Our Church Our Lady & St.Cuthberts RC Church
Church Hill
County Durham DL15 9DN
Tel: 01388 762724
Sanctuary Not only do we have a magnificent church, the first of Edward Pugin's designs, with its altar designed by John Francis Bently (later architect of Westminster Cathederal) and its impressive stained glass window, provided by he renowned Hardman and Co., but we are blessed each week with an organist and choir providing beautiful music to enhance and enliven our worship.

The busy cycle of our parish social activity is one of interwoven actions, spiritual, liturgical, evangelical, ecumenical and practical, continuing unceasingly by a caring, dedicated community.

It is a cycle centered on the daily celebration of the Eucharist, the Sunday Eucharist being the high point of the week, when we come together as a family.

From the lighting of the first Advent candle at the beginning of the Church’s year, through to the great feast of Christ the King, our Sunday liturgy reflects the changing seasons.

Parishioners of all ages come together to form rotas to read at Mass, to compose and read bidding prayers, to carry the offertory gifts, to help the children with their special liturgy, to clean the church, decorate it with flowers and to welcome visitors. Members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul arrange and finance taxis to bring in some of our elderly or less able parishioners. Our many Eucharistic ministers take Holy Communion out from Mass to comfort and console the sick, disabled and house-bound, above all uniting them with the parish family each Sunday morning.

The Ladies Group meets monthly to discuss where they can be of benefit in the parish and also to arrange social and spiritual events. A Justice and Peace group operates within the parish. Being a Fair Trade parish regular Traidcraft sales take place.

Our Bible Study Group meets each week to prepare our Sunday Liturgy of the Word.

A weekly bulletin keeps everyone up to date with all of the news and events.

Preparing the church for the celebration of the birth of Christ is a happy social event. Banners are hung, flowers arranged, carols practiced, Christmas tree decorated and our beautiful life size crib erected. Children love to visit the crib and spot the three Kings on their way, suitably placed at the far side of the church. As we move toward the Epiphany so they are moved ever nearer to the crib.

Parish Photo

In the darkness of Christmas Eve the babe is carried in and placed in the straw by the priest. He blesses the crib and then to the sound of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’, we begin our celebration of Christ’s birth. On Christmas morning the children celebrate the birth of Jesus with their own special Mass during which they perform a nativity play. The S.V.P. distribute food parcels and hampers to ensure that all have a happy Christmas.

As the twelve days of Christmas pass, our thoughts turn to a New Year. Parish groups meet to plan and prepare year’s activities. When our Parish Priest, Father Gordon Ryan, came to our parish in 2009, assisted by our deacon Rev Michael Rowell, we took a fresh look at the various roles of parishioners and how we can be more effective in all areas. Two lay-leaders were appointed to help.


In 1975, in his Evangelii Mountain. Pope Paul VI stated:

"The question of how to evangelise is permanently relevant because the methods of evangelising vary according to the different circumstances of time, place and culture and because thereby present a certain challenge to our capacity for discovery and adaptation. On us........rest the responsibility for reshaping with boldness and wisdom, but in complete fidelity to the content of evangelisation, the means that are most suitable and effective for communication the gospel message to the men and women of our times."

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Bishop Ambrose greets parishoners after a recent confirmation ceremony.

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