Parish newsletter

4th Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioner

St Patrick’s Church will be open for Mass next Sunday, 21st March at 10.30.

To ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, and to prevent breaching our maximum capacity of 70 parishioners in the church for a parish Mass, we will follow Government and Diocesan Guidelines and ask parishioners, who wish to attend Mass to reserve a place in advance. This should prevent anyone having to be turned away, which I am afraid would have to happen if our capacity is reached.

To reserve a place for Mass on Sunday, 21st March at 10.30

please telephone

07526 232124

Booking system open on:

Wednesday, 17th March between 10.00 am – 12.00 pm
Friday, 19th March between 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm

This number will be unavailable outside of the above booking times.

Bookings cannot be made via the presbytery telephone number nor by email and can only be made for the approaching Sunday and not for dates in advance. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.

You will be asked to provide your name and telephone number to comply with the NHS Test and Trace system and also the number in your family if you are attending as a household. Under the current Lockdown restrictions you must only sit with members of your own household or bubble and not mix with people from other households.

On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list.

The procedures which need to be followed when you attend Church are outlined on the information sheet attached to this Newsletter.

On leaving the Church – Please be responsible and adhere to the law.

Under the current Lockdown Restrictions, you must not mingle outside the Church after Mass. Parishioners are asked todisperse immediately on leaving the Church, this is to minimise any possible transmission of the coronavirus. 

Please remember though, the Public Health Message is that we are still legally required to “Stay at Home.” You are under no obligation to attend Mass. The Sunday obligation is still suspended. You should not come to Church if you have received a letter to say that you must shield nor if you are experiencing any signs of Covid-19 or feeling unwell in any way. Remember too that if you have received your first dose of the vaccine it takes 3 to 4 weeks to develop antibodies and the vaccine does not give you total immunity. So please consider the wisdom of coming to Church.

While we will attempt to take all the appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, the Bishops’ Conference and the Diocesan Authorities, parishioners should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 any time they enter a public space, since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection.

Unfortunately  we still do not have sufficient volunteers to reopen St. Alban’s Church to ensure it would be Covid secure and fully compliant with all the guidelines which continue to be required by the Government. Hopefully, in the light of the Government’s Roadmap, we can begin to explore how we can reopen St. Alban’s Church once the Covid restrictions have been lifted. I will outline my hopes in the coming weeks. The Bishop will be meeting with priests via Zoom in the next couple of weeks which may provide more guidance for us. I will, as always, keep you informed

In the meantime, please continue to look after one another and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe from harm.  

May God bless you all

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

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

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 am on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Mass Intentions for the coming week

Fr. Patterson will continue to celebrate Mass privately each weekday. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.

  • Monday – Sloan, Harland and Bushell Families
  • Tuesday -Fathers White, Bellamy, Keane and Rooke
  • Wednesday – Brida and Ken Clay
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday -Michael Earl
  • Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 in Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking necessary

As you are unable to celebrate Mass with him 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 especially Brida and Ken Clay and John Lenehan and,
  • Fr. Ronnie Richmond (one of our retired priests) who has died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the soul of your servant whom you have called from this life. May he be taken up into glory with your Son in whose great mystery of love we are all united. Amen.”

 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 me in prayer for the 125,343 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.

To support you during Lent.

You may like to join Bishop Robert Barron in a “Reflection on the Way of the Cross”  or to pray The Mysteries of the Rosary with him.

A free small book, recommended by Bishop Barron, entitled “The Sign of the Cross” can be downloaded. It would be one way for you to prepare for Holy Week.

The Diocese offers daily reflections for your Lenten journey at home.

Stations of the Cross every Friday throughout Lent, 11:00-11:30 am. CAFOD invites you to join its meditation on Christ’s journey to the cross, following themes of justice, poverty, mercy, friendship and hope

The Minsteracres Retreat Team invites you to a quiet day ‘A Journey With The Psalms’ on Saturday 20 March from 10.30 am – 3.30 pm.  The day will be held Online via ZOOM. There is a suggested donation of £10.00. If you have an enquiry or wish to attend a future retreat, email

Unlocking too quickly could lead to a substantial surge in Covid infections

These words of Professor Chris Whitty at the Science and Technology Select Committee last Tuesday were in response to pressure from backbench Tories to ease lockdown more quickly given the drop in infections.

Professor Whitty warned MPs that it would be dangerous and risk lives among the many vulnerable people not yet protected by a vaccine. He went on to say that a “lot of people may think this is all over, but it is very easy to forget how quickly things can turn bad. Under all the scenarios, if we unlock very suddenly, all the modelling suggests we would get a substantial surge while a lot of people are not protected.”

Read and listen to what he has to say Covid-19: Don’t think pandemic is over, Whitty warns – BBC News. Meanwhile, you may find this update of data showing cases per 100,000 per population from our region of interest:

Cases per 100,000 per population in our region

Area   w/e 5th January 2021
  w/e 8th March
Gateshead 404 60
Newcastle 215 71
South Tyneside 495 68
Sunderland 479 73

At the same time there are still 8,404 people in hospital who are suffering from the coronavirus and are very poorly.

So to cite Professor Jonathan Van-Tam once again “Do not wreck this now!”

Roadmap Step 1: Changes from 8th March

These are the changes that came into effect on 8th March:


All children and students may return safely to face-to-face education in schools and colleges. Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume where necessary to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities. Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return.

Social contact

People will be allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble or with one person from outside their household. Care home residents may also be allowed one regular visitor.

All other restrictions are still in place including the mandatory rule to “Stay at Home.”

New Offertory Envelopes

The new boxed sets of Offertory envelopes, beginning Sunday, 4th April, 2021, are now available and may be collected from St. Patrick’s Church after Mass on Sundays. It is hoped that alternative arrangements may be made for their distribution after 29th March, if the “Stay at Home” restriction has been lifted.

During the course of the pandemic several parishioners have chosen to contribute by Bank Transfer and it is hoped they will continue to do so in the long term rather than use envelopes. This facilitates the financial administration of the parish. Please consider contributing by Bank Transfer. The details needed are provided below.

Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson renews his thanks to you for your offerings during these difficult times especially to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by bank transfer helping to meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

Whilst we are being urged to “Stay at Home,” it may not be wise to drop your envelopes through the presbytery letterbox, unless your daily exercise route happens to take you past the presbytery. Please be sensible. 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 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

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