Parish newsletter

Dear Parishioners

This Sunday, Bishop Robert launches the Year of the Eucharist in our Diocese with the celebration of Mass in St. Mary’s Cathedral at 6.30pm, which will be live streamed.

It is a time to remember Jesus’ consoling words taken from St. Mark’s Gospel: “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest.” This promise is fulfilled in a special way when we celebrate Mass together and receive Holy Communion.

So maybe this is an incentive, as more and more people now feel able to visit the shops, enjoy a coffee in a café, a meal in a restaurant or a drink in a pub or club, to be thinking about coming to Mass in St. Patrick’s Church on a Tuesday or a Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist together with members of our shared parish family.

Sanitising your hands, social distancing, the wearing of face coverings, cleaning the church after each celebration and the maximum capacity of 70 for funerals and Mass within St. Patrick’ Church are still in place, so the church is as Covid safe as we can make it, although there is always an element of risk of contracting Covid-19 when entering any public space.

I am aware that there are some of you who are still hesitant in going very far at all and that is perfectly understandable. We must all do what we think is best for our own well-being and the well-being of others.

The Sunday obligation is still suspended so you are under no obligation to attend Mass. Although if you only come to Mass because of the obligation, does that not raise a much deeper issue within your minds and hearts?

In his instruction to keep all Covid restrictions in place in all our churches, Bishop Robert’s concern is for the well-being of everyone who attends our churches and for the clergy, given the age demographic of the Diocese and the local situation.

I take this opportunity to renew my thanks to our volunteer stewards whose commitment and generosity enables Mass to continue to be celebrated in St. Patrick’ Church on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am.

We must continue to clean the church after each celebration, so the rear of the church will remain closed to reduce the demands on our stewards who sanitise the benches after you leave. Could you help as a steward on a rota basis, either during the week or over a weekend? Please get in touch if you can.

As we do not at present breach our capacity for the celebration of Mass on Sundays, there is no longer a need for you to book a place in advance, nor does the Government require you to provide Test and Trace details.

Please continue to pray for our parishioners, school staff and school children who have recently tested positive for Covid-19. Some have had mild symptoms, whilst others have been very poorly and some have been admitted to hospital.

This is a timely reminder  that Covid-19 is still in our community and we should do all we can to be cautious in our everyday life choices which not only affect ourselves, but impact on others too, including the NHS on which we all rely at times.

Statistics show that the uptake of the Covid vaccine in our region has slowed considerably, so it is important for us all to do what we can to encourage people we know to consider being vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. Pope Francis urges us to do so in this video message.  Please accept your invitation for a “Booster jab” when you receive it and do consider having a flu jab too.

Please continue to look after one another and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe.

May God bless you and your loved ones and may he protect us from all harm.

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view online

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am.  

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10 am on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4pm. These Masses may also be viewed later.

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 – Brian Quigley
  • Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Margaret and Brian Pankhurst
  • Wednesday – Norman Foster and LDM Foster and Freeman Families
  • Thursday -The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Fr. Stephen Johnson
  • Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30 in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners

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 ill 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 138,379 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

A prayer for the people of Afghanistan

May those who are fleeing, find sanctuary,
may those who are staying, find safety,
may those who are fighting, find peace,
may those whose hearts are breaking, find comfort,
may those who see no future, find hope.

Diocesan Year of the Eucharist

This Sunday, 17th October, Bishop Robert will launch our Diocesan Year of the Eucharist during Mass at 6,30pm in St. Mary’s Cathedral which will be live streamed.  He speaks about his hopes in a video.

The Year of the Eucharist celebrates the Eucharist at the heart of the life and mission of the Church. The Bishop hopes it will help us to grow as a Diocese in our love of the Eucharist and to deepen our appreciation of it through the liturgy. He prays that we will revitalise and renew our faith through a deepening of prayer and devotion of the Eucharist, and be strengthened and nourished to go out and serve the world.

These challenging times for the Church and her mission demand that our love of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist is deep and abiding. He is the source of our life and meaning. His outpouring for us on Calvary, celebrated in the Holy Eucharist draws us on in our pilgrimage. Jesus feeds us on our life’s pilgrimage as we discern together the way ahead.

Bishop Robert  Barron addresses the issue of returning to Mass.

He writes:- “I want you to go back to Mass, which is the source and summit of the Christian life. It is the privileged moment of encounter with Jesus Christ, where we hear his Word, where we feast on his Body and Blood, where we come together as the mystical body of Christ joining ourselves to him, our head, to offer praise to the Father. There is nothing more important which is why the Church has made the Mass so central. If you stay away from the source and summit of the Christian life, from this privileged encounter with Jesus Christ, from the moment when you come together with your brothers and sisters to offer praise to the Father, you are missing out on the very source of the spiritual life.

The Mystery of the Mass

Bishop Barron’s talks about “The Mystery of the Mass” at the Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool in 2018. Although it is almost one hour in length, it is certainly worth an hour of your time.

An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project

Father Patterson wishes to extend his thanks to the most generous response we are receiving to this appeal. The project supports on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher.

If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.

Community Counselling Service

Bheith Ann is a brand-new Community Counselling Service available to all residents of Felling and the wider Gateshead area 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 services delivered by a team of dedicated, trained counsellors strictly in line with national professional Codes of Ethical Practice. To make a referral, please ring the Bheith Ann Referral Helpline on 07425 768 957. If you simply want more information about the Service please ring Neil Campbell on 07903 239 983.

St. Patrick’s Boundary Wall.

The work to take down and rebuild with foundations the southern boundary wall of St. Patrick’s Church with Caxton House at a cost of £25,000 is progressing well. Foundations have been laid and the rebuilding of the wall, using the original stone will begin this coming week.

Fr. Patterson is very grateful for a donation of £40.00 received during the week towards the cost. Should you wish to make a donation it may be placed in the box at the front of the church or put through the presbytery letterbox. Alternatively you can make a donation by Bank transfer for which you will require the following details: Account name: DHN Felling St Patrick; Sort code: 40-34-18; Account No: 52010453. Donations. Thank you.

Electrical Inspection

Every five years a full electrical inspection of our property must be carried out. The inspections have been completed at the following costs to our parishes:-  St. Alban’s Church and Presbytery cost £504.00. St. Patrick’s Church, parish centre and presbytery cost £1,393.00. All our property passed the inspection and there is no remedial work to be done.

The Sacrament of Baptism

As Bishop Robert has extend the Covid restrictions until further notice, 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.

We are awaiting a visit from PIB Risk Assessment to have the parish centre Covid risk assessed so that we will be able to offer the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child for Baptism which the Church requires to ensure that parents have a full understanding of the nature of the Sacrament of Baptism and also 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. Until we are able to reopen our parish centre and to ensure the safety of everyone including our catechists we are currently unable to offer the preparation.

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.

For a child to be baptised in the Catholic Church, one parent must be a baptised Catholic who shows some sign of genuine commitment to the practice of their own faith by taking part regularly in Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s.

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.

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, Fr. Patterson needs 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.

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/standing orders 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

Respect for one another – Be aware of personal space and personal choice.

We have lived through a lot since the pandemic started so let us 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.

Zoe Covid weekly update

Professor Tim Spector’s weekly update addresses the continued high rates of COVID infection in the UK, and how the government’s response has been called one of the UK’s worst public health failings in terms of their reliance on herd immunity. He also addresses public opinion on vaccine passports.

He continues to remind 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 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. Check out the Zoe blog Do I have Covid or a cold?

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.

29th Sunday of the Year

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