pm, on Zoom, for the fourth session in our series on Spirituality.

We live in uncertain times, to say the least! Something this world seems desperately in need of is spiritualities that are embedded in that reality, unafraid to engage with the complexity, in ways which foster Life. This evening, join us for a workshop exploring Ignatian spirituality – a down-to-earth mysticism for these modern times.

For the link to join this session, see the details of the event in the Parish Facebook Group or email margaretdoyle1066@sky.com

Mass: Live Streaming on YouTube

We can now live stream Masses and services from St Cuthbert’s. To see our live stream search for ‘St Cuthbert’s Catholic Church, Durham’ on YouTube) or click here.

If you’re new to YouTube, the easiest way to access our livestreams and to check which Masses we have scheduled for streaming for the next week is to subscribe to our channel.

Once you have subscribed, if you go into YouTube, there’s a section called ‘subscriptions’ (probably at the bottom of the screen on a tablet or phone, but in the column on the far left if you are on a computer). That will take you to a screen with lots of videos from all the channels you have subscribed to.

Click on the picture of St. Cuthbert’s (in the column on the left on a tablet or phone, but you may need to click on Manage’ at the top right on a computer) and it will take you to our channel.

The top line will give you the videos we have already streamed, and if you scroll down you will come to ‘Upcoming live streams’.

Christmas Carol Service

With no prospect yet of congregational singing we have a somewhat different Carol Service for 2020. The compilation of music, readings and images of our church has been put together by Alison McLean, and will give you a sense of what we might have experienced at St. Cuthbert’s had things been different this year.

The video is available in our Parish Facebook group. If you know of anyone who would enjoy watching this video but is not on Facebook, please ask them to get in touch with Alison at alison.mclean1@hotmail.com and she will send a link to their email address.

Thank you to Alison, and to everyone who took part in the music and the readings, for their contributions.

Financial Briefing to the Parish November 2020

A short annual briefing on the Parish Finances from John Marsland, as chairman of the Parish Finance Council.

This time last year I was reporting on a financially difficult year, however, this year has been even more challenging with lockdowns and a closed Church for some periods.

You may remember that we spent about £40K on repairs and maintenance during last year. This year the equivalent figure is about £10K and most of this is for the fire alarm upgrade.

We expected to see a significant deterioration in our financial position following the closures of the Church and the restriction on the number of parishioners who could attend during services. However, as a result of the low spend on repairs and maintenance, our balances are in better shape than we expected. We have £34839 in the Parish account and £31145 in the deposit account with the Diocese.

As always, your generosity continues with many parishioners continuing to donate with standing orders or online even though they are unable to attend Church at this time. Many thanks for your continued contributions.

The next few months are shrouded with uncertainty and our stewardship needs to be sensitive to unforeseen demands and we will continue to depend on your donations even more as things unfold. We are also fully aware that our Church is an old building and significant repair costs can be incurred at any time.

With regard to the Diocese as a whole, the latest information is that the financial position is stable, for now the pandemic shock has been absorbed, however the future is still uncertain.

If you have not already set up a standing order or online donation and would like to do so please contact Andy Doyle for details, he can be contacted via the Parish Office for which the number is on the weekly bulletin.

A further significant contribution to our funds is made by the Gift Aid scheme, currently around £8K per year. This excellent scheme costs nothing to join with no complicated paperwork and is of considerable benefit to the Parish. If you would like to join, again, please contact Andy.

I hope and pray that my next annual report in November 2021 will report on a more stable situation, in the meantime, I will ensure you are briefed on any significant financial events if they occur.

Many thanks again for your support during the past year.

John Marsland

November 2020


Sadly, and as a result of the new COVID restrictions, our Mass of Remembrance scheduled for Saturday 7th November is not open to the public. Names of deceased family and friends can still be added to our Parish Book of Remembrance by e-mailing Andy Doyle (andydoyle1066@sky.com).

Our Online Gospel Reflection on Sunday 8th November will begin with a two minute silence in memory of those who fell in two world wars and the many subsequent conflicts.

Lockdown @ St Cuthbert’s

The Government has announced a four-week lockdown in England, starting today. During lockdown, there will be no public worship. However, St Cuthbert’s Church will be open for private prayer this week, at the following times:

Saturday 7th November 9.30-10.30am.

Tuesday 10th November 12 noon – 1.00pm

Thursday 12th November 5.00-6.00pm

Saturday 14th November 10.00-11.00am

Morning Prayer of the Church will be celebrated on Zoom, Monday-Friday at 8.00am.

Virtual Parish Coffee Morning: Saturday at 10.30am.

Online Sunday Gospel Reflection: Sunday at 11.00am.

For details of how to take part in these online events, and for information about the opening of the church for private prayer, see the ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community’ Facebook page, or email Fr Andrew on parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk

We hope to begin the live streaming of Masses from St Cuthbert’s soon, but in the meantime, you can find a list of churches in our diocese which are live streaming here.

During this new lockdown, it’s important that we all keep in touch and look out for one another. If you are in need of any practical help, eg with grocery shopping or collecting prescriptions, or if you just want to chat, please contact Fr Andrew on the email address above, or on 0191 384 3442. Or if you know of someone else who might need contact or support, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Parish bulletins and Catholic newspapers will be available for collection in a box outside the church door. Please pick up a copy of the bulletin and put it through the letterbox of a friend or neighbour who might not be able to get out.

You can read a statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the new lockdown here.

The Spirituality of the Dominicans

The Finchale Partnership and the University Chaplaincy have organised a series of events on the Spirituality of the religious orders. The events take place on Zoom.

The second event in our series is The Spirituality of the Dominicans.

Speaker: fr. Benjamin Earl OP. fr. Ben lived in Durham as Parish Priest at St. Cuthbert’s and University Chaplain, from 2012 to 2016.

Date: Thursday 29th October at 7.00pm

Details of how to join the session are available in the parish Facebook group or by contacting margaretdoyle1066@sky.com

Keeping in Touch

Did you know that you can still hear our choir each week as they record the music for us all to hear?

As further local restrictions are now in place in the North East, it seems that it will be some time before we are all able to attend Mass at St. Cuthbert’s and meet together as a community. So we will be continuing to offer opportunities for everyone to participate as much as they are able on-line.

In our parish Facebook Group you will find the links to our Virtual Coffee Morning every Saturday, the Gospel Reflection every Sunday morning and the weekly bidding prayers, as well as the recordings which the choir make for us every week.

If you haven’t already joined the Facebook Group, search for ‘St. Cuthbert’s Parish Community’ or follow the link from the Parish Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stcuthbertschurch.

Visiting St. Cuthbert’s: What to Expect

If you haven’t yet visited St. Cuthbert’s since we re-opened, you are very welcome. This what you can expect.

As you come into the church, please use the hand sanitiser and follow the one-way system. There are no Mass or hymn books available, but we will provide paper bulletins and Mass sheets at Sunday Mass, and you can access the readings and Morning and Evening Prayer from Universalis on your phone, using the QR codes displayed on the noticeboard.

Many of the benches are not available, and those that are, are clearly marked so that you will be able to find a place to sit. At Sunday Mass, you will be shown to an allocated seat by the stewards.

Face coverings are mandatory in Places of Worship from Saturday 8th August 2020. All those who are attending churches must wear a face covering unless they are exempt from doing so.


Receiving Communion: Please wait in the pews until instructed by the Stewards to come forward to the priest for Holy Communion, always aware of social distancing in the queue. Please wait behind the yellow line until you can move forward to the square marked on the carpet. Please unloop your face covering, hold your arms at “full stretch” so that there is a good distance between you and the priest, with hands, palms upwards, one of top of the other, extended as flat as possible, consume the Sacred Host and then replace your face covering before moving back to your pew.

Please Pray

Please pray for the six men in formation for priesthood for the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle, and especially for Rev Jonathon Bowes, who will shortly be ordained to the priesthood, and Luke Wilkinson, who will shortly be ordained a transitional deacon. Their ordination dates have had to be postponed due to the pandemic, and new dates will be announced when possible.