16th Sunday of the Year
The updated guidance relating to Places of Worship from the Government and the Bishops of England and Wales was published last Thursday evening.
It emphasises that all places of worship should always consider the prevailing local conditions for the spread of the virus in deciding how to move forward. It is also important to mitigate against the risks of virus transmission.
At a time when COVID cases are rising rapidly across all areas of the Diocese, with some areas recording the highest infection rates in the country and when this is considered alongside the more elderly demographic of the Diocese, Bishop Robert feels it would present a very serious situation if we were to abandon our existing COVID controls.
Having taken both Clergy and Lay advice and due to the very high infection rates across all areas of the Diocese, Bishop Robert, in keeping with the “Health and Safety at Work Act 1974,” asks that we retain all of the COVID control measures and cleaning protocols that we are currently following in all our churches and church halls until at least the end of August 2021.
The Bishop goes on to say that the virus is expected to peak in the middle of August. In September there will be a review of available data and guidance to allow a decision to be made regarding controls and protocols. If the data allows, we may then take a cautious and staged approach to the relaxation of controls and protocols.
In the light of his decision and with the ongoing generosity of our volunteer stewards we are still 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.
To reserve a place for Mass next Sunday, 25th July, please telephone 07526 232124 on
Friday, 23rd July between 5pm and 7pm.
This number will be unavailable outside of the above hours. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.
There are still places available for Mass this Sunday, 18th July, 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.
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. If you have not pre-booked please bring your details in an envelope and place them in the box at the front of the church or give your details to the outside stewards. Alternatively you can use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church using the NHS Covid App
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.
Following Bishop Robert’s decision, the 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 any celebration 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.
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.
Mass to view on line
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. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.
- Monday – A Special Intention (PT)
- Tuesday: 10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – Allan Neil
- Wednesday – Kathleen Falconer
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Private Funeral Service for Mary Robinson (by invitation only)
- 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 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 and Fr. Kevin Daly who is seriously ill
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time and,
- Mary Robinson 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.”
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 128,643 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
We are still in need of your support
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 restrictions have been removed, Fr. Patterson needs your help and support 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 email@example.com 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.
If you can commit yourself to help in either church when all the Covid Restrictions have been removed, whenever that may be, please contact Fr. Patterson as soon as possible.
If you have helped in either church before the pandemic and no longer feel able to continue in your previous role; if you wish to continue helping as you have done in the past or if you would like to help in any of the ways outlined in our shared parish Roadmap please get in touch with me as soon as possible.
The Sacrament of Baptism
Following Bishop Robert’s decision to extend the Covid restrictions to at least the end of August, we are still unable to open St. Patrick’s Church for anything other than Mass on a Sunday and Tuesday and for funerals at present.
His decision also prevents us from reopening the parish centre. As a result we are not in a position to be able to offer the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child to the Church for Baptism.
Fr. Patterson regrets that it will still not be possible to offer the Sacrament of Baptism in St. Patrick’s Church until the situation improves.
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
New Covid cases plateau.
This weeks update from Professor Tim Spector, the lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London is worth 14 minutes of your time. He talks about the number of cases in the UK and internationally, discusses his approach to the lifting of restrictions and offers six tips for the future:
- Respect other people – give them space and don’t presume they want a “bear hug!”
- Socialise outdoors where you can or in a well ventilated space until the rates come down.
- Wear a mask in a crowd where you can’t keep a safe distance
- Wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
- Get your second jab
- Look out for the symptoms of Covid
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be added to our contact list.