Parish newsletter

Dear Parishioners

Catholics are very good at looking back to the past, even living in the past, and in doing so miss many opportunities that the present moment has to offer.

Take Advent as an example. It is the time to prepare for the greatest moment ever when our God chose to come among us, to share our joys and sorrows, our successes and failures, our pain and suffering, even our death, for only one reason; to show us how much he loves us. It is mind blowing, too good to be true…… and yet…….it is true!

The question to ask ourselves is – over all the years of celebrating Advent, how has it changed my understanding of Christmas? If you still look into the crib with the understanding of a child, then perhaps you have missed out on many opportunities to grow as an adult Christian.

Is Christmas morning a little bit ‘new’ every year or do you find yourself reminiscing over a “wonderful story” of what happened over two thousand years ago?

The wonder of our God is that it is never too late to start again. That is what Advent is after all. So why not look into the crib this Christmas and see that tiny child lying in the manger in a ‘new’ way, understanding just a little more clearly how incredible, how overwhelming, the love of God really is.

Why not begin by taking to heart Jesus’ teaching in this week’s Gospel: “Watch yourself, stay awake,” so that the “cares of this life” (of this Christmas, the preparations we must make – presents, food, planning, etc.) don’t enclose you “like a trap,” preventing you from entering into the wonderful “liberation” that is God’s love for us.

Remember,

“Christmas isn’t Christmas until it happens in your heart.
It is somewhere deep inside you where Christmas really starts.”

Bishop Robert reviewed the Covid protection measures for the churches in our Diocese last week and has asked us to keep them in place due to the high rate of transmission of the coronavirus in our region. He will review the situation in February. It is important to realise that he has not taken this decision lightly, but out of consideration for all the people who attend our churches and for the clergy, many of whom are still deemed to be clinically vulnerable despite the vaccination programme.

Following a meeting of our volunteer stewards last night (Friday), we will continue to do all we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid safe as we can make it for you. Sanitising your hands, social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and cleaning the church after each celebration are still in place.

I renew my thanks to our volunteer stewards who are prepared to continue in their roles enabling us to celebrate Mass on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am. There is no longer a need for you to book a place in advance. We are, however, encouraged by the Government to restore collecting track and trace details – your name and a contact telephone number – so please bring them along in an envelope and place it in the box at the front of the church or use the QR code if you have a smartphone.

As we must continue to clean the church after each celebration, the rear of the church will remain closed to reduce the demands on our stewards who sanitise the benches after you leave. Limited toilet facilities are available in case of necessity. The steward at the rear of the church will assist you.

Please do all you can to be cautious in your everyday life choices which not only affect you, but impact on others too, including the NHS on which we all rely at times and pray for one another. May God bless you and your families.

Fr. Patterson


Mass to view online

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am.  

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10am on Sunday and most weekdays and Saturday at 4pm. These Masses may also be viewed later.


Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.

  • Monday – Norah Lagan
  • Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Brian McDonough
  • Wednesday – Special Intention (KC)
  • Thursday -The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Brenda Donald
  • Saturday –  Fr. Patterson’s intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners

When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us in Church, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holydaywhich prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions.


Please keep in your prayers this week:

  • all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and Fr. Kevin Daly who is very poorly and,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Norah Lagan

A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors

Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch. In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.


A time to pray

Please join together in prayer for the 144,593 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure).

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died from the coronavirus, surround us and all who mourn with your compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope. We make this prayer in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.


A prayer for those who are afraid

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen


A prayer for Refugees

Father, your Son had no place to call his own;
protect those who today are fleeing from danger.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day
when we will  all rejoice in your Kingdom. Amen.


Resources to help you make the most of Advent

Bishop Robert Barron invites Catholics everywhere to join in 25 days of prayer this December to prepare, with Mary as our guide, for Christ’s birth.

Each day there is a custom, 5-10 minute guided meditation or peaceful music selection to reflect on the Advent themes of faith, hope, and joy through the eyes of Mary. Each meditation will be led by Jonathan Roumie from ‘The Chosen’, or your choice of three other guides.

If you are interested you will need to download the “Hallow app,”  which is completely free to download offering a great deal of permanently free content, but just for Advent, they are giving all those who join a completely free 3-month trial to unlock all the site has to offer. You would need to cancel your free trial at the end of 3 months so that you do not incur an on going membership fee. To learn more, please visit the Hallow website.

Diocesan Resources – The Vicariate for Faith and Mission has produced a set of Seasonal reflections, one for each week of Advent.

For those who do not have internet access you may find the following reflection of value:

That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap   (Luke 21:25-28,34-36)

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.”

Pause for thought:-

There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars.

How do I experience God’s presence and majesty in the natural world? How can I become more aware of God’s gift of creation?

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When have I been most aware of God’s power acting in my life? How do my actions give glory to God?

Stand erect and raise your heads because your liberation is near at hand. How can I grow in my longing for salvation? In this Advent, how can I prepare my heart for Christ’s coming?


Honouring Sundays

In July of this year, the Bishops of England and Wales issued a statement in which they hoped it would be possible to restore Sunday Obligation by the First Sunday of Advent, 28th November, 2021.

In a Statement issued on Friday, 19th November, 2021 they wrote the following:-  “The Sunday Eucharist is a gift; as God’s holy people we are called to praise and thank God in the most sublime way possible. When the Church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love.

At this time, we recognise that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass. The pandemic is clearly not over. The risk of infection is still present. For some, there is legitimate fear in gathering together. As your bishops, we recognise that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to freely attend Sunday Mass.

We now encourage all Catholics to look again at the patterns which they have formed in recent months with regard to going to Mass on Sundays. This would include consideration and reflection about what we might already be doing on Sundays, such as sports or shopping, or other leisure and social activities. This review of our lives and the decisions which arise from it, fall to every Catholic and we trust this will be done with honesty, motivated by a real love for the Lord whom we encounter in the Mass.

So, whilst Sunday obligation is not being restored for the time being, if you are engaging in café culture, visiting restaurants, pubs and clubs, going to “the match,” or flying off to foreign lands and have not returned to Mass, is it time for a rethink as the Bishops are encouraging us to do? On the other hand, if you are still anxious about coming to Church, or you are unwell, then you are under no obligation to do so.


An Ongoing Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project

Father Patterson continues to be most grateful to the generous response we are receiving to this appeal. The project supports on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher.

If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.


We are still in need of more volunteers

If we are going to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre once all the Covid protection measurers have been removed, Fr. Patterson needs your help to fulfil the roles outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May. If you do not have a copy, please email felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk or telephone 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.

Currently we do not have sufficient offers of help and support to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and will be struggling to fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre when the Covid restrictions are lifted.


St. Patrick’s Boundary Wall.

The work of rebuilding the southern boundary wall of St. Patrick’s Church with Caxton House using the original stone, at a cost of £25,000, should be completed on Monday. Some “rubbing down” still needs to be done. Fr. Patterson is extremely grateful for donations received towards the cost of this project.

During the course of the work, the Diocese carried out an inspection of the entire boundary wall with the stonemasons and further work has been identified as needing attention, particularly on St. John’s Place. Stone walls built in 1895 do not last for ever!! Estimates are in the process of being obtained!


 Church Grounds

The grounds of both of our churches are looking somewhat worse for wear at present. The last visit by the contractor who maintained the grounds was on 9th September. Fr. Patterson has only just been able to make contact with them to discover that they have ceased trading! Fr. Patterson is now looking for a replacement contractor who would be interested in the work at an acceptable cost. Should any parishioner be able to recommend a suitable contractor please contact Fr. Patterson.


Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

The details for bank transfers/standing orders and cheques are as follows:

St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984

St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453


ZOE Covid weekly update  – What we might do to ensure a “low risk Christmas.”

Professor Tim Spector in this week’s update looks at the abrupt rise in UK COVID cases after weeks of falling. He discusses the reasons behind the increase and what he thinks is the only option left for a low-risk Christmas. He also discusses the COVID situation in Europe, which is seeing sharp increase, but why we shouldn’t be cocky with our comparatively lower rates.

In a separate blog, Tim shares some information on why it is important to get your booster jab.

He continues to remind us, in this blog, “Do I have Covid or a cold?” that as well as the “classic symptoms” of Covid, (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell), there are more symptoms emerging, namely a headache accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and a cough. It may just be a summer cold, but check it out by taking a Lateral Flow Test. These kits are available from the local chemist, are free of charge and simple to use.


Parish News by Email

If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk and they will be added to our contact list.


Parish newsletter

The Feast of Christ the King

Dear Parishioners

This Sunday, 21st November, the Church throughout the world celebrates the Feast of Christ the King.

This Feast is about endings and beginnings.

It is the last Sunday of the Church’s year. Another year has passed, with all of its joys and sorrows, ups and downs. Today we remember Christ who conquered death and rose again, who sits with the Father and the Spirit as King of all creation.

So we end the Church’s year, with all of its worries and anxieties, not in fear but with boundless hope. Christ is Risen and now reigns as the Shepherd King.

That’s how we finish the year…..but next week we begin again with the season of Advent, when that King once more becomes a tiny, helpless, homeless child, born in poverty but surrounded by love, and once again begins a journey with each one of us.

If we can open our hearts and hear what he says to us, he will lead us through the towns and villages he visited, healing and forgiving, feeding the hungry and curing the sick. He will bring us through this pandemic, and in 2022, through the pain, suffering and terrible injustice of the Cross, he will lead us to the joy of Easter, when once more we celebrate his rising from the dead to take his place with God, as Christ the King.

Endings and beginnings…..but the same Kingdom and the same Jesus.

(Fr. Brian Maher OMI adapted)

World Youth Sunday

This weekend we also celebrate World Youth Sunday when the Church across the globe reflects on the gift of young people and offers our prayers and support as we accompany them on their faith journey. Here in the Diocese, the Youth Ministry Team provides a variety of opportunities to support our young people.

Bishop Robert is reviewing the Covid restrictions for the churches in our Diocese this coming week.

In the meantime we will continue to do all we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is as Covid safe as we can make it in keeping with Bishop Robert’s current instruction.  Sanitising your hands, social distancing, the wearing of face coverings, cleaning the church after each celebration and the maximum capacity of 70 for funerals and Mass are still in place.

Thanks to our volunteer stewards we are able to celebrate Mass on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am. We do not at present breach our capacity for the celebration of Sunday Mass, so there is no longer a need for you to book a place in advance, nor does the Government require you to provide Test and Trace details.

As we must continue to clean the church after each celebration, the rear of the church will remain closed to reduce the demands on our stewards who sanitise the benches after you leave. Could you help as a steward on a rota basis, either during the week or over a weekend? Please get in touch if you can.

As the number of new cases in Gateshead begins to decrease, it is still high with 783 new cases in the last seven days. Please do all you can to be cautious in your everyday life choices which not only affect ourselves, but impact on others too, including the NHS on which we all rely at times.

Please pray for our fellow parishioners and all those in our community who have recently tested positive for Covid-19, and please continue to look after one another.

May God bless you and your loved ones and may he protect us from all harm.

Fr. Patterson


Mass to view online

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am.  

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10am on Sunday and most weekdays and Saturday at 4pm. These Masses may also be viewed later.


Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.

  • Monday – Dominic Sloan
  • Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Maurice Brown
  • Wednesday – Hughes, Knock and Kelly Families
  • ThursdayThe sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Ronnie Charlton        
  • Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30am in St. Patrick’s Church -For the intentions of all our parishioners

 When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us in Church, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holydaywhich prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions.


Please keep in your prayers this week:

  • all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and Fr. Kevin Daly who is ill and,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Maurice Brown, Paul Clay, Peter Hughes and Dominic Sloan

A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors

Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch. In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.


A time to pray

Please join together in prayer for the 143,716 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure)

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died from the coronavirus, surround us and all who mourn with your compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope. We make this prayer in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.


A prayer for those who are afraid

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen


A prayer for the people of Afghanistan

May those who are fleeing, find sanctuary,
may those who are staying, find safety,
may those who are fighting, find peace,
may those whose hearts are breaking, find comfort,
may those who see no future, find hope.


Remembering those who died since the Pandemic began

Since the Pandemic began, the ways in which we have been able to say goodbye to our loved ones and to celebrate their funerals, whether they died with the Coronavirus or of other causes, have been severely restricted.

Bishop Robert has asked us to dedicate the month of November to remembering them all. 

We remembered them in name during Mass on the Feast of All Souls and continue to remember them in prayer each day.

Their names will be taken to St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle where they will be remembered during a Requiem Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert on Saturday 27th November at 11am. Their names will also be entered into our parish Book of Remembrance. Due to the current Covid restrictions, entry to this Mass is by invitation only. If you would like to attend contact Fr. Patterson.


 The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays

In July of this year, the Bishops of England and Wales issued a statement in which they hoped it would be possible to restore Sunday Obligation by the First Sunday of Advent, 28th November, 2021.

In a Statement issued on Thursday, 18th November, 2021 they wrote the following:-  “The Sunday Eucharist is a gift; as God’s holy people we are called to praise and thank God in the most sublime way possible. When the Church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love.

At this time, we recognise that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass. The pandemic is clearly not over. The risk of infection is still present. For some, there is legitimate fear in gathering together. As your bishops, we recognise that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to freely attend Sunday Mass.

We now encourage all Catholics to look again at the patterns which they have formed in recent months with regard to going to Mass on Sundays. This would include consideration and reflection about what we might already be doing on Sundays, such as sports or shopping, or other leisure and social activities. This review of our lives and the decisions which arise from it, fall to every Catholic and we trust this will be done with honesty, motivated by a real love for the Lord whom we encounter in the Mass.

So, whilst Sunday obligation is not being restored from the First Sunday of Advent, if you are engaging in café culture, visiting restaurants, pubs and clubs, going to “the match,” or flying off to foreign lands and have not returned to Mass, is it time for a rethink as the Bishops are encouraging us to do? On the other hand, if you are still anxious about coming to Church, or you are unwell, then you are under no obligation to do so.


An Ongoing Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project

Father Patterson continues to be most grateful to the generous response we are receiving to this appeal. The project supports on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher.

If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.


Respect for one another – Be aware of personal space and personal choice.

We have lived through a lot since the pandemic started so let us be kind and respect one another. Be aware of personal space and personal choice. Some people might not be ready to hug, kiss, shake hands or reduce social distance. Don’t assume what people are comfortable with. Instead, ask them and respect their personal choices.

Statistics show that the uptake of the Covid vaccine in our region has slowed considerably, so it is important for us all to do what we can to encourage people we know to consider being vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. Pope Francis urges us to do so.  Please accept your invitation for a “Booster jab” when you receive it and do consider having a flu jab too.


Community Counselling Service

Bheith Ann is a new Community Counselling Service available to all residents of Felling and the wider Gateshead area and is taking referrals for those individuals with issues such as Bereavement and Grief, Loneliness, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Relationship Problems, Post-Trauma Experiences and Bullying.

This is a free confidential services delivered by a team of dedicated, trained counsellors strictly in line with national professional Codes of Ethical Practice. To make a referral, please ring the Bheith Ann Referral Helpline on 07425 768 957. If you simply want more information about the Service please ring Neil Campbell on 07903 239 983.


St. Patrick’s Boundary Wall.

The work of rebuilding the southern boundary wall of St. Patrick’s Church with Caxton House using the original stone, at a cost of £25,000, is now complete. Some “rubbing down” still needs to be done during the course of the coming week.

Fr. Patterson is extremely grateful for donations received towards the cost of this project. Should you wish to make a donation it may be placed in the box at the front of the church or put through the presbytery letterbox. Alternatively you may choose to make a donation by Bank transfer for which you will require the following details: Account name: DHN Felling St Patrick; Sort code: 40-34-18; Account No: 52010453. Donations. Thank you.

During the course of the work, the Diocese carried out an inspection of the entire boundary wall with the stonemasons and further work has been identified as needing attention, particularly on St. John’s Place. Stone walls built in 1895 do not last for ever!! Estimates are in the process of being obtained!


Church Grounds

The grounds of both of our churches are looking somewhat worse for wear at present. The last visit by the contractor who maintained the grounds was on 9th September. Fr. Patterson has only just been able to make contact with them to discover that they have ceased trading! Fr. Patterson is now looking for a replacement contractor who would be interested in the work at an acceptable cost. Should any parishioner be able to recommend a suitable contractor please contact Fr. Patterson.


Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

The details for bank transfers/standing orders and cheques are as follows:

St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984

St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453


COP26

What did the scientists make of COP26?  

Scientists and leading climate experts have voiced concerns about the outcomes of the COP26 climate conference, in Glasgow. Those who spoke to the BBC praised the conference for getting countries to agree to meet again next year to pledge deeper emissions cuts. And they welcomed agreements on forests, innovation and especially methane – from fossil fuel extraction and livestock.

But the scientists fear politicians won’t deliver. And they say the hope of holding temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is far too unambitious anyway. The experts say that with a temperature rise so far of just 1.1C, the world is already in a state of dangerous heating, with record temperatures, wildfires, floods and droughts. Prof Sir David King, former UK chief scientist, said: “Even if we cut emissions completely we’d still be in a difficult place because of the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere already.”


ZOE Covid weekly update  – A further drop in new cases but not in Europe

In this week’s update, Professor Tim Spector talks about the slowing of the rapid drop in UK cases, though they’re still in decline. He looks at what’s driving the change, the outlook for the end of the year, and how we’re comparing against Europe.

In a separate blog, Tim shares some information on why it is important to get your booster jab.

He continues to remind us, in this blog, Do I have Covid or a cold? that as well as the “classic symptoms” of Covid, (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell), there are more symptoms emerging, namely a headache accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and a cough. It may just be a summer cold, but check it out by taking a Lateral Flow Test. These kits are available from the local chemist, are free of charge and simple to use.


Parish News by Email

If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk and they will be added to our contact list.


Parish newsletter

33rd Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

This Sunday, 14th November, is Remembrance Sunday. It is the day we remember the members of the Armed Forces and their families from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism.

The National Service of Remembrance takes place at the Cenotaph in London and is being televised on BBC 1 from 10.15.

The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance and hope for a positive future and peaceful world. Poppies are a show of support for the Armed Forces community, those currently serving, ex-serving personnel and their families; and a symbol of Remembrance for all those who have fallen in conflict.

The Gateshead Field of Remembrance in Saltwell Park is open from 9am to 4pm each day and will close on Sunday, 21st November. Please be aware that regional and/or national Covid-19 restrictions may affect the Saltwell Park Field of Remembrance.

So on this day, let us remember before God, and commend to his care those who have died for their country in conflict; those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure, and all who have lived and died in the service of humanity.

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn;
at the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
we will remember them.

Let us pray:-

Almighty and eternal God, from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted, either by death or life; hear our prayers and thanksgivings for all whom we remember this day; fulfil in them the purpose of thy love; and bring us all, with them, to your eternal joy: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen   

We continue to do all we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is as Covid safe as we can make it in keeping with Bishop Robert’s instruction.  Sanitising your hands, social distancing, the wearing of face coverings, cleaning the church after each celebration and the maximum capacity of 70 for funerals and Mass are still in place.

Thanks to our volunteer stewards we are able to celebrate Mass on Tuesdays at 10.00 and on Sundays at 10.30. We do not at present breach our capacity for the celebration of Sunday Mass, so there is no longer a need for you to book a place in advance, nor does the Government require you to provide Test and Trace details.

As we must continue to clean the church after each celebration, the rear of the church will remain closed to reduce the demands on our stewards who sanitise the benches after you leave. Could you help as a steward on a rota basis, either during the week or over a weekend? Please get in touch if you can.

As the number of new cases in Gateshead begins to decrease, it is still high with 783 new cases in the last seven days. Please do all you can to be cautious in your everyday life choices which not only affect ourselves, but impact on others too, including the NHS on which we all rely at times.

Please pray for our fellow parishioners and all those in our community who have recently tested positive for Covid-19, and please continue to look after one another.

May God bless you and your loved ones and may he protect us from all harm.

Fr. Patterson


Mass to view online

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am.  

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10am on Sunday and most weekdays and Saturday at 4pm. These Masses may also be viewed later.


Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.

  • Monday: Susan Harland
  • Tuesday 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Brian Grace Snr and Brian Grace Jnr
  • Wednesday – Brian Quigley
  • Thursday -The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Olwin Durham Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners

When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us in Church, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holydaywhich prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions.


Please keep in your prayers this week:

  • all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and Fr. Kevin Daly who is ill and,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Susan Harland

A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors

Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch. In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.


A time to pray

Please join together in prayer for the 142,678 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure):

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died from the coronavirus, surround us and all who mourn with your compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope. We make this prayer in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.


A prayer for those who are afraid

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen


A prayer for the people of Afghanistan

May those who are fleeing, find sanctuary,
may those who are staying, find safety,
may those who are fighting, find peace,
may those whose hearts are breaking, find comfort,
may those who see no future, find hope.


Remembering those who died since the Pandemic began

Since the Pandemic began, the ways in which we have been able to say goodbye to our loved ones and to celebrate their funerals, whether they died with the Coronavirus or of other causes, have been severely restricted.

Bishop Robert has asked us to dedicate the month of November to remembering them all. 

We remembered them in name during Mass on the Feast of All Souls and continue to remember them in prayer each day.

Their names will be taken to St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle where they will be remembered during a Requiem Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert on Saturday 27th November at 11.00. Their names will also be entered into our parish Book of Remembrance. Due to the current Covid restrictions, entry to this Mass is by invitation only.


World Day of the Poor

This Sunday, 14th November, is the fifth World Day of the Poor, initiated by Pope Francis in 2017 with the theme of “let us love, not with words but with deeds.” The Christian is called to follow the example of Jesus in loving God and neighbour, especially the most vulnerable. Pope Francis reminds us, “If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor.” Developing a culture of encounter is a key theme for Pope Francis and an essential counter witness to what he describes as a culture of waste and indifference, a culture that casts aside human beings who are not considered to be productive or useful.

Poverty comes in many guises. In England and Wales, we do not always see the desperate material poverty which is evident in other countries, but it is there. In 2019, according to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2.4 million people in the UK, including 0.5 million children, experienced destitution at some point in the year, in other words they did not have enough to live on. The same report says that before the Coronavirus pandemic, 14.5 million people in the UK were caught up in poverty, equating to 1 in 5 people.

In our society, we also have people who experience the poverty of isolation and loneliness, homelessness, modern day slavery, trafficking, relational poverty, the experience of being abused or the victim of violence. These circumstances are often drivers of material poverty, or the result of material poverty. The Gospel calls us to a conversion of heart and this conversion, as Pope Francis says in this year’s message for the World Day of the Poor, “consists primarily in opening our hearts to recognizing the many different forms of poverty and manifesting the Kingdom of God through a lifestyle consistent with the faith we profess.”


An Ongoing Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project

Father Patterson continues to be most grateful to the generous response we are receiving to this appeal. The project supports on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher.

If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.


Respect for one another – Be aware of personal space and personal choice.

We have lived through a lot since the pandemic started so let us be kind and respect one another. Be aware of personal space and personal choice. Some people might not be ready to hug, kiss, shake hands or reduce social distance. Don’t assume what people are comfortable with. Instead, ask them and respect their personal choices.

Statistics show that the uptake of the Covid vaccine in our region has slowed considerably, so it is important for us all to do what we can to encourage people we know to consider being vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. Pope Francis urges us to do so. Please accept your invitation for a “Booster jab” when you receive it and do consider having a flu jab too.


Community Counselling Service

Bheith Ann is a new Community Counselling Service available to all residents of Felling and the wider Gateshead area and is taking referrals for those individuals with issues such as Bereavement and Grief, Loneliness, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Relationship Problems, Post-Trauma Experiences and Bullying.

This is a free confidential services delivered by a team of dedicated, trained counsellors strictly in line with national professional Codes of Ethical Practice. To make a referral, please ring the Bheith Ann Referral Helpline on 07425 768 957. If you simply want more information about the Service please ring Neil Campbell on 07903 239 983.


St. Patrick’s Boundary Wall.

The work of rebuilding the southern boundary wall of St. Patrick’s Church with Caxton House using the original stone, at a cost of £25,000, will be completed this week.

Fr. Patterson is extremely grateful for a most generous donation of £100.00 received during the week towards the cost. Should you wish to make a donation it may be placed in the box at the front of the church or put through the presbytery letterbox. Alternatively you may choose to make a donation by Bank transfer for which you will require the following details: Account name: DHN Felling St Patrick; Sort code: 40-34-18; Account No: 52010453. Donations. Thank you.

During the course of the work, the Diocese carried out an inspection of the entire boundary wall with the stonemasons and further work has been identified as needing attention, particularly on St. John’s Place. Stone walls built in 1895 do not last for ever!! Estimates are in the process of being obtained!


 Church Grounds

The grounds of both of our churches are looking somewhat worse for wear at present. The last visit by the contractor who maintained the grounds was on 9th September. Fr. Patterson has only just been able to make contact with them to discover that they have ceased trading! Fr. Patterson is now looking for a replacement contractor who would be interested in the work at an acceptable cost. Should any parishioner be able to recommend a suitable contractor please contact Fr. Patterson.


Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

The details for bank transfers/standing orders and cheques are as follows:

St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984

St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453


COP26

How will the decisions made at COP26 change our day-to-day lives? What can we do to help move these policies forward?

The decisions made at COP26 are part of the wider ambition to decarbonise our economies – and that will certainly have an impact on daily life.

The cars we drive and the way we heat our homes are going to change. Buying an electric vehicle, or getting a heat pump installed at home, is going to become more and more common. The hope – and for many the expectation – is that as these technologies become more established, the costs will come down.

There are also personal choices to be made about what we eat. The Climate Change Committee which advises the government recommends a 20% reduction per person by 2050 in the amount of beef, lamb and dairy we consume and how often we fly. Then there are practical issues like recycling and cutting down on waste as much as possible.

Although the summit closes this weekend, the outcome of their discussions will become more evident in time.


ZOE Covid weekly update  – A drop in new cases but more infections after vaccination

Professor Tim Spector looks at the continued drop in cases in the UK this week, where we’ve seen the biggest drop yet since the winter wave! While this is promising news, the hospital admissions data tells a different story, as we’re yet to see the same decline reflected here. Tim also shares some important new data on breakthrough infections and how common they are after vaccinations and boosters, as well as revealing the risk of your sniffle being more likely to be a cold or COVID. Check it out by taking a Lateral Flow Test. Kits are available from the local chemist, are free of charge and simple to use.


Parish News by Email

If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk and they will be added to our contact list.


Parish newsletter

32nd Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

I would like to share with you these words of Jesus taken from St. Matthew’s gospel:

“A lawyer asked Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. And a second is like it, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew: 22: 35-39).

So in the light of Jesus’ words:

Will you help to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus for the well-being of us all by wearing a face covering in crowded places, on public transport and would you keep an element of social distancing between people you do not usually associate with?

Why?  Well, Jesus said: “love your neighbour.”

Would you consider having a Covid vaccination and flu jab if you haven’t already done so, or your booster jab, for the sake of the common  good. Would you encourage others to do the same?

Why?  Well, Jesus said: “love your neighbour.”

Will you help to reduce global warming and climate change for the well being of the world wide community by reducing the number of holidays you take abroad by plane, by recycling more waste, by conserving heat and light?

Why?  Well, Jesus said: “love your neighbour.”

Jonathan van Tam, the deputy Chief Medical Officer, also encourages us to think of others when it comes to the current situation of Covid-19 in our country. He begins by telling us Covid hasn’t gone away, the pandemic is still with us. He reminds us that vaccination doesn’t make us immune to catching Covid – it hopefully prevents us becoming seriously ill and needing hospital treatment; nor does natural immunity, if we have had Covid, prevent us from catching it again. That is why the vaccination programme is so important for everyone.

Currently we are still doing all we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is as Covid safe as we can make it in keeping with Bishop Robert’s instruction.  Sanitising your hands, social distancing, the wearing of face coverings, cleaning the church after each celebration and the maximum capacity of 70 for funerals and Mass are still in place.

Thanks to our volunteer stewards we continue to celebrate Mass on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am. We do not at present breach our capacity for the celebration of Sunday Mass, so there is no longer a need for you to book a place in advance, nor does the Government require you to provide Test and Trace details.

As we must continue to clean the church after each celebration, the rear of the church will remain closed to reduce the demands on our stewards who sanitise the benches after you leave. Could you help as a steward on a rota basis, either during the week or over a weekend? Please get in touch if you can.

As the number of new cases in Gateshead is still high, with 890 in the last seven days, please do all you can to be cautious in your everyday life choices which not only affect ourselves, but impact on others too, including the NHS on which we all rely at times.

Please pray for our fellow parishioners and all those in our community who have recently tested positive for Covid-19, and please continue to look after one another.

May God bless you and your loved ones and may he protect us from all harm.

Fr. Patterson


Mass to view online

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am.  

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10am on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 4pm. These Masses may also be viewed later.


Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.

  • Monday – Albert Lagan
  • Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Vin Dolan
  • Wednesday: Paul and David Clay
  • Thursday – Funeral Mass for Connie Stout – by invitation only. Covid restrictions apply
  • Friday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners

When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us in Church, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holydaywhich prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions.


Please keep in your prayers this week:

  • all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and Fr. Kevin Daly who is ill and,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Paul Clay, Vin Dolan, Albert Lagan

A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors

Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch. In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.


A time to pray

Please join together in prayer for the 141,588 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure):

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died from the coronavirus, surround us and all who mourn with your compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope. We make this prayer in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.


A prayer for those who are afraid

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen


A prayer for the people of Afghanistan

May those who are fleeing, find sanctuary,
may those who are staying, find safety,
may those who are fighting, find peace,
may those whose hearts are breaking, find comfort,
may those who see no future, find hope.


Remembrance Sunday …

 … is celebrated next weekend. It is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those who have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life. We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism.

Poppies in field

The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance and hope, including hope for a positive future and peaceful world. They are a show of support for the Armed Forces community, those currently serving, ex-serving personnel and their families; and a symbol of Remembrance for all those who have fallen in conflict.

In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, wrote his now famous poem after seeing poppies growing in battle-scarred fields.

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.


Remembering those who died since the Pandemic began

Since the Pandemic began, the ways in which we have been able to say goodbye to our loved ones and to celebrate their funerals, whether they died with the Coronavirus or of other causes, have been severely restricted.

Bishop Robert has asked us to dedicate the month of November to remembering them all. 

We remembered them in prayer during our shared parish Mass last Tuesday, the Feast of All Souls.

Their names will be taken to St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle where they will be remembered during a Requiem Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert on Saturday 27th November at 11.00. It is hoped parishioners will be welcome to attend this Mass subject to the Covid restrictions in place at the time.

Their names will also be entered into our parish Book of Remembrance.


Respect for one another – Be aware of personal space and personal choice.

We have lived through a lot since the pandemic started so let us be kind and respect one another. Be aware of personal space and personal choice. Some people might not be ready to hug, kiss, shake hands or reduce social distance. Don’t assume what people are comfortable with. Instead, ask them and respect their personal choices.

Statistics show that the uptake of the Covid vaccine in our region has slowed considerably, so it is important for us all to do what we can to encourage people we know to consider being vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. Pope Francis urges us to do so in this video message.  Please accept your invitation for a “Booster jab” when you receive it and do consider having a flu jab too.


Community Counselling Service

Bheith Ann is a new Community Counselling Service available to all residents of Felling and the wider Gateshead area and is taking referrals for those individuals with issues such as Bereavement and Grief, Loneliness, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Relationship Problems, Post-Trauma Experiences and Bullying.

This is a free confidential services delivered by a team of dedicated, trained counsellors strictly in line with national professional Codes of Ethical Practice. To make a referral, please ring the Bheith Ann Referral Helpline on 07425 768 957. If you simply want more information about the Service please ring Neil Campbell on 07903 239 983.


St. Patrick’s Boundary Wall.

The work of rebuilding the southern boundary wall of St. Patrick’s Church with Caxton House using the original stone, at a cost of £25,000, is progressing well – the weather has been on the side of the workman!

 Fr. Patterson is very grateful for a donation of £50.00 received during the week towards the cost. Should you wish to make a donation it may be placed in the box at the front of the church or put through the presbytery letterbox. Alternatively you may choose to make a donation by Bank transfer for which you will require the following details: Account name: DHN Felling St Patrick; Sort code: 40-34-18; Account No: 52010453. Donations. Thank you.


Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

The details for bank transfers/standing orders and cheques are as follows:

St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984

St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453


COP26

It can be quite difficult to understand the whole concept of the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. There is plenty of “jargon!”

Why the world is getting hotter – and how you can help. This video provides an insight into the discussions and why it is important that we all play our part. 

In the video, the Guardian’s Phoebe Weston breaks down all the climate jargon we have been hearing and explains what we – and most importantly, our governments – need to do to help protect our planet and its future

COP26: What is the Glasgow climate conference and why is it important?This news also helps us to understand why COP26 is so important.

With apologies to those of you who do not have internet access and cannot access the items mentioned above.


Zoe Covid weekly update

Professor Tim Spector talks this week how rates of COVID infection are finally in decline after rising for weeks. Could this be the last peak of 2021? Tim also reveals some new findings on non-COVID respiratory illnesses.

He continues to remind us that as well as the “classic symptoms” of Covid, (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell), there are more symptoms emerging, namely a headache accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and a cough. It may just be a summer cold, but check it out by taking a Lateral Flow Test. These kits are available from the local chemist, are free of charge and simple to use. Check out the Zoe blog Do I have Covid or a cold?


Parish News by Email

If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk and they will be added to our contact list.