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 (25th February) there will be a Communion Service in church at 8.45 am (with Rev Dr Caroline Friswell preaching and presiding) and an All Age Service at 10.30am (led by Mike Chater and Canon Nicky Chater).  The 10.30 am service will be broadcast live (available to view 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.

Our guest at Taste on 3rd March will be Tom Shanks.  We meet as usual at 6.30 pm and aim to be finished by 8 pm.  Contributions of food are always welcomed.  In Tom’s own words “A Scientist’s Encounters with Jesus”.  Summary:  A brief account of my (re-)conversion to Christianity via Bishop D Jenkins but including some examples of encounters ranging from clips from F  Zeferelli’s ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ film to Stormzy’s ‘Blinded by your Grace’. I look forward to seeing you there.  Mike

Church Prayer Meeting: We meet to pray for the Church and the World at 9.30am on the second Saturday of the month, usually in the Church Centre.  Our next meeting is on Saturday 9th March.  Do join us if you can.

Messy Church is a different way of doing church, involving activities, relating to a Bible story or theme, Worship and Tea, in the Church usually on the second Sunday of the month from 4-6pm.  An exception is our next Messy Church which is on Good Friday 29th March from 10 – 11.30 am, when we recall the events of Holy Week leading to Good Friday (it is requested that children are accompanied by an adult). Our next Messy church after that is on Sunday 4-6pm 12th May.

The next Open Door session will be on Wednesday 6th March, 10 – 12 noon. Come and join us for tea/coffee, conversation and cake.

During Lent we will be holding a five-week course on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, produced by the Bible Society and led by Rev Jon Wilkinson: Wednesdays, 7-8.30pm (with refreshments available beforehand), starting on 21st February.  It would be very helpful to know in advance how many are planning to come.  Please, if you are hoping to come along (even if you can’t manage all sessions), sign up on the sheet at the back of church or email the Rector’s Secretary (contact details in Contact Us).

Durham Churches Together is organising vigils in Waddington Street URC on 5 Wednesdays throughout Lent.  The church will be open from 10am to 4 pm on 21 and 28 Feb, 6, 13 and 20 March. Theme – “No Faith in Fossil Fuel”.  Wrap up warm as the gas heating will not be used. Hot drinks available and a bit of heat from electric heating.  A rota of stewards is being drawn up so there will always be people in the building.  An opportunity for prayer and reflection while in Durham?

Music on Sundays: If you would be interested in receiving a notification on Saturday, regarding the hymns we’re going to sing on Sunday at 10:30am – including sheet music for any that aren’t in the church hymnbook – please let me know.  I am already doing this for someone in the congregation, following a direct request, and would happily add others to the mailing list.  Amy. Get in touch with Amy via the Contact Form.  

Community Choir End of Term Concert on Friday 22nd March at 7.30pm.  Neville’s Cross Community Choir will be joined by Tune Central (an office choir for the staff of Muckle LLP and RBC Brewin Dolphin).  Entrance, including refreshments, by donation.  Do please come and join us.  

Super6, our after-school club for those in the final year of Primary School, will be running again this term on Fridays (starting on 19th January). Please pray for all involved, and if you know of anyone in Year 6 who might be interested in taking part, contact the Rector (Barney).

Lawnmowing: Could you spare a few hours each year to help to keep the Church grounds tidy?  I am gathering volunteers together for a lawn mowing Rota for 2024 and would welcome some new members to the team.  It simply involves mowing the front lawn once or twice each year. The mower is provided.  If you are interested, could you contact me, Chris Massey within the next couple of weeks so I can add you to this year’s Rota. Get in touch with Chris via the Contact Form.

Choral Evensong will be sung at St Margaret’s Church (DH1 4PR) by St Cuthbert’s Society Choir on Friday 23rd February and Friday 8th March (at 6.30pm):

Women’s World Day of Prayer: Friday 1st March, 10.30am at North Rd Methodist Church.  Written by Christian women in Palestine.

Resound Worship (resoundworship.org), a UK collective of songwriters writing for the church, has released a new double album just in time for Lent and Easter! The album Downcast Souls Expectant Hearts contains songs to help congregations walk through the valley and rejoice in the tangible hope of Jesus’ resurrection. St John’s member Elise Massa also has a song on the album “O Gracious Light” written with British songwriter Andy Clark.  Give the album a listen!  

Durham Singers’ concert in Durham Cathedral:  The theme of peace in troubled times will be at the heart of a concert at Durham Cathedral on 9th March.  The Durham Singers will perform Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams alongside the world premiere of Oliver Tarney’s Canticle of Elizabeth.  The concert will begin at 7.30pm and tickets are £20 for adults, £15 for students and free for Under 12s.  They are available from Durham Cathedral via durhamcathedral.ticketsolve.com

Fire Emergency procedures: Many thanks to all who took part in the recent fire drill at the 10.30 service; if anyone has any comments or questions arising, please speak to the churchwardens.  In due course we will have another drill (probably when the children are in their Sunday morning groups; and another at 8.45, when the weather is a bit warmer).  

Please note the following advice/instructions:

  • There are fire alarm ‘break glass’ points by each entrance.
  • The fire exits are: main church centre door, side door (by A/V desk*), rear fire exit (at foot of church centre staircase)
  • Normally those at the front of church (where the chairs are) will be led out of the door by the A/V desk, those at the back of church (where the pews are) through the main church centre door (behind you – i.e. the same way you came in), those upstairs through the rear fire exit door.
  • If an escape route is blocked leave via an alternative route (familiarise yourselves with where these are)
  • On no account should you try to go upstairs when the alarm sounds; children in their groups will be led safely out to the rendezvous area.
  • The rendezvous area is on the grass in front of the church – gather together within hearing distance and do not re-enter the building until authorised by the designated person in charge.
  • The designated person in charge is normally the person leading the service or activity.
  • Sidespeople and other trained people should assist in safely, calmly evacuating people (whether they are ‘on duty’ or not).
  • On no account should anyone try to leave via the door in the corridor behind the organ – it is not a point of exit.

*(The ‘A/V desk’ is where the audio-visual operators sit during the 10.30 service; facing the front of church it is off to the left-hand side; the adjacent fire exit is the large wooden door marked ‘Emergency Exit’).





Hymns for 8.45 am service:

  • Be thou my guardian (65)
  • Lord Jesus, think on me (465)
  • The God of Abraham praise  (706)


Almighty God,  
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of
Christ’s religion,
that they may reject those things that
are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns
with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now
and for ever.

Alternative Collect

Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent may
we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by
following in his Way come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


    • Genesis 17.1-7,15,16
    • Romans 4.13-25
    • Mark 8.31-38

Post Communion 

Almighty God, you see that we have no
power of ourselves to help ourselves: keep us both
outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls;
that we may be defended from all adversities which may
happen to the body,
and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt
the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


    • Exodus 20.1-17  
    • 1 Corinthians 1.18-25
    • John 2.13-22