Parish newsletter

16th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

I don’t know about you but I continue to be confused by political commentators and journalists who are critical of the Government in being slow to make decisions and then critical of them when they make decisions. The most recent example being the requirement for us to wear face coverings in shops from 24th July.

Of course there are people who agree with this ruling and those who don’t. We are all entitled to our opinion. We can question the science and the politics. But when it comes to the common good, should we not be prepared to put the needs of the community at large before our own. As Christian people that is our calling.

There is little doubt that Covid-19 lives on in our communities as we have seen resurgences during the past week in our own country and further afield. The Prime Minister made this very clear in the Downing Street briefing last Friday.

Here in Gateshead there have been a further 6 confirmed cases since last week bringing the total number of cases in our area to 1,282 and the number of Covid-19 related deaths to 236 as of 3rd July.

The science and medical advice still suggests that the best way of preventing the spread of the coronavirus is by social distancing and washing our hands. Despite what we see going on around us, 2 metres is still the “golden rule” for social distancing unless it is impossible to maintain, 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—although there is now a debate in progress on this subject. We should wash our hands regularly and not 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.

It can be difficult to get 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 and have in the forefront of our minds the advice of Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England who has 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 – Sister Francine
  • Tuesday – Dominic and Andrew Sloan
  • Wednesday – Kathleen Falconer
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Patsy Rafferty
  • 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 and,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time

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. These Masses seem to have come to an end, but Fr. Patterson will continue to celebrate a Mass each week on a Thursday for this intention.

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 6 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.

A Message from our School

Dear Parishioners,

It has been a while since we sent you our news so we thought it would be timely to say hello and give you an update.

Life in school has changed so much and become very quiet, as you can imagine. Teachers have been leading groups in school, providing online learning for each of their classes and keeping in touch with the children during these strange months. We have had groups of children in throughout lockdown and are making plans to have everyone return in September.

As we come to the end of the summer term, we wish our Year 6 pupils well as they leave to start secondary school and we get ready to welcome new children into our Early Years Unit.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please pray for us as we hope to re-open our school fully when it is safe for all of us.

With all our best wishes from everyone at St. Alban’s Primary School.

Your generous Offerings are greatly appreciated

In these financially challenging times, Fr. Patterson is grateful to those parishioners who 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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