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Thought from Fr. Colm - 7th October

The minutes of the last parish meeting are now available ` . As you will read, Katie Flood bid farewell as it was her last Parish Council Meeting. We hope to bid farewell to Katie formally as a parish and you will also see in this bulletin a note of farewell and thanks from our Social Committee from the parish, Other important issues which arose at our meeting with a gathering pace are the obvious concerns about imminent price rises in energy to many. Some will be very badly hit. Tyne and Wear Citizens, of whom we have been long-standing supporters, are hoping to address this with us and St. Michael’s, Houghton-le-Spring, in a joint effort. We are also opening discussion locally with Gilesgate Warm Spaces in the event of a cold winter. Our Parish Support Fund continues to provide invaluable assistance, so overall, the parish is hoping to rise to the challenges which lie ahead, which will be great. Thanks again to all of you for your continued generosity. Renewal courses are being offered to Eucharistic Ministers from the Diocese. Please give them some consideration. If not with the Diocese, then I think we might need to run one in the parish. Suggestions welcome. The role of Leaders of Word and Communion is going to be vital and shouldn’t be diminished because extra priests are available at the moment to say Mass.

Our buildings are requiring attention and I want to thank our Buildings Committee. The immediate issues are the overgrown trees in St. Joseph’s car park, the green area at St. Bede’s Presbytery, the lighting in St. Godric’s Church, and the damaged car park at St. Joseph’s Presbytery. And all this before we tackle how Redhills Cemetery is to be maintained into the future. All need maintenance. Maintenance needs funding. The five Vatican guidelines for parishes are given an overview on our parish website this week. Finally, music. Covid dealt a deadly blow to choir numbers around the country. Some are rebuilding with gusto. We need more singers, please, especially at St. Godric’s for the 9.00am Sunday Mass. With a choir master of great respect throughout the North-East, let alone the Diocese, we can do much more. Quote from a great musician: “What I try to get beyond is playing music at people and, instead, to play music with people because audience members are constantly part of the experience. What they say in their body language, what they say in their eyes, what they sing with me … it’s an ‘us’, and there is a communication that’s like … it’s like church, man.” Al Jarreau


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