Parish newsletter

21st Sunday of the Year

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.

Thanks to the generosity of our volunteer stewards St. Patrick’s Church will be open for Mass on Tuesday at 10.00, when no booking will be needed, and on Sunday at 10.30 when booking is advised to guarantee a place.

To reserve a place for Mass next Sunday, 29th August, please telephone:

07526  232124

on Friday, 27th August between 5pm – 7pm

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 for 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, 22nd 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.

Please keep in your prayers 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. 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.

Pope Francis urges us to get vaccinated.

In a video message, Pope Francis says:

“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from Covid-19. They bring hope to end the pandemic but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another.

Getting the vaccines that are authorised by the respective authorities is an act of love. And helping the majority of people to do so is an act of love. Love for oneself, love for our families and friends and love for all peoples. Love is also social and political. There is social love and political love, it is universal always overflowing with small individual gestures capable of transforming and improving societies. Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.

I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her small gesture of love. No matter how small, love is always grand. Small gestures for a better future. God bless you. Thank you.”    

Please 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 – Kathleen Harland
  • Tuesday: 10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – Maurice Brown
  • Wednesday – In Thanksgiving (AB)
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Brian Quigley
  • Saturday – Fr “P’s” intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking advised

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 and Fr. Michael Sharratt who are ill
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Kathleen Harland 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 131,487 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

The troubled World in which we live – a message from Cafod

As you will have seen in the news, a number of countries are facing significant crises at the moment. The people of Haiti are coping with a catastrophic earthquake and tropical storm; the people of Afghanistan are dealing with the shock of the rapid Taliban take-over of most of the country; and millions of people in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Nigeria are facing extreme hunger. At the conclusion of the Angelus on the Feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis prayed for dialogue and peace in Afghanistan and the victims in Haiti’s earthquake.

At this grave time for our sisters and brothers in these countries, we would like to reassure you that Cafod is responding to these multiple crises. You can read more about how we can all express solidarity with our sisters and brothers affected by these emergencies on the Cafod website. Your compassion, generosity and prayers will help us to stand together and enable us to continue to support communities in these difficult times. Thank you.

FIRST STEPS – Exploring the Catholic Faith Online

Are you wondering about your relationship with God and not sure where to start? Join us on a journey this Autumn and see if the Catholic Church can help your relationship grow. This may be the right path for you. It may even help you take the next steps towards becoming a member of the Catholic Church. We gather weekly via Zoom and invite you to come along to find out more. Starts Wednesday 22nd September at 7pm.

If you are interested to find out more, you can enquire/register using the Online Enquiry Form or email

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 baptised.

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.

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

Why we should still follow Government advice and exercise caution in our life choices

A study conducted by Oxford researchers in partnership with the Office for National Statistics and the Department of Health and Social Care has discovered that vaccinated adults can harbour virus levels as high as unvaccinated people if infected with the Delta variant, which supports the idea that hitting the threshold for herd immunity is unlikely.

There is abundant evidence that Covid vaccines in the UK continue to offer significant protection against hospitalisations and death, but this new analysis shows that although being fully vaccinated means the risk of getting infected is lower, once infected by Delta a person can carry similar virus levels as unvaccinated people.

However, whilst vaccinations reduce the chance of getting COVID-19, they do not eliminate it. More importantly, data shows the potential for vaccinated individuals to still pass COVID-19 onto others, and the importance of testing and self-isolation to reduce transmission risk.

The implications of this on transmission remain unclear, the researchers have cautioned. “We don’t yet know how much transmission can happen from people who get Covid-19 after being vaccinated – for example, they may have high levels of virus for shorter periods of time,” said Sarah Walker, a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford. “But the fact that they can have high levels of virus suggests that people who aren’t yet vaccinated may not be as protected from the Delta variant as we hoped.”

Positive tests, hospitalisations and deaths linked to Covid have been rising slowly in the UK recently. In the week to 18 August, 211,238 people had a confirmed positive test result, an increase of 7.6% compared with the previous seven days. Over the same period, there have been 655 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, a rise of 7.9% versus the previous seven days. Hospitalisations have also risen slightly, with 5,623 going into hospital with coronavirus between 8 August 2021 and 14 August 2021, a rise of 4.3% compared with the previous seven days. This means it is essential for as many people as possible to get vaccinated – both in the UK and worldwide.’

The researchers also found that compared with the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine does have about 15% greater initial effectiveness against new infections, but the protection declines faster compared with two doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca. About four to five months after being fully vaccinated by either vaccine, the protection offered is relatively the same, said Walker.

The full report is available on the University of Oxford website.

ZOE Covid Study update

Professor Tim Spector has returned from holiday and presents this week’s video update from the Zoe Covid Study.  This week he discusses how vaccine effectiveness is tracking over time, with some interesting results.

He reminds us that as well as the “classic symptoms” of Covid, (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell), there are more symptoms 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.

Respect for one another

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.

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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