Parish newsletter

28th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

As more and more people now feel able to visit the shops, enjoy a coffee in a café, a meal in a restaurant or a drink in a pub or club,

is the time right for you to be thinking about coming to Mass in St. Patrick’s Church on a Tuesday or a Sunday?

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 within St. Patrick’s Church are still in place, so the church is as Covid safe as we can make it, although there is always an element of risk of contracting Covid-19 when entering any public space.

I know that some of you who can, are taking part in live stream Masses, but they are not the same as coming to Mass and being nourished and fed by God’s Word and Sacrament alongside other members of our shared parish family.

I am also aware that there are still some of you who are hesitant in going very far at all and that is perfectly understandable. We must all do what we think is best for our own well-being and the well-being of others.

The Sunday obligation is still suspended so you are under no obligation to attend Mass. Although if you only come to Mass because of the obligation, does that not raise a much deeper issue within your minds and hearts?

In his instruction to keep all Covid restrictions in place in all the churches of the Diocese, Bishop Robert’s principal concern is for the well-being of everyone who attends our churches and for the clergy, given the age demographic of the Diocese and the local situation.

I wish to renew my thanks to our volunteer stewards whose commitment and generosity enables Mass to continue to be celebrated in St. Patrick’s Church on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am.

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 when 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 we do not at present breach our capacity for the celebration of Mass on Sundays, 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.

Please continue to pray for our parishioners, school staff and school children who have recently tested positive for Covid-19. Some have had mild symptoms, whilst others have been very poorly and some have been admitted to hospital.

This is a timely reminder  that Covid-19 is still in our community and we should do all we can to be cautious in our everyday life choices which not only affect ourselves, but impact on others too, including the NHS on which we all rely at times.

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 as yet done so. Pope Francis urges us to do so in his video message.  Please accept your invitation for a “Booster jab” when you receive it and do consider having a flu jab too.

I very much appreciate the supportive emails and telephone calls I receive during the course of any one week along with your understanding of the small steps we continue to make in rebuilding our shared parish family safely.

Please continue to look after one another and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe.

May God bless you and your loved ones and may he keep 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 10 am on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 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 – Mona O’Connor
  • Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Pat Donald and LDM Family
  • Wednesday – In Thanksgiving (NF)
  • Thursday -The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Fr. Michael Sharratt
  • 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

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 137,541 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.


St. Patrick’s Boundary Wall – could you help?

The work to take down and rebuild with new foundations the southern boundary wall of St. Patrick’s Church with Caxton House began last Monday at a cost of £25,000.00. Heritage Consolidation, who renewed the steps at the front of the church, were appointed to carry out the work. Caxton House have offered to shoulder 50% of the cost of the work, for which we are most grateful.

As St. Patrick’s regular income has decreased during the course of the pandemic by 67%, despite the generosity of those parishioners who are regularly contributing by standing order, bringing their envelopes to Mass or dropping them through the presbytery letterbox, Fr. Patterson would be grateful if any of you felt able to make a donation towards the cost of this work in the next week or two. Should you choose to make a donation by Bank transfer you will require the following details: Account name: DHN Felling St Patrick; Sort code: 40-34-18; Account No: 52010453. Donations may also be placed in the box at the front of the church or put through the presbytery letterbox. Thank you.


The Catholic Universe

This newspaper, which went into administration this Summer after 160 years, has been replaced by an online subscription digital publication under a new name, “The Universe Catholic Weekly.” It will be topical, controversial, stimulating and packed with news, opinion and features. You can receive a weekly edition on line for £20.00 a quarter paid simply and directly to the publisher. The first edition is published this week. See ‘The Universe Catholic Weekly‘ website for more information.


Diocesan Year of the Eucharist

Next Sunday, 17th October, Bishop Robert will launch our Diocesan Year of the Eucharist during Mass at 18.30 in St. Mary’s Cathedral which will be live streamed.

The Year of the Eucharist celebrates the Eucharist at the heart of the life and mission of the Church. The Bishop hopes it will help us to grow as a Diocese in our love of the Eucharist and to deepen our appreciation of it through the liturgy. He prays that we will revitalise and renew our faith through a deepening of prayer and devotion of the Eucharist, and be strengthened and nourished to go out and serve the world.

These challenging times for the Church and her mission demand that our love of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist is deep and abiding. He is the source of our life and meaning. His outpouring for us on Calvary, celebrated in the Holy Eucharist draws us on in our pilgrimage. Jesus feeds us on our life’s pilgrimage as we discern together the way ahead.


Assisted Dying Bill

Bishop John Sherrington, the Bishop for Life Issues for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has written an open letter inviting Catholics to pray for the defeat of the Assisted Dying Bill to be debated in the House of Lords on 22nd October. If successful it will allow a terminally ill adult with less than 6 months to live, assistance to commit suicide. The Catholic Church teaches that this represents a crime against human life, for we cannot directly choose to take the life of another, even if they request it. Bishop Sherrington encourages Catholic people to write to peers at the House of Lords stating the reasons why they oppose this legislation and particularly explain from personal experience the rea-sons why this change in the law should be opposed.


An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project

This 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.

Financial donations can be made by bank transfer to HSBC Sort Code 40-34-18. Account number 52854058 Account name DHN Destitute Asylum.

Father Patterson wishes to extend his thanks to the most generous response we are receiving to this appeal.


The Sacrament of Baptism

As Bishop Robert has extend the Covid restrictions until further notice, 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.

However, we are now in the process of arranging to have the parish centre Covid risk assessed so that we will be able to offer the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child for Baptism which the Church requires to ensure that parents have a full understanding of the nature of the Sacrament of Baptism and also a living awareness of the commitment having their child baptised entails, namely promising to bring their child up in the practice of the Catholic faith. Until we are able to reopen our parish centre and to ensure the safety of everyone including our catechists we are currently unable to offer the preparation.

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. Please keep an eye on the Newsletter for further information.

For a child to be baptised in the Catholic Church, one parent must be a baptised Catholic who shows some sign of genuine commitment to the practice of their own faith by taking part regularly in Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s.

A child should be baptised in the parish in which their family lives and in the church they regularly attend. Parents who live outside our shared parish of St Patrick’s and St Alban’s and who wish to have their child baptised here, must regularly attend St Patrick’s Church.

Please note that no date for baptism can be considered until the preparation is completed and the parents feel able to make the commitment the Church asks of them.


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 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 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.


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


Annual Insurance Premiums

We are all going to face increased charges for gas, electricity and council tax in the months ahead. The Annual Insurance premiums arrived for payment this week. St. Alban’s premium for the Church and presbytery amounts to £2,182.00. The premium for St. Patrick’s Church, parish centre and presbytery totalled £4,969.00.


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.


Zoe Covid weekly update

Professor Tim Spector in this week’s update reveals some new research for those of you who may have had COVID and how he thinks this affects your risk of infection after vaccination. He also looks at the who and the where behind rising COVID cases and how the government’s refusal to update the recognised symptoms of Covid might be driving this.

He reminds 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 loss of smell. 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.