Christian Celtic Cross (18Kb)

(Part of the St Benedict Partnership of Parishes)

Deacon: Rev. Peter Lavery.
Telephone: (0191) 410 2530. Mobile: 07743 807 312. Email:


Go to ongoing Parish Events
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(Please notify the Webmaster by email: or telephone him on: (0191) 410 9852 of any changes to the meetings or events below)
Sunday - 17th June 2018 SVP - Meet in the Presbytery at 11.00 am every 2nd Sunday of the month. New members are always welcome.
Monday Womens' Guild - Meet as usual on the Parish Centre.
 Monday: Youth Club - is open from 6.30 - 8.00 pm for Y3 - Y7. The Youth Leader is Chris Cowie (tel: 07411438787).  Click Here: to view our Facebook page of Youth Club activities.
Tuesday: Catholic Mens' Society -
Tuesday: Parish Centre Management Committee - Management Committee postponed to 26th.
Tuesday: Rosary is said at 9.00am, in St Joseph's Church (during term time).
2nd Birtley Rainbows: meet at 5.30 - 6.30 pm in the Parish Centre.  
2nd Birtley Brownies: meet at 6.00 - 7.30 pm in the Parish Centre.  
All enquiries for new Girl Guide members may be made through Guide Headquarters: or telephone 0800 169 5901.
Wednesday: Young Mothers' Guild - Games Night
Thursday: PM Club -
1st Birtley Guides: Meet at 7.00 - 8.30 pm in the Parish Centre. Guide Leader: Jackie O'Sullivan, tel:(0191) 370 1654
Friday: Parish Centre - Monthly Quiz on the First Friday of every month, at 8.00 pm. £1 per person.

New members to the groups are always welcome......................

In the Parish Centre every Sunday morning at 11.00 am (after the 10.00 am Mass) - in support of various parish & other charities.
All are Welcome!

Please email the Webmaster with the details, if you have an event you would like shown on this page.


Marriage Care helps couples and individuals to build and sustain strong, healthy relationships as well as providing counselling in times of difficulties.  If you are willing to offer your time and commitment you can find more information on the poster at the rear of the Church or visit or contact Deacon Peter Lavery on (0191) 410 2530.


For the latest information about 'Forward Together in Hope' (FTH) and for access to the range of resources, please visit

To contact one of the 'Forward Together in Hope' (FTH) team, (Jim O’Keefe, Tony Sacco and Nancy Gash) e-mail: or phone (0191) 243 3304.

To read the input by Parishioners of St Joseph's of Birtley, click on the above link: 'Parish Questionnaire'.

Thanks to all who attended the two meetings on Wednesday, 13th July 2016, in the Parish Centre to discuss the current position of the FTH project.  Parishioners contributions and views have been very helpful.  Copies of the Bishop's letter and the 'Imagine New Ways' leaflet, with a tear off section for your use, are at the back of the Church if you have anything further you would like to say.

The FTH Team have now submitted their observations on the Parish Questionnaire we completed at the end of 2015.  A full copy of their observations and the parish profile can be read by clicking on the two links at the top left of the 'homepage' of the parish website.

FTH - PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL: A partnership proposal for St Joseph's to form a partnership with St Bede's, Sacriston, and St Cuthbert's, Chester-le-Street, has been submitted to the Diocese.  You can read the full proposal by following this link: Partnership proposal (.pdf) or from the link(s) on the homepage.

On Thursday 9th February 2017 - 18 new partnerships have been announced within the Diocese; our Parish forms a partnership with the following parishes: St Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street, St Mary, Easington Lane, St Michael, Houghton-le-Spring, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Penshaw, St Bede, Sacriston, Our Blessed Lady Immaculate, Washington, St Bede, Washington, and St John Boste, Washington.  There is a message from the Bishop and a map of our partnership area on the notice board at the back of the Church - It is also available on the Diocesan website:

Tuesday 11th July 2017 - Feast of St Benedict - an Inaugural Mass - for our partnership with other parishes will be held here, at 7.00 pm, in St Joseph's Church, Birtley. Parishioners from our partnership parishes are invited to attend and take part.  Afterwards there will be a social evening in the Parish Centre. Click here: to print-off a poster.

Tuesday 19th September 2017 - Journey of Faith - the next 'Journey of Faith' will begin with an information evening at 7.45 pm in the Parish Centre.  Everyone is welcome, including existing Parishioners who wish to deepen their Catholic Faith and also those who are enquiring and searching for Faith.

Wednesday 18th October - Journey of Faith - this will begin at 6.00 pm in Caroline's Library at St Benet's School.  If you wish to join, please contact Deacon Peter Lavery, telephone: (0191) 410 2530.

Sunday 24th December 2017 - Partnership Development Group - Mick Davison has been elected as the Lay Chair for the group so there is now a vacancy on the group for the parish representative.  If anyone is interested in the role, then speak to Mick for more information.


Volunteers are needed to help with the garden around the Church - mainly helping to cut the grass. The garden behind the Presbytery could be avilable for an allotment.  Can you help please?


In 2016, the Government promised to lift the 50% cap on faith admissions for new religious schools in England saying the cap was unfair to the Catholic community.

The Conservative party even included a commitment to remove the cap in its manifesto. Our bishops would like as many Catholics as possible to contact the Secretary of State for Education urging her not to break the Government’s promise.

You can write to the Secretary of State (copying in your local MP) by clicking on this link:

  • Friday 5th January 2018 - Monthly Quiz - will be held from this date, at 8.00 pm, on the first Friday of every month, in the Parish Centre. Entry is £1 per person and all entry fees will be paid out in prize money ....... so bring your friends and have a grand night out.
  • Sunday 7th January 2018 - Preparatory Session for Confirmation - wil be held at 5.30 pm in the Parih Centre. Everyone from Year 9 and above, including adults who wish to be confirmed, are invited,
  • Sunday 14th January 2018 - Parish Pastoral Council Meeting - will be held at 7.00 pm in the Presbytery.

    When changes to admissions arrangements are intended all schools are required to consult before these are determined and published.  The policy for consultation for each of our parish schools for 2019 - 2020 is available on their websites (click on any of the three links below):

    The consultation will run from until Monday 22nd January 2018.
    A consultation response form is available by request from each school and the governing bodies will consider all comments before they determine the arrangements for 2019 - 2020.

  • Sunday 21st January 2018 - Confirmation Preparation Meeting - the next meeting will be at 5.30 pm in the Parish Centre. Please bring your baptismal candles and a photograph of yourself as a baby.
  • Wednesday 24th January 2018 - Christian Unity - will be a day of prayer and celebrated in each of Birtley's Christian Churches as follows:
    8.00 am in St John's Church,
    12.00 Noon in the Methodist Church,
    3.00 pm here in St Joseph's Church,
    7.00 pm in the Community Church, Edward Road, Birtley.  Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be served afterwards at each venue.
  • Thursday 25th January 2018 - CAFOD - Kevin Haigh will be meeting CAFOD supporters from St Benedicts Partnership - if anyone would like to join him, please call Kevin on (0191) 410 2779.
  • Saturday 27th January 2018 - Afternoon Tea - will be served in the Parish Centre at 2.30 pm - there will be a variety of sandwiches, cakes, cream scones etc. Call or text 0779 024 7214 to book your place.
  • Thursday 1st February 2018 - Jazz in Birtley - in the Parish Centre from 8.00 - 11.00 pm. Music by the Rae Brothers (23 years of Jazz in Birtley), so bring along your dancing shoes for trad jazz at its best. £3.00 for guests. Members £2.50.
  • Sunday 4th February 2018 - Confirmation Preparation Meeting - will be at 5.30 pm in the Parish Centre.

    The Parish Centre is open at all times for your special occasions.  Why not make use of your own Parish Centre venue?

    The Parish Centre is open at all times for your special occasions: engagement parties, weddings, baptisms, funerals and so on. Why not make use of your OWN parish venue? There is a link on the parish web site above to the 'Parish Centre', or click on the live link in the line below.

    Please note that the Parish Centre has its own new website (click here to view it): where you can find out about all the facilities and events that the Parish Centre has to offer.

  • Saturday/Sunday - 10th - 11th February 2018 -Let the Children Live - Fr Joseph Walters, Founder of 'Let the Children Live' will visit the parish this weekend and speak at all Masses, he will also be making a presentation in the Parish Centre on Saturday evening (10th February). This is a fgood opportunity to see what is being done for the street children of Colombia by Fr Walters and his team.
  • Sunday 11th February 2018 - Parish Pastoral Council Meeting will be at 7.00 pm in the Presbytery.
  • Wednesday 14th February 2018 - Ash Wednesday - is the 1st Day of Lent and is a day of fasting and abstinence. Ashes will be distributed in Church today.
    Lenten Talks - will be held on Tuesday evenings in the Parish Centre after the 7.00 pm evening Mass, from 7.45 pm - 9.00 pm, with six Guest Speakers:
    Tuesday, 13th March 2018, Deacon Peter Lavery will lead an evening of Reflection on the theme 'Love One Another' - reaching out as we seek to be Christ like in all our relationships.
    Tuesday, 20th March 2018, Dr Kathryn Mannix, Palliative Care Consultant at the RVI will share with us, at 7.45 pm, in the Parish Centre, her understanding of of he Ministry of Consolation.
    Tuesday 27th March 2018, Fr Jim O'Keefe, following his recent pilgrimage to El Salvador, will speak about Archbishop Oscar Romero.

    Stations Of The Cross - will be led by various parish groups at 7.00 pm on Thursday evenings and at 2.30 pm on Friday afternoons during Lent.

  • Sunday 18th February 2018 - St Mary's Cathedral Welcoming - Bishop Seamus will welcome ten members of our 'Journey of Faith' program, as they enter the final months of their preparation for Baptism and Confirmation after Easter.
  • Friday 23rd February 2018 - is a CAFOD Lent Fast Day and also a Family Fast Day, a day of Special Prayer for the needy & hungry of the world.
  • Sunday 25th February 2018 - Holy Hour - Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament & Benediction will be at 3.00 pm, followed by afternoon tea in the Parish Centre.
  • Tuesday 27th February 2018 - Being A Young Disciple - after the 7.00 pm Mass, some of our young people will explore how we can work together to build up the Church. See the poster in th back of he Church.
  • Tuesday 6th March 2018 - Walking Jesus Last Days - on this evening Sister Sheila McNamara RSJC will lead an evening of reflection using images, music, silence and words to enable us to enter the familiar story of the Passion with fresh eyes. All are welcome.
  • Sunday 11th March 2018 - Parish Pastoral Council Meeting will be at 7.00 pm in the Presbytery.
    Birtley Churches Together

    Prayers for Birtley at 10.00 am every Monday in the Lady Chapel of St Joseph's RC Church.

  • Sunday 18th March 2018 - Altar Servers wishing to serve at the Confirmation Mass are invited to practice after today's 10.00 am Mass.
  • Sunday 18th March 2018 - Cards & Gifts - for our First Holy Communion children will be available in the Parish Centre after the 10.00 am Mass.
  • Wednesday 21st March 2018 - Confirmations - Bishop Seamus Cunningham will be here to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please make a note of the date and come and support the young people of our parish taking this imprtant step in their faith journey.  Everyone from School Year 9 and above to adults are invited . Altar Servers wishing to serve at the Confirmation Mass are invited to practice after the 10.00 am Mass on Sunday 18th March 2018.
  • Thursday 22nd March 2018 - Service of Reconcliation - everyone in the Benedict Partnership is invited to a Service of Reconciliation at 7.00 pm in St John Boste Church, Washington. For further information and/or transport, please contact Deacon Peter Lavery.
  • Friday 23rd March 2018 - World Day of Prayer (Birtley Churches Together) - will be held at 2.00 pm in the Communitiy Church, Edward Road, Birtley, Tyne & Wear. This Friday the service will be celebrated in 170 countries and islands throughout the world, with some 6000 services taking place in the UK. Birtley Churches Together invite you to join them in this great network of prayer. Everyone is welcome.
  • Sunday 25th March 2018 - Palm Sunday.
  • Sunday 25th March 2018 - Lourdes Youth Group - invite you this Palm Sunday to their Annual Afternoon Tea in the Parish Centre from 3.00 - 5.00 pm  Tickets cost £3.50 and can be obtained from Hannah Bartlett, Christine Johnson & Margaret Taylor.  Any contributions for a tombola and raffle will be gratefully received.
  • Sunday 25th March 2018 - Parish Amnesty Service - will be held in the Church at 5.00 pm.
  • Thursday 5th April 2018 - Jazz in Birtley - Maureen Hall & The Rendezvous Jazz Band - in the Parish Centre from 8.00 - 11.00 pm. Trad Jazz at its best, so bring along your dancing shoest. Admission: £5..
  • Sunday 8th April 2018 - Parish Pastoral Council Meeting - will be held in the Presbytery at 7.00 pm.
  • Sunday 22nd April 2018 - PARISH FINANCE COMMITTEE – The next meeting is at 7.00pm in the Presbytery.
  • Wednesday 25th April 2018 - Journey of Faith - Nine candidates from the programme will be baptised/confirmed and received into Full Communion during Holy Mass in Church at 6.30 pm. Please come along and and welcome this group into our parish family.
  • Friday 27th April 2018 - SOCIAL NIGHT IN AID OF CAFOD - in the Parish Centre with the fantstic live band "Second Wind". Tickets £5 from Kevin Haigh or Jim Tumelty.
  • Sunday 29th April 2018 - Fr Tony Duffy - Retires. At 10.00 am, Fr Tony Duffy said his last Mass as the parish priest at St Joseph's Church, Birtley, as he retires from the priesthood following a lifetime's vocation to the Church and his Parishioners. A sad day for him and those who know him but he leaves knowing he has the grateful thanks from many people for his dedication and service to the Parish and Diocese.
  • Tuesday 1st May 2018 - Pastoral Council AGM - will be held in the Parish Centre at 7.45 pm during the Feast of St Joseph The Worker. The agenda will include a discussion about the number and timing of Masses in the Benedict Partnership.
  • Thursday 3rd May 2018 - Jazz in Birtley - to the 'Mississippi Dreamboats' - come along and enjoy a great night out to live music in the Parish Centre from 8.00 - 11.00 pm. Trad Jazz at its best, so bring along your dancing shoes. Admission: £5.
  • Saturday 5th May 2108 - Celebration of Marriage - Bishop Seamus invites everyone to join him, at 11.00 am, in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, to give thanks for the Sacrament of Marriage. More information on the poster at the back of the Church or contact Deacon Peter Lavery on (0191) 410 2530.
  • Saturday 5th May 2018 - Special Pastoral Council Meeting - with clergy from the Benedict Partnership will be held at 2.00 pm in the Presbytery.
  • Monday 7th May 2018 - Partnership Walk - there is another 'Partnership Walk' being organised for the early May Bank Holiday - more details and lists, to sign up, are at the back of the Church. There was a great turn-out from Birtley for the last 'Partnership Walk', please sign up today either to walk or help with the welcome and refreshments.
  • Saturday 12th May 2018 - First Holy Communions - will be celebrated at 10.00 am in Church by the children of St Benet's School. Please pray for those children who are about to celebrate their First Holy Communion.
  • Sunday 13th May 2018 - World Communications Day - we are encouraged to pray for all those professionals who work in the field of communications.  A particular intention for prayer is for those who are responsible for communicating on behlf of the Catholic Church in this country.
  • Sunday 13th May 2018 - Parish Pastoral Council Meeting - will be held in the Presbytery at 7.00 pm.
  • Saturday 19th May 2018 - First Holy Communions - will be celebrated at 10.00 am in Church by the children of St Joseph's School. Please pray for those children who are about to celebrate their First Holy Communion.
  • Tuesday 29th May 2018 - Prayers for Birtley - will be held at 10.00 am in the Community Church, Birtley.
  • Saturday 2nd June 2018 - Apostleship of the Sea - a Day of Prayer and Pilgrimage to Holy Island. For details please see the poster on display in the Church.
  • Saturday - Sunday 2nd - 3rd June 2018 - Body & Blood of Christ - our Ministers of Communion will renew their commitment to serve our parish community.
  • Tuesday 5th June 2018 - Planning For Fr Tony's Retirement Celebration - a meeting will be held in the Parish Centre, at 7.30 pm, to plan for Fr Tony's retirement celebration. Anyone interested in helping with the catering is invited to this meeting. Contact: Margaret Taylor, telephone: (0191) 410 0776.
  • Thursday 7th June 2018 - Jazz in Birtley - by Bob Wade's 'Classic Swing' - 23 years of Jazz in Birtley so come along and enjoy a great night out to live music in the Parish Centre from 8.00 - 11.00 pm. Trad Jazz at its best, so bring along your dancing shoes. Admission: £5.
  • Saturday 9th June 2018 - Mass for the Sick & Housebound - will be celebrated in Church at 2.30 pm, followed by a social event in the Parish Centre. Letters of Invitation are available for Eucharistic Ministers are located at the back of the Church.
  • Sunday 10th June 2018 - Holy Hour - will be celebrated in Church at 3.00pm, with an hour of Adoration before The Blessed Sacrament with Benediction. Afterwards there will be an Afternoon Tea in the Parish Centre. Everyone is welcome.
  • Tuesday - Sunday, 12th - 17th June 2018 - Ushaw Flower Festival - promises to be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some fantastic displays set within the stunning setting of Ushaw College. Pauline Lavery, who arranges our own Church flowers, is creating one of the displays and would be delighted to arrange a parish outing, perhaps with afternoon tea. If you are interested call Pauline on telephone: (0191) 410 2530.
  • Saturday/Sunday 16th - 17th June2018 - 'Day for Life' - Over this weekend the 'Day for Life' will remember all those who are suffering or have survived human trafficking and modern slavery. 'Day for Life' is celebrated yearly by the Catholic Church in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The proceeds of the special collection this weekend is used for the promotion of the dignity of the human person.
  • Sunday 17th June 2018 - Fr Tony Duffy's Anniversary - is the 56th anniversary of Father Tony’s ordination - please remember Father Tony in your prayers, giving thanks for his years of service and asking God to bless him with a happy and rewarding retirement.
  • Friday 22nd June 2018 - Fr Tony Duffy's Retirement Celebration - starts with a Concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving at 6.30 pm in the Church when we join Father Tony, his family and friends to give thanks for his priesthood including the last thirty year service here in St Joseph’s. Afterwards there is a Social Evening on the Parish Centre. The evening will reflect on Fr Tony's 30 years in the the Parish, with an exhibition of photographs, entertainment and a buffet supper. Everyone is welcome. If you have any photographs of Fr Tony's time in Birtley we would love to use them in the exhibition. Please email digital photographs to or if you have non-digital photographs please put them in an envelope marked 'Exhibition Photographs' and post them through the Presbytery letter-box (remember to include your name & address so we can return the photographs to you).
  • Saturday/Sunday 23rd/24th June 2018 - Diocesan Festival 2018 - at the Emmaus Youth Village, Consett. Activities for everyone, adults, familes, young people and children. Full details and booking forms are in leaflets at the back of the Church.
  • Sunday 1st July 2018 - St Benet's Summer Fayre' - (12.00 –3.00pm). Tickets: £1.00 (adults) & 50p (children & concessions) can be purchased from the school office.
  • Saturday 1st September 2018 - Cafod Holy Island Pilgrimage - details to follow later but in the meantime please save the date to your diaries.
  • Saturday 8th September 2018 - Adoremus - this is a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage & Congress to be held in the Liverpool Echo Arena. It will include Holy Mass, Keynote Speakers and a drama highlighting the beauty of reverance and devotion.  Each parish has been allocated two tickets and St Benedict's Partnership will pay for the entry tickets and for transport.  Contact Deacon Peter Lavery for further information.
  • Saturday 6th October 2018 - Autumn Fayre - we look forward to our usual stalls and will arrange a meeting to discuss any new ideas.

    In October 2018, Bishops will gather in Rome to consider "Young People, Faith & Vocational Discernment". In preparation the Bishops of England & Wales would like to hear from young people and those regularly in contact with them.  If you are aged 13 - 29 please take part in the Mega-Youth Poll at:
    Parents, Teachers, Catechists and Youth Leaders can participate at

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If one of your family is in hospital and you want the Chaplain to visit them, you must ask the Ward Sister specifically for the On-Call Roman Catholic Chaplain.
(The Hospital Trust claim that, under the Data Protection Act, they are not allowed to divulge a person's religion even to the Chaplains).
The Hospital Chaplains' telephone numbers are:
Durham - (0191) 333 2333. Gateshead - (0191) 482 0000. Newcastle - (0191) 233 6161.
In an Emergency ask the Ward Sister to contact the 'On-call' RC Chaplain.


Is a fund run by the Secular Priests themselves - it goes back to about 1600 - which also helps sick Priests.

Please make a donation to this fund, monthly by Direct Debit, if possible. In return you get lots of prayers and Masses!


Your support is also required for sick and retired Priests please? There are leaflets at the back of the Church - donations can be by the Gift Aid Scheme whereby we can reclaim tax of 28p for every £1 donated at no extra cost to the Donator.

Spiritual Development and Formation for All.
Current and forthcoming diocesan formation courses and events are open to all
Click here for
Course details then click on 'Courses'.

There are some posters at the back of the church advertising various talks and courses. Please take time to have a look at them.

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