Our Lady of Lourdes, Shotton Colliery                                                 

Partnership of St. Mary the Virgin  Parish Priest: Rev. Frank McCullagh Tel. 0191 5812368

Parish Contact:  Mrs. Norma Musgrave Tel. 0191 5262965      Baptism Contact: Eileen Stephenson Tel. 0191 5267866

School Parish Link: Charlotte Carr Tel. 07538258781


Rev. Frank McCullagh at St. Mary Magdalen Seaham Harbour Telephone 0191 5812368

Pastoral Letter of Bishop Robert Byrne CO for distribution in Holy Week 2020

 My dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

I especially wanted to write to you as we begin Holy Week facing the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. I want to assure you that all the clergy and faithful are uppermost in my thoughts and prayers. Without doubt we are living in challenging times but we should see this as an opportunity to have an ever-deeper faith and trust in the Lord. In these days of Holy Week, we unite ourselves more earnestly to the sufferings of the Lord on the Cross and wait with him for the glorious day of the Resurrection and new life.

At this time, we normally look forward to participating in the events of our Lord’s death and resurrection through the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum. Sadly, this year we are unable to do so. Instead we unite ourselves spiritually with the whole Church in our homes. We can do this in several ways. I would encourage all those who are able to read the texts of the Holy Week liturgies and to pray the Liturgy of the Hours or the Holy Rosary. We can also make a Spiritual Communion which prayerfully expresses our faith in Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament. There are a number of spiritual resources on our diocesan website to help you do this. Thanks to modern technology we can also join with our Cathedral and other churches in the diocese and elsewhere which are live-streaming the ceremonies. In these ways we are able to deepen our unity with our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are suffering with us and sometimes in a worse situation.

A number of people have asked about the Sunday Mass obligation and the requirement to make our Easter duties of receiving Holy Communion and confessing our sins. By decree of the President of the Bishops’ Conference of 18th March 2020, the Bishops of England and Wales have dispensed with the Sunday obligation to attend Mass for the time being and also, for this year, the requirement to receive Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Reconciliation at Easter or thereabouts. The Bishops have asked that all should make a Perfect Act of Contrition at this time. This requires us to be contrite of heart for what we have done, know and be overwhelmed by the love and mercy of God for his children, and to approach this grace with humility and resolution not to sin again. …..

Many of us are bewildered by the situation in which we find ourselves. Normal life has ceased by the unprecedented measures which all of us have a duty to undertake in order to contain and stop this threat to life. Nonetheless our Catholic faith remains a vital comfort and support to us now and as we face the future. We can sustain our life of prayer by the reading of the Scriptures, praying the Rosary, novenas and litanies and using the social media to keep ourselves connected in the communion of faith.

I want to say a special word to those who are preparing to be baptized or received into full communion with the Church at the Easter Vigil. I had the pleasure of meeting many of you at the Rite of Election on the 1st Sunday of Lent. I witnessed then the excitement and enthusiasm that you had at taking this great step in your journey of faith. I am sorry that you are unable to continue this journey as you planned. I assure you that your baptism or reception will take place as soon as possible. In the meantime, please see the delay as an opportunity to deepen your love and trust in the Lord. His grace continues to work in our lives whatever the circumstances.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all those who are doing so much to support our local communities and parishes. I want to thank especially our NHS staff and all those who have care of the sick. You are doing a splendid job and we are all deeply grateful to you. Thanks also to our headteachers and staff of the numerous schools that have remained open – your work is an invaluable support to parents working in the NHS and others who are at the forefront of the battle against the Covid-19 virus.

I ask you all to remember the injunction of the Lord to love our neighbour, which has not been suspended! Please have a special care for those who are elderly or vulnerable and be ready to give them a helping hand. Please keep in your prayers those who suffer with the virus and those who care for them and for those who have died.

Although we are more physically separated at this time yet we are united through our faith and in the prayers of our Lady and the saints. Let us find our hope in Christ who is with us in all the trials of our life. Yours devotedly in Christ,  Rt Rev Robert Byrne CO Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle


As you know, all public worship is suspended for the duration of the present crisis. The clergy, will, however, be celebrating the Holy Week and Easter Liturgies in Church, or at home, without the presence of the faithful. Fr John will be conducting the following services during Holy Week:
Palm Sunday - Mass at 10am (at home)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - Mass at 10am (at home)
Holy Thursday - Mass of the Lord's Supper (at home)
Good Friday - Solemn Liturgy  of the Passion  - 3pm (in Church)
Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil and First Mass of the Resurrection - 6pm (in Church)
Easter Sunday - Mass at 10am (at home)

All are warmly invited to associate themselves spiritually with these liturgies at the appropriate times.

Message From Father John          An Actual Spiritual Communion Which May Be Made At Mass Time

In union, dear Lord, with your Priest at every altar of your church where the Mass is being offered today, I desire to offer you Praise and Thanksgiving. I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament. And since I cannot now receive you Sacramentally, I ask you to come Spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, and embrace you with all the affections of my soul. Let me never be separated from you. May the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my Body and Soul unto Everlasting Life.  Amen.

He will be saying a private Mass at home at 10am. each morning. Please text or ring his mobile phone on 07811101704. If you have Prayer Requests or Intentions,  He is also saying Mass Intentions from the Mass book for dates that have been requested.

  CONGRATULATIONS!  and good wishes to Father Frank who celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the
Sacred Priesthood on Palm Sunday (5 April)

Please remember all the members of our Armed Forces in your prayer 

Alternative Parishes St. Mary the Virgin Partnership.

Saturday Vigil Mass New Seaham 4.30pm. Horden 4.30pm. Blackhall 6pm. Shotton 6pm. all cancelled

Sunday Mass Hutton Henry 8.30am.  Seaham Harbour 9.30am. Peterlee 9.30am.  Murton 11am. Thornley 11am. Latin Mass 9am. all cancelled

Your prayers are asked for all the sick and housebound, including; Little Isaac, James and Jude, Steven Briggs, Steven Briggs Snr., Christopher Brown, Kenneth Bruce, Andrew Brydon, Liz Butler, Dennis Champley, Christopher, Anne Conroy, James Cooper, Daniel, Fr. Dickson, Mary Ebblewhite, Connie Evans, Marianne Fairless, Kate Fleming, John Frain & partner Lynsy, Winnie Hudson, Ann Jones, Denise Jones, Dyllis Jones, Marie, Julie McCluskey, Morris, Baby Nancy, Richy, Kenneth Robertson, Mr. Robinson, David Roche, Rose, Sarah, Vera Stanger, Les Thompson, all our sick friends and relatives.


 The Bulletin:  if you would like to share some good news with the parish, please let us know and we can announce it on the Bulletin, also don't forget to check out the notice boards for Diocesan news, courses etc.

Help needed:- Is there any handy persons in the parish that would like to help out with small jobs, just like in your own home small jobs crop up in the church and the presbytery . Please let us know if you maybe able to lend a hand. Thank you.   

Offertory Envelopes :-  Boxes of envelopes for planned giving are available from the back of church. Anyone who has not had envelopes in the past please consider taking a set as this helps us to forecast Parish income over the coming year. If you pay income tax and are not in the Gift Aid Scheme please consider joining as this tax can be claimed back by the Parish thus boosting Parish funds with no extra cost to you. Forms are available at the back of Church. 

Gift Aid Claims During tax year 2018/2019 we claimed back 1975.27 income tax from 8 gift aid members of this parish. If you pay tax and are not a member of the gift aid scheme see Pat Kimmitt or Joanne Musgrave for details.

Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme Tax year 2017/18 the parish claimed 1820.00 from amount collected from cash donated on the weekly collection plate.

Parish Accounts:- A report of the Parish Accounts will be available each month at the back of church. If you have any questions regarding the reports see Pat Kimmitt.

Fund Raising:- If you have any ideas to raise money for the church and would like to organise something please let Norma Musgrave know. We can publicise the event. The parish ladies will be willing to advise you on how to advertise your event.

Church Raffle:-Many thanks to those who supported last months raffle it raised 132.00  for church funds.

Mission Box Holders: The amount realised for the December quarter  was 357.84 this has been forwarded to Mill Hill missionaries in Durham.

First Aider:- Ian Robinson.

ACTIVITIES  Retreats and Courses:- a list of events and courses can be found on the notice board at the back of church.


OTHER MEMBERS Norma Musgrave, Mary Nicholson, Judith Robinson, Charlotte Carr and Father Frank McCullagh. Meetings held Quarterly in the Presbytery.



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