Weekly News Sheets

 St John’s Church, Neville’s Cross

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This Sunday (27th November) is Advent Sunday. There will be a Communion Service in church at 8.45 am and at 10.30 am (with Rev Joanne Thorns preaching and presiding 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)

This Sunday is Advent Sunday. During Advent the Church prepares for the coming of Christ – not just at Christmas but also at the end of time. It is a penitential season, reflecting on themes of judgement and finality; but also a season of hope and expectation.

Advent Choral Service this Sunday (27th Nov): 6.15 pm at St Margaret’s Church, Crossgate (DH1 4PR). A special service of Advent music, readings and hymns, sung by the choir of St Cuthbert’s Society, Durham University. All welcome.

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.

The St John’s Church ‘timeline’ will be staying in church for the next couple of weeks; please take a moment to add to it, if you haven’t already done so. There are three different coloured ‘post-it’ notes to use:
Pink = good memories/events; Red Letter days, inspiring people or events.
Blue = bad memories/events; not so good events/times.
Green = signs of hope events, people which inspire Hope.
If you haven’t been able to get to church but would like to add to the timeline, please send your contributions via the parish office (contact details below). Please specify whether they are red, blue or green (as above); no need to put your name to them. We are in the process of collating all the responses to provide a permanent record and will soon be updating everyone on our next steps in this listening phase of PMC (Partnership for Missional Church).

Next Sunday (4th December) at our 10.30 am service we will be celebrating the baptism of Abigail S, a regular member of our Messy Church congregation. Please pray for her and her family, friends and godparents in preparation for this very special day.

‘Partnership for Missional Church’ is an international tool for mission, promoted by the diocese of Durham, by which participating churches are invited ‘to take a look at ourselves, our communities and our calling, and to step out in deep, radical faith to discover what God is up to around us and how we can be part of it’. St John’s PCC has signed up; and this Sunday marks the beginning of this journey. What used to be our Shared Ministry Development Team forms the new ‘core team’ for this Missional Church partnership; they will be leading the Bible reflection and timeline activity at our services this Sunday. For more information please see: https://churchmissionsociety.org/ partnership-for-missional-church.

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.

Our guest at Taste on 4th December will be Miriam W. Many of you will have met Miriam, and some may remember her from when she was a youth worker at St Margaret’s. Having lived and worked for some years in London she is now back in Durham training for ordination with Lindisfarne College of Theology, and on a long term placement at St Edmund’s in Bearpark. We meet as usual at 6.30 pm with refreshments (contributions welcome!), aiming to finish by 8 pm.
As advanced notice Taste in January will be on 8th January (the 2nd Sunday), because we don’t think many will want to come out on New Year’s Day, and our guest will be Alan Bartlett. (We are having something of a Bearpark theme!)

Angels and Stars: for the last two years we have put up knitted/crocheted angels and stars outside church in December. People have taken these away and it has been much appreciated by the community. We are doing this again this year and if you can make any, it would be much appreciated. Patterns are attached. Further details from Elizabeth B via the Parish Office. Thank you in advance. Please put completed angels/stars in the box in the foyer by 4th Dec.

The next Open Door session will be on Wednesday 7th December. Come and join us for tea/coffee and cake.

Date for the diary – 17th December: I shall be running a carol-writing workshop on the morning of Saturday 17th December (10:00am-1:00pm) – all welcome, whether it’s something you’ve tried before, or is completely new! In the afternoon, folk are invited to bring instruments to a ‘scratch orchestra’ (2:00pm-4:30pm), to play through Christmas tunes and carols together. All welcome, although you will need to be able to read musical notes, TAB or guitar chords for that one. Do get in touch for more info. Amy Ward

The next Messy Church will take place on Sunday 18th December from 4 – 6 pm with a Christingle service.

Christmas Day Lunch: some members of our Pilgrims Small Group are planning to host Christmas lunch after the 10.00am service either in our home (Jill and Andy H) or in the room upstairs in SJNX for anyone who may happen to be alone and who would like to join us. We can offer transport for anyone who may require it. Please have a word with Jill or Andy H/ Sally or Andrew M via the Parish Office. We offer a warm welcome to anyone from our parish who would like to share in fellowship.

We will be producing cards with details of our Christmas services for distribution around local streets/homes in December. Please help distribute these cards, if you can; and do let people know about all our local services in whatever way you can.

The December issue of Cross Quarterly is now available at the back of church. If you don’t usually get one delivered to your home, do please take one as it contains information about things happening in the next three months, both at St John’s and also in the wider area of Neville’s Cross.

The next Parish ‘bring & share’ lunch at which we welcome members of the congregation new and old, will be at the Rectory on Sunday 22nd January 2023.

Tesco Christmas Collection for the Foodbank takes place on Thursday 1st, Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December. Could you volunteer to help a with the collection at the Gilesgate Tesco for a couple of hours (or more)? This collection is vital in helping to restock the warehouse, it’s proven that the more volunteers Foodbank has in store the more donations they receive from the public. In September Foodbank helped to feed 3,300 people across the region, this figure included 1,269 children. They gave out nearly 25 tonnes of food BUT only received 18 tonnes of donations for the same period. Due to this shortfall, they are now having to purchase food wholesale on a much larger scale than they have previously. This is not sustainable long term so opportunities to increase donations through big collections such as at Tesco are really important. If you could help at all to make the most of this opportunity, please contact Lindsey via the Parish Office.

The Children’s Society: I would like to say a big thankyou to every-one who has donated to the work of ‘The Children’s Society’. If you have a collection box could you please hand it in. I will be at St John’s on Sunday morning. If you would like a collection box or to find out more about the work of ‘The Children’s Society’ please contact me via the Parish Office. You can make a donation online to the ‘The Children’s Society’ via https:// www.childrenssociety.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donate I have a selection of Christmas cards available to order from ‘The Children’s Society’ and accept cash.

Pastoral Links Group: Please feel free to share any requests for prayer or particular needs. Please feel free to phone the Rector at any time (see contact details below) or to contact the pastoral team via the Contact Form or to contact the pastoral team via pastorallinks.sjnx@gmail.com (emails are received initially by Barney Huish and Nicky Chater, and shared as appropriate with other members of the team).

Christmas Concert Connections: While Christmas is beginning to appear on most of our radars now, preparations for festivities began somewhat further back for those of us in choirs, practising Christmas material for concerts that are very much on the horizon. A number of us at St John’s, across both congregations, will be singing with various groups in various places this Christmas, so I thought it would be nice to share dates and times of each. Do get in touch with me (Amy Ward), if you’d be interested in going along with someone else in a car share – whether locally or across to Newcastle; and, similarly, if you’re thinking of going and would be happy to take others along. If folk respond in any number, I’d be happy to help facilitate lifts. Here are your options!



Prayer for Lighting the First Advent Candle:

Lord Jesus, light of the world, born in David’s city of
Bethlehem, born like him to be a king: be born in our
hearts at Christmas, be King of our lives today. Amen.

Hymns for 8.45 am service:

  • Come thou long-expected Jesus (140)
  • Thy Kingdom come, O God (774)
  • Awake, O wake! With tidings thrilling (786)


Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of
and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this
mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great
that on the last day, when he shall come again in his
glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Alternative Collect

Almighty God, as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you in our Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ.


  • Isaiah 2.1-5
  • Romans 13.11-14
  • Matthew 24.36-44

Post Communion

O Lord our God, make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping in
but active in his service and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Next Week’s Readings:

  • Isaiah 11.1-10
  • Romans 15.4-13
  • Matthew 3.1-12