Weekly News Sheets

 St John’s Church, Neville’s Cross

We are encouraging as many people as possible to receive this weekly news sheet via email.  Please click here to contact the Rector’s Secretary to be added to the distribution list. This helps to keep our costs down and also reduce our carbon footprint.

This Sunday (26th March) – there will be a Communion Service in church at 8.45 am and at 10.30 am with Rev Barnaby Huish presiding and preaching at both services. The 10.30 am service will be broadcast live (available to view, whether or not you are on Facebook, ‘live’, or later on our Facebook page) https://www.facebook.com/StJohnschurchnevillescross

Welcome cards:if you are new to St John’s: welcome! You are invited to fill out one of the ‘Welcome to St John’s’ cards, which can be found in the pews; it will enable us to get in touch and say hello, and also, if you wish, for us to stay in touch and keep you informed.

‘Taste’ will be disrupted from its usual ‘1st Sunday’ pattern, by Palm Sunday, Easter Day and the King’s Coronation. The plan, therefore, after 5th March, is to meet on 30th April (for April and May), and then back to normal on 4th June. Mike Chater

Communications and social media: the PCC would be interested in forming a small group of people interested in developing and improving the way we communicate with people in Neville’s Cross and the wider community (including via social media). If you (or someone you know) might be interested in what could be a creative and rewarding role within St John’s Church, please speak to the Rector or one of the churchwardens.

Rector’s Secretary: Please note that Jane Holmes (Rector’s Secretary) now has a new phone number 07423 797290. Jane works on a flexible part-time basis on Tuesdays – Fridays, mostly from home, but can be found in the Parish Office (Antioch House, 66 Crossgate DH1 4PR) most Wednesday mornings from 10 am – 12.30 pm. Please feel free to contact her on her new phone number during normal office hours. Her email address remains the same (parish.smxg.sjnx@gmail.com).

Invitation to the Durham Deanery Lady Day Service: St John’s Mothers Union would like to invite you to the above event, which will take place in church on Monday 27th March 2023 at 2pm. Everyone is welcome to join us.

On Easter morning we look forward to celebrating the baptism of Robyn S; please pray for her parents Mim and Sam, together with her godparents and wider family, as we prepare to celebrate with them in faith.

Offertory tokens: most people who give regularly to the church now do so via the Parish Giving Scheme (or some other form of regular bank transfer); but we still have a basket available for occasional or other cash donations. For people who value the symbolism of ‘putting something in the basket’ (which is then taken forward and received with thanks during the ‘offertory hymn’) there are tokens available (on the table in the foyer). If you would like to, feel free to pick one up when you arrive (along with your order of service) and to place it in the basket as a token of your financial giving toward the mission and ministry of the church.

Home Groups: groups meet regularly in people’s houses throughout the year, for prayer, bible study, discussion and more; they involve people from both St John’s congregations. Currently the groups meet as follows:

  • Monday evenings: 7.30pm – 9.00pm, weekly, at Jo’s. For Lent we are using Stephen Platten’s book: ‘Wicked Weather for Walking – A Passiontide Progress’. Contact: Jo Cundy
  • Tuesday morning: alternate Tuesdays, 10am-noon. For Lent we are using one of the York Courses published by SPCK. Contact: Dorothy T
  • Wednesday evening: The Pilgrims Group meets every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm, in a different home every week taking it in turns to lead each session. During Lent we are studying ‘Life Balance’, a five session course for Lent by Robert Warren and Sue Mayfield. From 10th May the Pilgrim Group will be leading an Alpha Course on Wednesday evenings instead of meeting as a group. The main contact person is Rev Dr Caroline Friswell, but during Lent the key contact person is Andrew M.
  • Thursday mornings from 10.30 till 12/12.30. We try to arrive from 10.15 to allow for coffees and Mary’s bakes to be distributed so that we can make a start at 10.30 prompt. Contacts are: Joy C and Kath S. For Lent we are studying ‘At Home in Lent’ by Gordon Giles. You can contact any of the Group leaders via the Contact Form.

To contact any of the Group leaders, please do so via the Contact Form).

We will be running an Alpha Course in Church on Wednesday evenings from 10th May to 12th July inclusive. There are information leaflets and application forms available to pick up at the back of St John’s Church. We would encourage you to do some or all of the following:

  • Consider, prayerfully, who you might like to invite to come along to the course amongst your non-Christian friends and colleagues and then given them a copy of the information leaflet and application form.
  • Volunteer to provide food for at least one of the evenings. We will be serving a main course and a pudding to about 20 people each session. If you can help with the catering, please speak to Jill or Andy H.
  • Please pray for all involved in the course, that it will bring non-Christians to faith, and church goers to a deeper relationship with God.

The next Open Door session will be on Wed 5th April, 10 – 12 noon. Come and join us for tea/coffee, conversation and cake and support this local cause.

Sermon discussions: before Covid, people would often gather informally in church at the end of the 10.30 service to discuss the sermon/readings at St John’s. We would like to start this up again; Robert will set the ball rolling after the service this Sunday. Anyone is welcome to take part: just pull up a chair at the front of the church and join in.

Neville’s Cross Community Choir are joining the Choral Scholars of Durham Cathedral, Durham Cathedral Young Singers, and The Northern Consort in a concert “Music for a Royal Occasion” on Sunday March 26 at 6.30 – 8pm in St Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw College. Tickets £6/ £8 from ushaw.org/. Do come and support your local community choir.

St Margaret’s Centre in Margery Lane is looking to recruit more trustees. The Centre caters for people who are suffering from mental health issues by offering them a comprehensive variety of activities where they can learn new skills, feel part of a team, make new friends, all in a warm and secure setting. The Trustees meet six times a year and oversee the good management of the centre. The Centre, part of the Durham Mental Wellbeing Alliance is one of the seven core organisations making up the Alliance and as such plays a key role in its function and operation. Anyone interested in obtaining further information please contact either Peter Thompson, Chair of Trustees or Paul Jefferson, Vice-Chair of Trustees via the Contact Form.

Message from Treasurer on behalf of PCC
I have written over 60 letters this last week via email or by hand, to regular donors. And 70% of you replied promptly. Most importantly, it was to thank you for your financial support to St Johns, but also to prompt you to clarify your position for Gift Aiding, so I could update the files in case HMRC comes calling. You also need to protect yourselves as to whether you are paying sufficient tax to cover our claims. We have three anonymous donors whom I’m unable to thank or contact. I hope I’ve managed to include everyone and if not, please get in touch.
I also feel it is important to report back on the Gift Day in October 2022. Sums of money have arrived quite recently and it is difficult to quantify, as people pay in different ways into different funds.
We had £8,537 in one-off donations into Mission (including Gift Aid). We had further monthly payments of £222 pm (with GA) worth about £1477pa. We also have pledges for Mission of £5,800 pa (with GA) over the next three years (£17,500 in total). This is a restricted fund and must pay for Amy as Music Missioner, and another potential Church Youth Worker in some form or other. This is being decided at present as we work out what is needed and how much we can afford, say over three years. Remember it would cost about £25,000 pa to employ a CYW full time, as well as ensure Amy’s salary, currently £15,500pa.
The General Fund had £3,256 of one-off payments and an increase of £123 pm of monthly payments, (about £1477 extra per year). All this includes GA. There may have been some increased giving I missed through PGS as the information I receive does not highlight any changes. The Church running costs have increased but we are looking at the end of the year as to whether we can make a oneoff payment into Parish Share to make up some of the difference from what the Diocese asked for, and what the PCC agreed to give in 2023.
In addition, St John’s has always given 10% of its income (£7000 to £9000) to outward giving such as Fair Trade, the Foodbank, the Church Mission to support Catherine Lee, and NEPACs who work in the prison service with families. The Financial Policy has been reviewed and now states that this proportion may be flexible up to 10%. The PCC is currently reviewing the charities we support. This
policy was established when we had no employees and may not be fully sustainable with our other outgoings. Thank you to all of you who have given careful thought to your giving to the Church life and Mission at St John’s. Sue Massey

Gluten-free wafers are available by request for Holy Communion, if required. Please speak to a steward (before the service if possible).

Weekday Services: during the week the Eucharist is celebrated at the following times/places:

    • Wednesdays, 10 am at St Margaret’s, Durham
    • Wednesdays 6 pm at St John’s, Neville’s Cross

All are welcome at either of these services, which last around half an hour. A group of people also say Morning Prayer together every Monday at 9.30am on ‘Zoom’; please contact the Rector if you would like to be sent details of the zoom link.

Services for Holy Week and Easter
St John’s & St Margaret’s share in worship through Holy Week

Palm Sunday         8.45 am Eucharist – at St John’s
  10.30 am Meet at St John’s – process to St Margaret’s for
                                  11 am Joint Palm Sunday

Maundy Thursday 7.30 pm Maundy Eucharist – at St Margaret’s, followed by Gethsemane
Watch (until 10 pm)

Good Friday      10 am ‘Messy Church’ for
Good Friday –   at St John’s
1.30-3 pm Liturgy of Good Friday – at St Margaret’s

6.00 pm Evening Prayer at the Cross – at St John’s

Easter Eve         8.30 pm Easter Vigil, Baptism & Celebration – at St Margaret’s

Easter Sunday  8.45 am Eucharist – at St John’s
10.30 am Eucharist – at St John’s

Save the Date: the Neville’s Cross Community Eco Festival will be hosted as usual by St John’s in the grounds of the church on Sunday 18th June 2023. The EcoFest is a free large-scale annual event and includes live music, informative talks, info about local groups and initiatives, stalls, games, challenges, Messy Church and more.


Hymns for 8.45 am service:

  • Glory be to Jesus (224)
  • There is a Redeemer (743)
  • Lift high the cross (437)


Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of
your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him
who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
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 Father, you gave up your Son out of love for the
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace through the shedding of
our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.


  • Ezekiel 37.1-14
  • Romans 8.6-11
  • John 11.1-45

Post Communion 

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us
that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters
we do also for you:
give us the will to be the servant of others as you were
the servant of all,
and gave up your life and died for us, but are alive and
reign, now and for ever.


  • Philippians 2.5-11
  • Matthew 27.11-54