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Latest news and this weeks devotions


We try to update this page each weekend with information from the church bulletin but it's always best to call ahead for additional details if you are unsure.
12TH July 2020

15th Sunday of the year

In ordinary time

First Reading

Isaiah 55:10-11

Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 64

Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.

Second Reading

Romans 8:18-23

I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. 


Matthew 13:1-23

Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.   He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’ Then the disciples went up to him and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled: You will listen and listen again, but not understand, see and see again, but not perceive. For the heart of this nation has grown coarse, their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, for fear they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted  and be healed by me. ‘But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it. ‘You, therefore, are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the man who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But he has no root in him, he does not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and he falls away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so he produces nothing. And the one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’


Jesus sent his Apostles on thier first mission of their journey. The good news is not something to be kept to ones self, it always invokes an outreach to other people and without this it could not be Christianity. He chose the Apostles for a mission to help spread the goodness of God. He empowered them and sent them out to speak in his name. This is also the mirror of every Christian, they were empowered through Baptism to speak and act in the name of Jesus.
Jesus sent out his Disciples to spread good news, he asked them to get rid of all the useless baggage and human assurances, they must let Christ speak through their words and their actions, they must not rely on their own ability, they must instead rely on the power of Christ to speak through them, and we must, as disciples, allow him to speak through in the same way.

Fr. Bill

Weekly prayer intentions

Prayer is a time to reflect on one's own life, but also to think of others.

Please pray for those who are sick or housebound in our Parishes:

Fr Tony Duffy, Fr Pat McKenna, Fr David Tanner, Brian Copeman, Nita Lax, Mary Brightwell,

Tracey Rankin, Winnie Bilton, Alan Rhys-Evans, Kyna Richardson, Irene Bowater, Kaya Isli, Eugene Bell, Thomas Russell, Joe Porter, Kathleen Hartis, Nathan Pearce, Margaret Leightley, Margaret Smith, Terri Cessford, Kathleen Robinson, Paul Tweddle, Steve Glazebrook, a special little boy and Elizabeth Johnson.  

Please also pray for our recently deceased members fo the Parish:

We pray for the repose of the souls of  Harry Vasey and Fr Michael Hickey who died recently. 

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date when congregations are allowed to gather.

Please pray for diocesan priests whose anniversaries occur this week:

Fr Alan Clarke, Fr Dermot O’Connor, Fr Wilfred Arrowsmith and Fr Patrick McGuigan

This weeks

Mass times , Ministries and intentions 


July 2020


Morning Mass, not to be attended  publicly 





Vigil Mass, not to be attended  publicly 





July 2020


Morning Mass, not to be attended  publicly 





see the notices below for more information

This weeks News and Notices

Please let us know if you would like anything adding to the notices for the coming week.


We have now been asked to get ready to implement preparations for a gradual re-opening of St Michael’s Church for private prayer and reflection only.  A full risk assessment needs to be carried out by the Diocese for St Michael’s to ensure the health and safety of everyone. This assessment will take place in the week commencing Monday 20th July. Following this assessment the Diocese will provide the necessary equipment (including PPE) for a deep clean of the church, and for essential on-going regular cleaning.  The Diocese has produced guidance for the re-opening of churches and full training and guidance will be given.

We can only open Churches with your help and volunteers will be needed for church cleaning initially, and then to act as stewards to ensure social distancing when the church is open.

I am very grateful to those who have already volunteered to assist with cleaning and/or stewarding. If you are not in a ‘vulnerable’ group (that is any person over the age of 70, or any person with an underlying health issue) and would be willing to volunteer to help with cleaning and/or stewarding so that we can      re-open the church please let me know as soon as possible by responding to this e-mail or by calling me on 07977 179 106.   Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions to do with the opening of the partnership churches.              

If all goes to plan it is hoped that St Michael’s church can be opened for private prayer during the week commencing Monday 3rd August. It is not possible yet to give a date for the public celebration of Mass.  However you will see from the following item about St John Boste that the capacity for all churches will initially be very low in order to allow for the required social distancing.   It is important to appreciate that inevitably coming together to celebrate Mass and worship the Lord will look and feel different for all of us.  

Full compliance with Diocesan health and safety regulations and procedures will be required by clergy, employees and volunteers before a church is opened.

St John Boste Church re-opened for private prayer only from Monday 6th July. 

St John Boste church in our Partnership of Benedict was the first partnership church to open and it will be open for private prayer and reflection only at set times: 

Mondays 10am-1pm (the first hour for vulnerable groups – see below)
Wednesdays 5pm-8pm
Fridays 2pm-5pm (the first hour for vulnerable groups – see below)

Due to social distancing measures, there will be a limited capacity in the church. Should the maximum capacity of a church be met, a queueing system will be implemented outside of the Church.

Please note:   "Some people, including those aged 70 and over, those with specific chronic pre-existing conditions and pregnant women, are clinically vulnerable, meaning they are at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. As we begin to ease restrictions, this group who are clinically vulnerable should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their house- hold.

There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to corona- virus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. They are advised to continue shielding to keep themselves safe by staying at home and avoiding gatherings or, if individuals wish to spend time outdoors, to take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping two metres apart at all times."

The Opening of Church for Celebrating Mass 

We are delighted to be able to announce that St John Boste Church can begin public worship again from 10am on Thursday 23rd July 2020.  This means that in a more limited way we can gather again as a Community for the celebration of Holy Mass.  At present the obligation to attend Mass will continue to be relaxed. Thereafter Mass will be celebrated at 10am on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at St John Boste Church. 

The numbers of people able to enter the Church for Mass will be strictly limited according to the two metre rule

Seating arrangements are clearly marked; however, we can only accommodate 40 people in St John Boste Church.  Once this number is reached then no one else will be able to enter. You are encouraged to book weekday Masses as it is expected that Sunday Mass will be over-subscribed. If you would like to attend one of our Masses, you must book a place by following the appropriate link. Note that each link is ONLY ‘live’ one week before the date of the Mass. If you do not have access to the internet, then you can also ring the Parish Administrator on 07562 653778 who is able to advise you the current availability of spaces and book you in.

What can you expect when you attend: Mass will be shorter than usual with no singing. There will also be no Offertory procession, sign of peace or children’s Liturgy.  You will receive Holy Communion in the hand, which can only be distributed by the Celebrant. Hand sanitisers are provided for you to use as you enter and leave the Church and stewards will be on hand to guide people to their places. 

The Offertory collection will not take place, containers will be available next to the doors for your offering.
Live streaming may be in effect during Mass. If you do not wish to be at risk of being filmed, please inform your parish priest or designated person prior to visiting the church.

Please do not come to church if you are displaying any symptoms of the virus.

While things will seem a little different for a while it is wonderful that we are able to gather again as a family of faith to celebrate the Sacraments in a safe and measured way.      Following the opening of St John Boste Church for Mass, we will gradually be opening other churches in our Partnership, probably in the order St Michaels, Houghton; St Bede’s Sacriston; St Josephs, Birtley; St Bede’s, Our Blessed Lady Immaculate, St Cuthbert’s and Our Lady Queen of Peace. This of course, relies the on goodwill of you, our parishioners, to continue to volunteer to clean and steward our churches, and please accept our grateful thanks for your help.  We will publish times and dates for opening as soon as we are able. 

Bible Alive

Kathleen Turnbull has received copies of July’s edition of Bible Alive for distribution but she is unable to deliver them as she is shielded.  If anyone would like their copy please contact Kathleen on 5840344 to arrange to collect it or to have it collected on their behalf.

Mission Boxes

Due to the lockdown restrictions it was not possible to empty the red APF Mill Hill Missionaries boxes in June.  It is hoped that it will be possible to have the boxes emptied in September although obviously this will depend on any restrictions which may be in place at that time.  Watch this space for further updates. 

Helping our Neighbours

In this time of uncertainty, we need to be concerned about the most vulnerable members of our community and do all that we can to help. Many of us will already be caring for family, friends, neighbours and fellow parishioners who need a helping hand and no doubt will continue to do so as long as it’s necessary.
I know many parishioners are reaching out to others by phone calls, texts etc and would I like to thank them for doing so, it is very important to support each other and sustain community during this difficult time. As a parish, we would like to offer help to those who would like some help whether it is in collecting shopping, prescriptions, etc., or just a phone contact to check that all is well. If you are able to offer support, or if you know of someone who would welcome support please contact Deacon Richard at mclaughlinrm@aol.com or on 07977 179 106 and we will do our best to put them in touch with someone who can help them.

Keeping in Touch

We would like to be able to keep in touch with as many people as possible and in the current climate the easiest option to do so is on-line. However, we also know there are some in our community who do not have access to the internet and so we would ask that if you know of someone who may not be on-line but would like to be kept informed please pass the message on. If you have e-mail and would like to receive any further updates please let us have your e-mail address (send to mclaughlinrm@aol.com) and we will ensure you receive any updates directly. Your e-mail address will only be used to forward any updates during the time of the Covid-19 crisis

Hearing Mass over the Phone

During these times when our churches are closed and Masses are being streamed online, the Diocese of Middlesbrough have set up a system to allow people who do not have internet access to listen to Mass over the telephone. If you know of someone who would like to access Mass in this way, please let them know the telephone number to call is 01642 130120. Whenever you dial this number you will hear a Mass from the beginning. Calls are charged at local rate and free if in your included minutes.

Celebrating the Sacraments

Under normal circumstances we would be celebrating the First Holy Communions at this time of year. Due to the restrictions in place, these celebrations, which are celebrations for the whole community, cannot take place until we are able to gather again as a community. Please keep the children and their families in your prayers.
In addition, some couples have had to postpone their weddings due to the restrictions and it has not been possible to celebrate the Sacrament of baptism. Please keep all the families affected by these restrictions in your prayers.

Thanks for checking our bulletin this week

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