Parish newsletter

15th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioner

I do hope you have had the opportunity to take advantage of some of the various easings of the lockdown since last weekend. It isn’t always easy to get everything right but what we should all strive to do is to maintain the 2 metre social distancing rule unless it is impossible to do so, in which case it is “1 metre plus” which may involve the wearing of face coverings or taking other protective measures

We are also still encouraged to stay at home as much as possible to limit contact with other people, to work from home if we can, to wash our hands regularly and not to leave the house if we, or a member of our household, has any symptoms and to report those symptoms to the Government’s Test and Trace System.

I suppose it is a question of getting the balance right between continuing to live with the restrictions and responsibly enjoying the freedom the Government has entrusted to us. Whatever we do, hopefully we will always have the well-being of others at heart. After all, for us as Christian people, this lies at the heart of our calling.

Professor David Heymann was asked on the “Today” programme last  Friday if he thought there would be a second wave of the virus. His reply is worthy of consideration.  He thought it was not useful to talk of a second wave in relation to Covid-19 as the implication is that the coronavirus has disappeared. With Covid-19 he said it is more important to talk about resurgence, as the virus is still in the community and spreading, albeit more slowly, as we have witnessed with resurgences in our own country and throughout the world. That is why, he said, we must keep the Reproductive number (R) low to prevent resurgence, which is why social distancing and washing our hands are so important along with the Test and Trace system.

This confirms the advice of Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England who said “Covid-19 is still in general circulation. If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. It is absolutely critical people stick to the guidance that has been given.”

So please take care of yourselves in the weeks and months ahead.

Pray for each other and please pray for me

May God bless you all.

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 and on weekdays at 12.05. These services may be viewed live or anytime later.

Alternatively, you may like to follow daily Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 or which may also be viewed any time later.

Mass Intentions

I continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.

  • Monday – Margaret Ford
  • Tuesday – James and Margaret Toberty
  • Wednesday – Brian Quigley
  • Thursday – The sick, NHS & Care Workers
  • Friday – Molly Bell
  • Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
  • Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners

As you are unable to celebrate Mass with me, 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 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 especially Margaret Ford

Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care

Every Thursday one of our Bishops has been celebrating a special evening Mass for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in Social Care. At the time of compiling this newsletter, no details are available as to who or where the Mass this coming week will be celebrated. Fr. Patterson will send you details should he receive them.

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.

Reopening our Churches

We continue to patiently await Bishop Robert approaching us to enquire if we are prepared  to be risk assessed with a view to reopening our churches.

As you are aware, the Bishop  has announced  that no church will be able to reopen for any communal worship until it has been risk assessed by the Diocesan Authorities and can fulfil the requirements of the Government, the guidelines of the Bishops’ Conference and the local Diocesan guidelines. This includes being able to provide sufficient volunteers to help with stewarding and cleaning to ensure all measures, including social distancing are fulfilled.

We need at least another eight volunteers if we are to be able to consider reopening our churches.

As Fr. Patterson is in the clinically vulnerable category and following the advice of the Bishops, initially we may only be able to open St. Patrick’s Church.

Until such time as our own churches have been risk assessed and we are able to fulfill all the requirements for stewarding and cleaning, we will remain closed. So please be patient, prayerful and understanding.

We need another 8 Volunteers please

If you are able to volunteer as a steward or to help with cleaning our churches please send Fr. Patterson an email stating your availability weekday/weekend and in what way you would be able to help.  Your help could make the difference between being able to open our churches or not! Volunteers should really not be in the vulnerable categories.

Mass Offerings

As you are aware, throughout the lockdown, the priests of the Diocese have been continuing to celebrate Mass each day in private without a congregation.

If you would like to have Mass offered for any particular intention, Fr. Patterson would be happy to celebrate it for you.

You may drop your intention and offering through the letterbox of St. Patrick’s Presbytery, so long as you follow Government guidelines about leaving your home or place it in the post with a cheque, or you may email your intention to Fr. Patterson and send your offering by bank transfer.

For security reasons, please do not put any intentions or offerings through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

Your generous Offerings are greatly appreciated

In these financially challenging times, Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful to those parishioners who are  able to contribute their weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish accounts and to those who have sent cheques.

He is also appreciative of those parishioners who have dropped their weekly offering envelopes through the presbytery letterbox  This all helps to meet our day to day financial commitments.

However, for security reasons, please do not put any envelopes through St. Alban’s Presbytery door. Envelopes for St. Alban’s parish should be posted through St. Patrick’s Presbytery door only.

If you Gift Aid your offertory contributions, the parish can reclaim the tax on your offering should you wish to make a bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

If you choose to send a cheque please make it payable to the appropriate Account name below or you might wish to continue to put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church once we can reopen our doors.

The details for bank transfers 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

Diocesan Website

More information and support may be found on our Diocesan website

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