Parish newsletter

The Feast of the Assumption

Dear Parishioners

In the light of Bishop Robert’s instruction issued on 16th July, 2021, the wearing of face coverings, sanitising your hands, 2 metre social distancing, cleaning the church after each celebration and the maximum capacity of 70 for any celebration remain in place within St. Patrick’s Church until at least the end of August when the Bishop will review our situation.

I hope you will be understanding and accepting of the protocols you are asked to follow. It is important for us all to remember, Covid has not gone away! The Bishop is concerned for the well-being of everyone who attends our churches.

The ongoing generosity of our volunteer stewards makes it possible 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 is advised to guarantee a place.

To reserve a place for Mass next Sunday, 22nd August, please telephone:

07526  232124

on Friday, 20th August between 5 – 7 pm.

This number will be unavailable outside of the above hours. 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. You should only sit with members of your own household or bubble. On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list. If you have not pre-booked please bring your contact details in an envelope and place them in the box at the front of the church or give your details to the outside stewards. Alternatively you can use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church using the NHS Covid App

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.

There are still places available for Mass this Sunday, 15th August, offered on a first come first served basis. Please bring Test and Trace details if you haven’t reserved a place. You will receive a warm and reassuring welcome.

There are a number of our parishioners who have recently contracted Covid-19 despite having had two doses of vaccine. Thankfully, most have had mild symptoms, but some have been very poorly and two have had to be admitted to hospital. Please keep them and all who are suffering in your prayers.

It is a reminder that Covid-19 is still in our community and that we should do all we can to be cautious in our everyday life choices which don’t only affect ourselves, but impact on others too.

We have lived through a lot since this pandemic started so let’s be kind and respect one another. Be aware of personal space and personal choice. Some people might not be ready to hug, kiss, shake hands or reduce social distance. Don’t assume what people are comfortable with. Instead, ask them and respect their personal choices.

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people Lord, giving and loving, wherever we are, wherever you call us, whatever it costs, for as long as it takes.

Look after each other and pray for one another and may God bless you and keep you safe

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am.   There will be no weekday Masses streamed until 1st September.

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10 am on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. These Masses may also be viewed later from the same website.

Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.

  • Monday – Isabella Taylor
  • Tuesday:  10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – Special Intention (RK)
  • Wednesday – Dominic and Andrew Sloan                                             
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Morton Stott      
  • Saturday –  Fr “P’s” intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking advisable

When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us 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 Holydaywhich 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 Fr. Kevin Daly who is seriously ill
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially and’
  • and Fr. Bill O’Gorman  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.”

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 130,801 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.

A prayer for those who are afraid

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen

Diocesan Year of the Eucharist

Bishop Robert has announced that a Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in the Diocese starting on Sunday, 17th October. It will be launched at St Mary’s Cathedral and simultaneously with the launch of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. He has defined the aims of the Year of the Eucharist as:

  • To celebrate the Eucharist at the heart of the life and mission of the Church and to gather people back.
  • To grow as a Diocese in our love and appreciation of the Eucharist.
  • To deepen our appreciation of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist through the rites.
  • To revitalise and renew our faith through a deepening prayer and devotion of the Eucharist.
  • To go out and serve the world through the nourishment of the Eucharist.

The Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in Episcopal Areas, Partnerships, Parishes and Schools and will provide a framework of prayer for the Diocese’s participation in the first stage of the Synod.

The Synod, to be held in Rome in 2023, will begin with a period of consultation and discernment from 17 October this year. The Synod, which is entitled ‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission’, will involve consultation with all of the faithful across the world. For more information and the processes involved, please visit Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (

The Sacrament of Baptism

Following Bishop Robert’s decision to extend the Covid restrictions to at least the end of August, we are still unable to open St. Patrick’s Church for anything other than Mass on a Sunday and Tuesday and for funerals at present.

His decision also prevents us from reopening the parish centre. As a result, we are not in a position to be able to offer the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child to the Church for Baptism.

Fr. Patterson regrets that it will still not be possible to offer the Sacrament of Baptism in St. Patrick’s Church until the situation improves. Please keep an eye on the Newsletter for further information.

Things you need to know about having your child baptised.

For a child to be baptised in the Catholic Church, one parent must be a baptised Catholic.

A child should be baptised in the parish in which their family lives and in the church they regularly attend. Parents who live outside our shared parish of St Patrick’s and St Alban’s and who wish to have their child baptised here, must regularly attend St Patrick’s Church.

To ensure that parents have a living awareness of the commitment having their child baptised entails, namely promising to bring their child up in the practice of the Catholic faith, they will be invited to attend a series of preparation sessions, after which they will decide, along with the priest, whether they should proceed with having their child baptized.

Please note that no date for baptism can be considered until the preparation is completed and the parents feel able to make the commitment the Church asks of them.

We are still in need of more volunteers

If we are going to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre once all the Covid restrictions have been removed, I need your help and support to fulfil the roles outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May. If you do not have a copy, please email or telephone 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.

Currently we do not have sufficient offers of help and support to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and will be struggling to fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre when the Covid restrictions are lifted.

If you can commit yourself to help in either church when all the Covid Restrictions have been removed, whenever that may be, please contact me as soon as possible.

If you have helped in either church before the pandemic and no longer feel able to continue in your previous role; if you wish to continue helping as you have done in the past or if you would like to help in any of the ways outlined in our shared parish Roadmap for the first time, please get in touch as soon as possible.

Donations received

Fr. Patterson is very grateful for two donations received this week. One of £200.00 and another of £100.00 for St. Patrick’s parish funds. Thank you.

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

Should I still wear a mask, social distance or get vaccinated?

Professor Tim Spector of the ZOE COVID Study comments:-

“If you are comfortable wearing your mask, we recommend doing so in crowded indoor settings, even if the people around you can’t be convinced to do the same. Even one mask in a group of people can reduce the risk of Covid spreading, protecting yourself and others.

Unfortunately, the Delta variant means that transmission is now easier than ever, and even a tiny droplet containing the virus can cause infection. As long as it’s properly worn, a mask helps to prevent you from breathing in airborne droplets from those around you, reducing the risk of catching the virus. It also helps protect others from whatever you’re breathing out, especially if you’re infected without knowing.

By cutting infections and transmission, we can protect unvaccinated and vulnerable people, as well as reducing the number of people developing long Covid. Covid-19 transmission is easiest in crowded, indoor areas, which is why we recommend wearing a mask in these situations, even if you have had both of your vaccines.”

The Office for National Statistics reports that a survey of around 5,000 households, conducted between 4th and 8th August revealed that 49% of adults say they always or often maintain social distancing – compared to 53% the previous week. The proportion of adults saying they wear face coverings outside of the home has fallen from 92% to 90%.

More people are meeting up indoors with others who aren’t in their household (up from 62% to 64%), but fewer people are meeting outdoors (down from 65% to 60%).

The ONS figures suggest that a high proportion of adults feel measures to slow the spread of the virus are important, and that 97% of people feel positively about the vaccine.

Fall in UK Covid cases stalls

According to ZOE COVID Study incidence figures, there are currently 45,911 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on PCR and LFT test data from up to five days ago. This is only a slight fall from 46,905 new cases from last week, suggesting that the rate of decline has slowed down.

When divided by vaccination status it is estimated that among unvaccinated people in the UK there are currently 27,700 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID on average, this is a drop of 6.5% compared to last week (29,620). Comparatively there are currently 7,168 new daily symptomatic cases in partly vaccinated (1 dose) people and 11,043 new daily symptomatic cases in fully vaccinated people (2 doses). 

Whilst the data indicates there are more cases in the fully vaccinated group, this is because there are now significantly more people in the population who are fully vaccinated compared to those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated.

ZOE Covid Study update

This week’s video update is presented by Jonathan Wolf, as Professor Tim Spector is taking some holiday. He explains that while we saw a steep drop in cases last week, this doesn’t seem to have continued and rates have been staying level over the last few days.

Remember too that there are more symptoms of Covid emerging, namely a headache accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and a persistent cough. It may just be a summer cold, but check it out by taking a Lateral Flow Test. These kits are available from the local chemist, are free of charge and simple to use.

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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