6th Sunday of the Year
Following discussions with our stewards and in keeping with Bishop Robert’s Diocesan Covid protocols, it was agreed that from this Sunday, 13th February, 2022 it will be possible to enter St. Patrick’s Church either through the Church Street entrance or through the parish centre doors ascending either by the inner staircase or the lift. Both doors will open 20 minutes before Mass is due to begin.
On arrival in the church you will be invited to sanitise your hands and will be guided to your seat by one of our volunteers. A box will be available for your offerings, Test and trace details and Mass Intentions. Face coverings should still be worn.
The arrangements for Holy Communion will remain the same – you will be invited to come forward row by row from the front as at present. For the time being, at the end of Mass, please remain in your seats until you are invited to leave and exit via the centre aisle through either the front or rear doors.
After discussions with our stewards and following a show of hands last Sunday, it was agreed that from Sunday 6th March, 2022, the First Sunday of Lent, Mass on Sundays will be at 10am.
These are a few more small steps to building a new future.
A life of faith stands in contrast to the values of this world
This is the theme of the Gospel which is read at Mass this Sunday (Luke 6: 17-26).
Jesus speaks of how reliance on the world’s values – whether of strength, security, wealth or reputation – is pointless and ultimately of little value. Instead he offers us what at first may seem unrealistic; reliance on a God we cannot see; faith in a crucified Christ and belief in an eternity of which there are no guarantees. Faith, hope and love are not easy virtues, but they are the graces we need to be a true follower of Christ.
We received an update from Bishop Robert on 28th January concerning the Covid protocols to be followed in churches in our Diocese. Given the transmission rate of Covid-19 in the region, no changes are to be made to our current protocols.
So we ask that face coverings continue to be worn in St. Patrick’s Church unless you are medically exempt. You are also asked to maintain social distancing from others in your bench, unless you are from the same household or bubble. Sanitising your hands is also good practice.
The Government is still encouraging places of worship, to keep a record of those attending to support the NHS Test and Trace programme. If you have a smartphone you may use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church or you can bring your details (name and contact telephone number) in an envelope and place it in the box at the front of the Church.
With the ongoing support of our volunteer stewards, we continue to do what we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid-19 safe as we can make it for you. At this present time, Mass will continue to be celebrated on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am. If you are still hesitant about attending Church, you are under no obligation to do so.
If you have Covid symptoms or feel unwell, please stay at home until you feel better. We probably all know of someone who has the virus or is self isolating, you may even be one of them. Please pray that everyone suffering from the virus will make a full recovery.
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Face coverings must be worn when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – Pat Smith
- Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church -Special Intention (ML)
- Wednesday: 10.00 Funeral Mass for Maureen Hughes – Diocesan Covid protocols apply
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Jack Durham
- 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 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 and,
- Fr. Malcolm Cairns (parish priest of Amble) and Maureen Hughes who have died. May they rest in peace
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 159,351 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 the Ukraine
Lord God, hold the people of Ukraine deep in your heart. Protect them from violence, from political gamesmanship, from being used and abused. Give the nations of the world the courage and the wisdom to stand up for justice and the courage to care generously. Take from us those traits that see us pursuing our own needs and wants before those of others. Teach us how to live in love and dignity and respect, following your ways. We ask this in your name and for your sake. Amen
St. Alban’s Church – our future is in your hands!
With a possible further relaxation of our Diocesan Covid protocols in sight, we can now turn our attention to considering whether we will be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church.
As you are aware from our Parish Roadmap which was circulated in June, 2021, many of our parishioners who served the parish in different ways over the years have asked to step down from their roles and Fr. Patterson has thanked them for their years of service and renews his thanks to them. Others have moved away and sadly, some have died – may they rest in peace.
Before we can open the church, we will need volunteers who will be prepared to fulfil the roles outlined in our parish Roadmap. A copy may be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr. Patterson would like to invite all those who feel able to commit themselves to any one of these roles to gather together, socially distanced, to discuss how we can rebuild St. Alban’s parish with the resources available to us. In doing so, it is important that we look to the future rather than harken back to the past.
The gathering will take place on Saturday, 5th March from 11am-12pm. It is the intention to hold it in the Parish Room at St Alban’s presbytery, but this will be confirmed closer to the date. Fr. Patterson appreciates that this date and time may not suit everyone, but as it is of importance for our future, he hopes those of you who feel able to volunteer, will make a special effort to attend.
If you are unable to come along, but are willing to help in any one of the roles mentioned in the Roadmap, or would like to know more about what the roles entail, please contact Terry or Christine Harbron (0191 469 8697) or email Fr. Patterson on email@example.com or telephone him on 0191 495 2277.
If you have helped in the past and would like to continue in your former role, it is important to contact Fr. Patterson in advance of our gathering.
Fr. Patterson has also submitted a request to the Diocesan Health and Safety Advisor to arrange to carry out a risk assessment of the Church which every parish must have in place before a church can be reopened.
Returning your call
If you telephone the presbytery and there is no-one available to take your call, you may choose to leave a message on the answer machine. We will do all we can to return your call. However we are only able to do so if you leave your telephone number!! For safeguarding reasons, we are unable to return anonymous calls. So please leave both your name and number for your call to be returned.
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
Get vaccinated. Get boosted!
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has echoed the call encouraging people to take up Covid vaccinations and boosters when offered by the NHS. “The call ‘Get vaccinated! Get boosted!’ is more and more pressing.”
ZOE Covid weekly update – Professor Spector gets Covid as Omicron peaks
Delivering his weekly update from isolation due to COVID infection, Tim shares the latest data on national case rates, including where we’re seeing Omicron BA.2 becoming more prevalent.
In a separate blog, the updated symptoms of Omicron are discussed.
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.