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.