Our worshipping community was established with the construction of the church of Our Lady of Mercy and St. Godric in 1864, in order to help the Church supply extra capacity to St. Cuthbert’s Church for the growing Catholic population of the city. As the City continued to grow, the Church of St. Bede’s was constructed to serve Framwellgate Moor and Newton Hall, and a separate parish was formed when St. Joseph’s Church was built to serve the growing population at Gilesgate. In 2013, due to the reduced number of clergy in our diocese and in order to function more effectively in our ministry, it was decided to merge the Parish of Our Lady of Mercy, St. Godric and St. Bede with the Parish of St. Joseph, under the continued guidance of the Very Rev. Fr. Colm Hayden, who had previously been the parish priest of both parishes. We decided that our new parish would be named in honour of the many Catholics martyred for their faith in Durham during the Protestant Reformation. (You can find more information on the Durham Martyrs here.) Since then we have continued to flourish as one community living out the Gospel not only in our three churches but as one Church across the city joined with our brethren throughout the world in The Holy Catholic Church.
We come together as one community to celebrate the great feasts of Christmas and Easter in St. Leonard’s School, helping us to truly unite to celebrate these great feasts of the liturgical year.
“The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul.” (Acts 4:32)