After consulting with our volunteer stewards, we are able to offer a modified programme of services for Holy Week. I am very grateful to our volunteers for making this possible for those of you who may feel able to take part.
The Government Guidelines still require places of worship and faith communities “to adapt their religious services to ensure the safety of those present and minimise the spread of infection. It is advised that the ceremonies and services should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time,” which is reaffirmed by the Bishops of England and Wales.
In keeping with that guidance, we offer you the following opportunities:-
Holy Thursday: a simple Mass will be celebrate at 5.30pm. You do not need to reserve a place in advance. Seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis to ensure we do not breach our maximum capacity of 70 people for a parish Mass.
Should you choose to attend Mass on Holy Thursday, please bring an envelope containing your name and a contact telephone number and place it in the box provided at the front of the Church to satisfy Test and Trace requirements. These will be retained for 21 days in accordance with Government requirements. Alternatively you may use the NHS Covid-19 App to “Sign in” using the QR Code displayed in the Church.
Good Friday: a simplified celebration of the Passion of the Lord with Holy Communion will take place at 11.00am. You will need to reserve a place for this Service. See details below
Easter Sunday: Mass will be celebrated at 10.30. You will need to reserve a place for this Mass. See details below
To reserve a place for Good Friday and/or Easter Sunday please telephone
07526 232124 on
Monday, 29th March between 10.00am – 12.00pm
Tuesday, 30th March between 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Wednesday, 31st March between 5.30 pm – 6.30 pm
This number will be unavailable outside of the above booking times.
Bookings cannot be made via the presbytery telephone number nor by email and can only be made for the approaching Sunday and not for dates in advance. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.
You will be asked to provide your name and telephone number to comply with the NHS Test and Trace system and also the number in your family if you are attending as a household. Under the current Lockdown restrictions you must only sit with members of your own household or bubble and not mix with people from other households.
On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list.
Please remember you are under no obligation to attend Mass. The Sunday obligation is still suspended. You should not come to Church if you are still shielding or experiencing any signs of Covid-19 or feeling unwell in any way.
In the meantime, please continue to look after one another and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe from harm
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
Mass Intentions for the coming week
I will celebrate Mass privately on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.
- Monday – Special Intention (JWG)
- Tuesday – John, Mary and Jack Gillum
- Wednesday – Leonard Robinson
- Thursday: 5.30 pm in St. Patrick’s Church – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Good Friday Service: 11.00am in St. Patrick’s Church – booking is necessary
- Saturday – No Mass is celebrated on Holy Saturday
- Sunday: 10.30 am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking is necessary
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with me 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 Holyday, which 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
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Pat Donald and,
- Kevin Crinnion who has died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the soul of your servant whom you have called from this life. May she be taken up into glory with your Son in whose great mystery of love we are all united. Amen.”
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 me in prayer for the 126,515 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.
To support you during Lent
You may like to join Bishop Robert Barron in a “Reflection on the Way of the Cross”.
A free small book, recommended by Bishop Barron, entitled “The Sign of the Cross” can be downloaded. It would be one way for you to prepare for Holy Week.
The Diocese offers daily reflections for your Lenten journey at home.
“Magnificat” offer you their free digital prayer book for Holy Week.
Fr. Kevin Cummins will be retiring as parish priest of St. Oswald’s, Wrekenton at the end of August, 2021. He will continue to live in the presbytery at Wrekenton. As Bishop Robert has no-one to replace him, Fr. Paul Zielinski will take on the pastoral care of St. Oswald’s along with St. Augustine’s, Leam Lane and St. Anne’s, Harlow Green.
Roadmap Step 1b: Changes from 29th March subject to ratification by the Prime Minister
These are the changes that may come into effect on 29th March.
The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. And this is why from 29 March, when most schools start to break up for the Easter holidays, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
Business and activities
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.
You may find this update of data showing cases per 100,000 per population from our region of interest:
Cases per 100,000 per population in our region – national average 43
|Area||w/e 5th January 2021|
|w/e 22th March|
New Offertory Envelopes
The new boxed sets of Offertory envelopes, beginning Sunday, 4th April, 2021, are now available and may be collected from St. Patrick’s Church after Mass on Sundays. It is hoped that alternative arrangements may be made for their distribution after 29th March, if the “Stay at Home” restriction has been lifted.
During the course of the pandemic several parishioners have chosen to contribute by Bank Transfer and it is hoped they will continue to do so in the long term rather than use envelopes. This facilitates the financial administration of the parish. Please consider contributing by Bank Transfer. The details needed are provided below.
Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed
Fr. Patterson renews his thanks to you for your offerings during these difficult times especially to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by bank transfer helping to meet the regular financial commitments of our churches.
Whilst we are being urged to “Stay at Home,” it may not be wise to drop your envelopes through the presbytery letterbox, unless your daily exercise route happens to take you past the presbytery. Please be sensible. 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 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