Weekly News Sheets

St John’s Church, Neville’s Cross


This Sunday (26th September) there will be a Communion Service in church at 8.45am and a Eucharist in church at 10.30am. The preacher will be The Rev Dr Paul Regan.

Our groups for children and teenagers have fully resumed at the 10.30 service. Please take the opportunity to come back to St John’s and rediscover the dedicated ministry which we offer for and with younger members of our church community, which has been central to who we are as a church for so many years. Please continue pray for Abby and the other leaders/helpers and pray also for others to join them in this rewarding work, to the greater glory of God.

Live streaming of services: We are very sorry that due to a technical problem beyond our control we have not succeeded in broadcasting/recording our 10.30 service on the past two Sundays. Facebook seems to have changed its live-streaming arrangements and is preventing us from broadcasting; we are trying hard to find out why this is the case. We still hope that the 10.30 service will be broadcast live on our Facebook page this Sunday (and, if so, a recording will be uploaded as soon as possible afterwards to our YouTube channel SJNX Online – YouTube); however we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.

Sunday morning services: as of this month we return to the old familiar pattern of two Sunday morning services each week. The 8.45 Communion will be a quieter service, with plenty of space available for people who wish to maintain distance; there will be no singing at this service for the time being. The 10.30 service will include singing, and groups/activities for children and teenagers. Please continue to be sensitive to the needs, approaches and preferences of other people (which may be different from your own); our aim is to uphold the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the whole congregation.

Every Wednesday evening there is a celebration of Holy Communion in church at 6pm: a quiet, reflective service lasting just over half an hour.

During October the Rector will be adjusting to a new pattern of working across three parishes, rather than two. This will involve a degree of stepping back from regular commitments for a month, so as to enable him to re-engage equally across the three churches and communities. As from November, his working week will be founded on a pattern of saying Morning Prayer in each church regularly on different days of the week and being at each church fortnightly for Sunday services. (During October, on the other hand, he will be visiting the threechurches in turn, Sunday by Sunday, meaning that we will be depending on our associated clergy/ministers even more than usual, to take care of the intervening Sundays. Many thanks indeed to them for committing to do this, to help make this transition possible).

Could you help set up for the 8.45 service on Sundays? Since Robert died, the Rector has been preparing the vessels, bread and wine for the 8.45 Communion service on Sundays. Now that he is going to be taking services at Bearpark, he will no longer be able to do this every Sunday. The churchwardens and he would welcome hearing from anyone willing to help do this (hopefully on a rota basis with other people) from November onwards. It will mean that you will need to arrive at least 20 minutes before the service begins and place the items for Communion on the table in the Chancel; then, after the service, you will need to rinse the vessels under hot water, dry them and put them away. It can be a very prayerful and peaceful way to begin a Sunday morning and is way of serving God and the worshipping community of St John’s. Full training will be given; please contact the Rector or churchwardens if interested – and feel free to encourage others likewise.

Hymn books: we are going to start using hymn books again at the 10.30 service. Please leave the hymn books in the pews/seats and avoid touching books that you are not using during the service.

Many thanks to Rachel who has been on placement with the Rector across the two parishes over the past four weeks. Please keep Rachel and her fellow ordinands at Cranmer Hall in your prayers as they prepare for the start of a new academic year.

Messy Church on Sunday 3rd October, 4pm-5pm. If the weather is dry, we will be outside on the Church Field, so wrap up warm and come and have some fun. We will meet inside the church if wet.
The theme will be caring for creation.
No need to book, just come along and bring your friends for fun, crafts , bible story, singing and prayer.

Congratulations to St Margaret’s Centre which is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its establishment next month. St. Margaret’s Centre is an activity, support and training centre for adults suffering from a wide range of mental health problems; the centre aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the community of County Durham through a wide range of recovery activities, programmes and courses. The church was instrumental in its foundation, Ken G, a member of our congregation, managed the Centre for nearly 20 years, and members of St John’s and St Margaret’s congregations
continue to act as trustees. The Centre includes a popular cafe and a brand new shop, both of which are open to the public. Do take the opportunity to visit. For more information see: https://www.stmargaretscentre.co.uk/

The 675th anniversary of the Battle of Neville’s Cross falls this year: on Sunday 17th October. There is a walking route associated with the battlefield, and the council has committed to restore the associated information panels located around the parish; for information about the route please see Battle of Nevilles Cross Walk Route – This is Durham.

Open Door: Open Door is held on the first and third Wednesday of each month; the next Open Door will be on Wednesday 6th October and this will also be our Macmillan Coffee Morning. Feel free to come along and join us for coffee or tea, to enjoy a chat and to listen to George’s musical accompaniment on the keyboard. Open Door is held on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Special event at St John’s Church on Sunday 3rd October, 6.30pm. The Church of England is encouraging all parishes and churches to engage with questions around sexuality, gender, relationships and marriage through a series of resources known as ‘Living in Love and Faith’. Canon Alan Bartlett (who is facilitating its use across the diocese) will be introducing it for us at a special session of our regular ‘Taste’ service on Sunday 3rd October, in church at 6.30pm. This is being publicised across the three churches of our new Benefice. For more information about the resources, please see Living in Love and Faith | The Church of England.

Many thanks to all involved in last weekend’s Ecofest Autumn Feast: around 90 people of all ages enjoyed a wonderful evening of food, conversation and live music. Huge thanks are due to REfUSE (see below) for the fantastic meal at the heart of the event, our own musicians and to Sam Slatcher – (see further below) for all the music, to those who spoke and gathered ideas, to everyone who helped set up beforehand and tidy up afterwards, and particularly to Sarah C for the original vision and ongoing energy which made it happen.

An inspiring article by Mim Skinner, a member of our congregation, appeared in the Guardian earlier this week; it tells of how her covert investigation of supermarket bins led her (with Nikki Dravers) to set up the charity REfUSE: https://

‘The Wandering Gig’ with Sam Slatcher: This autumn Sam Slatcher will be performing his songs on a series of ‘wandering gigs’ in and around Durham. The walks each tackle a different theme of Sam’s writing. The ‘Sanctuary’ tour (10 October) brings original songs written in the Stories of Sanctuary project with Syrian refugees in 2018 to some of the sites that inspired them. The ‘Chaos & Solitude’ tour (24 October) features Sam’s latest album and involves wandering and performing around the abundant nature of Flass Vale Nature Reserve, outside the city. Finally, the ‘Northern Saints’ tour – the longest tour of nearly 4 miles – takes an audience from Durham Cathedral to Witton Gilbert via Beaurepaire ruins, a 13th century Manor House along one of the recently launched Northern Saints Trails. Tickets range between £8 – 12, and limited to 15 places per tour and can be booked now via Eventbrite at: https://www.samslatcher.com/tour

The Eco Group is considering how the church land, especially the church field, can be used to support the environment. If you have any suggestions please contact Sarah C, Abby C or Joan T. Many thanks.

If you would be willing to go on a list to be called on once in a while to take the Foodbank collection up to the Foodbank Store in Chester le Street, please contact Judith B.

Food Bank: a reminder that we are now collecting again for the Durham Food Bank. Please leave items in the green box at the back of church. If it is more convenient to make cash donations these can be made online by visiting durham.foodbank.org.uk and following the links or writing a cheque to County Durham Foodbank and sending it to County Durham Foodbank, Durham Christian Partnership, Mile House, Bridge End, Chester-le-Street, Durham DH3 3RA. Thank you.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling: St John’s foyer now contains a recycling point for batteries and small electrical and electronic items. This facility is being provided in partnership with Durham County Council; for more information on what can be recycled please see the following link (or enclosed leaflet):Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling – Durham County Council (PS: we have also been given a supply of reusable shopping bags to help advertise details of the scheme – feel free to take one if it would be useful to you.)

Please visit St John’s Website at www.sjnx.org Feedback or suggestions can be made by selecting ‘website team’ on the contact form.

We now have a Facebook group for our parent/carer and toddler group Play People. Please join us and spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1310563349289055/

‘Daily Hope’: a free 24-hour phone line continues to offer hymns, prayers and reflections, as well as full worship services from the Church of England.  Phone 0800 804 8044.

Members of the Pastoral Links Group are aiming to keep in touch by phone with everyone on the church Electoral Roll. Please feel free to share any requests for prayer or particular needs. Please feel free to phone the Rector at any time or to contact him or the pastoral team via the contact form in the ABOUT US section of this website. (emails are received initially by Barney Huish and Nicky Chater, and shared as appropriate with other members of the team).

The Pastoral Links Group also meets once a month (via zoom) to keep one another in touch with people’s needs and wellbeing, and to share together in prayer. Membership of the group includes Sarah C, Mike & Nicky Chater, Jo Cundy, Caroline Friswell, Andy & Jill H, Barney Huish, Margaret J, Margaret O, Loraine R, Debbie RC, Joan T.



Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Alternative Collect
Gracious God,
you call us to fullness of life:
deliver us from unbelief
and banish our anxieties
with the liberating love of Jesus Christ our Lord.


  • James 5.13-20
  • Mark 9.38-50

Post Communion

Lord, we pray that your grace
may always precede and follow us,
and make us continually to be given to all good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


  •  Hebrews 1.1-4; 2.5-12
  • Mark 10.2-16