Weekly News Sheets

St John’s Church, Neville’s Cross


Parish Office email: parish.smxg.sjnx@gmail.com


This Sunday (25th July) there will be a Service of the Word in church at 10.30am. The service will be broadcast live on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StJohnschurchnevillescross) and a recording will be uploaded as soon as possible afterwards to our YouTube channel (SJNX Online – YouTube). The service will be led by Rev Barnaby Huish.

Covid restrictions in church: on 19th July the government lifted many of the legal restrictions previously in place; however people are advised to continue to act with caution. Due to the currently increased incidence of transmission in the North-East and elsewhere, the PCC Standing Committee has decided not to make significant changes to our current layout and practice, which will be fully reviewed before September. As from this Sunday, please note that:
• The doors of the church will be left open to maintain good ventilation, which is an important factor in reducing transmission of the virus.
• On arrival at church you will still be able to use handsanitiser and you will still be able to sign in for ‘test & trace’ (or use the QR code), but you will no longer be required to do so.
• The green ‘tick’ markers (allowing people to maintain 2 metres’ distance from others while seated) will be left in place for guidance.
• You are free to sit together with someone else if there is clear agreement between you; but you (or they) may prefer to maintain social distance at this time.
• The wearing of face coverings, while discretionary, continues to be encouraged.
• At Communion services, people will no longer be restricted to coming forward one at a time to receive Communion.
• We have decided not to resume use of the chalice, congregational singing or physical sharing of the peace at this time.
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. The Churchwardens and Rector would be pleased to hear any thoughts and reflections on the way forward over the summer

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

During August there will be a service in Church every Sunday at 10.30 am. On 1st and 15th August it will be a Communion service, on the other Sundays it will be a Service of the Word. Services will continue to be live streamed online.

Please continue to pray for the parishes of St Edmund, Bearpark, St John, Neville’s Cross, and St Margaret, Durham, as we come together to form a new 3-parish Benefice (that is three churches, each one independently constituted, but sharing the same Rector) as from 1st August.

Jean Bamlett (R.I.P.) I am sad to pass on the news that Jean died on Thursday. With her husband Bill she was a long-time member of our congregation; not long after he died she moved to be nearer her daughter (but continued to visit St John’s on a regular basis for Mothers’ Union events and other occasions). Please pray for her children, for the wider family and for all who mourn. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, and rise in glory.

The Cutting Edge, a new craft shop at St Margaret’s Centre (Margery Lane, Durham DH1 4QJ) has its Grand Opening on 12th August between 9 am and 4 pm. Refreshments available – please come along to support this new venture if you are able.

Environmental Conference 4th September 2021: Free conference on Zoom 9.30am-1.30pm (organised by North East Churches Acting Together). Are you a church member who is interested in Care for Creation, Impacts of Climate Change, practical steps to becoming an Eco Church, action in the North East of England and more? All welcome. Keynote speakers include Sir Paul Ennals (founder of the North East Climate Coalition), Rachie Ross (trustee of Operation Noah), Ben Niblett (Tearfund), Pam Martin (A Rocha). Book at: https://northeastenvironmentconference21.eventbrite.co.uk.

Ecofestival event on Sunday 19th September: circumstances permitting, we very much hope to hold an Ecofest-related event on the Church Field on this date (timing to be confirmed), to include a REfUSE meal and a ceilidh. Please note the date in your diary and look out for further information.

On Sunday 26th September we hope to hold one or more events across the three parishes to mark our coming together. This won’t be a formal occasion; it was suggested by the six churchwardens as a way of beginning to get to know one another. The format will be dependent on the covid situation at that time and is still to be decided – but please note the date in your diary.

Foundation Governor for St Margaret’s CE Primary School. Janet H is stepping down, having come to the end of the three-year term as a Foundation Governor in our local Church School. We would be interested to hear from anyone who might be interested in taking on this important role. There are three Foundation Governors (currently the Rector, one from St John’s Church and one from St Margaret’s); as well as serving as full governors, they have a particular duty to uphold the school’s distinctive Christian ethos. The governing body usually meets three or four times a year; in addition the Foundation Governors meet with the Headteacher and Deputy once every half term. Governors are encouraged to be engaged with and involved in the life of the school, as well as having certain statutory responsibilities. If you might be interested in this role and would like to find out more, please contact the Rector, or feel free to talk to Janet. (The appointment in this case is made by St Margaret’s PCC on the recommendation of St John’s PCC. We hope to have someone in place by the start of the new school year in September.)

Calligraphy: Do you know anyone with calligraphy skills? We would like to update the Book of Remembrance in church, and we need to find a calligrapher to do so. Please let us know (via the parish office) if you can recommend someone, or if you yourself are a calligrapher.

Church Flowers: As we look forward to the easing of restrictions and Church life being more “normal” we hope to have a Rota of people who would put a bunch of flowers in church each week and come together to decorate the church for Festivals. If you could help with this please get in touch with Dorothy T via the Parish Office.

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.)

Broadcasting our Sunday services: Sunday services in church are being live-streamed via the St John’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StJohnschurchnevillescross. (A recording is also made available afterwards on our YouTube channel: SJNX Online – YouTube). If attending the service, please note: children and others who may wish to sit out of view of the cameras can do so by sitting in the wooden pews, avoiding the front two rows (and/or ask the stewards for guidance). NB no one will be filmed coming forward for Communion. Under data protection legislation, those attending the service will be presumed, having read this notice, to have given consent to appearing in the broadcast. (Even so, we will aim to avoid any close-up filming of members of the general congregation).

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 phone line offering hymns, prayers and reflections 24 hours a day while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus. ‘Daily Hope’ is a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes during the lockdown period. The line which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services in mind.

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 (see contact details below) 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).

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 R-C, Joan T.



Almighty Lord and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern
both our hearts and bodies
in the ways of your laws
and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Alternative Collect
Lord God,
your Son left the riches of heaven
and became poor for our sake:
when we prosper save us from pride,
when we are needy save us from despair,
that we may trust in you alone;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

   Ephesians 3.14-21
· John 6.1-21

Post Communion
Strengthen for service, Lord,
the hands that have taken holy things;
may the ears which have heard your word
be deaf to clamour and dispute;
may the tongues which have sung your praise be free
from deceit;
may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love
shine with the light of hope;
and may the bodies which have been fed with your body
be refreshed with the fullness of your life;
glory to you for ever.

· Ephesians 4.1-16
· John 6.24-35