September/October 2021 Magazine can be downloaded - WORD  PDF
If anyone wants older magazines- June 2021, just email




Brandon Parish Magazine
July/August 2021

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


Services are now taking place in St. John’s and St. Catherine’s using Covid-19 safety regulations.
The Eucharist services are shorter than normal with no singing. Details are:
St. John’s: Holy Eucharist at Sundays – 9.45 am,
Mondays – 7.00 pm, Wednesdays – 9.00 am
St. Catherine’s: Holy Eucharist at Sundays – 8.45 am, Thursdays – 9.30 am
Morning Prayer Thursdays – 8.45;
also by Zoom Tuesday and Friday at 8.45am.
Please contact Fr. Carl for an invitation.

Fr. 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 – 3739927; Liz – 3731554

From the Registers

Wedding at St John’s Church
31st July 2021 Christopher Ball & Jessica Grant

Wedding at St Catherine’s Church
28th Aug. 2021 Christian James Wood & Jodie Amelia Corbett

Funeral at St. John’s church
7th July 2021 Lilian Storey
17th Aug. 2021 Ann Hitch

Funeral at St. Catherine’s church
5th Aug. 2021 Sheila Dowling

Funerals at Crematorium
5th July 2021 John Lesley Walker
9th July 2021 Karl Harrison
29th July 2021 David Spoor
17th Aug. 2021 Doreen Carr

Church Services
At present our services are restricted by the Covid regulations.
With the hoped for relaxations, it may be possible to return to a more normal mode of operation with singing.
Details will be announced on the church website and on the church notice boards.

Priest’s Letter

Priest’s Letter
It doesn’t seem five minutes since I wrote in the last magazine about the summer ahead and having breaks/holidays or just spending it at home, and how as Christians it’s important to spend time out and be refreshed in the presence of God. Well now the summer holiday period draws to an end with harvest well under way and children/young people getting ready to go back to school. I don’t know about you but the last day of the summer holidays was always a sad day for me as those endless days and weeks were closing in and the discipline of school and routine would return. And on the morning of return itself, I have early memories of feeling nervous in a new school uniform and sharpening pencils!
I’m sure you have your own memories! Perhaps you were unlike me looking forward to going back to school? But whatever, moving on and facing the things we might not fancy, is something we have to get used to in life. In some situations, moving on is a real big thing and on a wider level we might think of the many Afghans who have been leaving the place of their birth, in not the most easy of circumstances and with all the uncertainty of what life is going to look like for them in a new land.
The last 18 months or so have of course been very difficult with the pandemic. We none of us expected lockdowns and Tier 3’s, which on the back of a lockdown don’t make things seem much better. A sort of extended time of closures and our world not looking or feeling very normal. For all the times when we’ve felt like we’re moving forward a little, there has probably been as many times when it’s felt like we’re moving backwards. We have of course made much progress in these last months with vaccination roll out and much loved freedoms returning. ‘Long may it continue’ we might say, whilst being aware that Covid19 will be part of our conversations and thoughts for a good while yet.
And so, for some, the next few weeks will be a time of moving on and moving forwards. The next year group in school, or up to the big school or maybe college. Perhaps it’s entering into the world of work or starting a new job. For others it might be moving home or leaving home.

Or perhaps we’re getting ready to retire and leaving behind the world of work, wondering what we might do next?
And then there is our Christian faith journey.
Where will that take us?
Do we want to go anywhere with it, or just leave it comfortably where it is, safe and unchallenging?
But then surely a living faith is a bit like life. It moves forward and goes through changes and challenges, as we get to know God more.
Yes, there’s always room for a maturing faith.
A faith that rises to challenges and holds on when the going gets tough.
A faith that looks to our Lord for guidance on how we might recognize new opportunities of living and expressing the life we live with Jesus.
We are after all called to serve the one who serves us and sometimes that might mean stepping into unfamiliar territory, where we don’t really know what life will look like.
Perhaps we are hearing God’s call to lead us into some sort of ministry we hadn’t imagined. Or maybe it’s a call to examine the path we’re going on and examine some of our behaviours.
Going further we might even need to make big changes our lifestyle.
All of this is sacrificial, as we leave things behind, departing from the old and embracing the new, putting our trust in the one who calls us forward. In our trust we are blessed.

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Father Carl

Our Harvest Collections will be given to Farm Africa
Farm Africa is showing how increased confidence can be the key to sustained success.

Petronila is a smallholder farmer and chairperson of the Amcos marketing Co-op in Ngoley village, Tanzania. She cares for her nine-year-old grandson and elderly mother.
However, she has not always felt so able to cope with all her responsibilities as she does today.
Before joining a Farm Africa project, Petronila was farming cotton, sorghum and wheat, but was struggling to make an income from her crops. There were no buyers for the cotton, and the sorghum would get destroyed by animals in the night.
"The income was not sufficient. Sometimes I could only pay for half of the children's school fees, and sometimes I could not meet all of my family's basic needs."
Petronila also struggled to fully utilise her land and was only managing to farm a fifth of it. But in 2009, a year after joining a Farm Africa project, Petronila joined a farmers group and her confidence began to build as her knowledge increased.
"I learnt techniques of modern farming. I learned about using row planting, displacing and using fertilisers and improved seed varieties.

Before joining the project, we were not even ploughing the farm. We were just digging holes and planting the seeds."
Joining a savings and lending group was another building brick of her success.
"I was able to get capital and was able to build a new house. I was also able to become a chicken farmer."
This year Petronila planted seven acres of sesame and has gone from earning 300 to 500 shillings a year to earning four million (~£1,200) a year from sesame alone! In less than a decade, Petronila, who once lived in a mud a straw house, has been able to build new homes made of strong foundations.
She has become a leading member of her community and takes great satisfaction from sharing her knowledge with others.
"I have been training other farmers. The other farmers in the community come to my house and ask me questions about sesame farming.
Sometimes I even teach farming techniques at church. I'm proud that I can help. I remember how hard life used to be for me, and want to pull out others in that situation."

She feels the support she has received from Farm Africa has helped everyone.
"Most group members have changed the quality of their lives.
Their children are all in school and they all have iron roofs."

With each success, Petronila's confidence has grown.
Feeling better able to cope with what life throws at her, she continues to look forward to the future with optimism.

"I am eager to see my last child go to university."

Special Services
Climate Sunday Service
DH7 Churches Together - Climate Sunday Service
Sunday 5th September 2021 6:00pm, St Andrew’s Brandon
Enquiries – Bill Offler 0191 378 2883
Please come to this service about the biggest crisis that challenges humankind

Harvest Festivals:
St. John’s 9.45, Harvest Eucharist. Sunday 26th Sept
St. Catherine’s 4.00 pm. Harvest Praise. Sunday 19th Sept
This will be a service which would be suitable to invite friends or neighbours to. We will be singing hymns and songs, without masks if you choose. (No 08.45 Service that Sunday)
At both St. John’s and St. Catherine’s non-perishable gifts will be given to the Food Bank. The collection will be given to Farm Africa - see separate article.


St. Johns MU: Wed. 8th Sept. 2.00 pm. We will resume meetings after summer break. We look forward to seeing everyone again. We would like to thank everyone who donated to our appeal for clothes etc. for the Women’s Refuge Durham. They were delighted with everything they received from us and we hope to do this again nearer Christmas.
Prayer for Our Churches: Wednesdays, 22nd September and 19th October at 1:30-2:15 pm, (note change of time and day).
We will be meeting in person; on 22nd September. in St. John’s church, location to be decided for October.
Further details from Bill Offler.
PCC Meeting:Wednesday 22nd September,6.30 pm in St. John’s Church.
Parish Morning away:
Saturday, 16th October, 9.30 – 13.00, at Ushaw College. Pre-Covid we had a PCC Morning, but this year Fr. Carl is inviting all the congregational members to come. It will have a time of devotion and contemplation on the theme of Renewal’ – renewal individually and renewal for our churches. The morning will end with a Eucharist in one of the chapels at Ushaw College. More details nearer the time – Please put it in your diary and come if you possibly can!


St. John's is recommencing collecting donations for the Food Bank. Also St. Catherine’s is continuing to collect donations. Please give generously.

St. John’s Hall Update

The following activities are on at the hall, but places must be booked.
Mondays: 9.30 am - 11.30 am from 20th Sept. St John’s church playgroup; 12.15 pm - 1.15 pm. Pilates with Paul 07804 541181
Tuesdays: Hartbeeps Morning , Contact Abby 07534 018440; 7 pm Advanced Ballroom, Latin and sequence dancing with Dianne Ross 0776 9632412.
Wednesday: 9.30 am Paul’s over 50’s circuits. 07804 541181;
10.45 am SOSA dance fitness classes, contact Trudy 0778 7419022;
5.30 pm Pilates with Paul. 07804 541181
Thursdays: 10 am Swing Fit, 0771 9174544
Fridays: AM, Little movers, contact
The guiding groups can be contacted through

Prayer Points

Please pray for our church, our community and our world:
• Pray for the coronavirus pandemic with rising levels of infection, though low levels of hospitalisation due to the vaccination programme. Let us pray that all Western governments will be generous with supplying vaccines to less well-off countries.
• At this harvest time as we make gifts to the food bank pray for all those in need and for the work of the food bank in Brandon.
• Pray also for the work of Farm Africa, and for areas of the world where people are suffering in poverty and starvation.
• Pray for our Parish Morning on 16th October. Pray that individually we may experience God’s renewal and a new vision of for the life of our churches.
• Pray that we will be able to share God’s love with our friends and neighbours, and especially any we know who are suffering in some way at this time.