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Thought from Fr. Colm - 30th June 2024

We gather again with Fr. John O’Brien next Saturday, 6th July, to continue with our efforts at forging a way forward for our parish. I am really grateful for all the time and effort so many of you have put into this project. Some excellent ideas and suggestions have emerged from the previous meetings, and perhaps the sense I’m picking up now is for decisions to be made. Let’s do just that.

Whist visiting Accident and Emergency on Thursday night (sadly Ann Close has had another fall), the enormity of the challenge faced by the Health system was all too evident. Patients on trolleys in corridors, staff swiftly moving from patient to patient, frightened faces of the needy and elderly, especially being comforted as best as is humanly possible. A constant, crowded flow of people, multi-ethnic doctors and nurses, and the paramedics delivering, or collecting, as was the case with Ann, whom I was looking for in all the chaos. Yet, from the first point of contact at Reception, to the junior nurse assisting me with locating Ann, “I’m just starting here,” he apologetically said, every overstretched member of the staff was kind and patient. My visit ended when a large and formidable, but gentle, tired looking paramedic interrupted my chat with Ann (humorous as ever despite a broken arm) to prepare her for the late night journey to Bishop Auckland Hospital. I knew Ann was in good hands.

Congratulations to Philip George on the occasion of his 40th Birthday this coming Monday, 1st July. I am sure the whole parish will join me in wishing Philip a very Happy Birthday, and a wonderful celebration.



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