Parish newsletter

3rd Sunday of Advent

The third week of Advent is a time to remember with great joy the good news of Jesus’ birth. 

It is a joy that does not depend on what is going on in our life, in the world, or among the people we are with. It doesn’t depend on the gifts we give or the gifts we find under the tree. Our joy comes from the Lord. It is the same joy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the hosts of heaven, and Mary and Joseph. It is a joy that still has the power to overwhelm our hearts with rejoicing.

Those who gathered around the new born child were blessed because they believed that the promise made by the Lord had been fulfilled. Mary and Joseph believed and were able to feel the joy of holding baby Jesus in their arms. The shepherds and wise men believed the angels and the signs and experienced the great gladness of worshipping their Messiah.

They trusted in the Lord’s promises and their hearts were filled with gladness as they watched God’s loving-kindness manifested in the face of a tiny baby in a lowly manger.

May we experience something of that same joy and happiness this Christmas.

Advent Café

Thanks to those who returned to our Advent Café last Wednesday. Our “customers”  left with a desire to seek something of the peace of Advent amidst the present turmoil of life.

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 “Joy” – something that we may feel is eluding us at present – 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 “Joy 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 – Sheila Amed,
  • Wednesday: (Private Mass) LDM Bradley and Wright Families
  • Thursday:  10am in St. Patrick’s parish centre: Joan and Eddie McAtominey
  • 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:  Kathleen Burrell

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 Kathleen Hughes and Joan McAtominey

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 Joy

Heavenly Father, thank you for the joy that entered the world when Jesus was born, when you became God with us. Enrich our lives and enable us to live joyfully in those difficult or busy moments. Help us to recognise your presence among us and fill our hearts with renewed strength, courage, hope and joy. Amen.

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.

Are you feeling unwell?

If you are feeling unwell or have any cold, flu or Covid symptons, particularly a persistent cough, you should consider staying at home rather than coming to church.

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. Refreshments will be served after Mass on Tuesday. Entry will be by the parish centre doors only. Parking is available in the main church car park.

St. Alban’s Review

When Fr. Patterson met with Bishop Robert earlier in the year, the Bishop agreed that although the level of support offered by parishioners was far from what was hoped for, Fr. Patterson could proceed with the reopening of St. Alban’s churchfor a Saturday Vigil Mass only, to assess the level of need and support. The Bishop asked Fr. Patterson to review the situation after the summer.

Bishop Robert had arranged to meet with Fr, Patterson for this review on 1st December, but because the Bishop has  been advised to take some medical leave from the Diocese, the meeting was postponed. It will be rescheduled once the Bishop returns. In the meantime, Fr. Patterson will continue to celebrate a vigil Mass in St. Alban’s church on Saturdays at 6pm.

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 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.

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

Gateshead Covid update 

You may find this data from the Borough of interest. Figures are as reported on 8th December, 2022.

67 new Covid cases in the seven days up to 3rd December which is a decrease of 11 from the previous 7 days;  3 people died in the same period, which is a increase of 2 from the previous 7 days; 41 patients with Covid were in the QE Hospital on 7th December.

According to the Office for National statistics 1 in 60 people currently have Covid in the UK.

Advent Alms

During 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 in one of the boxes at the entrance to our churches. 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 may be found by clicking here: Justice & Peace Refugee Project

Our School News :

Advent services of prayer

Our children in Years 5 & 6 will lead the school family in prayer over the last two weeks in Advent. They will reflect on the Sunday Gospel, rejoicing and getting ready to welcome Jesus into their homes this Christmas.

Christmas fair

The Friends of St Alban’s raised over £1000.00 for our children at the Christmas Fair. Many thanks to everyone who contributed and supported us.

Christmas nativity

Our youngest children will be sharing the Christmas Story with families and friends this week, using drama, dance and song. They have been rehearsing with great concentration and determination, sorting out costumes and props, and are now ready to perform.

Chat all things Energy

Gateshead Council along with Citizens Advice (Gateshead) are offering free energy advice sessions as outlined below. All sessions run from 10am – 3pm. You are welcome to go and chat to their experts on how you could save on your bills.

  • Thursday,  15th December at Birtley Hub
  • Friday, 16th December at Chopwell Hub (Community Centre)
  • Thursday, 12th January, 2023 at Springwell Community Centre
  • Friday, 13th January at Gateshead Central Library
  • Tuesday, 24th January at Birtley Community Association
  • Thursday, 26th January at Whickham Library
  • Thursday, 9th February at Winlaton Centre
  • Friday, 10th February at Edberts House
  • Thursday, 23rd February at Gateshead Central Library

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