Parish newsletter

12th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

Thanks to the generosity of our volunteer stewards we are able to open St. Patrick’s Church for Mass on Tuesday at 10 am when no booking will be needed, and on Sunday at 10.30 am when booking is advised to guarantee a place.

There are still places available for Mass this Sunday, 20th June, offered on a first come first served basis. Please bring Test and Trace details if you haven’t reserved a place. You will receive a warm and reassuring welcome.

To reserve a place for Mass next Sunday, 27th June, please telephone 07526 232124 on:

 Friday, 25th June between 5pm – 7pm

Please note the booking facility is no longer available on Wednesdays.

This number will be unavailable outside of the above 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 any other dates. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.

You will be encouraged 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. You should only sit with members of your own household or bubble. On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list.

For Mass on Tuesday, where booking is not required, you are invited to bring your Test and Trace details in an envelope and place them in the box in church.

You may still be feeling a little hesitant about coming to Mass and that is perfectly understandable. The Sunday obligation is still suspended so you are under no obligation to attend Mass. You must not come to Church if you are experiencing any signs of Covid-19 or feeling unwell in any way.

The mandatory wearing of face coverings, sanitising your hands, 2 metre social distancing and cleaning the church after each celebration remain in place within our church and the maximum capacity for a parish Mass remains at 70. So the church is as safe as we can possibly make it for you and our volunteer stewards will continue to look after you.

With the growing number of new Covid cases due to the Delta variant, I suspect none of us were surprised to learn of the extension of the restrictions until 19th July. Here in Gateshead there have been 164 new cases in the last seven days and 61,181 throughout the UK in the same period.

Despite our frustrations, I do hope we will continue to do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus in our families, amongst our friends and within the local community – irrespective of what others may choose to do. I also hope we will all respond positively to the vaccination programme now that all adults aged 18 and over may book a vaccination.

Whilst the vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness in most people, like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so those of us who have received the vaccine should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Whilst emerging evidence suggests vaccines are having an impact on transmission, we do not know by how much the vaccine stops Covid-19 from spreading. Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread Covid-19 to others, even if you do not display symptoms.

Covid spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within 2 metres). The further away you can keep from other people, and the less time you spend in close contact with them, the less likely you are to catch Covid-19 and pass it on to others. Close contact, including hugging, increases the risk of spreading Covid-19. And please remember, you should always make space for other people to keep their distance if they want to – not everyone may want a hug!

May the Lord continue to bless and watch over us and those we love in these challenging times. 

Fr. Patterson


Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am and on weekdays at 12.05 pm. These Masses may be viewed live or anytime later.

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


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:

  • Monday – A special intention (AB & CD) 
  • Tuesday:  10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – George and Mary Laurie
  • Wednesday – Dorothy Foster
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Brian Quigley 
  • Saturday:  Fr “P’s” intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking required

 When you are unable to celebrate Mass with 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,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time

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 127,956 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.

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


The Gift of Faith

We continue the series of short videos by Fr. Stephen Wang.

This week Fr. Wang explores “the Gift of Faith.”


Day for Life

This Sunday, 20th June, we celebrate ‘Day for Life‘ providing an opportunity to pray for the gift of life from conception to natural death and to raise awareness of the precious gift of life.

The fragility of life and the reality of death has been brought into sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the UK alone, almost 128,000 people have died from Covid-19. Yet in the face of such suffering and death, we have witnessed the extraordinary dedication of healthcare professionals and their loving care for the sick and dying. We too have each made sacrifices for the greater good during this pandemic. These acts of heroic love are a powerful testimony to the fundamental dignity of the human person and to the respect owed to each life, particularly through proper care and love in the last moments of life.

Against this backdrop of loving care, we are now faced with the very real threat of the legalisation of ‘assisted suicide’ in our country. It is not a question of ‘if’ this challenge will come, it is now a question of ‘when?’ There is now a Private Members Bill in the House of Lords on so-called ‘Assisted Dying’ and it is only a matter of time before the issue is back in the House of Commons.

This year’s theme for Day for Life focuses on assisted suicide and the respect owed to life. Online resources are available to inform Catholics about this threat to life and to share with people our response to such a threat: a true compassion as the just response to the immense value of the human person.


Looking ahead

To be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre once all the Covid restrictions have been removed, Fr. Patterson needs your help and support as outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May. If you haven’t received a copy, please contact Fr. Patterson on felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk or telephone 0191 495 2277.

Fr. Patterson also asks you to contact him as soon as possible

  1. If you have helped in either church before the pandemic and no longer feel able to continue in your previous role.
  2. If you would like to help in any of the ways outlined in our shared parish Roadmap.
  3. If you wish to continue helping as you have done in the past

Please remember that you are not being asked to take up the role of volunteering until all the Covid Restrictions have been removed for churches (whenever that may be). However it is important for us to have a bank of volunteers in place to enable us to determine whether we can reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre when the time comes.


The Sacrament of Baptism

Covid restrictions and limited human resources to enable us to comply with these restrictions, prevent us being able to open St. Patrick’s Church for anything other than Mass on a Sunday and Tuesday and for funerals at present.

We are still unable to reopen the parish centre which prevents us offering the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child to the Church for Baptism.

As such, we are still unable to offer the Sacrament of Baptism in St. Patrick’s Church.


Thank you

Fr. Patterson is very grateful for a donation of £40.00 recently received for St. Patrick’s parish funds.


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 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


Christians and Muslims pray for peace

This annual service for women and children, which takes place each year in the historic Lady Chapel in Jesmond Dene, will, for 2021, be an online event only and will be available for viewing online from next Saturday 26 June by following this link: Interreligious Relations – contacts, events and news (rcdhn.org.uk) 


The Bookshop at St Mary’s Cathedral

The Bookshop has reopened on Tuesday 11 am – 3 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am – 3pm, on Saturdays from 9.45 am – 3 pm and on a Sunday from 8.30 am – 1 pm. Check the Cathedral  website to confirm opening times.


Thanks to our Stewards and Telephone Bookings operator

With the easing of the lockdown delayed, Fr. Patterson wishes to renew his thanks to our volunteer stewards and telephone bookings operator for their ongoing commitment and service to us during the course of the pandemic. Without their help we could not open St. Patrick’s Church.

The stewards welcome you, invite you to sanitise your hands, ensure you follow the current Covid restrictions by wearing a face covering and socially distancing before showing you to your seat. They invite you forward to receive Holy Communion, and once you have left the Church, they sanitise each bench as well as the many “touch points.” Our telephone booking operator gives of her time to ensure you have a place for Sunday Mass. Thanks to you all.


Roadmap Step 3  (from 17 May)

These are the changes  that came into effect on 17th May.

This information accompanies the changes. Whilst social distancing with close family and friends is now a matter of personal judgement, we are asked to remain cautious around close contact, like hugging. Remember too that you should always make space for other people to keep their distance if they want to.

In some settings, there will be specific guidance that we will need to follow even when we are with friends and family. This is important to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 to other people such as staff and other members of the public. You should always follow guidance associated with the setting you are in (for example in a place of worship).

Covid-secure rules, including social distancing requirements, continue to apply in the workplace, and in businesses and public venues including places of worship. This guidance does not affect a site owner’s responsibility to calculate the number of people that can be accommodated with social distancing in place.


Where do we go from here?

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, offers his comments on the Prime Minister’s decision to delay the easing of the lockdown for another four weeks.

In this week’s video Professor Spector provides his weekly update of the situation in the UK covering issues such as the rising number of cases, how the vaccines are working on the Delta variant, where will we be in a few weeks time and how the classic Covid symptoms now include headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, persistent cough and the value of taking regular Lateral flow tests.”