Parish newsletter

4th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

In the Gospel which will be read at Mass this Sunday, we hear how Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth when, having listened to what he had to say, the people turned on him leading to Jesus’ words: “No prophet is ever accepted in his own country.” (Luke 4: 21-30)

What had he been saying to make the people respond to him in such a way? He was simply stating that his message “to love one another” must extend to everyone, without exception.

That message is true for us today. God’s love isn’t just for Christian people, it is for everyone and what a wonderful message that is for the people of the world.

It is a message which has been at the heart of all the pandemic restrictions and guidelines we have been asked to follow for almost two years. They are based on that need to look after one another by doing all we can to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

This approach continues to lie at the heart of the Government guidelines which are still in place, even though the legal restrictions of Plan B were lifted last Thursday.

Take the wearing of face coverings for example. Whilst they are not legally necessary in shops or on public transport, the government still “recommends” that people wear face coverings in crowded, enclosed spaces where we may come into contact with people we do not normally meet. They remain a requirement in healthcare settings such as GP surgeries, hospitals or care homes and we ask that you continue wearing them when coming to our Church out of consideration for everyone else in the Church. Most of the major retailers including Tesco, Sainsburys, Lidl, Waitrose and John Lewis have also asked staff and customers to keep wearing a face covering.

Evidence suggests transmission mainly happens indoors where people are close together. Covering the nose and mouth reduces the spread of coronavirus droplets from coughs, sneezes and while speaking. The main purpose is to protect others although there is evidence they offer protection to wearers.

We received an update from Bishop Robert last Friday (28th January) on the Covid protocols to be followed in churches in our own Diocese for the time being and given the prevailing transmission rate of Covid-19 in the region, we are asked to make no changes to our current protocols.

So we ask that face coverings continue to be worn in St. Patrick’s Church unless you are medically exempt. You are also asked to maintain social distancing from others in your bench, unless you are from the same household or bubble. Sanitising your hands is also good practice. 

The Government is still encouraging places of worship, to keep a record of those attending to support the NHS Test and Trace programme.  If you have a smartphone you may use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church or you can bring your details (name and contact telephone number) in an envelope and place it in the box at the front of the Church.

With the ongoing support of our volunteer stewards, we continue to do what we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid-19 safe as we can make it for you. At this present time, Mass will continue to be celebrated on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am. As we must clean the church after each celebration, the rear of the church is closed to reduce the demands on our stewards who sanitise the benches after you leave. Limited toilet facilities are available in case of necessity. If you are still hesitant about attending Church, you are under no obligation to do so.

If you have Covid symptoms or feel unwell, please stay at home until you feel better. We probably all know of someone who has the virus or is self isolating, you may even be one of them. Please pray that everyone suffering from the virus will make a full recovery.

May God bless you all.

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral. Visit the Cathedral website for times this week.

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, JesmondVisit the website for Mass times this week.

Mass Intentions

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Face coverings must be worn when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.

  • Monday – Pat and Brian McDonough
  • Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Lindsay Bradley
  • Wednesday – Patsy Rafferty                                     
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday -Funeral Mass for Celia Morley – Diocesan Covid protocols apply
  • 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 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 Lindsay Bradley and,
  • Celia Morley who has died. May she rest in peace

 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 155,317 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 the Ukraine

Pope Francis invites us to pray for peace in the Ukraine. 

“May the Lord grant that the Ukraine may grow in the spirit of brotherhood and that all wounds, fears and divisions will be overcome. Amen.”

Bishop Robert asks that we maintain the current Diocesan Covid Protocols in our Churches

We received an update from Bishop Robert last Friday (28th January) on the Covid protocols to be followed in our own Diocese until his next review at the end of February. Given the prevailing transmission rate of Covid-19 in the region, the Bishop asks that no changes are made to our current protocols.

So we ask that face coverings continue to be worn in St. Patrick’s Church unless you are medically exempt.  You are also asked to maintain social distancing from others in your bench, unless you are from the same household or bubble. Sanitising your hands as you enter and leave the Church is also good practice. 

An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project

Thank you for continuing to respond so positively to this Appeal which 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, 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.

Thank you

Fr. Patterson wishes to express his gratitude for donations of £100.00 and £40.00 received during the past week for St. Patrick’s Church Funds.

St. Alban’s Church

Sadly, we are still not in a position to reopen St. Alban’s Church whilst Covid restrictions are in place as we do not have sufficient volunteers to comply with the protocols required to make the church Covid safe.

Once the restrictions are removed, before we are able to open the church, we will need volunteers who will be prepared to fulfil the roles outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May, 2021. If you do not have a copy, please email or telephone 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.

At the earliest opportunity, Fr. Patterson will invite those parishioners who are prepared to fulfil the necessary roles to meet together to discuss the way forward. Just before Christmas, Bishop Robert closed all parish centres, halls and meeting places until further notice because of the rapid spread of Omicron in the region. Once the situation changes Fr. Patterson will be in a position to arrange a meeting.

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

Get vaccinated. Get boosted!

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has echoed the call encouraging people to take up Covid vaccinations and boosters when offered by the NHS. “The call ‘Get vaccinated! Get boosted!’ is more and more pressing.”

Pope Francis also urges us to do so.

ZOE Covid weekly update  looks at what a sore throat may be telling you

In this week’s COVID-19 update, Professor Tim Spector  looks at the newly discovered Omicron variation BA.2, as well as the latest data from the ZOE app on rates of reinfection, and duration of COVID symptoms!

In a separate blog, the updated symptoms of Omicron are discussed.

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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