Parish newsletter

2nd Sunday of Advent

Parish Newsletter: 2nd Sunday of Advent

Companies spend considerable sums of money in branding their products in the hope that they will attract our attention and convince us that we really need whatever it is they are selling – often persuading us to part with considerable sums of money and convincing our friends and colleagues to do the same!

When it comes to John the Baptist, of whom we hear in the gospel read in our churches this weekend, his brand – his message – was a forceful and uncompromising one. Yet despite John’s gruffness and outspoken honesty, he was a popular figure, drawing crowds from, “Jerusalem, Judaea and the whole Jordan district.” Not only that, but an amazing cross section of society came to hear him.

His focus was on hypocrisy, pride, honesty and fairness.

When the day came for John to proclaim Jesus as the ‘Chosen One’ he did not shirk his responsibility.

The lifestyles of John and Jesus could hardly have been more different.

In the person of John, we meet the person chosen by God to introduce Jesus to the world and his message is as relevant now as it was then: “Repent because the Kingdom of God is near,” only then will we discover Jesus.

Advent Café

Thanks to those who came to the launch of our Advent Café last Wednesday. Our “customers” left with something to Hope for and with something to Hope in.

The Cafe will be open again this coming Wednesday at 6pm in St. Patrick’s parish centre.

……….offering a chance to explore the Advent theme of “Peace” – something today’s world is in great need of – while praying, chatting, drinking coffee and eating cake!!!

The aim of the evening is to discover ways in which we, as a Catholic family can make the “Peace of Advent” a reality for someone, somewhere this Christmas.

All are welcome and admission to a warm, friendly environment is free.

Christmas Mass Times

Mass will be celebrated in St. Patrick’s Church on Christmas Eve at 5.30pm with carols.

Mass on Christmas morning will be celebrated in St. Alban’s Church at 9.30am.

Mass Intentions

Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass for the following Intentions during the coming week. With the exception of Wednesday and Friday all Masses are open to everyone.

  • Monday:  No Mass
  • Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s parish centre – The Hughes and Knock Families,
  • Wednesday: (Private Mass) – Kevin Henry (NF)
  • Thursday:  10am in St. Patrick’s parish centre – Ellen Farrell
  • Friday: (Private Mass) Private Intention
  • Saturday: 6pm in St. Alban’s Church – For the Intentions of all our parishioners
  • Sunday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – John and Maria Beckett

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on a Sunday. Visit the Cathedral website.

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond. Visit the website for Mass times this week.

When you are unable to celebrate Mass 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.

Please keep in your prayers:

  • 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 especially Peter Hughes and John Knock.

Bishop Robert

Please keep Bishop Robert in your prayers. On the advice of his doctor, he is currently taking some medical leave from the Diocese.

An Advent prayer of Peace

Lord, in a season when every heart should be happy and light, many are struggling with the burdens of life. We need your peace, O Lord. Our hearts are too often filled with wondering how the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come.  In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up the good news again, make it real in our hearts for we live at a time when we need your peace more than ever. Amen

An Advent prayer of Hope

God of Hope, we seek you. During this holy season of Advent, help us to see you in all whom we encounter. May your hope be a comfort to all who long for justice. May your hope fill our hearts and grace our lips so that we might reflect your hope for all the world. Amen

A Prayer for those who are ill and for those who care for them

Merciful God, we entrust to your loving care those who are ill or in pain. Comfort and heal them, and restore them to full health and strength. Grant perseverance and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, empower them with your Spirit, so that through their care many will be restored to health; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Prayer for Ukraine

Loving God, we pray for the people of Ukraine, for all those suffering or afraid, that you will be close to them and protect them. We pray for world leaders, for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices. We pray for the world that in this moment of crisis, we may reach out in solidarity to our brothers and sisters in need. May we walk in your ways so that peace and justice become a reality for the people of Ukraine and for the whole world. Amen

Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermons for Advent

Each week Bishop Barron offers a Sunday sermon.

All are welcome

Everyone is welcome to join us for the celebration of Mass in St. Patrick’s and St. Alban’s churches. In recent times, it has been a joy to welcome people of other faiths or none who have come to join us in worship.

Currently, only baptised Catholic people are able to receive Holy Communion and we ask that when you approach the altar you extend your hands towards the minister who will place the sacred host in your hand which you should then consume immediately before returning to your place.

If you are not a Catholic or are indisposed to receive Holy Communion, you are invited to come forward at the appropriate time and receive a blessing, indicating your desire by folding an arm across your chest.

Refreshments after Mass

Enjoy each others company in a warm and friendly setting with tasty refreshments in St. Patrick’s parish centre after Mass this Sunday.

Mass on Tuesday and Thursday at St. Patrick’s

In an effort to manage our heating costs, Mass on Tuesday and Thursday will be celebrated in St. Patrick’s parish centre at 10am. Entry will be by the parish centre doors only. Parking is available in the main church car park.

Why not help to boost St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s income at no additional cost to yourself!

These are difficult times for everyone as the cost of living and energy costs are starting to impact on us, our parishes included. Fr. Patterson wishes to express his gratitude for your generous weekly contributions to parish funds enabling us to pay our bills.

Please help to boost the income of both of our churches by Gift Aiding your weekly offering if you are a tax payer. It costs you nothing more than you already give to the church, but we are able to claim from HMRC 25p of every £1.00 you are already giving. All that is required is that you sign a simple form providing the Diocese with your name and address and they do the rest for us. You do not have to declare anything about your personal financial situation on the form.

Forms may be obtained from John Gillum who is the parish Gift Aid Organiser for both of our churches. Simply drop him an email at

Thanks to everyone who is already in the Gift Aid scheme.  Your generosity during the last tax year 2021/22 resulted in us receiving from HMRC £1,734.26 for St. Alban’s and £4,089.89 for St. Patrick’s.  If you require a Statement for tax purposes of the amount you contributed last year, please contact John Gillum at

Whether you are a tax payer or not, you can help to relieve the pressure on our “Counting Teams” and those who have to bank the monies, by making your weekly contribution by Standing order. The details below will enable you to do so.

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

Advent 2022

The Advent booklet “Walk with me,” has now arrived having been delayed by the Royal Mail industrial action. It contains a journey of prayer for Advent and is priced at £1.00. They are especially for those parishioners who do not have access to resources provided on the internet.

The Diocesan Vicariate for Faith & Mission have produced a series of reflections on the readings used throughout the Advent season. The reflections have been written by members of the Diocese. The first and second week of Advent reflections can be downloaded from the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle website. The second part of the Advent reflections will be available shortly.

Cafod also offers some Advent reflections, which may be found here: Advent reflections: CAFOD

Our School News :

Advent services of prayer

Our children in Years 3-6 are helping us journey through Advent in prayer in preparation for Christmas. The school community gather in school around the Advent Wreath, with parents, to listen to the Gospel and pray together.

Christmas fair

A date for your diary! Our school Christmas Fair will be held in school from 3.05pm on Thursday, 8th December. All profits will go to school funds. The PTA group, called the Friends of St Alban’s, are always looking for more helpers to give their time, talents and expertise. Please contact the school office (0191 469 3251) if you would like to help in any way.

Open the book

Open the Book (OtB) offers primary school children an opportunity to hear key Bible stories during 10-15 minute assemblies. A keen group of parishioners established our group just before lockdown and are now seeking new members to join the team. If you are interested, please email This is a perfect way to bring our parish and school family together and share bible stories with each other.

Little Saints

Families with pre-school age children are invited to join our Toddler Group called “Little Saints,” which meets every Thursday morning in St Alban’s school from 9.30am – 11.00am. All are welcome!

Clothes bank

Our school invite you to recycle, through their clothes bank, any unwanted clothing, shoes, bags, belts and accessories. Simply bring your items to the school and place In doing so, you will be helping to raise money for our school and saving UK landfills too. For more information, please contact the school office 0191 469 3251.

Gateshead Covid update 

You may find this data from the Borough of interest. Figures are as reported on 1st December, 2022

78 new Covid cases in the seven days up to 26th November which is an increase of 27 from the previous 7 days;  1 person died in the same period, which is a decrease of 1 from the previous 7 days; 48 patients with Covid were in the QE Hospital on 30th November

Carols by Candlelight

….by Westoe Brass Band, The Diocesan Choir and Ensembles from St Joseph’s Academy, Hebburn are to be held on Friday, 9th December at 19.30 in St Joseph’s Church, Gateshead. Tickets are £10/£8 and only available at the door. Admission for under 18s is free. Cash and card payments are accepted. Refreshments during the interval.

Advent Alms

This Advent, St Cuthbert’s Care call upon the generosity of the people of our Diocese to help raise funds to purchase a newer minibus for their two nursing homes. Your support will allow them to offer more regular outings throughout the year, ensuring their residents’ lives remain as varied as possible. They appreciate this winter will be difficult for many and urge you only to support them if you are able to do so. Should you wish to support their appeal, place your offering in an envelope marked “Advent Alms” and place it one of the boxes at the entrance to our churches. Alternatively, if you have a box of envelopes, you should have an envelope in your box. Offerings are welcome throughout the four weeks of Advent.

As Christmas approaches are you able to support our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project?

When doing your own shopping for Christmas, please spare a thought for the above project. It supports over 400 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food.  Those who are destitute also receive a supermarket voucher.

Donations of sugar, biscuits, tinned fish in oil, tins of tomatoes and chick peas may be left on the table to your right as you enter the front of St. Patrick’s Church or on any table if you enter by the rear door. A basket is also available in the porch at St. Alban’s Church and in our school. They are particularly in need of toiletries and shampoo. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.

More information about the Justice & Peace Refugee Project.

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