Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Year of Faith (October 2012 to November 2013)


The “Year of Faith” begins on 11th October 2012. In his Pastoral Letter for this weekend (30th September 2012), Bishop Seamus tells us “it is my personal belief that this coming Year of faith will be an opportunity for a personal rediscovery and growth in the faith.”

Fr Lawrence and Fr Jim are offering you these opportunities for you to grow in your faith:

For Year 9 upwards “Plugged In” is for you. Starting on Wednesday 17th October in the presbytery at 7.00pm. Here is a preview:

For adults – Catholics and anyone who wants to know what Catholic’s believe – “Believe – Reflections on the Creed” –  starts Thursday 18th October at 7.00pm in the church hall and also immediately after Mass on Thursday 18th October. Here is a preview:

Don’t forget – the Alpha Course begins on Wednesday 3rd October at 9.00am in the presbytery. Click Here for more details.


Prayers please!

Please pray for the residents of Morpeth and other places who’s houses and businesses have being flooded by the recent deluge. For some it is the second time in four years. Morpeth suffers again!

A Prayer…

Father, hear our prayer for the victims of this flooding. Preserve every person from harm, strengthen and console them in this trial, and help them to rebuild their lives, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Mother Mary, pray for them.

Oldgate this morning (Tuesday 25th September):

St Robert’s Parish Pilgrimage to Holy Island on 22nd September

“The Most Holy Place in England”

For the second year running, the pilgrims from St Robert’s had glorious weather for their pilgrimage to Holy island. Fr Lawrence says that the sun always shines on his pilgrimages.

Lindisfarne – known as “Holy Island” because of the many saints who have lived their. It is known as “The Cradle of Christianity” to English speaking people.  St Aidan and his monks came here from Iona on the west coast of Scotland in 635AD to preach the Gospel. On the night of St Aidan’s death in 651AD  a teenage Anglo Saxon named Cuthbert saw a vision of  Aidan being escorted to heaven. Cuthbert took this as a sign that he should enter the monastic life. He became the bishop of Lindisfarne and a great leader of the English church. After his death the famous Lindisfarne Gospels were dedicated to him, his body remained incorrupt,  miracles occurred at his shrine, multitudes came to it, which is why Alcuin, the great scholar to the court of the Emperor Charlemagne,   wrote that Lindisfarne was ‘the most holy place in England’ and a king declared it should be known as Holy Island. In 793 Lindisfarne became the first place to be destroyed by Viking invasions. Cuthbert’s shrine ended up at Durham Cathedral, and the Benedictine Community there built a daughter priory on Lindisfarne about 1150, the remains of which are still standing.

Christians have been making pilgrimages to Holy Island for over fourteen hundred years. Pilgrimages are good for the soul. They go back to the very beginnings of human existence. The Bible is full of people going on pilgrimage. Jesus himself made many pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the Passover and other Jewish festivals. Why go on pilgrimage? The Pope tells us that “a pilgrimage reminds us that we have no permanent place on earth but are rather on a journey to the heavenly city (Heb 13:14).” A Pilgrimage helps us to understand that we are on a journey to God. When we go on pilgrimage we take time out of our regular routine and we give time to God. It is very true that we do not have to go to a special place to find God. We can find him at home whenever we pray. However, our human spirit seems to benefit from stepping out of our regular routine and doing something different. This is exactly what Jesus was saying in the Gospel when he said to his Apostles  “You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while.” Holy Island is a place of peace and refreshment where many people have discovered God in a new way.

On Holy Island we feel very close to the beauty of creation just like the Celtic monks  who settled here in 635AD and lived very close to nature and felt a great affinity to the sea and the land and to the God who made them.

This is a pictorial presentation of our pilgrimage:

Those who were able  followed the ancient Pilgrims Way across the sands:

When we arrived on the island we had a most glorious picnic and then celebrated Mass in St Aidan’s Catholic Church.

Please click and keep clicking to enlarge the picture.


St Robert of Newminster Newsletter for 16th September 2012 plus information about the venues for Mass and the forthcoming Alpha Course.

CLICK HERE  for information about the Alpha Course beginning on Wednesday 3rd October.

Remember the venues for Mass this Sunday – 16th September and until the end of November:

9.00am at St George’s, Bridge Street and 11.00am and 7.00pm in St Robert’s School Hall.

CLICK HERE for St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 16th September 2012

Restoration & Reordering: Weeks 2-3

On Sunday 26th August all three Masses were celebrated at St George’s URC on Bridge Street.  9am Mass began with some words of welcome from the minister, Ron Foster, who spoke warmly of his fondness for Catholic liturgy and presented Fr Lawrence with the order of service from a Solemn Latin Mass he had recently attended!

St George’s set up for Mass:

Mass at 9am continues to be celebrated at St George’s but at 11am and 7pm we are now in St Robert’s school hall.  We are very grateful to the headmistress and staff of St Robert’s First School, especially the caretaker, for giving his time on a Friday evening to set out chairs for us.  Meanwhile, in the last two weeks work in the church has progressed, beginning with the removal of the statues and protection being applied to the floor so that scaffolding could be erected.

Although they have now been transferred to a secure location to await cleaning, the statues were initially arrayed around the high altar like a phalanx of holy warriors:

Preparations complete, scaffolding is now being erected and restoration work will begin properly next week.

Scaffolding from the West end:

Scaffolding from the East (sanctuary) end:

Until the church reopens in Advent it is an official building site – for your safety please DO NOT ENTER the site. 

Please continue to pray for the successful and timely completion of the restoration and reordering of our church.  Pray especially this week for our success at the Historic Churches Committee meeting on Wednesday 12th, when our proposal to use the altar rails to adorn the high altar will be considered once again.

Addendum (Wednesday 12th September): The Historic Churches Committee was not quorate when it met and so the decision was postponed to another meeting.

In the coming months we can take consolation in the presence of Christ among his people presented in this beautiful window at St George’s based on Mt 14.27.

The disciples are in a boat on the sea of Galilee and are experiencing difficulty because of a storm. Jesus comes towards them walking on the lake and he says to them:

  “Take heart; it is I; Be not afraid”

St Robert of Newminster, ora pro nobis!