Brandon Parish Magazine May/June 2020
read here or it can also be downloaded HERE

St. John’s Church, Brandon & St. Catherine’s Church, New Brancepeth

All Services are suspended for the time being – updates will be on the websites below.
At present Fr. Carl will celebrate the Holy Eucharist in his home at 9.45 am on Sunday mornings.
The service will be available on Zoom. Contact Fr. Carl to get an invitation.
The normal Sunday services are:
St. John’s - 9.45 am Holy Eucharist
St. Catherine’s - 8:45 am Holy Eucharist
Revd. Carl Peters:
The Clergy House, Sawmill Lane, Brandon, Durham, DH7 8NS.
Tel: 0191 6803875,
Other Contact Telephone Numbers
St. John’s: David (Churchwarden) – 3789718; Carolyn – 6803875
St. Catherine’s: Joe (Churchwarden) – 3739927; Liz - 3731554

Website -


From the Registers - Funerals at Crematorium

8th April - Thomas Akins
14th April - Thomas Jackson Curry
21th April - John Bell
30th April - Olive Basey
Special Services/Events
Many of the usual services and events are cancelled for the time being. However there are some available on-line.
Ascension Day: (21 May) Fr. Carl is planning to celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10.15 am on Zoom.
Prayer for Our Churches: Tuesday, 19th May, 09.30 - 10.15 am.
Also Tuesday, 16th June, 09.30 - 10.15 am.
These will be held on Zoom, for an invitation contact Bill Offler -
(DH7 Churches Together Secretary,
Pentecost Sunday: 31st May – The ‘Birthday’ of the church.
As well as the normal Sunday service, plans are being made for the annual Pentecost Praise organised by DH7 Churches Together to be held by Zoom from Brancepeth Castle at 6.00 pm. Further details will be posted on our website or from Bill Offler.
Christian Aid week: 10 – 16 May. THIS IS NOT CANCELLED!
But will obviously have to be held in a different manner – see separate article in this magazine.
PCC and Annual Parochial Church Meeting: These have been postponed – the APCM should have been held before the end of April according to church rules! These rules have been relaxed so it will be held later, probably in the Autumn.

Christian Aid Week 10-16 May

Christian Aid Week 2020 goes digital

‘Love never fails. Coronavirus impacts all of us.
But love unites us all.’

As this virus spreads across the world, love rises up in response. You’ve already shown incredible kindness to your neighbours.
Now is the time to reach out to your neighbours both near and far.
Your love protects our global neighbours battling the spread of this illness. Your love protects. With soap, clean water and medical supplies.
By supporting this Christian Aid Week, you can reach out and protect more of your neighbours today.
Together with our local partners, we are working quickly to limit the impact of coronavirus
in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world.

• We are drawing on our experience from the Ebola crisis and helping communities to prevent and delay infection.

• We are providing essential soap, water and handwashing training.
• We are ensuring urgent health messages get through
to help keep people safe.
• We are working through our networks of church partners and faith-based organisations to reach the most vulnerable at this critical time.
With your help we can do even more.
Here are some ‘virtual’ ideas:
• Sunday 10 - Saturday 16 May, 7.30pm: Daily fun quizzes for the whole family throughout Christian Aid Week.
Sign up using the link

• 300,000 steps in May Facebook challenge: We’ve got a new fundraiser launching on 1st May in Facebook, for people who want to challenge themselves to walk 300,000 steps in May.
It could be in the house, in the garden, or using your daily out of home allowed exercise - with physical distancing measures.
Go to Christian Aid facebook page.
• Send an e-Envelope: Help raise vital funds for Christian Aid Week by simply sending your friends and family a personalised message in an e-Envelope. Go to
• Make a personal donation: You make a donation directly by going to:
• If you do not wish to give on-line, you may give by telephone: 020 7523 2269.
Christian Aid may hold a time in the Autumn when we could do our normal Supermarket Collections.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The line has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
Our Church Finances at this time of Covid-19.
In order to keep up our financial commitments, and to meet other bills that still come in, Fr. Carl is asking congregation members to consider switching their giving from envelopes or money in the plate to a Standing Order to the church bank account.
Many people have already done this, which is very helpful.
But if you have not thought about it, maybe you can consider doing so (Contact Fr. Carl for details).
If you do not want or unable to do this, consider putting aside what you may normally give, so that when the churches reopen, you can make your gifts.
• Please pray for our churches, both locally and nationally at this strange time, that we can maintain our fellowship and further our mission to those around us.
• Pray also for those whose personal finances are under strain, and are worried about how to meet bills or even feed their family.
• Pray for developing nations where the hardship of lock-down are very severe, where if people cannot work they may not eat.
Pray also that the virus will be contained so that meagre health resources are not overwhelmed.

Do you remember Bishop Emmanuel from Byumba Diocese, Rwanda?
He visited us and preached at St. John’s in June 2014 during the vacancy before Fr. Carl joined us.
We have had an appeal from the Bishop who wrote saying there was an urgent need for funds to help people with medical needs who have no money and that coronavirus has made the situation worse.
The main problem amongst the poor of the Diocese is food since the coronavirus lockdown. The Bishop is trying to help feed those who are starving.
We have also heard from one of his clergy in a remote area of the Diocese, Wilson Matabaro, whose church has similar problems. He requests prayer with this message:
1. My Parish is near Ugandan border and it is closed because of political issues and as my people depended on border activities,
they no longer work [and so cannot buy food to eat].
2. I was new in the Parish, with 3 months before Covid-19 lock down.
And now I am in the middle as all people are staying at home.
3. All citizens are staying at home. Although the government is trying to help, our developing country cannot feed every one.
Covid-19 is everywhere, even in UK, I want you to share with my fellow vicar of your Church this message so that we pray for each other.
Pass my greetings to all family members and the Church; tell them that God is coming to change bad things into good. May God bless you all.
Any gifts (which can be gift aided) can be sent through the charity,
Friends of Byumba (our Bishop Paul is the Chair of the Trustees).
The address is: The Treasurer, The Friends of Byumba Trust, 58 Etherley Lane, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, DL14 7QZ. Or for on-line gifts, the Bank Account is: Friends of Byumba, Account number 68004540, Sort code 60-22-23.

So please pray for Bishop Emmanuel and Revd. Wilson

From our Priest:
I hope you’re all managing to keep well and safe during these challenging and threatening times.
Church looks a bit different now. It’s more phone calls and other ways of messaging and communicating online. Not that some of that wasn’t happening before. It’s just become more so with our church buildings being shut. Of course, people’s prayer lives continue. For some daily prayers and bible/spiritual readings. Lighting candles at certain times. Watching a service on the telly. Perhaps watching the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury on Easter Day.
Some if they have the access are watching live-streamed services, or worship on YouTube. Last Sunday it felt very special to celebrate the Holy Eucharist for the Third Sunday of Easter from my front room on Zoom, with some members of all three churches joining in and interacting in devotion and fellowship.
It was certainly good to see some familiar faces! As it is when I might come across folk from church and community, when I’m doing some daily exercise in a ‘socially distanced’ way.
Some familiar things continue, if in an unfamiliar way. With no church services, no baptisms, no weddings; funerals at the crematorium or all at the graveside continue with a small amount of mourners in a slightly reduced time. I feel sorry for family and loved ones, who know there would have been so many more there and have no gathering to go back to afterwards. I think all our hearts go out to them.
But church does go on. Christian life goes on. And it needs to. For the familiar things of bereavement, loneliness, abuse of whatever sort, sadness, depression, violence and many other sufferings, continue to be a part of people’s lives. Maybe even boredom! It’s sometimes quite hard for folk to become un-bored.

Thankfully, we have much of that other familiar human trait. Humour. Laughter. There’s plenty of it. On telly, on facebook. In other personal interactions we have with people.
But the church needs to be there for the needy at this time. As it does at all times. And when the light shines, it shows that we’re all in need.
In this Easter season the hope we see in Jesus’ resurrection is a resurrection message for all. The sad, the broken, the lost and those who might even be ‘found’, all need to know that better things are ahead. That life can go from where we are now, to somewhere better.
And the best place of all is knowing that our Risen Saviour, who put sin in its place when he was nailed to the Cross and then conquered death in his rising; this very same Saviour, the one who went from death to life, from dark to light, is by our side. Jesus is in our rising as we enter the morning of a new day. And whatever lies ahead, whatever setback or pain we feel, however lonely we might feel in isolation or semi-isolation, perhaps missing family and friends; or however we might want to be in a different place. Jesus is our light. And in him there is no darkness.
Fr. Carl                                                        




          A different take on the virus!