Parish newsletter

7th Sunday of Easter

Dear Parishioners

Our volunteers have offered to open St. Patrick’s Church for Mass on Tuesday at 10 am, when no booking will be needed, and on Sunday at 10.30 am, when booking will be required. Parishioners are welcome to attend both Masses.

To reserve a place for Mass on Sunday, 23rd May, please telephone 07526 232124 on:

Wednesday, 19th May between 5.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Friday, 21st May between 5.30 pm – 7 pm

This number will be unavailable outside of the above 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 any other dates. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.

You will be encouraged 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 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.

For Mass on Tuesday, where booking is not required, you are invited to bring your Test and Trace details in an envelope and place them in the box in Church

You may still be feeling a little hesitant or uncertain about coming to Mass and that is perfectly understandable. The Sunday obligation is still suspended so you are under no obligation to attend Mass and you must not come to Church if you are experiencing any signs of Covid-19 or feeling unwell in any way.

As there are further easings of some restrictions due to come into force this Monday, 17th May which allow us to mix a little more freely, but nonetheless carefully with others, you may feel more confident coming to St. Patrick’s Church for Mass.

All of the restrictions concerning the wearing of face coverings, sanitisation and 2 metre social distancing remain in place within our Church and the maximum capacity for a parish Mass remains at 70. So the church is as safe as we can possibly make it for you.

The News over the past few days concerning the rapid spread of the “Indian” Covid variant reminds us that we must continue to exercise caution when mixing with people from outside our household. This was reaffirmed by the Prime Minister at the Downing Street press conference last Friday (14th May).

Remember, it is possible to have Covid-19 with no symptoms and you can pass the virus on to others if you only have mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all. Covid-19 spreads through the air by droplets and smaller aerosols that are released from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze. The closer you are to a person with Covid-19 (even those without symptoms), the more likely you are to become infected. Whilst the vaccine gives us a level of protection it does not make us totally immune. So the further you can keep away from other people, the less likely you are to catch Covid-19 and pass it on to others.

And remember, no matter where you are or what you are doing, following the basic rules of good hygiene will help to protect you and others from the virus. These are: washing your hands, cleaning your surroundings and covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.

So let us all continue to look after each other in the coming weeks and months and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe.

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 Sunday or anytime later. There are no weekday Masses at the Holy Name this week.

Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, I will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions:

  • Monday -Brian Quigley
  • Tuesday:  10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – Mary Rafferty and Betty Knight
  • Wednesday – Special Intention (NF)
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Cornelius and Stella Toberty and the Toberty sisters
  • Saturday – Fr “P’s” intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking required

When you are unable to celebrate Mass with me 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 and,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time.

 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 together in prayer for the 127,668 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.

Pray for an end to the pandemic

Pope Francis encourages Catholics across the globe to dedicate the month of May to praying for an end to the pandemic by reciting the Rosary.  Each day will see Vatican News broadcast the recitation of the Rosary at 6 pm Rome time  (5 pm UK time) from the various Shines taking part in the initiative.

The Existence of God

 I offer you another short video entitled “The Existence of God” by Fr. Stephen Wang. It is the second in a series of videos which I propose to share with you over the next few weeks. I hope you find it of value.

Funerals in Church

The Government has announced that from 17th May, the number of people able to attend a funeral will depend on how many people can be accommodated safely within an individual place of worship with social distancing and where, in our case, the Diocese has carried out a risk assessment of the individual church and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

In the case of St. Patrick’s Church the risk assessment carried out by the Diocesan Health and Safety Adviser has determined that a maximum of 70 people may attend a Funeral Mass or Service, subject to the Government implementing their ruling after 17th May. The numbers permitted in other churches will vary according to their own risk assessment.

To minimise the risk of viral transmission, the Government continues to advise that only the following should attend a funeral: members of the deceased person’s household, close family members and close friends.

For “Test and Trace” purposes, families will still be invited to provide the parish with a list of those people they will be inviting to attend a funeral who must also adhere to the Covid-19 protocols which are in place for the safety and well-being of everyone. The Funeral Director will explain these protocols to family members.

The Sacrament of Baptism

Covid restrictions and limited human resources to enable us to comply with these restrictions, prevent us being able to open St. Patrick’s Church for anything other than Mass on a Sunday and Tuesday and for funerals at present.

We are still unable to reopen the parish centre which prevents us offering the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child to the Church for Baptism.

As such, we are still unable to offer the Sacrament of Baptism in St. Patrick’s Church.

Mission Boxes

Thanks to those parishioners who support the work of the Missions by way of the Red Mission boxes you have in your homes. During the past twelve months you have raised £1,569.00 (St. Patrick’s) and £648.00 (St. Alban’s).

If you need to have your mission box emptied, this can be arranged in accordance with Covid restrictions by contacting Kathleen on 0191 440 5324.

Shared Parish Roadmap

Fr. Patterson would like to thank those parishioners who have already responded to the Parish Roadmap sent out on 6th May and looks forward to hearing from more of you by the end of May.

When reflecting on the proposals in the Roadmap, please remember that you are not being asked to take up the role of volunteering until all the Covid Restrictions have been removed for churches (whenever that may be). However it is important for us to have a bank of volunteers in place to enable us to determine whether we can reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre when the time comes. 

Community Counselling Service

Bheith Ann is a brand-new Community Counselling Service available to all residents of Felling and the wider Gateshead area. It is supported by the Felling Irish Association and is taking referrals for those individuals with issues such as Bereavement and Grief, Loneliness, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Relationship Problems, Post-Trauma Experiences and Bullying.

This is a free confidential service. It is delivered by a team of dedicated, trained counsellors and strictly in line with national, professional Codes of Ethical Practice. The sessions themselves are undertaken in one of the following ways – Face-to-Face (locally and safely within current covid regulations), Phone or via Zoom or Skype. In addition, the Bheith Ann Community Counselling Service also provides free access to the Anambron Specialist Counselling Service for Families bereaved by suicide.

All referrals are treated with the utmost respect, confidentiality, compassion and care. To make a referral, please ring the Bheith Ann Referral Helpline on 07425 768 957. If you simply want more information about the Service and how it works, please ring Neil Campbell (Service Co-Ordinator) on 07903 239 983.

Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. 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

Roadmap Step 3  (from 17 May)

These are the changes  that may come into effect on 17th May:

  • Social distancing with close family and friends will be a matter of personal judgement. But people are asked to remain cautious around close contact, like hugging.
  • You should always make space for other people to keep their distance if they want to.
  • Remember you are not permitted to interact with anyone outside of your group of six (or two households) indoors, or outside of your group of 30 outdoors, unless an exemption applies.
  • In some settings, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family. This is important to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 to other people such as staff and other members of the public. You should always follow guidance associated with the setting you are in (for example in a place of worship).
  • Covid-secure rules, including social distancing requirements, continue to apply in the workplace, and in businesses and public venues including places of worship. This guidance does not affect a site owner’s responsibility to calculate the number of people that can be accommodated with social distancing in place.

The Covid variant

With the number of UK cases of a troubling Indian Covid variant having more than doubled to 1,313 in the past week, The Prime Ministers admits he is “anxious”. The prime minister said yesterday there was nothing to suggest England’s planned lockdown easing could not go ahead. However, the government now says it “cannot rule out reimposing economic and social restrictions at a local of regional level” to suppress any variant which escapes the vaccine. It adds there’s “no firm evidence yet” to show that’s the case with the variant known as B.1.617.2, or that it has any greater impact on the severity of disease. 

As Jim Reed (a BBC health reporter), writes, it is causing concern in Bolton, where Public Health England has set up mobile testing units and offered door-to-door testing to 22,000 people in response to a spike in infections. Assistant director of public health Lynn Donkin says there is a “a picture of widespread community transmission”, while doctors report an increase in people arriving at casualty with confirmed or suspected Covid. Even so, Greater Manchester’s Labour Mayor Andy Burnham says he is “very concerned” about the possibility of local restrictions. While the government is considering bringing forward second vaccine jabs in affected areas, Mr Burnham says he’d like younger people to be offered vaccines.

Parish News by Email

If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at and they will be added to our contact list.

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